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Garmin nuvi 42 LM – Review

When I 1st moved to Jozi almost 10 years ago there was really no such thing as a GPS or at least that I knew of. For my 1st 6 months here as part of my training my job was 100% on the road visiting stores anywhere from Pretoria to Springs to Roodepoort & I spent hours pulled over on the side of the road poured of my map books close to tears. That said it was a great way to get to know the city but no one should ever have to go through that pain.

Years later at the 1st chance I got I bought myself a GPS and I’ve hung onto my Garmin nuvi 205 very tightly ever since. My old faithful really does it’s job of getting me from point A to B effortlessly 9 out 10 times but of course I didn’t mind when Garmin offered me the Garmin nuvi 42 device on loan for 2 weeks to review. Since mine was quite old, I knew it would be a nice little upgrade…


I’m not the kind of person who like to read a manual. I want to rip the box open & get my hands of the device & play with it immediately. This is what I thought…


  • even just aesthetically it’s quite an improvement
  • the entire device is slimmer but with a bigger & much more responsive screen
  • it’s very easy to set up & mine was ready to go within 5 minutes of opening the box
  • it monitors my speed & beeps to let me know when I’m over the speed limit – LOVE that


  • it takes some getting use to but I love the “split” screen once you take a particular off ramp
  • also, when you off ramp it actually shows you a picture of what the upcoming signboard looks like on the screen that you should look out for and..
  • instead of just saying “take exit 25” the voice guide actually says “take the Grayston exit” – no more guessing & missing your turn!
  • all my favourite functions were still there like setting favourite & home locations & searching by points of interests. The latter is really handy when you don’t have an address for a mall, hospital etc.
  • it has a qwerty keyboard. I know the sounds minor but on my old/current nuvi 205’s keyboard is laid out from a-z & really confuses my brain.


  • I didn’t time the battery life per se but I had hoped for more than what I get from my current nuvi 205 & it kinda felt about the same. I checked the manual & once I took the tips there (reduce screen brightness & volume & avoid extreme temperatures) it did improve….

Using the Garmin nuvi 42 felt like getting back together with an ex who’s been working out & had a bit of a makeover. There was enough there that was familiar but you couldn’t not recognize the nice new 6 pack 😉

If I ran the brand

  • I wouldn’t change a thing…

Need to know

  • There are also great value-ads like a 2 year warranty as well as free lifetime maps (something I didn’t take advantage of with my current device)

At R 1 249 the Garmin nuvi 42 is cheaper than what I paid for my current 4/5-year-old device  (technology does not cease to amaze me!) For an entry-level device its intuitive & easy to operate definitely worth a try…


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