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Garmin nüvi® 42LM

Portable navigator with 4.3" screen and free lifetime map updates

9 Reviews

Item # 150N42LM

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Our take on the Garmin nüvi® 42LM

Garmin's nüvi 42LM portable navigator makes it easy to find your way almost anywhere in the U.S., and on several Caribbean islands. Its bright 4.3" color touchscreen display gives you access to detailed maps along with millions of preloaded points of interest for important stops along the way. The overhauled chassis features a sleeker, thinner profile, and the redesigned rear mount provides added security on your windshield. Best of all, you can keep the nüvi 42LM's maps current with free lifetime map updates for as long as you own the navigator, so you don't have to worry about road changes or moved businesses in the future.

Hit the road with confidence

Garmin's nüvi 42LM portable navigator makes it easy to find your way almost anywhere in the U.S., and on several Caribbean islands. Its bright 4.3" color touchscreen display gives you access to detailed maps along with millions of preloaded points of interest for important stops along the way. The overhauled chassis features a sleeker, thinner profile, and the redesigned rear mount provides added security on your windshield. Best of all, you can keep the nüvi 42LM's maps current with free lifetime map updates for as long as you own the navigator, so you don't have to worry about road changes or moved businesses in the future.

Garmin nuvi 42LM portable navigator

The redesigned mount of the nüvi 42LM allows for convenient placement on your windshield.

Smart guidance

This Garmin announces actual street names at turns, so you'll hear "turn right on Park Avenue" instead of "take the next right." Colored arrows pop up as you approach complicated interchanges and junctions, showing you the the proper lane for the next maneuver. And you can check out your vehicle's speed as well as the posted speed limits on most major roads along your route to make sure you're staying safe.

Valuable extras

The "Where Am I?" emergency locator provides your exact location instantly, displaying nearby emergency services if you need aid. Garmin's trip computer lets you record mileage, maximum speed, total time, and more. Garmin's website allows you to customize your vehicle icon to add a touch of personality. The nüvi 42LM also lets you assign custom points of interest so you can find favorite stops that are a little off the beaten path.

Product Highlights:

  • portable GPS navigator
  • nüMaps Lifetime download card (receive up to 4 map updates per year without additional fees)
  • suction-cup windshield mount
  • car power adapter, micro-USB cable and built-in rechargeable battery with up to 2 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" (480 x 272 pixels) display with touchscreen control
  • 5 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • preloaded with maps for the United States (except Alaska) and Puerto Rico, plus U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Bahamas
  • text-to-speech voice prompts announce actual road names at turns
  • lane assistance and junction view
  • speed limit indicator
  • trip computer
  • multi-destination routing: allows 1,000 waypoints
  • transport modes: auto
  • microSD™ card slot
Other features and specs:

Bought for a birthday gift.

Anonymous, Port Huron, Michigan

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation device (w/ 4.3" LCD)
  • Suction-cup mount
  • Mounting bracket
  • Cigarette lighter/power adapter (w/ attached 5.5' cable)
  • 19" miniUSB-to-USB cable
  • Updates/Manuals note
  • Important Safety/Product Information
  • Garmin Express brochure

Garmin nüvi® 42LM Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(9 Reviews)

Garmin nüvi® 42LM

Anonymous from Port Huron, Michigan on 1/18/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought for a birthday gift.

Pros: Easy to use


Perfect for the price

PercyV from La Quinta, CA on 12/26/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my 3rd GPS. My previous 2 were Magellan. This Garmin is very user friendly and easy to use.

Pros: Exactly what you expected for the price

Cons: Graphics could have been better.

Garmin GPS

John from Fort Smith, AR on 12/6/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for my son who travels back and forth from college. I have Garmin GPS systems and they have always been a good GPS system.

Pros: Lifetime map updates and road display


Good value in a great little GPS

Mark from Merriam, Kansas on 11/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Crutchfield recommended this GPS in a newsletter. It just so happened that I had a business engagement for which a GPS would be helpful. Because I trust the Crutchfield name, I followed their recommendation. It also helps that it's a Garmin unit. I've been to several IEEE meetings in which someone from Garmin presented; I don't live far from the Garmin HQ. The map gives you the street name you're heading toward across the top. There's an indicator for expected time of arrival (ETA), posted speed limit, your speed (and it turns red if you're over the limit), and other nice features. I like it that you can see there's an interstate to your left when you're driving down a side street or there's a river up ahead, etc. This was about what I expected: easy to use, well-designed, and thoughtful in its execution. This was my first GPS unit, and I'm glad I selected this one. It's been a very good user experience for me. I mounted mine next to the rear view mirror. I have a radar detector mounted under it. I've run an accessory plug extender cable up through the interior trim into a duplex that feeds both devices; the duplex and is fastened to the rear view mirror using cable ties and the cables are practically invisible. I do not like cables hanging down. Cars should long ago have been made with jacks along the headliner for plugging in radar detectors, GPS units, etc., but a determined DIY can almost make up for that design oversight.

