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Garmin Drive™ 53 & Traffic

Portable navigator with 5" screen

Item # 150DR53T

This 5" navigator's updatable maps of North America and free traffic updates keep you on target and on time.

This 5" navigator's updatable maps of North America and free traffic updates keep you on target and on time.

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Item # 150DR53T

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About the Garmin Drive™ 53 & Traffic

Dominic DeVito

Legendary Garmin guidance with traffic updates

Garmin's Drive 53 & Traffic portable navigator boasts free lifetime traffic reports to help keep you out of jams. That alone should have you clicking the "Add to Cart" button right now, but there's even more about this device to love. It has a no-nonsense 5" display, reliable map coverage north of the Rio Grande and parts of the Caribbean, and driver alerts to keep you abreast of potential road hazards. Free map updates ensure your data stays current, so you can drive without worry.

Legendary Garmin guidance with traffic updates

Garmin's Drive 53 & Traffic portable navigator boasts free lifetime traffic reports to help keep you out of jams. That alone should have you clicking the "Add to Cart" button right now, but there's even more about this device to love. It has a no-nonsense 5" display, reliable map coverage north of the Rio Grande and parts of the Caribbean, and driver alerts to keep you abreast of potential road hazards. Free map updates ensure your data stays current, so you can drive without worry.

Garmin Drive 53 & Traffic portable GPS navigator

See it all on a colorful 5" display

The easy-to-use screen gives you access to preloaded maps of all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas, along with millions of points of interest. You can even add your own favorite destinations. You can select businesses right on the map screen without having to go through time-wasting menus. And with one tap of the screen, you can view "Up Ahead" details for services that lie ahead on your route, including restaurants, gas stations, and more.

Garmin Traffic brings congestion info right to you

This Drive features free lifetime traffic updates using Garmin's Traffic service, which covers a wide selection of roads and delivers reports in a hurry. Garmin Traffic incorporates data from active devices on the road, historical traffic patterns, and other factors like construction, concerts, and sporting events to give you a comprehensive look at congestion in most metropolitan areas, including a few cities in Canada. Best of all, you won't have to pay any extra charges for this service over the life of your Drive.

Stay in the right frame of mind with driver alerts

The Drive 53 & Traffic delivers GPS-based alerts for upcoming sharp curves, school zones, red-light and speed cameras, railroad and animal crossings, and more. The navigator will tell you when there's a change in the posted speed limit on major roads and give you a visual warning if you're exceeding it. It can also tell you if you're going the wrong way down a one-way street.

Convenient directions

Voice prompts speak the instructions to you like a friend would, using a personable, human-sounding voice to describe easy-to-see landmarks, buildings and businesses, and traffic lights, rather than tiny street signs that you might not see in time.

Tripadvisor® and Foursquare® points of interest and more

Foursquare's crowd-sourced database of points of interest gives you a whole new take on where to stop for gas, food, lodging, or shopping. You'll see the most relevant Foursquare results at the top of the search bar, so you'll know the destination is verified by actual users. You also get a U.S. national parks directory so you can find places to relax and take in scenic views or some recreational activities. The Drive also includes Tripadvisor ratings for hotels, restaurants, and attractions which are provided by fellow travelers to this popular platform.

Reliable guidance through intersections

Garmin incorporates lane guidance with colored arrows for upcoming turns, while Junction View displays more realistic images of select intersections, including signage, to let you know which lane you should be following. You'll see these visual features in a split-screen with your overall route so you won't lose sight of what's further down the road.


Product highlights:

