Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Garmin nuvi 255 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • 3.5-inch Touch Screen Navigation with Turn by Turn spoken Directions
  • Pre-loaded Maps for all North America, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico with 6.5 million searchable points of interest
  • FM Traffic or MSN Direct Traffic/Content compatible (with optional GDB 55 receiver)
  • Easy to Use Interface; slim, pocket-sized form factor; 4-hour rechargeable battery; Video Power cable included;
  • Automatically Adjusts Your Time Zone While Navigating

There is a newer model of this item:

Garmin Back to School

Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight272 g
Product Dimensions9.7 x 7.1 x 2 cm
Item model numberNuvi 255
Weight270 grams
Additional Information
Customer Reviews 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
Best Sellers Rank
Shipping Weight386 g
Date First AvailableFeb. 4 2009
 Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

3.5" Active Matrix TFT Color LCD

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By RCL on July 28 2009
Verified Purchase
I like this product. Got it two weeks ago have used it around town and on trips for lacrosse. It has had no problems in southwestern ontario finding the arenas and has performed well. The sound is a little quiet but turned up full it is adequate. This is my first GPS and so far so good. Did not see the need for the wide screen as this one is big enough for me but your choice. If all continues like the first two weeks I give it a big thumbs up.
6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
So far, no complains. Battery life is great, the accuracy is great. By accuracy I mean that it detects that I am in express lane vs collectors when they are few meters apart only. My previous Garmin could not do that.

Only little complain that I have is, there is no easy way (that I have found yet) to say use 'Toll Road' but avoid 'Ferries' etc. On our recent trip, we did want to use Toll Road but not the ferry but wasn't an option. I had to create pseudo halts etc.

Very positive experience overall.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
After seeing the ease with which may friends and family get around with a gps I decided to purchase this small navigator. I travel a lot. It's great for not getting lost. It picks up satellites all over the world, and although it has no maps for the whole world, it shows you where you are and some of the main highways.
It's small, uncomplicated and I love it. It is worth every penny spent.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
This garmin is a good unit that does all the things you need , for the price that you are paying.
Very easy to use.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b4aedc8) out of 5 stars 345 reviews
324 of 326 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af41ed0) out of 5 stars Don't pay more, this has everything you need Oct. 1 2008
By George Rausch - Published on
Verified Purchase
Let me set the scene for you: I arrive in Los Angeles at the airport, turn on my GPS system and instantly am ready to navigate. I then spend two days driving around Los Angeles not knowing where anything is located and haven't gotten lost once...

The nuvi 255, as in my review title, is everything you need. Don't spend more because you think you'll need to talk for navigation or that you want to connect to some navigation service or whatever else they're selling. This is a small, FAST, device that you can easily carry with you when it isn't in your car. And folks, that's part of a portable GPS system: you can take it with you so it doesn't get stolen.

I will give the following heads-up. The first time you calibrate the GPS system, it may take up to 10 MINUTES. Be patient, stand in a large open field, and don't move the device. Just let it sit. After that initial setup, you'll be walking on sunshine. Second, charging the device is easy. All you need is a standard USB cable that is used for most electronics. The downside, it doesn't show a progress bar on the screen as to when a charge is complete. Third, when you turn it on, make sure you have clear views of the sky from all directions. Otherwise, the system may not initialize properly. Plus, if you're in a city with tall buildings, you may be out of luck for getting signal (i.e. NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago). Normally, the difficultly comes from initially turning it on. After that, it's great.

This device is FAST in recalculating routes. Mere seconds and boom, you're back on track. No downtime whatsoever. This is really amazing.

You are given the option of navigation as a pedestrian or in a car. That is really great if you're on foot. You can easily switch between the two.

NOW... my word of advice. SPEND THE MONEY to get the 255 with the "text-to-speech." When you're driving in traffic in an unfamiliar place, you don't want to have to constantly look over to read the street names on the device then find them on the street. It is worth the extra cash.

All-in-all, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. As I said to a friend today, it isn't often that I buy a piece of electronics equipment and have my expectations met and surpassed. As I continue to use it, new things continue to amaze me.
148 of 152 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af4218c) out of 5 stars Very nice entry-level GPS. Feb. 18 2009
By Mat - Published on
After spending a few weeks researching this and that, I decided to go with the Nuvi 255. I would have liked a 255W, but just couldn't justify the cost. Besides, the 255 screen is sufficient. I chose it over the 205 for the extra maps and text-to-speech, which is a really nice function.

