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Garmin Nuvi 205, 205W, 255, 255W


Garmin announced four new Nuvi models in the 200 series this morning, dubbing them the “2×5” series. The biggest news is that now traffic, by way of MSN Direct, will be offered in these devices. These devices will also come with a new “shaded elevation mapping display” which we can only imagine is similar to that found on the HP iPAQ 310. They get a few more welcome updates as well.

Garmin Nuvi 255WA faster 333MHz processor is said to speed up map drawing and route calculation time. Garmin is also releasing a new “HotFix” feature which will likely be similar to TomTom’s QuickFix system of acquiring satellite signals faster.

Like the 200 versus 250, the Nuvi 205 and Nuvi 205W will have maps of the contiguous United States (hey, they actually got it right) while the Nuvi 255 and Nuvi 255W will offer the United States and Canada.

The new Nuvi 2×5 series will have the ability to connect to traffic services through the purchase of an optional traffic cable. Other Nuvi 200 series models were not compatible with those traffic receivers.

Expect to be able to get one of these in your car in the next couple of months.

205 – $213.32
205w – $266.66
255 – $319.99
255w – $373.32

400 Responses

  1. I bought the Garmin 205w the problem that I’m having is that the unit constantly chooses to use side roads in lieu of highways. I asked for a rout from flint mi. to mt pleasant mi.
    It keep trying to tell to turn off the the highway and go down side roads. How do I pick an alternate rout or tell it to use highways not side roads? I tried both fastest and shortest settings.

    bruce - February 6th, 2010
  2. i purchased a garmin nuvi 260. i went to update software from web. after this was complete i unpluged unit from computer and i got a message on the unit that said missing operating system what do i need to do to resolve this issue?

    travis - February 9th, 2010
  3. Bought 205w 2 months ago. Take good care of it. Suddenly one day while driving it stopped working even though it was connected to charger. Dead even when I connect it now to my computer. What’s up with it?

    philip - February 12th, 2010
    • so weird… same-thing happened to me today… just driving, and
      “gone”NOTHING… plugged it in to my computer… nothing… BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH… taking it back to fry’s… never took it out of my car, had it also about 2 months… mine was a 255. sounds like Garmin’s got some ESPLANIN TO DO!!

      john k - April 15th, 2010
      • press the reset button at the bottom back. it will restart. that works on my 255

        mahadhir - May 15th, 2010
        • Where is the reset button on the Nuvi 255?

          Eileen - May 23rd, 2010
          • bottom back
            shud see all the device info sticker
            on the same sticker strip
            there’s a circle that you can press into
            it’s on the far right

            if i can’t even turn my 255 on
            what i’ll do with mine is
            i just press the button for a few seconds
            and turn it back on
            works every time

            mahadhir - May 24th, 2010

            WILLIAM - August 21st, 2011
        • Is there a reset button on the Garmin 255W? Looking at mine now and don’t seem to see anything? Thanks.

          Camille - August 27th, 2010
        • I have the same problem. The reset button didn’t do a thing. Any other suggestions anyone?

          Lisa - September 4th, 2011
  4. I am looking to get a basic GPS that has the cheapest (or free) uploads for new maps/current maps. I am debating between the Garmin Nuvi 255W and the TomTom XL 330s. Do either of these have the blue tooth option? Which would you recommend? Thanks in advance!

    Lil - April 2nd, 2010
  5. My NUVI255 has Aust/NZ Maps loaded &I want to Add Canada Maps for upcoming Holiday . (a) can I Use an SD Card loaded with Canada Maps (just plugged in to GPS unit) and will I have to down load the Updated Aust/NZ Maps ( previously the free download after purchase -in PC) or (b) Download a New copy of Canada Maps -& loaded to GPS . After Holiday reload Aust/NZ maps as (a) above – what happens with the Maps loaded in GPS are they overwritten

    I appreciate any info you can supply – thanks Gary

    Gary - April 9th, 2010
  6. I purchased a Garmin Nuvi 255W. I’m pissed at Garmin because I can’t purchase a Europe map from them because I live in Canada. They apparently don’t mind us buying their product but won’t sell us maps for anything other than North America. I tried the store I bought it at (The Source) in Canada and they don’t sell any maps at all. I realize Europe is not a big seller in Saskatchewan but then let me buy the damn thing on line?? I was told Garmin was the best and I love the machine but if I can only get the map for the country I live in – what a waste of money. I’ve e-mailed Garmin but no response to date. If anyone out there has any solutions so I can get their Europe map, please let me know. Thanks.