  • portable GPS navigator
  • 5" (800 x 480 pixels) touchscreen display
  • preloaded with maps for the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas
  • receive free map updates as they become available using the Garmin Express software suite (available on Garmin's website)
  • includes Garmin Traffic receiver for free lifetime traffic info (no phone required)
  • suction-cup windshield mount
  • car power adapter, mini-USB cable and built-in rechargeable battery with up to 1 hour of life
Navigation Features:
  • millions of points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • points-of-interest extras include:
    • Foursquare (with check-in when connected to smartphone via Garmin Drive app)
    • Tripadvisor (with ratings when connected to smartphone via Garmin Drive app)
    • U.S. National Parks directory
  • text-to-speech voice prompts announce actual road names at turns
  • Real Directions gives instructions using landmarks, buildings, and traffic signals, with human-like voice announcements
  • lane assist with junction view
  • junction view with signage
  • speed limit and school zone indicators
  • Up Ahead feature informs of nearby services
  • driver alerts include:
    • upcoming sharp curves
    • red-light and speed cameras
    • railroad and animal crossings
    • wrong way on one-way streets
    • fatigue warnings
  • multi-destination routing: route optimization
  • transport modes: auto
  • microSD™ card slot
Other Features and Specs:

What's in the box:

  • Portable navigation device with 5" LCD screen
  • Circular mount clip
  • Suction cup mount
  • TA10 Car charger / traffic antenna with 65" DC output cable (right angled USB Mini-B plug)
  • 20" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and a Mini-B 2.0 USB on the other end)
  • Setup/Configuration guide
  • Important Safety and Product Information

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More details on the Garmin Drive™ 53 & Traffic

Mark G.

Features & specs

Maps Free lifetime updates
Map Coverage US, Can, Mex, PR, USVI
Points of Interest POI, Driver Alerts, TripAdviso
Multiple Destination Routing Yes
Screen Size 5"
Bluetooth Capable No
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control No
Traffic Information North America
Dynamic Content Services None
Removable Memory Type microSD
Battery Life 1 Hour
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
The Garmin Drive™ 53 & Traffic replaces these items:

Product Research


Overview: The Garmin Drive 53 & Traffic is a portable GPS navigation device that provides automatic routing and turn-by-turn voice directions. The unit receives data from overhead global positioning satellites, not cellular signals, for reliable navigation directions. It also provides traffic updates so you can avoid delays. The Drive 53 & Traffic features free Lifetime Map Updates.

5" Touchscreen LCD: The Drive 53 & Traffic features a 5" (diagonal) color TFT touchscreen glass LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The touchscreen features multi-touch which allows you to pinch and zoom the map for the desired view. The display has both day and night modes, which are switchable manually or automatically. You can also choose a display timeout of 1 to 5 minutes, or none.

Preloaded Maps: The Drive 53 & Traffic contains Here's City Navigator NT North America maps with detailed road maps of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and Mexico. In addition, the loaded maps include a National Parks Directory, TripAdvisor traveler ratings for hotels, restaurants, and attractions, and millions of other points-of-interest.

Note: Optional maps for other regions are available for purchase via microSD card or download from Garmin Express. Garmin Express requires Windows 7 (SP1) and up, or Mac OS X 10.11 or newer.

Free Lifetime Map Updates: Drive 53 & Traffic offers free lifetime map updates (of the preloaded map software) so you'll always have the most up-to-date maps, POIs, and navigation information. Map updates are typically available for download up to 3 times a year with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates. When you connect Drive 53 & Traffic to Garmin Express on your computer, you can check to see if your current maps are up-to-date, or if an update is available for download.

Garmin Traffic: With the included TA10 power cable, Garmin Drive 53 & Traffic gives you access to the Garmin Traffic service. Garmin Traffic checks traffic data from a variety of sources to provide an extensive traffic avoidance system. It delivers alerts about accidents, slow downs, and construction delays, and can suggest alternate routes to guide you around trouble spots. The Garmin Traffic receiver is built into the Drive 53 & Traffic device, but requires connection to the TA10, or other compatible traffic antenna. Garmin Traffic is available for interstates and major highways in and around over 90 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada. Traffic data is updated every 5 minutes through RDS (Radio Data System) broadcasts via the FM radio band.

microSD Card Slot: The Drive 53 & Traffic has a microSD card slot so you can store and use optional maps (available from Garmin). The device will accept microSD cards with a capacity of 4 GB to 256 GB.

Universal Mount: The Drive 53 & Traffic features a circular Universal Bracket mount that holds the unit securely in place, but can be easily removed. The mount clips into the socket on the back of the unit, and fits the ball mount found on Garmin windshield and dash mounts. The device mounts to your windshield via a powerful suction cup mount.

