It's getting harder and harder to buy a new car without a navigation system (or at least a big screen in the dashboard), but for millions of older cars on the road, portable nav units might still have a place, assuming you don't want to get your smartphone involved. Hence a new line of units from Garmin — the Drive, DriveSmart, DriveAssist, and DriveLuxe — that have a suite of new driver awareness features on board.
Caution, turtle crossing
The new units will warn you of upcoming curves in the road, designated animal crossing zones, and if you're going the wrong way down a one-way street (an easy mistake to make in the city), they'll yell at you. And — a feature that's becoming common on some newer cars — the Drive units can also yell at you if you've been driving for too long, using route information to suggest places to pull over.
The lowest-cost model is the basic Drive, which runs $129.99; the DriveSmart adds Bluetooth compatibility with phone notifications and data downloads through Garmin's connected phone app; the DriveSmart adds a built-in dash cam; and finally, the top-of-the-line $349.99 DriveLuxe adds faster traffic information refresh and comes in a nicer "forged metal" case. All four launch this quarter.