October 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Garmin nuvi 2797LMT

Best big-screen car GPS

  • Vast 7-inch touch screen
  • Clean, easy-to-read maps
  • Voice controllable, with conversational speech
  • Free lifetime maps and traffic
  • Magnetic mount can't hold the heavy unit, some say
  • Big screen can overwhelm small cars

Bottom line

Bigger can be better: Experts and owners say it really is easier to see the giant 7-inch screen on the Garmin nuvi 2797LMT, especially in a full-size pickup or van. It's stuffed with almost every feature Garmin has to offer, too -- just like the top-rated Garmin nuvi 2597LMT (Est. $220) , which is nearly identical but with a 5-inch screen.


Fast, flawless navigation. Smooth navigation -- the norm for Garmin GPS models -- makes the nuvi 2797LMT a favorite at "I noticed no routing errors, sluggish performance, lock ups or shut downs during a month of testing," editor Rich Owings says. It comes with Garmin's top-of-the-line maps (including photorealistic interchange maps that make it super-easy to negotiate tricky freeways) and free map updates for the life of the unit.


Loaded with Garmin's latest routing features. Garmin packs the nuvi 2797LMT with almost all of its latest features. Lifetime, ad-free Garmin Traffic alerts aren't quite as quick as the step-up HD Traffic you'll find on the top-of-the-line Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD (Est. $350) , but both versions work fine on major highways, warning of any heavy traffic ahead and recommending alternate routes. (They're spottier on city streets and side roads, though.) High-end routing features help you pick the best routes. For example, trafficTrends picks the best route to avoid traffic jams. Trip Planner lets you sort a bunch of stops into whatever order you like and set your own departure and arrival times.

Ease of use

Bigger can be better. No doubt about it: A vast 7-inch screen really does make this GPS navigator easy to see. Just don't let it take over your entire car. "It didn't overwhelm my Honda Accord, but I sure wouldn't want it in anything smaller," says Rich Owings at "But if you have a full-size pickup or a van, this might be a good choice for you." Garmin's natural-sounding Real Voice and Real Directions make spoken directions easy to follow, too. Unlike the 5-inch nuvi 2597LMT, you can't turn the 7-incher's screen to view in portrait mode (it's landscape-only). But the 7-inch model does add a powered, magnetic mount; a few owners say it's too weak to hold the heavy GPS, but others report no problems.


Big screen and big features can really be helpful -- but they'll cost you. If size matters to you, reviews say you can't beat the 7-inch Garmin nuvi 2797LMT. Garmin does offer cheaper 7-inch models, but without all of the 2797's luxury extras (like free traffic alerts and Bluetooth hands-free calling) that make navigation smoother and easier. Check out a 5-inch model such as the Garmin nuvi 2597LMT first, though. If you find it easy enough to see -- especially if you drive a compact car -- you might find the 7-inch screen overkill.

Where To Buy
Garmin nüvi 2797LMT 7-Inch Portable Bluetooth Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic

Buy new: $269.99 $231.29   55 Used from $189.00

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Our Sources

1. GPS Tracklog

With flawless performance in a month of testing (except for a Bluetooth bug), the Garmin nuvi 2797LMT is one of Rich Owings' favorite car GPS systems. He says the big screen would be better in a big pickup or van than his Honda Accord, though.

Review: Garmin nuvi 2797LMT Review, Rich Owings, April 15, 2013


With about 185 owner reviews posted, the Garmin nuvi 2797LMT earns a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. The big screen draws lots of praise -- owners say it's easier to see than smaller screens. A few say the windshield mount dropped this big, heavy GPS unit, but others report no problems.

Review: Garmin nuvi 2797LMT, Contributors to, As of October 2013


About 100 users here review the Garmin nuvi 2797LMT, awarding it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although negative comments are posted, most owners are happy with their purchase.

Review: Garmin nuvi 2797LMT, Contributors to, As of October 2013

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