As mentioned in previous articles, Garmin has discontinued their decade old Nuvi line and replaced it with the Drive series. There are four different lines that comprise their Drive Series. The most basic GPS is the Garmin Drive and we wrote extensively about these devices here. The Garmin DriveSmart is the step up from the Drive. These devices carry all the basic GPS features found in the Drive which includes traffic and lifetime map updates. The DriveSmart adds the ability to interface with your smartphone via Bluetooth. This means you can make calls using the microphone and speakers on the GPS. Also take advantage of Garmin’s SmartPhone Link which facilitates sharing of information, including contacts, search results, favorite locations, your driving destination, and even your parking spot. You can also use Garmin Live Services which further gives the ability to receive weather and helps find a parking spot in a paid lot.
Introduced in 2016, there are three models that are part of the Garmin DriveSmart lineup:
Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT – This is the 5″ diagonal display model. It includes basic GPS functions, lifetime traffic subscription, lifetime map updates, Bluetooth functionality, SmartPhone Link and Garmin Live Services. The physical dimensions are 5.5″W x 3.3″H x .7″D.
Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT – The 6″ display model. It also includes basic GPS functions, lifetime traffic subscription, lifetime map updates, Bluetooth functionality, SmartPhone Link and Garmin Live Services. The physical dimensions are 6.7″W x 3.7″H x .7″D.
Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT – This is the biggest screen size at 7″ which is really large. Good for trucks and RVs. With physical dimensions of 7.4″W x 4.4″H x .8″D, I think it’s a bit too large for a car. Like the other two models, this includes basic GPS functions, lifetime traffic subscription, lifetime map updates, Bluetooth functionality, SmartPhone Link and Garmin Live Services.
All three models of the Garmin DriveSmart series uses the Garmin mount that was introduces with the Nuvi 52 series a few years back. There is a round adapter that snaps onto the back of the GPS. The back of the adapter has a socket that accommodates the standard 17mm ball that has been common to Garmin GPS devices for over ten years so there are plenty of mounts out there that will fit the Garmin DriveSmart GPS line. Many, of not all, mounts will specify they fit a Garmin Nuvi and probably not mention the Garmin DriveSmart. Don’t worry though. If it says it fits a Nuvi and has a 17mm ball then it will fit the cradle that came with your DriveSmart. The standard Garmin suction cup mount with the round adapter is included with the Garmin DriveSmart line. We have a detailed overview of this mount here.
In my opinion, the best suction alternative to the Garmin supplied mount is the Arkon Windshield Dash Garmin Nuvi Suction Mount which is a favorite of mine. I have recommended this one over the many years it has been available. It’s an excellent mount that comes with a 2-year warranty. It’s more rugged and longer than the Garmin mount you received in the box. Comes with an adhesive dash mount if you wish to use this on your dashboard which is especially useful for states where windshield mounting is against the law. This mount is long enough to fit all three models including the big giant DriveSmart 70LMT.
The Garmin Bean Bag Mount has a 17mm ball which you can snap the cradle onto. This mount was introduced over ten years ago and has been one of the most popular mounts around. We wrote an in-depth review of this mount which you can read here. Keep in mind that the Drive series isn’t going to be listed on the packaging yet but don’t worry it will fit fine. It’s one of the easiest mounts to use. Just attach your cradle and toss it on your dash. Works great on flat dashboards. Not too great on a dash that is significantly sloped or has significant oil on it. Weighs about 1.5 pounds and you can easily throw it into your glove box or luggage for travel. This should fit all three models fine, but the 70LMT might be a tight fit with the GPS resting on the dash a bit.
A Garmin Vent Mount is a good one that was introduced by Garmin a few years ago primarily for their Nuvi line. It’s made by Garmin specifically for their GPS line so it will fit that cradle socket perfectly. The mount has a clamp on the back of it so this means these mounts will fit horizontal and vertical vents and again don’t worry about it not saying it’s for a Garmin DriveSmart, it will fit fine. While it costs a bit more than the competitors, it’s worth the extra for a well made mount that you can easily install and remove. Like all mounts made for their Nuvi and Drive lines, these have a 17mm ball to fit the cradle socket.
If using a vent mount, ensure that your vent will hold up to the weight of a GPS hanging from it. Most can without an issue, but there are a few that can pull the vent slats off, especially plastic slats on some less expensive car models.
Motorcycle mounting is a bit of a challenge. I always like to recommend a mount that grips the GPS tightly from the sides but there isn’t a custom cradle for this line of GPS that will do that. Fortunately there are some good quality universal holders that will fit and the Arkon RoadVise Handlebar Strap Mount is a good choice. This isn’t one of those cradles made to operate with one hand. You will need two hands to open and close due to the fact that the grip is purposely made to form a firm grip around your device. The sides of the grips are padded to prevent marring and opens to 4 inches. The included handlebar mount is constructed of plastic and fits bars up to almost 2 inches diameter. The ball and socket design allows full swivel for your device to be used in landscape or portrait mode. The mount is easy to install and remove. This mount will fit the 50LMT and 60LMT, not the 70LMT. We always like to recommend adding a tether to any motorcycle mount, you can read about them here.