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Garmin Nuvi 270


The Garmin Nuvi 270 is at the upper end of the new “200 series” Nuvis from Garmin. This new series of lower cost Nuvi devices all come with a standard 3.5″ touch screen display and a slim form factor. Like other Nuvis, the Nuvi 270 comes with many of Garmin’s typical “extras” such as a clock, time zone viewer, unit converter, and is compatible with Garmin Travel Guides and SaversGuide products. So what is special about the 270?

The biggest deal about the Nuvi 270 is the pre-installed maps. Not only do you get North American maps, but the European maps are also installed and unlocked on the device. If you are a frequent traveler to Europe and are looking for a simple GPS device, this could be a perfect match.

But don’t forget that this is what I would call an entry level GPS device. Some of the more advanced functions won’t be found on the Nuvi 270 in order to keep the costs low. There is no Bluetooth hands-free calling, no multiple destination routing, no music player, no live traffic reporting. Still, most of those features are not needed for every day travel, so this device can provide a great feature match at a lower price.

The one feature missing you might want to consider is text-to-speech. If you really want text-to-speech you will need to upgrade to the 350 which does not have European maps. To get text-to-speech and the European maps, look to either the 370 (you also get Bluetooth and a traffic receiver) or the 670 where you will also get a widescreen, traffic receiver, Bluetooth, and an FM transmitter.

If you don’t need European maps, consider either the Nuvi 250 which has North American maps installed, or the 200 which has maps of just the 48 contiguous US states plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

If you want to compare against other manufacturers who have devices with North America an Europe maps pre-installed, look to the TomTom 910. It isn’t a pocketable device, but has other features such as Bluetooth, a music player, widescreen, and text-to-speech. Therefore about the only similarity is the map coverage.

The retail price of the Nuvi 270 is $643. This seems quite high, but you almost never see Garmin products offered at the retail price. Availability is expected soon.

87 Responses

  1. This review says it does not have Text to Speech, but on the garmin site, the prodcut spiel has “and nüvi takes you there with 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions.” Which is correct?

    Damien Hart - March 22nd, 2007
  2. “Voice directions” are not the same as text-to-speech. The new Nuvi 200 series does not have text to speech, but it does have voice directions/prompts. For an explanation of the difference, check out our article on GPS and text-to-speech. The difference is how the voice speaks street names (or not).

    Tim - March 22nd, 2007
  3. Does it have more default language than just English? I need to be able to switch to French.

    Brussels - November 25th, 2007
  4. dear i have a question , is it available the feature of feets tracking

    muaid - April 14th, 2008
  5. The Nuvi 270 does have other languages than English. Most European Languages, both text and spoken, are available. We tried it with Norwegian when in Norway and impressed my Norwegian friend.

    I don’t understand the question from “muaid” on april 14th. You can change from miles to kilometers but there is not tracking that I can tell.

    Steve - April 30th, 2008
  6. I’ve had the 270 for about 6 months and really like it. As I said above, I used it in Europe in 4 different countries: UK, Italy, France, and Norway. It worked well and has the ability do text and speech in most European languages.

    Steve - April 30th, 2008
  7. I purcased the unit primarily due to the inclusion of European maps and a planned trip to France.
    However I’ve been VERY diapponted with the accuracy of the unit and the “confusion” it causes the unit when trying to direct you to a destination. Standing still in the open in my drive way it locates me on another street at least 300′ away. It’s 50′ to 100’s of feet off often which put’s you on frontage roads when you’re on the freeway, and sometimes on the wrong street in a city. It has told me to turn the wrong direction onto a one way street (in Houston) several times. I’ve had to turn it off for most in city operation. Has anyone else experienced this problem. I’m trying to follow up with
    Garmin about this completely un-acceptable performance of my Garmin 270.

    Ben - July 27th, 2008
    • Ben,

      I bought my wife a Nuvi for Christmas and it is directionally challenged. Sometimes it says to make a left when it means right, and even on our street coming home, it tells me to make a right into my driveway when I am on the left. The street has been there for 40 years, along with the house. did you get your problem resolved?