Mounting Considerations: You should ensure the mounting location complies with all applicable laws and ordinances. If local laws prohibit attaching devices to your windshield, you can consider an optional friction mount for the device.

Power Requirements: The Garmin Drive 53 & Traffic is powered by a built-in Lithium-Ion battery, which will provide up to 1 hour of use when fully charged. The unit comes with a 12-volt DC power adapter for powering and charging the unit while you travel. The unit can be powered by your computer when it is connected via the supplied mini-B USB cable.

Map View Options: You can choose from a 3D map view or two 2D map views (Track Up or North Up) as you navigate to your destination.

Garmin Real Directions: The Drive 53 & Traffic announces your upcoming maneuvers with a clear spoken voice. Using Garmin Real Directions, the spoken turn-by-turn directions utilize traffic lights and recognizable landmarks to guide you. For example, the unit uses phrases such as "Turn left at the traffic light" or "Turn right at the gas station."

Junction View: While navigating a route on a major roadway, a realistic image of an upcoming junction appears on the screen, including a representation of the actual roadway directional signs. Junction View with Lane Assist can help you select the proper lane with brightly colored arrows pointing the way.

Speed Limits: As you travel along a major road or street, the speed limit is displayed on the screen alongside of the vehicle's speed display. If you are exceeding the speed limit, the color of the vehicle speed indication changes to red. If the highway's posted speed limit has changed since the last map update, you can change the speed limit display in the menu.

Driver Alerts: The Drive 53 & Traffic features audible and visual alerts to help you drive more safely and increase situation awareness. Warnings include alerts for Animal Crossing, Railroad Crossing, School Zones, and Sharp Curves. Each situation can be selected or deselected in the menu. There are also Speeding Alerts, Break Planning for long trips, and Proximity Alerts.

Where Am I?: The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you touch the vehicle icon on the map screen, the "Where Am I?" feature provides the coordinates (including elevation) of your current position, plus the nearest address and intersections. There are also buttons to help you locate the nearest hospitals, police stations, and gas stations. You can also save the location for future reference.

Up Ahead: As you travel along your route, the Up Ahead feature constantly indicates the location of nearby businesses, including gas stations, restaurants, lodging, rest areas, parking, and banks/ATMs. The locations are shown as icons, some with brand logos, and when the icons are touched on the screen, details of the services are displayed, and you are given the opportunity to navigate to that address.

Destination Search: When the Where To? button is pressed, you can use the search tools to find your destination and plan your route. The search tools allow you to search for cities, addresses, intersections, or coordinates. The Search Bar lets you directly enter a category, brand name, address, or city name. The unit's memory stores the last 50 locations you have found so you can quickly find a previous destination.

Avoidances: In the Navigation menu, you can customize your route to avoid specific obstacles or highway features. The list of avoidances includes U-turns, Highways, Ferries, Carpool Lanes, and Unpaved Roads. You can select each one individually. You can also enter custom avoidances, such as specific areas or roads. Toll roads can be allowed or avoided, or you can choose to be asked each time before routing through a toll area.

Route Planner: You can create and save a route with multiple destinations using the Route Planner. Once you have entered your destinations, you can manually set them in the order of your preference, or allow the device to calculate the most efficient route. Trip itineraries can be saved in memory for future use.

Trip Data: The Trip Data feature is a customizable tool to provide helpful statistics about your trip. Numerous data points can be selected, and three of them displayed on the main map screen. Selectable data points include: dual trip odometers (Trip A/Trip B), Direction, Current Speed, Maximum Speed, Moving Average Speed, Overall Average Speed, Stopped time, Moving Time, Total Time, Time of Day, Elevation, Location Coordinates, and GPS accuracy.

Where I've Been/Trip Log: The Where I've Been application allows you to view your previous routes and places you have stopped on the map. In addition, the device keeps a Trip Log, which is a record of the path you have traveled. The Travel History setting must be enabled in order for the Where I've Been and Trip Log features to function.

GPS Simulator: When indoors, you can activate the built-in GPS simulator and practice using the unit. This turns off the GPS receiver so it's not searching for satellites, saving battery power.

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