If you are looking for the best vehicle GPS currently available, the Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD is probably it. The five-inch 800×480 pixel display is among the best I have seen on a GPS and the ability to do pinch and zoom is a smartphone quality not available on most other personal navigation devices. This GPS includes all of the features found in a premium GPS including lifetime traffic, bluetooth and voice recognition. The GPS also includes high definition traffic which is found in most heavily populated areas.
We’ll review mounting options in a bit. Like other Garmin traffic enabled GPS devices, guard the cable with your life. Your traffic subscription is tied to the actual cable. If you lose your cable, you will need to replace with a very expensive (about $60) traffic charger. A plain car charger will not provide you with traffic, you need to buy the HD traffic cable with traffic incorporated into it.
Now for the mounts. The Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD is no different from the other Nuvi models before it using a ball and socket design. This cradle fits over a 17mm ball which is part of the mount. The 3597LMTHD is the first Nuvi model to use a magnetic cradle. I really like this cradle as it’s much faster to align the magnetic mount with the GPS. Easy and fast to insert and remove.
The default mount that is provided with the Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD is the suction cup variety. This is the same mounting base that Garmin has used for roughly the past ten years (they changed the cradle, not the base mount). Garmin also includes an adhesive disk for those that wish to use it on the dashboard. If your suction cup has failed, read our article on reviving it here. If after reading the article, it’s still failing but the cradle is still good, replace it with an Arkon suction mount. These come with a 2-year warranty and these stick real well.
If you would rather not put adhesive on your dash, you could use this cradle with Garmin’s highly regarded bean bag mount which we discussed in a prior article.
How about some alternative locations and mounts? Vent mounts have been available for many years but Garmin completely missed the parade on these until 2013. Finally coming out with a vent mount of their own, this Garmin mount is very well made. Unlike many of their competitors, Garmin saw the need for a vent mount with a clamp on the back if it. This means these mounts will fit horizontal and vertical vents.
For motorcycle use, we always like to use a custom cradle when available however, I do not believe any exist. You will want to consider using a well made universal cradle made for smartphones. The Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD measures 3.1 x 5.4 inches and you will want to power it without the cradle. For motorcycle use, it’s important that you select a mount that has a well constructed cradle that is going to hold your Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD very tightly so that it stays put through the vibration of a ride.
We are big fans of the RAM X-Grip line. These are heavy duty mounts that are mostly constructed of metal. The mount has gone through some rigorous shake tests and holds up well on a motorcycle. We wrote about X-Grips extensively on this site and you can view that article here. Most motorcycles can use the X-Grip handlebar mount or the X-Grip clutch mount. Both of these mounts feature the expandable X-Grip cradle which can open to 3.25 inches which is large enough for most cases. We always recommend tethering your device for added security.