      Steve S - January 26th, 2009
  8. I have not had such problems as Ben. One possiblity, though, could be that his home street, where he’s seeing these jumps to other streets, may be a new street that’s not in the data base or just a data base error on the Nuvi. The Nuvi, in “automobile” mode, tries to put you on the nearest street. Try putting it in “pedestrian” mode and see if the jumping to other streets is still there. It has tried to put me on the wrong street if the street I’m on is new enough not to be in the data base.

    Steve - July 27th, 2008
  9. Hi there I am looking at purchasing a simple GPS system that we can use in europe and I am wondering which GPS system is better Tomtom or Garmin. And which unit. I am looking at spending under $160 for one.
    Thanks In advance for any help

    Mike - August 12th, 2008
  10. Mike, it (unfortunately) really isn’t as simple as saying TomTom or Garmin is better. They are the top two GPS companies, and people will have their favorite. One isn’t significantly “better” than the other. They do however take a bit of a different approach. Garmin is a bit simpler, a bit more stable, and works great. TomTom will offer a few more features, is more innovative, but sometimes isn’t quite as stable.

    If you are looking for North America and Europe maps on the device, you probably won’t find it for under $160 and this 270 is probably your best bet.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  11. Thanks for the quick response! WOW. I gather that if I purchased the 270 I can install the europe on it later when we go.

    Mike - August 12th, 2008
  12. The 270 comes with maps of Europe and North America pre-installed. You would not have to install European maps separately.

    Tim - August 12th, 2008
  13. Mike,
    Yes, the 270 comes with all the Western European maps installed as well as North America (except Mexico?…not sure). We were in Europe last March with the 270 and it worked great. Even has voice responses in many different languages in addition to American and British English so you can practice your Norwegian or French while driving around if you want. The maps for Eastern Europe are not as complete as Western Europe. Also, I found in Naples, Italy, that the roads are confusing even with a GPS. France, England, and Norway maps were fine. Also, watch out for new construction that may not be in the data base. This tends to confuse the Garmin unit as I would expect. The price for the 270 may be higher than the $160 you are looking for since you are buying the whole European and North American maps/data.

    Steve - August 12th, 2008
  14. I recently bought the Nuvi 270 and plan on returning it. The maps are so out of date that stores that have been gone for 10 years are still listed and stores that have been here for 10 years are missing. I can’t see that it would be of any help if I were out of town looking for an ATM.

    Linda - August 13th, 2008
  15. Help!Want to buy a GPS for my husband for our trip to Italy in 2009. Never been to Italy. Never had a GPS. Would like one that pronounced street names and was capable of rerouting. Small in size and long on battery life. Suggestions?

    Barbara - September 2nd, 2008
  16. Barbara, the 270 would work except it doesn’t pronounce street names. You could either add an SD card containing the maps you need to a device like the 260 which does have text to speech, get a larger device like the 770, or wait for the 275t.

    Tim - September 2nd, 2008
  17. Barb,

    What Tim says is correct but be ready to spend some big bucks on the SD card that has the European data on it. The nice thing about the 270 is that the European data is already included and prices for the 270 have come way down on some sites I’ve seen.

    Steve - September 29th, 2008
  18. I received a Nuvi270 for Xmas and have used it in the US and in Europe; however, now the SD card seems to have fallen out! Has anybody else had this experience?? Question: how can I get another SD card for North America and Europe?

    shaila - October 6th, 2008
  19. shaila – The 270 comes with maps in the internal memory, while there is an SD card slot the 270 doesn’t come with an SD card as none is necessary.

    Tim - October 6th, 2008
  20. I agree with Tim but is it also possible that Shaila got a 270 with additional or upgraded maps that were on as SD card?

    Steve - October 6th, 2008
  21. Well, the problem I’m having now is, when I turn the Nuvi on, it says, “loading maps”, and then simply switches off. So I was looking to see what the problem was and noticed the empty SD slot — maybe it was empty all along! How can the problem be resolved? Thanks so much for your response.

    shaila - October 6th, 2008
  22. It could be as simple as a battery that needs to be charged. Otherwise you might try calling Garmin support.

    Tim - October 6th, 2008
  23. Thank you SO much Tim and Steve — it was just the battery!!

    shaila - October 6th, 2008
  24. i want to buy my son a nav system for his car. he is a high school student that needs only for domestic driving. what is a reliable item?

    phil - October 7th, 2008
  25. Does the 270 have a built-in speaker?

    Peter - October 13th, 2008
  26. Yes.

    Tim - October 13th, 2008
  27. Has anyone upgraded the maps on their 270? If so, what was the cost and how well did the process work?

    Steve - October 14th, 2008
  28. Depending on the map, the update cost is typically $60-$70. You can either download and install the map, or purchase the update on DVD and install. The map files are a few GB in size, so if you don’t have a fast internet connection you might decide to go the DVD route– but the download works great if you have a fast connection and will save you shipping charges.

    Tim - October 14th, 2008
    • I just recieved the nuvi 270 and have attemped to update the North America maps via download. At first it wouldn’t communicate and then I realized I had to enable the active x function. Now it won’t download more than 49% of the maps. Has anyone dealt with this and if so how can it be fixed. Garmin has terrible tech support, they never answer the phone or e-mail.

      david - August 16th, 2009
      • I am 61 years old. I purchased a Nuvi 270 for an upcoming trip to Italy. I tried to download the free European update I was offered at registration. It downloaded for a day and a half and stopped at 90% and would not resume or restart. I tried to contact support by email and they just said to start over, but I didn’t want the computer tied up for another day+. I contacted support by phone and after waiting 20 minutes the tech said he would send out a CD. I waited over a month and nothing. I contacted them by email and the response was they didn’t have a CD available. My trip is in two weeks and I don’t want to pay for an upgrade since I will never go to Europe again. This thing doesn’t even recognize the street I live on and has me living on the next street over, has me driving alongside the road, and is generally a piece of crap. I can’t wait to see what it does in Europe, especially without MY FREE UPGRADE. I am very disappointed in the quality of the unit and the tech support and am selling it when I get back from Italy. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

        Michael - September 2nd, 2009
  29. I just ordered the Nuvi 270 (I haven’t received it yet)and plan to use it only in France. The description states that it has maps of major metropolitan areas in France but I will be driving in some rural areas around Bordeaux and then South to Tarbes. Is the a downloadable map of France that has more rural detail? What is that map called and where can I find it if it exists? Thank you.

    Peter - October 14th, 2008
  30. Peter,

    I used a 270 in France last March in some rural areas west and north of Paris. It seems to have all the rural roads on it. The only problems I ran into were where there was road construction or new roads that were not in the 270’s data base. You might want to consider updating the maps for western Europe on the 270.

    Steve - October 14th, 2008
    • Hello. I am going to Paris, Normandie and Bretagne next week. I have the nuvi 270. How does it work in France? Does it switch automatically to French maps and direction? Nothing to preset??? Thanks. Monique

      Monique - March 29th, 2009
      • Monique, I had my 270 in Paris and Normandy almost exactly a year ago and it worked very well. It took me right to the front door of the hotel we stayed in at Bayeux driving from Paris. Some of the data is a bit out of date for some roads but overall it worked very well in France. If there is new road construction the GPS gets a bit confused and it doesn’t have the latest shopping data (ATMs etc.) but overall it’s pretty good. You can update the map data at the Garmin web site.