    Sandy - April 10th, 2010

    ROBERT - April 13th, 2010
    • The same thing just happened to me today. I went and plugged it up to the computer and when I unplugged it there were no maps on it at all and know it doesn’t work at all. How do I put my maps back on its a Nuvi 205W

      LaShonda - November 3rd, 2011
  8. Here’s another 255W issue :-0

    Ours will only successfully charge when connected via USB to a PC or 110v brick. It recognizes our USB car chargers as an external power source 🙂 but eventually dies :-(.

    It’s a though our chargers are \trickle chargers\ and not providing enough to replenish what the 255W uses to function although they work fine for every other USB charged device we use them for.

    Mark G - April 30th, 2010
  9. Newly bought Garmin Nuvi 255 GPS, but not showing speed camera, no max speed alert and asking me to take a route where there is no access to the road..what a bad piece of GPS, please do not go for this.

    Manoj - May 11th, 2010
  10. I cannot download the Garmin Plugin for my 255W unit because I cannot find the correct USB cable with the right connector to plug into the unit. Can anybody tell me where to get the correct cable and what Model No. it is?

    Ed Lull - May 13th, 2010
    • It is a USB to mini-USB cable, fairly standard for things like digital cameras. So if you have a digital camera you might already have one. 🙂 The Garmin part number is 010-10723-15

      Tim - May 13th, 2010
  11. Can I use an ordinary sd card like the one in my canon camera?

    How many Gb do I need for Australia and New Zealand maps?

    tom hall - June 11th, 2010
  12. My 255w will not charge in my new car’s auxilliary plug. Is there a fix for this?

    Linda - June 17th, 2010
  13. Hi there,

    I have a garmin nuvi 255w gps, and I will be traveling to Europe. I am trying to update the gps and find maps for Europe. How do I do this?

    Stephanie Pereira - June 21st, 2010
  14. I updated my Garmin nuvi 205 and have all of North America like I should. I then did the update for another Garmin nuvi 205 (another account with another paid lifetime update) and the update seemed to load fine, but most of Canada is missing. The only providence it has is New Brunswick. Has this happened to anyone else and does anyone know how to fix it?

    Dawn - June 24th, 2010
    • Mine is doing the same thing!! I don’t know how to fix it!!

      Marisa - September 29th, 2010
      • I ended up calling their customer service number that was on the website and the lady there was wonderful and talked me through another way to re-load the update and it worked! Have your garmin plugged into your computer and be on the website ready to go when you call so they can talk you through it. Good luck!

        Dawn - October 4th, 2010
  15. I love my Garmin 255w but it is about 1 year old and I am supposed to update my maps and it looks to be almost as expensive as my original gps. Would I be better off just buying a newer one with lifetime updates? Carol

    Carol - June 30th, 2010
  16. I am using nuvi 255 w , recently having problem with setelite signal. pls help

    manoj - July 20th, 2010
  17. i purchased a garmin nuvi 205 what i like to know is. do this series have the traffic camera option and if so were do i down load it

    SUNIL - July 20th, 2010
  18. Bought a lifetime map update for my Garmin nuvi 255w. Very bad decision. Something happened and now the Garmin will not work. Worked the day before the download. Garmin support says they cannot fix it. Have to send it in. Take around 14 days…we are going on vacation in 3 days. Can’t restore the Garmin to the original maps nor will Garmin refund my money. Customer service don’t care…it is only a job to them. Told me to send in Garmin after vacation. Ha! What a joke. That was the purpose of updating the map. Anyone else experiencing this problem with any resolution?