The size seems small until you actually mount it on your windshield. Then it's just right. And the GUI is very simple and straightforward. There are a lot of "aftermarket" vehicle icons that can be just dropped onto the unit. It charges relatively quickly through a USB cord. I think with a little ingenuity, I'll be able to mount it to my motorcycle bars too. This thing is half organizer/phone book, half Nav system, which since I don't have an I-Phone is really cool. It's great to be able to look up a phone number and call a restaurant without booting up my PC.

Even though there's 6 million POI, it's missing some surprising ones (a Walmart and a Lowes plaza, for example) that have been around for a couple of years. So to get there, you have to find something near them and that's a pain. Same with roads I KNOW are there, but not in this 2009 map software. Then there's the town names that seem questionable at times. My only other small gripes are that you can't change the text-to-speech voice...unless you want a lame elf voice or Death or something. And for some reason, mine doesn't want to charge if the unit is in use, which is kind of aggrivating.

Seems solid, easy to use, and a genuinely decent product. Sometimes I know better than the direction engine (I'm sure you get that with any GPS), but if I didn't, I'd trust it. Seems to lack features of an upmodel unit, but for the money, I feel I've gotten a good value.
122 of 128 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af42270) out of 5 stars Job Well Done Sept. 15 2008
By AC - Published on
Verified Purchase
I purchased the Nuvi 255 as a replacement for my Nuvi 350. There is nothing wrong with the 350Garmin nüvi 350 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Text-to-Speech. The 255Garmin Nuvi 255 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator has safety features I want which include "Where Am I" that gives your location by street address, city, state, zip code, nearest intersection and coordinates. This is important in an emergency in a strange and/or unfamiliar location. Another safety feature is the display of the posted speed limit directly above your actual speed. This helps to avoid tickets and reminds one about safe driving.

Other improvements include a brighter clearer display, revised touch screen graphics, an arrow indicating direction of next turn and a TTS voice that sounds like a real person instead of an elocution professor.

The 255 also has a world clock, unit converter, calculator and photo

In closing, I saved the best feature for last--the GPS function is fast, flawless and exact.
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af42744) out of 5 stars Worthy successor to the 260 Sept. 27 2008
By JerryWithaJ - Published on
My son, who does not drive, wanted a GPS because most of his friends, who DO drive, don't have one. He thinks of it, along with some gas money, as his contribution to the trip. Since it was dad's money paying for it, I decided to give him my nuvi 260 so that I could get a 255 with its ability to make use of traffic information. (I've just ordered the receiver and will report on that aspect later.)

I'm not quite sure how to review a GPS. The 255 makes the fourth GPS in out family. The others are the Garmin nuvi 200, 260, 260w. Since there are so many makes and models on the market and few people will own multiple GPSs, the most helpful information would be areas in which a particular unit was found to be lacking. I've never found any of these units to be lacking. Other than the well reported difficulties they sometimes have locating satellites (the 255 seems a bit better in this regard), there's nothing about the Garmins that would make me want to try a different brand.

People debate about the 255's voices. Many prefer the 260's voices. My wife is one of them. I find the 255's voices similar to the 260's, except that I miss Emily. She and I have grown close over the months we've been together, but, alas, she was unable to make the jump to the 255. The format of the voice files must have changed. The .vpm files on the 260 are 10+kb, where those on the 255 are about 2kb and Emily was not offered as a download. So, Emily is no more. She was not included on the 255 and I could not get the voice file from the 260 to work on the 255.

I find pluses and minuses to the new interface. I'm not fond of the speed function because it takes up a lot of real estate and isn't reliable. I traveled Route 119 from Route 2 in Acton, MA, to Route 495 in Littleton, a main drag. The speed limit varies from a high of 50 to a low of 25, but the 255 showed a constant 45, so I would not rely on the 255 to warn me of speed traps.

I DO like the new distance and direction of turn indicator. It's convenient seeing the arrow indicating the direction of the turn right next to the distance indicator.

I do NOT like the new way the keypad changes from upper to lower case after the first character of a name is entered.

I WISH there were an option for a QWERTY keyboard layout.

I WISH Garmin would allow zip code entry in addition to City and State.

About 30 seconds after the 260's on/off switch is placed in the lock position, the screen dims and the voice goes silent. This is a very convenient way to silence the unit when traveling a well known road and bringing it back with a minimum of fuss when needed. On the 255, the screen goes dim, but the voice is no longer silent. It's necessary to go through menus to make the unit quiet. This means that there is no longer an easy way to silence the 255 since pressing menus is too dangerous to attempt when the car is moving.

But the quibbles are minor. They're not enough to make me remove a star.

Garmin makes a fine, accurate unit. I've stopped all but the most cursory glances at maps prior to making trips. I'm happy to let the unit send me on its merry way. (There's a movie here where someone figures out how to reprogram GPSs, luring victims into out of the way places. "Dear, are you sure the way to the mall is through the cemetary?") Just last night it showed me a new way to a place I'd been visiting for years and never used the GPS to guide me because I knew the way there. (Ah, so *that's* where that road goes!)

Now, if only I could figure a way to get Emily back...

Added in edit: Another thing I REALLY LIKE about the 255 over the 260...
When you're driving down the road, the title bar of the 260 will often say something like "Continuing on Route nnn". On that same stretch of road, the title bar of the 255 will have the name of the next turn/exit/route. That is, once you're where you're supposed to be, the 255 immediately displays the name of the next road.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af425a0) out of 5 stars Great GPS that's a tiny bit short of awesome Nov. 3 2008
By sodakar - Published on
Verified Purchase
Invariably, the 200-series will be compared to the super-popular 350, and I can't help but do the same. The 350 was a true pioneer, but I always found myself waiting a half-second for it to get back to me, and overall, the experience was sluggish.

The 255 is plenty fast, and brings the GPS interactive experience to a new level. My purchase was based on Consumer Reports' ratings.

The 200-line is certainly confusing in terms of number increments not matching up to features, but I would strongly recommend the TTS feature, which is only available on the 260/260W/255/255W. Despite the numbering scheme, the 255-line is newer/faster than the 260-line, which is why I chose the 255, though others may have chosen it for the FM/MSN traffic/info features.


Very small. Smaller than a hockey puck, and completely pocketable.

The interaction with the menu is very fast, and without delay. Searches, map refreshes, etc -- they're all a lot faster and I don't find myself waiting.

The 3D GUI updates at what appears to be 3-4fps, which may not sound like much, but compared to 1fps for older models, this is a significant improvement, and is the difference between missing an exit or not.

3D Terrain:
This is surprisingly useful when going up/down hills, as it gives you an idea of not just a left/right turn, but also the incline. Sudden, steep climbs/downturns (think Laguna Seca) were reasonably well-indicated, which allowed me to slow down a bit more than had I assumed it was a level turn.

I personally like that the flip-up antenna in the 300-series is gone. It makes it much more usable when holding.

The display packs a ton of information, including next turns, speed limits, and all things that were typically a few clicks away. Surprisingly, it does not seem cramped at all.

Routing is very fast -- maybe 1-3 seconds? It's fast enough that I don't need to count, sweat, and worry that I won't get directions before the next intersection.

Most importantly, *re-routing* is fast. If I take an incorrect turn, it will re-route within seconds, and will prompt me with a turn direction half way down the block. In previous models, I would have to slow down or pull over.

Size, build, battery life, screen, volume, TTS, etc... all wonderful. As a standalone GPS, this is quite impressive.

Cons: (this is where it gets knocked down to 4 stars)

The 350's dock housed the power cable, which made it a one-handed motion to get it back in the dock with power. With the 255, you need to plug in the power, then place it in the dock. Not a dealbreaker, but it's too bad they couldn't engineer it like the 350.

It amazes me that even with a touchscreen, Garmin still can't give me a QWERTY keyboard. It's not as if there are physical key limitations... This makes inputting text considerably slower.

Shortage of accessories:
No USB-A to USB-Mini cable, no AC adapter, no case. Not that *I* need any of those things, but someone who's not a computer geek may not have those things handy.

Average Web Tools/Content, Photo Bookmarking:
I can see they're trying to beef this up, but as of this writing, the on-line, web tool and photo-based location bookmarker is average, at best. The downloadable content (new vehicle models, and the one custom voice) offers considerably less than the competition (eg: TomTom).

Other: (Not pros or cons, but FYI)
- no mp3 playback
- microSD slot, not SD
- sorry, no feedback on MSN traffic, as it doesn't fit my usage style