The Garmin nuvi 2598 LMTD is a mid-range sat-nav with a 5-inch screen and a plethora of bonus features, including lifetime map updates and free traffic information with no monthly subscription like TomTom's HD Traffic. The 2598 is part of a major design refresh by Garmin. After sticking with evolutionary steps for the last few years, with the exception of the super-svelte nuvi 3790T, the new models look significantly different.
Garmin has split its range into Essential, Advanced and Premium models. The nuvi 2598 is from the Advanced range, which focuses on features, where the Essential range majors on value, and the Premium models add extra style to the equation.
In our testing, the traffic information was quite responsive, telling us about jams dynamically as they built up, and giving useful information about how far ahead they were and how long they were likely to last. However, in a side-by-side comparison with TomTom's HD Traffic, we did encounter jams on local roads that the latter picked up but the Garmin nuvi 2598 LMTD didn't. Nevertheless, the Garmin option is free and found big delays on key roads, as well as providing more detailed information onscreen than the average RDS-TMC receiver.
The basic structure of the menu is the same as always, with big icons for Where To? and View Map, plus smaller icons below. A new addition to the Where To? system is a general search, which operates across both the points of interest system and the address database. This makes it easy to find a road when you don't know the exact town it's in. You might discover you don't bother with any other mode of destination entry once you get used to this process, either.
One of the smaller icons leads to the Apps system, which is a slightly trendy renaming of what is really a selection of supplementary tools and software widgets. These include a help system, the facility for operating your Bluetooth-connected phone, and customisation of the Voice Command system (of which more shortly).
You can also configure and enable the ecoRoute system, which allows you to choose the most fuel-efficient routes for your vehicle and set yourself fuel efficiency challenges. The Garmin nuvi 2598 LMTD's Trip Planner can also be found here, as well as an overall map view of traffic, a trail showing where you have driven on the map, and Last Spot. The latter tracks where you last stopped the car, so you find your way back - great if you forgot where you parked.