Expert Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S Review 2019

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Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S

rating: 4.5
  • Lifetime updates for North American maps
  • Intuitive to use
  • 6.95-inch capacitive touch screen

Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S Car GPS

By Editorial Team | 14th June 2019

The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S is worth checking out in Garmin GPS reviews to get a better feel for this system, with its wide range of features. It stands out with lifetime support for updated maps in North America. This GPS for cars also offers a range of live-time services, including live parking and live traffic. It integrates seamlessly with smartphones, letting you use Bluetooth calling. You can also use the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S as a USB mass storage device, easily loading files from Mac or Windows. Or take advantage of the microSD card slot.

The screen is 6.95 inches, and if that is too large, there is a variation with a 5-inch screen, the 51 LMT-S. The DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, however, will be the way to go for most drivers since the large screen makes it easy to see and it has a sleek design that makes you forget how big it is.

Features of the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S Car GPS

GPS car navigation reviews tend to think highly of the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, from its ability to offer the basics to the additional features that are available. The design is sleek and modern with a 6.95-inch display. The display’s resolution is 1024 x 600 and the screen’s capacitive nature makes it intuitive to use, including pinching and zooming.

When you buy the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, it will already have North American maps preloaded. You can easily add maps of other countries via the microSD card slot. To stand out when you compare GPS systems, the DriveSmart comes with lifetime updates for free, as well as free traffic alerts. The system automatically lets you know updates are available when you are on Wi-Fi. This means that you will not need to spend another penny on the GPS unit unless you want to. In addition to the maps, the unit already has millions of points of interest preloaded, with the ability to easily add your own. The system also seamlessly handles routes with multiple destinations.

As you use the DriveSmart, it provides turn-by-turn directions. One unique feature of these directions is that you can have it describe your turns based on landmarks, such as traffic lights or buildings. This is a nice alternative to those who struggle with visualizing the distance until a turn typical of navigation systems.

Driving with the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S features numerous live services, including live traffic alerts. Using that feature is best done via the Smartphone Link app. Doing so will provide things such as weather forecast, rerouting directions, parking prices, and more. With Smartphone Link, you can also use LiveTrack to share your location for safety or convenience.

Those who make safety a priority may find the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S to be the best GPS navigation system for a car thanks to its safety-conscious features. The most obvious of these is voice-activated navigation. Using this function, you can easily choose a destination from the address book. Or you can use voice commands to text or take phone calls or view the alerts for your applications. There is also advanced notice for future lane changes and turns so you have time to plan. Other driver alerts include speed changes, animal crossings, railroad crossings, and if you go the wrong way on one-way roads. You can even get notifications for speed and red-light cameras.

It also has a speed limit indicator built right in, displaying both the speed limit on your current road and your current speed. For enhanced safety, this best GPS also has alerts built in for things such as traffic delays, school zones, and upcoming sharp turns. One unique feature you will not find in most GPS reviews 2019 is the DriveSmart’s fatigue warning which lets you know if you have been driving for too long without a break. When you connect the GPS unit to your smartphone, it gives you the option to customize the notifications from the phone, such as calendar reminders, text messages, and incoming calls.

This GPS for cars does not need to always be plugged in, but the internal battery will only last around an hour, which is on the low side of average. To enhance the usefulness of the device, you can easily pair it with other cameras, including those from Garmin.

The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S typically costs between $215 and $250, although you may also spot it for $190 on sale. This is a good value, especially given the lifetime updates for maps. The warranty is a year, which is not especially good or bad; it is the industry average. There are also multiple support options, including email and phone, plus an extensive help section on the Garmin website.


The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S costs a bit more up front than other options you will find when you compare GPS systems, but it delivers a great value. Garmin GPS reviews point out the money-savings associated with lifetime updates to the maps as well as the peace of mind of the warranty. For even more value, Garmin has highly rated customer support with several contact options.

This automotive GPS navigation system also stands out from the crowd with its connectivity, including the ability to pair it with your smartphone, a compatible Garmin smartwatch, and Garmin Backup Cameras. The ability to use Bluetooth to place smartphone notifications on the GPS’s screen takes integration to the next level, removing the need to look at your phone when driving. There are also some unique safety features, including the fatigue warning, which you are unlikely to find on other GPS for cars. The alerts for upcoming challenges, like sharp turns and school zones, are also a very nice touch that helps enhance safety.

The ability to use the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S right out of the box is also very useful. After all, it comes with North American maps and millions of points of interest already installed.


  • Lifetime updates for North American maps.
  • Intuitive to use.
  • 6.95-inch capacitive touch screen.
  • Bluetooth calling.


  • Comparatively short battery.
  • Warranty is just average.

Reviewed by
Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team is constantly watching for new and exciting services to report on. They aim to bring balanced, honest reviews to the site to give you the best comparisons and ensure you have the knowledge to choose the product right for you. Read more.
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