Pros: * Inobstructive in size, but big enough to read. * Intuitive interface. * Can be muted. * Maps can scale however you wish. * Mounts easily. * Mounting device is more than just lame suction cups, as with so many other devices. * Uses standard USB for power, so you can charge it up with the adapter used for MP3 player or similar device. * Looks great!

Cons: * No user manual (though I'm not sure why you'd need it). * Cable not conducive to connection from overhead, due to plug angle. * Smallish screen, but any bigger could be distracting.

garmin 42LM best gps ever

joe r from finksburg,md on 11/4/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

one of the best pieces of electronic equipment I"ve ever purchased. very easy to use right out of the box,detailed full color screen,and love the fact that it tells you exact street names to turn on,not just take the next right.highly buy the friction dash mount sold separately very nice and much better and safer than windshield mount

Pros: voices actual street names

Cons: windshield mount

Garmin nuvi 42LM

TD from Plano, TX on 8/16/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product. It got me out of a jam as I recently moved to go to school. Easy to use and great for the price. The only downside at this time is not having a wall charger. Crutchfield shipped this product to me in a timely manner with tracking. I got it in less than a week just in time to move for school.

Pros: price, limited lifetime map updates

Cons: no wall charger

Very good unit

TylerB from Northern Indiana on 5/31/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have owned several GPS units and also the Iphone one. This GPS is good value. Garmin in my experience is the most accurate and fastest satellite acquisition of all the units. I like knowing when my arrival time and the mph helps keep me in check. We used it in California to find restaurants close by and such. The other thing about Garmin is they work with Apple computers. Trying to update a TomTom I had was a nightmare on the Mac. I pulled the Garmin out on the plane back home, we were doing 534 mph according to the GPS I forget what the altitude was. Don't buy a refurbished GPS my mom did and it won't acquire satellites for 20 minutes. I also like to save locations to my favorite list, like hardwares, supply houses and such. I can see which one is closest from my location. I did feel that the screen size would be a issue since all the other units I have owned were bigger, but it has not been an issue at all.

Pros: Great unit and value. Crutchfied is a fantastic company to do business with and stand behind their products and will help you out over the phone if needed. I bought a stereo from them and called for some assistance I was pretty impressed with their knowledge.

Cons: The only thing Garmin needs to do is give a case with the unit. I don't leave my unit in the car and I take it on planes so it would be nice to have a hard case to protect it and keep the cords in.

My First GPS

DavidE from Saratoga Springs, NY on 5/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I get lost all of the time so I broke down and got a GPS. This thing has changed my life! It works great and when it tells you to go down a dirt road etc. you can just keep driving and it automatically readjusts. Worth it!!!

Pros: Easy to use - flexible

Cons: Haven't had any complaints yet

Garmin knows the way

az from Tucson, AZ on 4/27/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Left Western NY with this Garmin gizmo hooked up and running. Being old and uncomfortable and largely ignorant of how to use this equipment, i had my doubts about it. Crutchfield rep tried to placate my anxieties and i bought this model on his well-informed advice. I'm totally glad now and we arrived in Tucson without much trouble. Now this thing has really earned its stripes getting us around in this completely unfamiliar town we are coming to love. Thanks!!

Pros: It's all good!

Cons: Can't think of any not attributable to my own incompetence.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Maps Free lifetime updates
Map Coverage USA (49), USVI, PR, Jamaica
Points of Interest 5,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing Yes
Screen Size 4.3"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable No
Photo Viewer No
Digital Audio Playback No
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control No
Traffic Information No
Dynamic Content Services None
Removable Memory Type microSD card
Battery Life 2 Hours
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Navigation Features
Convenience Features
Installation Options

Navigation Features

GPS Receiver: The Garmin nuvi 42LM is equipped with a high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and built-in antenna which enables the unit to acquire GPS (Global Positioning System) signals for on-the-road navigation.

Note: 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.

Preloaded Maps: The nuvi 42LM contains NAVTEQ's City Navigator North America NT-Lower 49 States maps (ver.2013.30) with detailed road maps of the lower 49 States (excluding Alaska), Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, and Jamaica.

Points of Interest: The built-in maps include over 5-million Points of Interest (POIs) such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, attractions, and ATMs to help you find the destination you desire. In addition, you can download additional points of interest and add them to the unit's memory (Custom POIs). The free POI Loader software can be downloaded from the Garmin website to assist you in creating Custom POIs.

Free Lifetime Map Updates: The nuvi 42LM offers free lifetime map updates so you'll always have the most up-to-date maps, POIs, and navigation information. Map updates are available for download up to 4 times a year with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates.

Note: Free Lifetime Map Updates entitle you to receive up to 4 map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on the Garmin website, for this specific Garmin product only until this product's useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter. The updates you receive will be updates to the same geographic map data originally included with your Garmin product when originally purchased.