    Connie - July 22nd, 2010
  19. Garmin nuvi 255W dead – tried it on computer cable nothing – no charging. serial 1Q6725732

    seems to be a common problem! is this a quality problem at Garmin??

    Roger Schenk - August 5th, 2010
    • I just did a lifetime road up-date,and a software up-date yesterday,11/6/10/,and now my 255w is dead. Will not power up via pc,auto or wall.
      The 255w does not have a re-set button,so I will be contacting cust. service Mon.,11/8 to find out what to do.
      Warranty expired 10/24/10.

      mike - November 7th, 2010
  20. I also have problems connecting to satellites. Sometimes it takes 10 to 15 minutes, if it finds them at all. I am in a large city, not the boonies, yet it always seems to have trouble. Looked on Garmin’s website in FAQ but was unable to find an answer. Customer service is basically non-existant on their site! To bad because this could be a great product. Am hesitent to recommend this unit to others!!

    Camille - August 27th, 2010
  21. i bought a garmin nuvi 255w for my husband and it wont find ANY address or locate anything.Some one pls help, I am fixing to get really upset and raise hell with Garmin. For this much money it shouldnt be not wrking already.

    mary miskell - September 30th, 2010
  22. I’m a Cable Technician and I work at several addresses in one day. Does anyone know which GPS system to buy that I can set up a whole route for and it sends me to the closest first?

    Frankie - October 25th, 2010
    • Frankie, you probably don’t really want the closest first, but rather the most optimum route (which might not be closest first). See “Route Optimization vs Route Sorting” for an explanation. The Garmin Nuvi 700 series devices do optimization fairly well. The 200 series does not.

      Tim - October 25th, 2010
  23. I have the 255w, and it is becoming more and more useless by the day. It seems to be having database problems that it didn’t used to have. (I set it for a Wal-Mart, and it takes me into a residential area where there has never been a Wal-Mart.) This can happen 3-5 times in a row on average, but it never used to do this, even in the same area. I never connect it to a PC, and have only put an SD card in once to load a boot-up picture. It is taking increasingly longer to calculate routes and search for destinations; sometimes up to 10 minutes. In dense urban areas, the unit does not recognize when, and which direction, I turn. On highways, it sometimes directs me to exit, then reenter with no via points whatsoever. Sometimes, at traffic lights, it will think I decided to reverse my route, until I get up to about 20 miles/hour. The speed limit database is so consistently incorrect it should be an option to remove it from the map screen. Sometimes it does not recognize when I turn the vehicle on or off and doesn’t power on/off accordingly. It seems to be getting much, much worse every day. I drive all over, and closely monitor it’s performance. Is this some planned obsolescence? If so, what would make me pay to update maps onto a malfunctioning unit (especially when I’ve heard all the horror stories about bricked units), or buy another unit from Garmin? I used to think that asking me to drive off of elevated highways onto the access roads below was the biggest problem, but this machine never ceases to disappoint me.

    Jon - November 21st, 2010
  24. I am very unhappy with the lifetime map update. the download is not working.
    using microsoft vista operating system on the computer where I connected the garmin nuevi 205 makes the problem more serious.
    even the garmin USB driver and the map updater are installed successully on the computer, the computer does not recongnize the garmin nuevi 205.
    the map updater shows totally wrong est. download time.
    downloading from garmin server take more than 20 hours.

    until now, I could not download anything so I will send my garmin nuevi 205 to the service center.

    i personally do not want to buy a garmin device any more.

    eliott - November 26th, 2010
  25. My garmin nuvi255w will not save my home adress or poi everytime i turn it off then back on it deletes them and puts new york destinations in there place when i try to hook it up to the computer with the garmin loader program my pc nor their program even recognizes the unit is connected. what do i do i had a tom tom and i thought it was bad but this one seems to be much worse already only had it two days and have more problems than tom tom gave me in five months.

