Garmin Nuvi 52LM Car GPS Review

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The Garmin Nuvi 52LM is a stripped-down, no-nonsense car GPS navigation system that has become popular with drivers all over the United States. Sporting a familiar design and an improved user interface, the Nuvi 52LM is a great GPS for someone looking to replace an older model. The 52LM is also a good choice for anyone who’s looking for an entry-level system that will get them to their destination without a lot of effort. Without having to deal with the hassle of setting features that the driver won’t even use, the Garmin Nuvi 52LM lets the driver concentrate on the road ahead. With zero distractions and a user-friendly interface the GPS does all the hard work, so all you have to do is type in your destination and drive.

Garmin Nuvi 52LM Car GPS
Garmin nuvi 52LM 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps

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One of the first GPS devices released by Garmin in 2013, the Nuvi 52LM stands out from the rest due to its improved exterior design and large screen. The large five-inch display gives the driver a great view of the GPS screen that’s easy to read. Many times smaller GPS devices can look lost in large vehicles like vans, trucks, and RVs, but the Nuvi 52LM is at home in any type of vehicle. The GPS is about an inch larger than the average smartphone, but manages to keep its weight below seven ounces, making it one of the lightest, widescreen navigation devices on the market.


  • The Garmin Nuvi 52LM is a GPS-enabled vehicle satellite navigation system
  • The GPS weighs 6.4 ounces
  • The device measures 3.4 inches by 0.8 inches by 5.5 inches
  • The display is five inches wide from corner to corner and displays at 480 x 272 pixels
  • The Garmin Nuvi 52LM comes with a nonstandard Lithium-ion battery pack that lasts for over two hours when fully charged
  • The device houses a highly sensitive GPS receiver that can accurately measure your position to within a few yards
  • The Nuvi 52LM is preloaded with street maps of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • The GPS can be connected to a PC or Mac computer with a USB cable
  • The GPS chips in the device runs off of internal solid state memory that can be upgraded with the addition of a microSD card
  • The Garmin Nuvi 52LM features a built-in speaker that prompts the user to turn, and the name of the street to go on.
  • The devices comes with Garmin’s nuMaps guarantee that enables the user to download new maps at any time through their computer
  • The Nuvi 52LM is compatible with new downloadable content, such as custom voices for your device and different vehicle avatars.


While the Garmin Nuvi 52LM may not be jam-packed with new features and gadgets, the GPS manages to have more useful applications than many other devices. The Nuvi’s strength lies in its ability to quickly and safely guide you to your destination without the hassle of diving into complex menus. The Garmin Nuvi 52LM is able to plan your route faster than any other device in a similar price range and reliably works in rain or shine. The GPS also comes with an enhanced widescreen design that displays lots of useful information with becoming too crowded. The Garmin Nuvi 52LM doesn’t make finding your destination an ordeal, either. When the device is booted up, you are taken to a simple navigation menu where you can easily search for a destination. Every aspect of the Nuvi 52LM is designed to be as straightforward and easy to use as possible.

Detailed Maps

The Garmin Nuvi 52LM is preloaded with complete maps of the contiguous United States and Alaska. The GPS comes with Garmin’s lifetime maps update that allows the user to update their maps at any time for free. The maps come with over six million preprogrammed points of interest. Gas stations, cafés, ATMs, and other businesses are found using Garmin’s points of interest map.

Highway Assistance

The GPS comes programmed with Garmin’s popular lane assist feature, which helps users find the right exit on the highway. The lane assist function directs the use when their exit is coming up, so they have enough time to get over to the correct lane. This feature also comes in handy when pulling into a complicated intersection or rotary.


  • The five-inch display is large enough to be easily read without taking up too much space on the windshield
  • The maps are accurate and easy to manipulate, so you can set the map to whatever view you’d like
  • The lane assist and junction views help when getting off the highway, or when stuck in traffic
  • The Garmin Nuvi 52LM speedometer is very accurate
  • The GPS’s arrival time estimates are almost always correct
  • The navigation menu is easy to use, and the touch screen is as responsive as a typical smartphone or tablet
  • The Nuvi 52LM comes with millions of preprogrammed points of interest that are easy to access and are kept up to date
  • The menus are easy to sort through and aren’t overcomplicated by too many buttons or extraneous screens
  • The GPS comes packaged with a vehicle power cable, a suction cup mount, a USB cable, and a quick start manual
  • Lifetime map updates can be downloaded for free for the life of the product


  • The Garmin Nuvi 52LM isn’t Bluetooth compatible and cannot connect to WiFi to surf the Internet
  • The GPS doesn’t feature any voice activation applications
  • It takes a while for the GPS to initially connect to satellites and it also takes a while for the GPS to connect on cloudy or overcast days
  • The device doesn’t come with any anti-theft features or a carrying case

Final Verdict

Garmin nuvi 52LM 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps

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The Garmin Nuvi 52LM is a dependable, easy-to-use GPS system that will always get you to your destination. With an enlarged display for superior viewing quality, the Nuvi 52LM navigation system is one of the user-friendliest GPS devices currently on the market. Featuring a classic design at a competitive price, the Garmin Nuvi 52LM is one of the best options for anyone looking to purchase a GPS navigator.