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Garmin nuvi® 205

Portable navigator

7 Reviews

Item # 150NUVI205

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Our take on the Garmin nuvi® 205

You can count on reliable navigation from Garmin's nüvi 205 whether you're trekking across the country or running errands in town. With preloaded maps of the continental U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, you'll find the nüvi 205 is at home just about anywhere, and it drops in your pocket so you can move it from car to car easily. Just enter your destination's address, or choose from 6 million preloaded points of interest. You can even go online and upload your own custom points of interest, such as school zones or favorite roadside picnic areas.


You can count on reliable navigation from Garmin's nüvi 205 whether you're trekking across the country or running errands in town. With preloaded maps of the continental U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, you'll find the nüvi 205 is at home just about anywhere, and it drops in your pocket so you can move it from car to car easily. Just enter your destination's address, or choose from 6 million preloaded points of interest. You can even go online and upload your own custom points of interest, such as school zones or favorite roadside picnic areas.

The nüvi 205 includes a world travel clock with time zones, currency and measurement converters, a calculator, and more of Garmin's trademark travel extras. A built-in digital picture viewer lets you enjoy your vacation photos on the 3.5" screen — just slip your personal microSD™ memory cards into the microSD card slot. You can also purchase SD cards from Garmin with travel guides and coupons to aid you on your journeys.

Garmin knows safety
The nüvi 205's "Where Am I" emergency locator provides your exact location instantly, displaying nearby emergency services if you need aid. Garmin's security feature prevents unauthorized people from accessing your itinerary or personal information.

Add MSN® Direct for beneficial info on the go
You can add an optional Garmin receiver to receive MSN Direct content on the nüvi 205. MSN Direct provides helpful travel information in most metropolitan areas, including traffic updates, weather reports, and local gas prices. It also offers news headlines, stock prices, and local event and movie listings. You'll need to subscribe to MSN Direct; a free trial period is included with receiver purchase.

Product Highlights:

  • GPS satellite navigation unit with built-in antenna
  • suction-cup windshield mount and dashboard disk
  • JPEG picture viewer
  • car power adapter and built-in rechargeable battery with 4 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 3.5" (320 x 240 pixels) display with touchscreen control
  • 6 million points of interest
  • preloaded with maps of the contiguous U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
  • allows custom points of interest
  • built-in travel kit including world clock, currency and measurement converters, calculator, and more
  • security feature allows you to disable most functions with a user-entered password
  • multi-destination routing: allows 1 stopping point
  • transport modes: auto, pedestrian
  • microSD card slot
  • compatible with MSN Direct content including traffic and weather (additional receiver and subscription required)
Other features and specs:

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation receiver
  • Suction-cup mounting bracket
  • Mounting cradle
  • Hard plastic mounting disk with self-adhesive base
  • Cigarette lighter adapter with attached 69" cable (5V/1A)
  • Quick Start manual
  • Accessory Guide
  • NAVTEQ End-user License Agreement
  • Important Safety and Product Information

Garmin nuvi® 205 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Excellent Value

Wayne from New York, NY on 2/3/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Never did I think having one of these would be an asset but it is such a good thing to have. It becomes part of your journey and you don't give it a second thought after you have entered all the information to reach your final destination. I didn't have to spend an arm and a leg for a top of the line model and I think it would have been overkill as I didn't miss any of the features/bells & whistles on the high end units. The only thing that could be slightly better is the three hour time before recharge (not really an issue if you have the car charger). Lastly it seems to direct you on a longer journey rather than giving you the fastest way to reach your destination, just nitpicking really. What a Joy!!



Great GPS for the money

Thomas from Buffalo, NY on 2/1/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Like the title says, great little GPS system. If your looking for a simple, easy to use, with just the options you need, then this is the one for you. I debated the widescreen....but what for? I thought I wanted one that said street names.....not necessary. This one does everything I need and has already paid for itself in the short time i've owned it. Also, a big name competitor is still selling the old Nuvi 200 and for more money! Crutchfield is top notch in my book and will get all my business from here out. I also got free shipping AND it got to my house within 3 days. What more can you ask for?



Easy to use, works fine.

Frank from ny on 1/30/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought this for my wife who has technical dyslexia-Even the TV remote is a challenge. Recommended by the sales advisor at C, and he was right on. This is a hit- easy to use, nice and compact, and so far, pretty accurate. A few minor interface issues when it comes to entering and navigating the different screens, but overall, a good deal. No fancy mp3 features. I think you can show pictures on it, but i have enough digital screens in my life already. Gets you where you are going, and doesn't break the bank.



Fantastic Product

Dave from Southbury CT on 10/26/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my second Garmin - I upgraded from a Streetpilot. The nuvi is much more compact, and the screen reflection issue that the Streetpilot had is gone. The hardware/processing is incredibly fast - it picks up the satellite signal almost instantly and calculates directions very fast. For someone that travels or has children on travel teams, its indispensible. The menus are very easy to use and its loaded with millions of restaurants, parks, golf courses, etc. If you've never had a nav system, you'll wonder how you could get along without one.



I never knew how bad I needed one

Henry from Fort Collins, CO on 10/9/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This GPS rocks! It's the coolest and easiest to use GPS I have seen. I didn't think I really needed one till I borrowed one. It tells you the time on when you will arrive somewhere. So when my wife calls I can tell her down to the minute what time I'll be there when I'm leaving my girlfriends house. J/k it really comes in handy at work. When I have to go mobile when I leave I can call the customer and tell them when I'll be there and actually be there at that time. Just finding some where to eat is super easy, I found a subway close to my work that I didn't even know was there. I highly recommend this product to everyone, it's so useful. I opted not to pay an extra $20-$50 for the text to speech most of the time I can't see signs to know what street it is anyway so for me "turn right" was good enough.



Garmin nuvi® 205

Jaysen from Des Moines, Ia on 9/13/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Nuvi 205 works great for me as I am a tow truck driver it works fast, with the volume turned up I can hear it over the radio and with window down driving down the interstate, even when mounted to the windshield. I really like the intersection option and being able to spell the point of interest works really good for finding dealerships. I plan on going out of state to go hunting in the fall and think it should work good for that too. The only thing I found that I didn't like was the touch screen is very touchy so you have to be careful not to push a letter too many times or unwanted letters. Other then that I have recommended the company I work for get one for every truck and recommended Crutchfield for getting them because of the ease of buying and quickness I recieved mine



Amazing, Bang for the buck

Anonymous from Mansfield, Tx on 8/7/2008

I am an avid driver; But just because you drive a lot does not always mean you are going to know where you are going. I don't like being lost and hate to ask for directions. Especially with a girl in the car. Now I use the excuse I like technology and save myself the embarrassment . Anyways, the unit is great and affordable, and yes I used those in the same sentence. It is accurate down to the bone. It displays the posted speeds in curtain places, as well as your current speed. The unit is really user friendly if you're a person who gets frustrated easily with technology. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good unit but does not wasn't to drop a grand down. Simple if your lost you just enter the menu and just hit "go home" and that's where it takes you. You can block out tole roads and traffic, as well as some other stuff. Anyways must buy for all collage kids like me on a budget, but good for everyone.




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Maps Built-in
Map Coverage Lower 48 USA,Hawaii, PR
Points of Interest 6,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing No
Screen Size 3.5"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable No
Photo Viewer ---
Digital Audio Playback ---
Text To Speech No
Voice Control No
Traffic Information No
Dynamic Content Services ---
Removable Memory Type microSD card
Battery Life 4 hours
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Product Overview: The nüvi 205 is a portable GPS navigator and entry-level personal travel assistant that provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and touch screen control. In addition to these navigation features, the nüvi 205 can display JPEG photos.

Internal Memory: The nüvi 205 comes with an internal memory for storage of supplemental maps and photos. When the unit is connected to your computer, the nüvi 205 is recognized as an additional drive.

microSD Memory Slot: The nüvi 205 has a microSD memory slot for additional map data from optional microSD memory cards. The unit can also display photo images from a microSD memory card.

Map Software: The nüvi 205 comes loaded with City Navigator Lower 48 States NT 2009 software, which contains mapping detail of the lower 48 United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The maps feature nearly 6-million points of interest (POIs), such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

Garmin Lock: Garmin Lock is an anti-theft feature. You can set a 4-digit PIN and a security location (such as your home or office). Every time the nüvi 205 is powered on, you must enter the PIN, or drive to your security location.

Touch Screen Display: The unit features a bright, 3.5" (diagonal) LCD with touch screen controls. The display has a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 4:3 and 64,000 colors. The screen has a manual brightness adjustment.