    Justin - March 10th, 2011
  26. Just updated Nuvi255 with European map lifetime update. Now it has corrupted many favourites, starts in France instead of UK, and when I change country to UK and input a destination it states ‘not found’. I try to put in search all and it gives me is cross channel ferry routes! GARMIN UPDATE HAVE NOW RENDERED MY UNIT USELESS AND RECEIVED A HANDSOME PAYMENT FOR DOING SO. My recommendation, if you have one and it works, don’t update, if you haven’t and want a GPS, get a Tom Tom.

    Tim - May 7th, 2011
    • I am very leary to update my Garmin 255w. It seems like Garmin doesn’t have very good customer service & doesn’t care,that if by updating, the units are rendered useless. I want to update my map system but don’t feel confident I won’t run into a problem and then…. to bad…so sad, with no recourse if something goes wrong. My unit is hit and miss at best and takes forever to locate a satellites. What’s wrong with a company that doesn’t stand behind it’s product and basically has customer service that is non-existent??? There is no telephone number to call to speak to a live person. Just wondering!

      Camille - May 9th, 2011
      • My recommendation is do not update. It will ruin your Garmin. I have had no response from Garmin. Their customer service is beyond the worst. I have tried many actions but to no avail. I am going to bin it and buy a TOMTOM and cut my losses. Their are many posts of problems with the updates and Garmin seem not to care at all. There is only one way to correct this, tell everyone not to buy Garmin and the reasons why. Be truthful and accurate. If no one buys their product they will have to change or leave the market!

        Tim - May 11th, 2011
  27. Rename the SD card something other than “Untitled” and it should work. If you’re using a Mac, then Command-I, Name & Extension, then type Card or something innocuous and then restart your download. And even with a fast connection, the download time is longer than you might imagine. Good luck!

    Ross - June 1st, 2011
  28. Hi All,

    Can anyone tell me how to get free map updates on a Nuvi 205. I can only get software and firmware updates via the Garmin site but I really need to update the maps. I am in South Africa and with all the street name changes….I getting fustrated…. Please can anyone help me because to purchase the new maps via Garmin site is actually more than the Garmin itself which is actually rediculious…..

    Help please anyone…

    Reggie - July 4th, 2011
    • Check out places like GPSFiledepot and OpenStreetMap for “free” maps, but be aware they are not often as good of quality as those from Garmin and the professional mapping companies.

      Tim - July 7th, 2011
  29. my garmin 255w just crapped out 2day. was working great till this afternoon.i went to turn it on and nothing. charged it in the car and on the pc, still DEAD. i never leave it in the hot or cold car, never in the sun [i mount it to the gage cluster under the dash]. from the looks of it there is no reset button on mine or anything anyone else can or will do to help me. screw garmin and best buy. my new tom tom will come from amazon!!

    matt - July 6th, 2011
  30. Garmin 255W horror-story … just to add to the mix. I have wasted hours trying to install updated maps for this crap box … but to no avail. Now, I understand from numerous postings on this NG that Garmin could care less … they have your money and you have less than nothing …

    Seems to me that GPS units will become standard in most automobiles soon. I know that Garmin manufactures other units, for maritime, aviation, etc. Let’s hope that those units are not as shoddy as what they are pushing on the unsuspecting public. Not that they care, mind you, but I’d hate to think of some poor person in harm’s way because of yet another example of corporate greed run amuck.

    I am more fortunate than many on this NG because the new maps that I’ve paid for are still downloading so I haven’t had the opportunity to corrupt my machine by attempting to install them! Now, I need to figure out how to get my money back ….


    Tom Reinhardt - August 7th, 2011
  31. updated maps yesterday on novi255w today i turn it on
    it tries to start but goes off after 10 seconds i bought the maps sorry now wasted money no sat nav now

    mick rowe - September 11th, 2011
  32. how do i down load update to my garmin

    deana - October 2nd, 2011
  33. 1. What is the operating system that garmin nuvi gps devices are based?

    2. Which of the garmin nuvi gps has Sim card slot for internet connection?

    Joseph - November 3rd, 2011
  34. I bought the lifetime update for my Garmin Nuvi1390 and it has been updating for over 20 hours. Why is it taking so long or is there something wrong?

    Frank - November 20th, 2011

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