        Steve - March 30th, 2009
        • We had a nuvi 270 in Paris last April, where we did not need it because we walked a lot and used public transportation, BUT we are happy to say that when we rented a car to go to Normandy and Brittany, the nuvi was wonderful. We never got lost, found our B&B’s and our destination was always well indicated. It also told us when we were going too fast. We were amazed. Great took and we recommend it to travel in Europe. Monique
          June 8th 2009

          monique - June 8th, 2009
          • Nuvi 270 works perfect in pedestrian mode too. I used it last summer in almost all major cities in France and never got lost. the device even suggested me which historic places to visit (through favourites/historic landmarks – if I remember correctly). Thank you Garmin, very nice piece of technology.

            guru - June 19th, 2009
  31. Thank you Tim and Steve. Steve, do you know where I can find such update and what it’s called?

    Peter - October 14th, 2008
  32. I’m considering purchasing this unit based on reviews here and a great price point. My main concern, however, is updating maps for the Continental US. If I buy the optional USB cable, can I update the maps for free or do I need to pay $60 – $70 for the update? Also, does this unit automatically adjust the brightness based on the time of day, or is that an advanced feature?

    Bill - October 21st, 2008
  33. Bill, if you decided to update the map after you have owned it for awhile, the map updates do cost money. If there is a more recent map available at the time of purchase you would qualify for the Garmin nuMaps Guarantee. The unit will automatically go into night mode after sunset.

    Tim - October 21st, 2008
  34. I have a Garmin Nuvi 270 and when I try to have it program a map across country I always get a message that there is not enough memory. It will go about 1500 miles max. Anyone else have that problem?

    John - November 5th, 2008
  35. John, that length shouldn’t be a problem. Does it cross countries? You may want to try a reset and see if that helps, ask around in our forums, or contact Garmin support.

    Tim - November 5th, 2008
  36. Tim, I tried a reset and still the problem. No going across country boundaries. I tried Oregon to NJ and then Oregon to Ohio but not enough memory. I tried Oregon to Arizona and it worked OK (about 1500 miles)It appears that it does not have the capability to go much further than about 1500 miles – a big disadvantage. It has the most memory in the 200 series.

    John - November 5th, 2008
  37. I’d ask around in our forums or contact Garmin support– a route of that length shouldn’t be a problem and I’ve never seen that message before.

    Tim - November 5th, 2008
  38. Tim, problem solved. I was in the pedestrian mode. When I switched to automobile it worked fine. Thanks for your help.

    John - November 5th, 2008
  39. Does anyone know if the map updates for the 270 would be for the combined US and Europe, or are they bought and installed seperately? Can you “extract” the map database from the unit and reload it?

    Tom - November 7th, 2008
  40. if you are purchasing the updates they are purchased separately.

    Tim - November 7th, 2008
  41. Tim, so I can update the US maps when needed and leave the original European maps in place?

    Tom - November 7th, 2008
  42. Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place for this question, but I’m trying to purchase a GPS system for my husband who is a truck driver. Is there a unit that will show the Hazardous routes and streets or areas that only big rigs can use? Or is there special maps to download?

    I have the 270 and find it helpful and my husband tried to use it but had several problems because these truck routes dont show up. Can you help?

    Gaby - December 3rd, 2008
  43. Gaby, I don’t know of any consumer level devices that offer those types of features. There is laptop software called CoPilot that is popular among some truckers, but I don’t know how effective it is.

    Tim - December 3rd, 2008
  44. Gaby, I just looked at the CoPilot website and found there will be a trucker specific GPS unit that will start selling on Dec. 4th. The unit is called “PC Miler Navigator truck route GPS”. The web site is:

    Steve - December 3rd, 2008
  45. Thank you Tim and special thanks to you Steve for going to all that trouble to look up the info. I’ll head over there right now.

    Gaby - December 3rd, 2008
  46. Is the battery replaceable? If not, does that make it useless as a portable device when the batter no longer holds a charge? Thanks!

    Mike - December 3rd, 2008
  47. The battery is not replaceable. It would probably take several years of daily use before it no longer held any charge.

    Tim - December 3rd, 2008
  48. Thank you.