Map Screen: The Garmin nuvi 42LM displays a real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route. It will show map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways and towns. Your route is marked with a magenta line. A checkered flag marks your destination. As you travel the nuvi 42LM guides to your destination with arrows on the map and directions at the top of the screen. If you depart from the original route, the device recalculates the route and provides new directions. During your calculated route, your direction of travel is displayed in the lower left corner and your current speed is shown in the lower right corner. The posted speed limit for most major roads is displayed near the lower right corner as well. The unit allows you to zoom, pan, and point using the touchscreen during navigation. You can select one of three map orientation displays:

  • 2D Track Up: Two-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from bottom to top of the screen.
  • 2D North Up: Two-dimensional map that constantly displays North at the top of the screen.
  • 3D Track Up: Three-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from bottom to top of the screen.
Note: The default on-screen icon representing your vehicle is a blue sports car. In the menu, you can select a blue 4WD pickup truck, a blue compact car, a blue 3D arrow, a pair of boots, a large bird, or a rolling beach ball.

Turn Assistant: When you are navigating a route, you can view the next turn on the map and the distance and time left before you reach the turn. You can also view the Turn List which displays turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route and the distance between turns.

Lane Assist w/ Junction View: Lane assist with junction view indicates the proper lane for a turn or exit with brightly colored arrows and detailed images.

Speed Limits: As you travel along a major road, 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 on the unit.

Text-to-Speech Audible Directions: In addition to the visual map, you get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination; allowing you to keep your eyes more comfortably on the road. The nuvi 42LM offers voices of various languages.

Where Am I?: The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you select "Where Am I?" from the menu, you get 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, gas stations, and roadside assistance. You can also save the location for future reference.

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. You can also search the device's POIs (points-of-interest). The unit's memory stores the last 50 locations you have found so you can quickly find a previous destination. You can even store your favorite destinations, so you can retrieve them faster. In addition, you can simply browse the map and select a destination by tapping the screen.

Route Preferences/Avoidances: When calculating a route, you can select the following preferences; faster time, shorter distance, or off road. You can also program the unit to avoid certain things that may be undesirable on your route; such as U-Turns, Highways, Toll Roads, Carpool Lanes, Unpaved Roads, and Ferries.

Waypoints: You can manually mark and name any map position as a waypoint for later recall. Up to 1000 waypoints can be saved into memory.

Trip Computer: The trip information page displays your current speed and direction, and provides helpful statistics about your trip. A trip odometer keeps up with your total mileage. The page also indicates the distance and driving time to your next maneuver, as well as the distance and driving time to your destination. Your maximum speed and moving average speed are also displayed. The information can be reset in advance of your next trip.

Auto Reroute: If you deviate from the original route, the nuvi 42LM recalculates the route and provides new directions.

Detours: While navigating a route, you can use detours to avoid obstacles ahead of you, such as construction zones.

Safe Mode: With the Safe Mode turned on, functions that require significant operator attention are disabled so they don't become a distraction while driving.

Convenience Features

4.3" Touchscreen LCD: The nuvi 42LM features a 4.3" color TFT touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio). The screen has a manual brightness adjustment. You can select one of three color modes for the display screen:

  • Daytime: Has a lighter, brighter background.
  • Nighttime: Has a black background, easier to see at night.
  • Auto: Display automatically switches between daytime and nighttime at sunrise and sunset.

Keyboard Options: The Garmin nuvi 42LM gives you two options for keyboard layouts. When you are entering an address or other data, you can choose between a standard QWERTY keyboard layout or an ABCDE alphabetical layout.

microSD Card Slot: The nuvi 42LM has a microSD card slot so you can download and store additional mapping information from Garmin.

USB Port: The nuvi 42LM is fitted with a mini-USB (type-B) port and comes with a mini-USB to USB cable to connect to your computer. The nuvi 42LM is compatible with Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Note: The nuvi 42LM is not compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, or Windows NT. It is also not compatible with Mac OS 10.3 and earlier. This is a common limitation of most USB mass storage devices.

Garmin Express: Use Garmin Express to keep the nuvi 42LM up-to-date. Garmin Express makes it easy to update maps and software, transfer favorites to and from devices, and install free custom vehicles and voices.

Installation Options

Mounting: The Garmin Nuvi 42LM comes with a suction cup mounting bracket to install the device in your vehicle. The suction cup can be used to mount the unit to your vehicle's windshield or dash. Once the nuvi 42LM is mounted, it can be adjusted on the ball-and-socket bracket for best visibility. The unit must be installed where it has a relatively unobstructed view of the sky.

Note: Please check the applicable regulations in your state regarding windshield mounting. Certain states prohibit the mounting of any items on your windshield.

Power Requirements: The Garmin nuvi 42LM is powered and charged by your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter/power adapter. The built-in Lithium-Ion battery will provide up to 2 hours of use after a 4 hour charge. The unit can also be charged and powered by your computer when it is connected via the included USB cable. An optional AC adapter (150ACNUVI, sold separately) allows you to operate and charge the unit on ordinary household current.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.