Custom Points of Interest: The nüvi 205 will accept custom points of interest (POI) databases, available from various companies on the Internet. Some custom POI databases contain alert information for points such as safety cameras and school zones, and the unit can notify you as you approach one of these points. To download custom POIs, you will need the Garmin POI Loader software, available on Garmin's website.

Information Pages: The information provided by the nüvi 205 is found on various display screens called pages. The pages give you the following information:

  • Map:
    • Indicates real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route
    • Shows map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways and towns
    • Allows you to zoom, pan, and point using the touch screen controls
    • When you are following a route, your arrival time is displayed in the lower left corner, the distance to the next turn (Turn In) is shown in the lower right corner
    • When you are simply driving while viewing the Map page (not following a route), your speed is shown in the lower left corner, the direction you are driving is shown in the lower right corner
  • Trip Information:
    • Shows current compass heading while moving
    • Indicates current speed, average driving speed, overall average speed, maximum speed
    • Calculates driving time, stopped time and total time
    • Displays overall distance traveled (odometer) and distance to your final destination
  • Current Route:
    • Displays a list of turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route as well as arrival information
    • Shows direction of each turn and distance
  • Next Turn:
    • Shows the next turn on the map and the distance and time left before you reach the turn

Where To? During navigation, you can search for places by pressing "Menu", then "Where To?" You can select an Address, Go Home, Points of Interest, Recently Found, Favorites, Extras, Intersections, Cities, Browse Map, and Coordinates. You can also access Spell Name for direct entry of your new destination, or browse the map. You can search for locations near your present location (default), or select a different city, your current route, or your destination.

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.

FM Traffic: The nüvi 205 can receive traffic information broadcast over the FM Radio Data System (RDS), when connected to an optional Garmin FM TMC (Traffic Message Channel) receiver. When you are in a coverage area, the traffic delays are rated by severity with color-coded icons. If you encounter severe traffic along your route, the unit will automatically recalculate the route for you to avoid traffic delays.

Route Preferences: When calculating a route, you can select the following preferences: faster time, shorter distance, or off road.

Avoidances: You can program the unit to avoid certain things that may be undesirable on your route. Examples of things that can be avoided include 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.

Map Orientation: You can select one of three map orientation displays:

  • 2D Track Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on 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 top to bottom on the screen

Screen Color Mode: 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

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

Vehicle Icons: 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. You can also download other vehicle icons from the "Garmin Garage" website, such as "Big Daddy" tractor trailer, "Lil' Buddy" blue compact, "Lil' Missy" pink compact, "Snacktime" pizza slice, "Phantom" roadster, "Steponit" taxi, "Medic" ambulance, Garmin #19 stock car, "Domino" foreign sedan, or "Recess" school bus. Other downloadable vehicles are available in the Holiday bundle, Pirates of the Caribbean bundle, or Service Vehicles bundle.

Picture Viewer: The nüvi 205 can display photo images (JPEG files). The image files must be stored on an optional microSD memory card or transferred to the internal memory.

World Clock: The world clock allows you to display the current time for four locations throughout the world. You can also display a map of the world showing which portions are in daylight and which are in darkness.

Currency Converter: This feature allows you to update the currency rates manually so you are always using the most current information.

Unit Converter: You can convert area, distance, speed, temperature, volume, and weight.

Calculator: The calculator allows you to perform simple arithmetic.

Power Requirements: The nüvi 205 operates on your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter, the built-in Lithium-Ion batteries, or household current using an optional AC adapter. The Lithium-Ion batteries provide up to 4 hours of use after a 4-hour charge. Stored data, such as waypoints or unit settings, are not lost when the unit is disconnected from a power source.

Antenna: The unit has a built-in antenna in its top panel. In order to obtain an optimal signal, the unit must have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky. It the unit is mounted in a vehicle with a coated windshield or an in-screen heating system there may be difficulty in obtaining a good signal.

Mounting Options: The unit should be securely installed when used in a vehicle. The unit comes with a mounting bracket that includes a suction cup. The suction cup can be used to mount the unit to the windshield or to the dash (using the plastic mounting disk). Once the nüvi 205 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.

Panoramio: The Panoramio website provides photographs that include location information called geotags. These photos can be downloaded into the nüvi 205 or microSD memory card, and the unit can route you to the location.

Interface Capability: This unit can be connected to a PC via USB cable (not included). This interface allows you to download additional map information to the unit's flash memory. The unit has a standard Mini-USB Version 2.0 jack.

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.