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What’s the difference between the Garmin DriveSmart 65 and 66?

In 2021, Garmin released the DriveSmart 66. So, how does this GPS navigator for your car compare to the older DriveSmart 65?

You can find out in this comparison guide between these devices.

Quick Summary

When compared to the Garmin DriveSmart 65, the newer Garmin DriveSmart 66 has a smaller but higher resolution screen. The DriveSmart 66 is also the only one out of these two to come with preloaded maps in addition to giving you the option to add more maps.

The only other difference is that all versions of the Garmin DriveSmart 66 come with Amazon Alexa included. With the Garmin DriveSmart 65, you can choose between the cheaper non-Alexa version or the more expensive Alexa version.

You can also see how the DriveSmart 66 stacks up against the DriveSmart 76 and DriveSmart 86 with this comparison.

DriveSmart 65 vs DriveSmart 66 Comparison Chart

You can check out Seeking Tech’s comparison table for the DriveSmart 65 and 66 car navigators below.

 Garmin DriveSmart 65 GPS NavigatorGarmin DriveSmart 66 GPS Navigator with AlexaGarmin DriveSmart 66 GPS Navigator
What’s in the BoxGarmin DriveSmart 65 GPS Navigator

Vehicle suction cup mount

Traffic receiver

Vehicle power cable

USB cable

Documentation
Garmin DriveSmart 65 GPS Navigator with Amazon Alexa

Vehicle suction cup mount

Traffic receiver

Vehicle power cable

USB cable

Documentation
Garmin DriveSmart 66 GPS Navigator

Vehicle suction cup mount

Traffic receiver

Vehicle power cable

Documentation
Weight8.45 oz (or 239.6 g)8.45 oz (or 239.6 g)6.17 oz (or 175 g)
Dimensions6.8” Width x 3.9” Height x 0.7” Depth6.8” Width x 3.9” Height x 0.7” Depth6.0” Width x 3.4” Height x 0.7” Depth
Screen Size6.95" