Garmin DriveSmart 51 VS 65

Having the road and traffic information right on your hand is very convenient, especially if you will be traveling a lot. We can use the GPS on the phone or a dedicated one that we can mount on the dashboard like Garmin DriveSmart 51 Vs 65. These GPS devices are very useful because they can show you the route as well as some information but, they are not exactly the same so let’s see below about which will be your better choice. 

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • How to Choose a GPS Device for Your Car
  • What are Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65
  • How are the Appearance of Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65
  • How are the Navigation with Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65
  • What else Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 can offer
  • How are the Experience with Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65
  • Garmin DriveSmart 51 Vs 65

GPS Device for Car

We are living in a modern day that makes everything more convenient due to the technology that can help a lot with our everyday tasks. GPS is one of them and honestly we can’t imagine living without one because we are just used to the convenience already. Even though we have lived in certain areas for our whole lives, there are still places that we are unfamiliar with and this is where GPS can be extremely helpful. It is not always reliable but can be very useful to help you navigate more effectively.

When it comes to GPS, we have the option to use a smartphone instead and our smartphone is more than capable of delivering lots of information already but, it also means draining our main device and this is just a big no for most people. To help you navigate and get the information required when navigating, a dedicated GPS device such as Garmin DriveSmart 51 Vs 52 can be a very helpful device. They are easy to use and also come with various features. 

With how many of us are relying on them, it is not surprising to see the amount of options as well. To help choose the best option, it is necessary to consider which of them seems to work best for you and screen size is one of the most important. This is because we will be seeing them when accessing the information so the small screen makes everything harder, moreover while we are navigating and driving. The standard version is 5-inches but you may find smaller or larger sizes.

 Garmin DriveSmart 51 65
Product Dimensions 6.54 x 6.5 x 3.62 inches6.8 x 0.7 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight 14 ounces
8.5 ounces
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Since GPS is basically used for the maps function, it is necessary to consider the one with preloaded maps of your area or country. Usually they do come with some depending on where you live but even if they are not, we can still load more in the internal memory yet, in some cases we may need to spend some too. Roads can change over time as construction takes time so usually vendors will provide updates for the devices they are selling.

In addition, one of the most important abilities in a GPS device in our opinion is the live traffic and data. This is a very useful feature if you often travel and mostly in busy cities or unfamiliar states. It can help you avoid street congestion by finding other possible routes. Usually this is an additional feature and can be integrated with so many devices as long as they are paired with the receiver; many are also sold in bundles with the receiver.

About Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65

The choice is all yours because there are so many good options out there and it is wise to get one that will work best in your lifestyle or driving habit since we are not living in the same area or have certain needs. But, do note that the more capable the device is, the more budget we need to spend on it. Sometimes these additional features don’t really matter for you but sometimes they can be a lifesaver too.

For those who want to save the time from roaming around to find the GPS device, it is good to select one from your favorite brand like Garmin. This brand is extremely popular for their GPS-based device and we are sure most people are familiar with them as well. If you need a device that can track something, this brand will have plenty of options from dog collars, bike computers, smartwatch, golf rangefinder, and of course the dedicated GPS itself.

Just like most brands, Garmin has plenty of options to consider and sometimes they are actually not far apart from each other yet, by spending more we will most likely get more from the product such as Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65. As the name suggests, these GPS devices will help you to drive smarter by showing you the route to a place or giving you traffic related information. Both are very similar so we do think you will be just fine with any of them.

In comparison, what sets Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 apart the most will be the size because as you can expect, the latter is a bigger version meaning it has the wider display so if a typical 5-inch screen is still uncomfortable for you to see, this display will improve user experience. From the capabilities itself they are pretty much the same so you can find the same features on both of them.

Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 Design

Before getting into what these devices can offer, let’s see what they look like first. Physically you can set them apart very easily since DriveSmart 65 is larger at 6.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches while the little brother is slightly wider at 5.5 x 3.3 x 7 inches. The display size of DS 51 is 4 inches wide and the latter is 6 inches wide so we get a pretty large monitor to look at. They are the same touch-sensitive screen and look very similar too in image quality.

They can be mounted on your windshield or dashboard depending on which seems more comfortable for you and for the power they are battery-based with an expectancy of 1 hour per charge. There is a microSD slot as well for data saving but the device already comes with an in-board memory to save the built-in information. You can also connect the GPS with the computer through their USB port. Depending on which bundle you choose, there can be several items included in the box.

Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 Navigation

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 can offer starting from the mapping and as expected, they do come with built-in maps and also the update from Garmin. What we love the most is how easy their interface is to get used to, moreover the 65 series since it is wider so navigating the menu is a breeze. What we are not a fan of is the reflection these screens introduce when you are driving during bright days. 

Similarly, you can navigate on the screen directly as the screen is easy to use; zoom in and out like when using a regular smartphone. We can enter the address very conveniently as well. You can find a spot by entering the name of the place when using the “Where to” panel or find a location based on the address by typing it on the “Address” selection. The latter is very useful when you can’t find the address or place with the first method yet it also requires more steps to work.

Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 Features

From the features side both Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 are also identical and since they can be connected to your smartphone, we are getting the advantage of the Garmin app too. From the app we can receive smart notifications. In addition to Bluetooth, both devices are also working with Wi-Fi which is very useful when you need to upgrade the software. We also have the benefits from the app like traffic information, weather, and many more. If desired, we can add backup cameras like BC 30 and BC 40 on the device.

Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 Experience

These GPS devices are pretty much the same based on the ability and we like how they are operated too. The graphics are probably among the best and the screen is responsive too despite not as fast as our smartphones. The navigation will show you not only the route but also whatever is in the path such as a gas station or restaurants along with the distance so we can always be informed what’s in front of you or in your driving path.

The noticeable difference is probably from the screen only since every feature is the same and both are also very capable. It is indeed easier to read and see from a larger screen but it is not necessary if you think the 4 inch wide display of DriveSmart 51 is already enough.

Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 Comparison 

Both Garmin DriveSmart 51 and 65 are good options based on your preference and how you will want to view the information since performance and features wise the two are very much like the same devices. The 65 is a newer version of the 61 in which the larger variant of the DS 51 so it is not surprising that the two have so many similarities too. In comparison, the 65 does give a better view with its larger screen.

- Easy-to-use dedicated GPS navigator with bright 5.0-inch dual-orientation display
- Preloaded with lifetime maps of the U.S.
- Provides real-time services such as live traffic and live parking
- Driver alerts for dangerous curves, speed changes, speed cameras, railroad crossings, animal crossings and more
- 6.95” GPS navigator with smart features and edge-to-edge display
- Easy-to-use 6.95” GPS navigator includes detailed map updates of North America
- Simple on-screen menus and bright, clear maps show 3-D buildings and terrain
- Garmin Traffic is ready to use right out of the box — without use of a smartphone


The choice is all yours depending on which seems to work best in your driving experience but we will recommend DriveSmart 51 instead as it is much cheaper, especially if you have no use of the extra display size.