Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa


Is there anybody here that has the Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa? If so, I am interested in hearing what sorts of things you use Alexa for while traveling?

Lots of things!

I use it for playing music, destinations, traffic, weather - just about anything you ask it in the house. I love it and use it all the time in both the UK and on my frequent trips to the US. Very reliable unit and prefer it to TomTom.

Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa

I bought one of these from Target on Saturday, November 30th, 2019. One of my local Target stores had it in stock for a sale price of $199.99. My daily driver is a Ram 1500 pickup and I decided that I wanted to try a Garmin GPS with a bit larger screen.

I gave it a good workout and while I really can't complain about it too much, I did return it earlier this afternoon. I already have some other, smaller Garmins, including a Garmin Nuvi 3597 and a Garmin DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S. The thing that I was most hopeful of was the ability to use Amazon Alexa to assist me in finding new locations in my area. There is a Costco that opened a few weeks ago and a Casey's General Store that opened a few months ago. Amazon Alexa wasn't able to find either one of those.

For anybody looking to buy one of these, I do think having the ability to play SiriusXM, or any other the other compatible music streaming services, might make this quite worthwhile.

Drivesmart 65

I took advantage of a sale Amazon ran last month and bought the non alexa version of the 65. I got it mainly for it's compatibility with the BC30 backup camera.

I find the unit to be up to Garmin's standards of performance for an automotive navigator and the larger 6" screen was a welcome change. It is also compatible with Garmin's new Drive app which someday may replace Smartphone Link.

Sadly, Garmin has gone back to using plastic cases replacing the sturdy brushed aluminum used on previous top of the line models. I was quickly reminded about the inconvenience of a unit without a magnetic powered mount. Unfortunately, I can't consider the Drivesmart 65 as a replacement for my 3597.

I then saw Alandb's post on the Driveluxe 51 refurb sale and bought two. The 51 has a powered magnetic mount, is half the price of the 65 and is also compatible with the BC30 camera.

At this point, I haven't decided on what to do with the Drivesmart. The Amazon return window has closed so selling it is a possibility. Another option would be to mount it on one of my tractors where it wouldn't be necessary to remove the unit frequently. The BC30 camera could also be used on the front end loader to improve visibility.

It might also be useful on long trips side by side with a 3597 or Driveluxe 51. That way both the Drive and Smartphone link apps could be used simultaneously.

65 vs 65 w/ Alexa

The 65 w/ Alexa is pretty great.

I have a 65 and the voice commands were always iffy. The conversation often went something like this:
"Ok, Garmin. Find Place. Post Office."
"No place like Potato Awful could be found."

It could be dead quiet in the car and the back and forth would be like that.

With the 65 w/ Alexa, you no longer work your way through the voice menus but just tell it what you want:
"OK, Garmin. Find Post Office."
"Choose a Post Office from the list below." (and you get a list of nearby post offices).

You can even control it through Alexa with, "Alexa, find Publix." "I've found several Publix near you. Would you like the one on Main St?" "Yes." "Ok, sending route to your GPS."

One deal on this is that I find I need to turn the radio down (mute it) but the fact that it works and isn't trying to steer me to some nonsense is fantastic. The fact that Alexa can find things and let the GPS know is also great.

Garmin DriveSmart 65 With Amazon Alexa

Thanks for the post.


Brad Bishop wrote:

The 65 w/ Alexa is pretty great.

I have a 65 and the voice commands were always iffy. The conversation often went something like this:
"Ok, Garmin. Find Place. Post Office."
"No place like Potato Awful could be found."

My neighbor has the 65 with Alexa. We often go to lunch at a local Mexican place called the "Three Flags" When he asks Alexa for directions, she responds with "No Free Flies could be Found".


That's incredibly frustrating.

I haven't experienced that with Garmin 65 w/Alexa. I'm guessing that they re-wrote some of it so that the voice recognition for Garmin isn't in the unit but offloaded to some servers. Of course, you were talking about Alexa.

If it works 98% of the time I'm happy. That 2% of the time when it's not working becomes an idiotic PITA (1st World Problem) which has me typically saying out loud, "How are you not getting this???"