    Mike - December 3rd, 2008
  49. Would like to offer GPS with text to voice to my daughter who lives in Mexico City. What model would you recommend? Please advise.

    Chantal - December 8th, 2008
  50. Just got a Gramin 270 for Xmas. My problem is that it won’t turn on! I follow directions and plug it into my car and nothing happens. Once in a while the “Garmin” logo will appear, then vanish, and the screen is blank. I took the power adapter to an electronics store and they checked it out. The fuse is fine and the adaptor is sending out power, so it seems that the unit is the source of the problem. I have tried the reset button and still nothing. Any ideas? I am calling support on Monday. Thanks.

    Tim - December 28th, 2008
    • How long did you charge it before trying to turn it on?

      Tim - December 28th, 2008
  51. 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Took the cord to an electronic shop. The fuse is good and the cord is channeling power. No idea what the problem is.

    Tim - December 29th, 2008
  52. I want to purchase GPS for my dad who lives in Ireland right now.He would like to use it also in Slovakia.Im wondering if Garmin nuvi 270 is the best choice.How can I found out how many different languages are avaliable on this product?And also if I purchase it in USA is there anything else I have to buy to use it in Europe?
    Thank you

    Lucia - December 29th, 2008
  53. Is there any I stop the nuvi 270 from completing the word I’m trying to spell? It is completing the spelling of the street, but the street I am looking for is not one of the choices. It is not a new street. I’m trying to type in Washington Ave NW.

    Mike - December 30th, 2008
    • That just means the street you are trying to find is not in their database, or not in their database under the state and city you have selected. If it didn’t auto-complete that would make it worse as you wouldn’t an indication that there wasn’t a match as quickly as you do with auto-complete.

      Tim - December 31st, 2008
  54. Our Garmin gps nuvi 270 has voice but does not say the name of the street we are approaching. We would like our gps to announce the street name that we are approaching to turn. Can someone help us?

    Greg - February 19th, 2009
    • Greg, your device doesn’t have that feature. You would need to purchase a different device to get that feature.

      Tim - February 20th, 2009
  55. When I connect my 270 to my home or laptop it starts up, then shuts off. I originally would work with both units. I’ve tried different USB cords with no change.

    Any ideas what’s wrong?

    Mike - March 1st, 2009
    • Mike,

      Is the battery fully charged such that it works fine stand alone or with the charger plugged in? My 270 does fine when I plug it into my laptop so it sounds like a power issue of some sort or a problem with the charging circuit inside the 270 itself.

      steve - March 1st, 2009
  56. I am thinking of buying a Nuvi 270 that has preloaded maps of US and Europe. I have a Garmin GPS Map 76CSx. Will I be able to transfer maps from the 270 to the 76CSx? How? I have MapSource software because I bought a TOPO map for the 76CSx. I would like to use the 76CSx in Spain while walking and biking. It has a longer battery life. I would use the 270 while driving. Thanks.


    George Pappas - March 5th, 2009
    • George,

      I own a 270 and have not figured out how to do this and suspect it cannot be done. I’d be interested to learn if there is a way and, in addition, if you can transfer the mapsource topo maps into the 270 as well. You may have to buy the Euro maps separately for the 76CSX.

      Steve - March 6th, 2009
    • No, the maps purchased on a device are locked to that device. You would need to purchase the accessory maps to add them to a device that didn’t come with the map. Topo maps can be transfered to a Nuvi, pending you have a valid license to do so.

      Tim - March 6th, 2009
  57. I just saw an email from Monique asking about using the 270 in France (Normandy, Paris, and Bretagne (Brittany?). However, her post does not appear above. Don’t know why since her email had a link to this site. Anyway, Monique, if you are getting these comments, I had my 270 in Paris and Normandy almost exactly a year ago and it worked very well. It took me right to the front door of the hotel we stayed in at Bayeux from Paris. Some of the data is a bit out of date for some roads but overall it worked very well in France.

    Steve - March 30th, 2009
  58. One reviewer mentioned that there is no volume control or way to turn off sound on the nuvi270. Is that right?

