Garmin Nuvi 215 review

Is Garmin's new entry-level satnav going in the right direction?

Garmin Nuvi 215
The Nuvi 2.5's bright 3.5" display isn't too large to slip in your pocket

TechRadar Verdict

A good-value and acceptably-featured satnav, but nothing majorly noteworthy


  • +

    Bright touchscreen

  • +


  • +

    Useful features


  • -

    A little slow to locate

  • -

    Speed camera locations cost extra

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Garmin's Nüvi 215 is a compact entry-level sat nav device and features UK mapping, with European mapping also available for an extra £85.

It has a touchscreen display that measures 3.5 inches and is small enough to slip into your pocket when you leave your car. The screen has a 320 x 240-pixel resolution and is both bright, clear and easy to view in nearly all conditions. It's also very responsive to the touch.

The menu is easy to use. Upon turning on the device, you're faced with two large icons – 'Where to' and 'View map'. There are also smaller icons for volume and settings.

Clicking 'Where to' brings up a variety of ways to enter your destination. You can also choose by favourites and specific cities. All the buttons are large and finger-friendly, although you will have to scroll down to access some of them.

Entering text is made easy by a large onscreen keyboard, although again you'll have to click through to a second screen to access numbers. One of our favourite features is the ability to see where you are in text – including latitude and longitude, along with the nearest address and nearest junction; particularly useful should you break down, letting you inform the recovery service of your exact location.

Once the destination is entered, it can take a little while for the 215 to locate satellites. It's fine once up and running, however, and we found directions to be clear and concise, and mapping was easy to follow. The speaker also provided loud and clear vehicle instructions.

Features include Bluetooth, letting you connect to your mobile phone and use it as a hands-free phone kit. It also features speed camera locations, although you'll have to pay £30 per year for updates.

Overall, the Garmin Nüvi 215 is a useful device. It doesn't offer anything remarkable, but it's smart, compact and well-priced.

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