Garmin has now introduced well in excess of 100 models of units as part of the Nuvi line. The 2013 GPS line included a series of lower priced GPS models called the 42, 42LM, 44, 44LM, 52, 52LM, 54, 54LM. The difference between all these units is size, map updates and coverage. All of the 40-series models have 4.3 inch diagonal screens. The 50-series have a 5.0″ diagonal screen. When you see the letters “LM” at the end – that stands for Lifetime Map updates. The 44 and 54 include maps for Canada and the US. The 42 and 52 have just the lower 49 states of the US. Personally, I never had use for the lifetime map updates as I found that you will likely purchase a new GPS before it’s time to update the maps. GPS models are like any other technology. The price drops over time. These units now sell for almost half of the initial price they were introduced at. Features wise, the current models that were introduced in late 2014 are pretty much the same. Save your money. Buy last year’s model.
In the box is a suction cup mount, adhesive disk and a charger. All of these units come with a cradle which the GPS snaps into. The cradle has a 17mm socket on the back and can be adapted to many alternative mounts by simply pulling the cradle off the suction cup mount that comes with your unit.
There are many alternative mounts to the suction cup which we find to be very marginal in terms of reliability. The mounting kit in the box also includes an adhesive mounting disk. This is particularly useful for states like California and Minnesota where mounting to a windshield is not legal and you need to mount it elsewhere. We wrote a detailed article on these states and you can read it here.
One of the most popular mounts made for the Garmin Nuvi series is the Garmin Portable Friction Mount. which has a 17mm ball which you can snap the cradle onto. We wrote an in-depth review of this mount which you can read here.
I continue to be amazed at the number of cup holders that are present in my SUV. I cannot possibly drink that many bottles of water nor can the passengers that ride in my car. Why not use one of these spare cup holders to mount your Nuvi? We wrote a detailed article on cup holder mounts previously. The cup holder mount for the Nuvi is made by a company named Arkon and it features a base that expands to the contour of your car’s cup holder. These place your Nuvi at a good location for viewing. for GPS reception, we find these work best with a sunroof as depending upon the location of your cup holders, it may be challenged to see the satellites in the sky.
Vent mounts have been available for many years but Garmin completely missed the parade on these until 2013. Finally coming out with the Garmin Air Vent Mount, Garmin’s 010-11952-00 mount is a very well made entry. 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. While it costs a bit more than the competitors, it’s worth the extra fora well made mount that you can easily install and remove.
We wrote recently about using a Garmin Nuvi on a motorcycle and you can read about it here. For the motorcycle, we like the RAM Mount line for these. First start with a RAM custom cradle for these devices. The RAM Cradle for Garmin Nuvi 52, 52LM, 54 & 54LM and RAM Cradle for Garmin nuvi 42, 42LM, 44 and 44LM are what is needed. Couple these with the RAM Handlebar and Clutch Mount for the complete solution.