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Garmin nüvi® 52LM

Portable navigator with 5" screen and free lifetime map updates

12 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers

Item # 150N52LM

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Our take on the Garmin nüvi® 52LM

Garmin's nüvi 52LM portable navigator makes it easy to find your way almost anywhere in the U.S., plus major Caribbean islands. Its expansive 5" color touchscreen display makes it easy to see its detailed maps and explore its millions of preloaded points of interest for important stops along the way.

Get a generous view of your travels

Garmin's nüvi 52LM portable navigator makes it easy to find your way almost anywhere in the U.S., plus major Caribbean islands. Its expansive 5" color touchscreen display makes it easy to see its detailed maps and explore its millions of preloaded points of interest for important stops along the way.

You'll appreciate this Garmin's sleeker, thinner profile, and the added security of the redesigned rear mount. Best of all, you can keep the nüvi 52LM'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 52LM portable navigator

The redesigned mount allows for convenient placement of the nüvi 52LM on your windshield.

Stay on course

This Garmin announces actual street names at turns, so you'll hear "turn left on Mountain View Lane" instead of "take the next left." 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.

Road-ready 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 52LM 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:
  • 5" (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:

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation device (w/ 5.0" 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® 52LM Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(12 Reviews)

Garmin nüvi® 52LM

Bob from Alton il on 12/12/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very pleased, own several Garman products.

Pros: Fits perfectly in the space where my factory radio was in my 1992 Chevy pick up by slightly modifying the supplied part by Crutchfield. Also it is also a very good product.

Cons: None

Garmin 52LM GPS

BayviewIsle from Dade City, FL on 12/7/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great presentation with all the new features. Rather than update my old Garmin Street Pilot, I elected to up grade the whole shebang.

Pros: Great presentation, no more re-calculating messages, just a reminder to follow the hi-lighted route.

Cons: Would have liked to received a hard copy user's manual instead of looking through pages of detail on the computer screen.

Good GPS

DCS from Port Republic, VA on 11/16/2013

I like the Garmin very much, and I find it very helpful. I especially like the GPS feature so I can just plug in the coordinates. I certainly does everything I wanted it for.

Pros: ability to use GPS coordinates

Cons: None found yet

Garmin with lifetime map updates

Walleye from Iowa on 9/21/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had an older version of this type of Garmin that I liked, but it did not have the lifetime map updates. This new model seemed to be a better option, rather than paying for updates on an older model. I like the size and features of this new model and for the price it seems to be a good value.

Pros: Lifetime map updates and good features and size. Good value for type of unit.

Cons: The update process takes a while so don't do start it if you are in a hurry. The battery life is fairly short on a charge, so plan to use the power cord for long trips.


MAC from NEW ORLEANS on 8/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Much better than my old Garmin. Processor is faster, display is easy to read, lane assist really helps.



Nuvi 52LM

Jw from Corona Ca. on 7/6/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The GPS did everything it was suppose to do. I loved the area speed limit feature. It made looking for speed traps really easy. Speech was clear and vewing was clear and putting in addresses was easy and half of the time only a few letters got me the whole city or street name..



love it

wglash from Swanzey NH on 6/26/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Gps is awesome and free map upgrades was super easy. Crutchfield is a pleasure to deal with. My third time dealing with them. All very good.



nüvi® 52LM

Joe from Rolla, MO on 6/21/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have barely scratched the surface of this device's potential. Setup was relatively simple, though downloads took a little longer than I would have liked. Many free vehicle icons were available. I downloaded Darth Vader's tie fighter for kicks. My daughter loves the way it banks on turns. Has no affect on performance, but is a fun little feature. Female American voice for directions is clear and easy to understand. The split screen to show lane changes/exits is fantastic. Looking forward to taking it on some longer trips and using it to find restaurants, hotels, etc.

Pros: Price, features.

Cons: None so far.

very good GPS

monksoup from Madison, WI. on 6/5/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I haven't used the GPS a lot yet, but did try it out a few times and it performed nicely. I have to learn how to use some of the features, but doesn't sound too difficult. Hard to really judge this GPS as it's my first one, but will come in handy I'm sure.

Pros: ease of use

Cons: not much so far

Garmin gets it right!

ChillTown Y2J from ChillTown, USA on 4/22/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got this Garmin to replace my 2 year old Tom Tom because the charger broke on it. This Garmin beats the Tom Tom at every turn. The Garmin announces the actual streets you have to turn on instead of just telling you to 'turn right'. It also lets you know what side of the road your destination is on before you arrive. The Tom Tom didn't even do that! I am very pleased with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new GPS.

Pros: The GPS announces all the important information that you need to know to make your trip less stressful.

Cons: None.

Garmin nüvi® 52LM

PF from Stockton, CA on 3/20/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)


Pros: Updates very easily.


Garmin nüvi® 52LM

larry from new York on 2/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Owned 3 older units-the new one is52lm. by the best.

Pros: Easy to use.unikt did not need map update

Cons: none


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 5"
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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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

5.0" Touchscreen LCD: The nuvi 52LM features a 5.0" 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 52LM 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 52LM has a microSD card slot so you can download and store additional mapping information from Garmin.

USB Port: The nuvi 52LM 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 52LM is compatible with Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Note: The nuvi 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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 52LM 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

To be honest I am not sure. I have only downloaded the continental 48 states - which it does flawlessly. [ PAT H  Dec 27, 2013 ]
I am not sure, but you would think that Crutchfield or Garmin would know the answer to this question..... They are the experts, all I know is I enjoy my Garmin! [ Stephan  Dec 27, 2013 ]