In real-life use, owners say the Garmin nuvi 255W is a reliably fast, efficient navigator -- more so than newer, fancier Garmin models. Experts say the nuvi 255W offers the two most important extra features, too: an easy-to-see widescreen and spoken street names (e.g. "Turn left on Elm street in 200 feet" rather than just "Turn left in 200 feet," making voice prompts easier to follow). These days, experts are more likely to recommend fancier Garmin models such as the Internet-connected Garmin nuvi 1690 (*Est. $320) or the sleek Garmin nuvi 3790T (*Est. $250) that looks like a smartphone and can "learn" local traffic patterns. But owners give these high-end Garmins mixed reviews when it comes to basic satellite lock and picking the best routes, while the budget nuvi 255W gets great reviews for these fundamental functions.
ConsumerReports.org's unbiased testing of the Garmin nuvi 255W is the best we've found, but only subscribers can read the reports. GPSLodge.com doesn't rank the nuvi 255W against other GPS units as ConsumerReports.org does, but its test results are presented in just as much detail. GPSTracklog.com has an extensive review, but it is based on a test drive of the similar Garmin nuvi 205W (Discontinued). Consumer reviews at Amazon.com indicate how owners like the nuvi 255W.
ConsumerReports.org reviews the Garmin nuvi 255W and compares it with many other GPS models, ranking them all from best to worst. A chart clearly shows how each model performs in tests, and user reviews and ratings are posted.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 255W, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
This lengthy, well-illustrated review covers every aspect of the Garmin nuvi 255W, comparing it not only with the similar Garmin nuvi 205W but also with the older Garmin nuvi 200W and nuvi 250W. Based on his tests, Scott Martin gives the Garmin nuvi 255W a spot on his holiday gift guide.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 205W/255W Full Review, Scott Martin, Oct. 26, 2008
3. GPS Tracklog
This detailed review of the Garmin nuvi 255W is adapted from Rich Owings' review of the similar Garmin nuvi 205W. Owings highly recommends the nuvi 255W, which he calls "a joy to use."
Review: Garmin Nuvi 255W Review, Rich Owings, Sept. 8, 2008
Nearly 1,800 users have posted reviews for the Garmin nuvi 255W, giving the device an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Almost all the reviews are positive, but they do include criticism, and negative reviews are posted.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator, Contributors to Amazon.com