    Sahuaro - April 19th, 2009
    • Sahuaro – No, there is a volume control and a mute button.

      Tim - April 20th, 2009
  59. I’m going to the UK with my Garmin that I recently purchased in the US. Will the US car charger work in a UK rental car’s charger recepticle or do I have buy some kind of converter.

    Nancy - May 7th, 2009
    • All cars use the same cigarette lighter type receptacles. They are 12 volts and your U.S. receptacle will work fine.

      stan weber - October 17th, 2009
  60. I just bought one of these but do not know how to change it over to european maps. i got over here and turned it on and it said i am still in the states as well as not finding satilites. anyone know how to?

    Chris - June 4th, 2009
    • Chris, you don’t need to do anything to change over to the other maps.. it will do it automatically based on your location. It sounds like the GSP hasn’t acquired a signal yet, see our Acquiring Satellites page for more info on troubleshooting that.

      Tim - June 5th, 2009
  61. I am having this same issue with my nuvi 270… It worked like 6 months ago.. the unit is only a yr old..
    it is fully charged(showing) unplugged…
    ive used 2 usb cords now.. a normal one..and the one i just got from GARMIN… it starts up… show the pc connection picture for about…1-5 seconds.. then the unit shuts off.
    the computer only gets a chance for a second or two to recognize the unit then says the unit has disconnected.
    ANYONE HAVE A NEW ANSWER TO THIS… its REALLY becoming irritating 🙁

    “”””When I connect my 270 to my home or laptop it starts up, then shuts off. I originally would work with both units. I’ve tried different USB cords with no change.

    Any ideas what’s wrong?””””

    Greg - June 7th, 2009
    • did you try it with different PC, maybe your current one, somehow at some point was set to reject GPS devices?

      guru - June 19th, 2009
  62. Can I study, say, Paris city maps on my 270 while I am idling at home in Minneapolis? How?

    Peter - June 8th, 2009
  63. Hi i will be going to Ireland in few weeks and iam not sure if nuvi270 have the maps for this contry does anybody knows??

    Antoine - July 23rd, 2009
  64. min nuvi is only a month old and it will not turn on, I turned it on earlier today and attempted to turn on again and it refuses to come on. What can be the problem?

    marie - August 3rd, 2009
  65. My nuvi 200 keeps saying, “No detailed maps found that support routing. The nuvi cannot be used without them.
    What do I do?

    Deb - August 19th, 2009
  66. I was told that if I got a garmin nuvi 270 that i could update the maps for free. however after purchace, I tried and every site I go to costs $100 to $200 dollars. is there a free site to update the maps or not?

    Rick - November 25th, 2009
    • If the map that came with your device is not the most recent copy available at the time of purchase, then within 60 days of purchase you can go to my.garmin.com and download a free map update.

      Tim - November 25th, 2009
  67. I’m using my nuvi to work on my French. When I turn it on and it has figured out the navigation, it says a sentence which I can’t understand. There is no such sentence in the English version. Can anyone translate it for me? Thanks.

    Karen - January 16th, 2010
  68. I just bought nuvi 270. I tried to update the map but I can update only the map for Europe or North America. This is strange as I thought I can update both Europe and N. America. If I update the map for europe, can I still use the map for N. America?


    Sakun - March 24th, 2010
  69. I bought a Garmin Nuvi 270 about three years ago and have used it in Europe and North America without any problems. I also decided to purchase lifetime upgrades for the unit at one price, the trouble now is lack of space on the nuvi to download upgrades. What I would like to know is, what is the minimum and maximum recommended size of SD card to purchase to provide optimum use for future downloads of upgrades. I have been contemplating buying an 8GB card, as the upgrade of EU/NA maps is around 6GB, but not sure if the nuvi 270 is compatible with SDHC. Other sites have stated that this depends on the software on the unit. Can you clarify for me please.

    Jim Ferrier - July 10th, 2010

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