New to the Garmin nuvi 55LM is the “Up Ahead” feature introduced in Garmin’s midrange lineup the previous year.“Up Ahead” takes the form of a sidebar that can pop up in the map view.
The entry-level models in the 2013 series excelled in performance and overall stability and the nuvi 55LM continues that tradition.
When turned on, you get that very minimal menu which just about any individual should be able to navigate.
On top of that, you get access to map updates free and there is no expiration.
You only have to purchase additional maps if you need coverage outside the US.
You can customize this sidebar too if you prefer other categories to show up like gas stations, parking, lodging and restrooms.
There is a similar and older function called “Where am I” which also brings up several locations nearby but it focuses on the emergency services like police stations and hospitals making it very useful during emergency situations.
You don’t get any of the extra bells and whistles like Bluetooth compatibility and voice-activated navigation but the overall feature set is a lot more impressive than any other entry-level GPS device reviewed in the past.
Garmin has raised the bar yet again for the low-end and once the competitors follow through, it will be the consumers that win.
Then when you head to a known highway, the lane assist with junction view kicks in focusing on guiding you to the correct lane so you can make that exit and stay on the route.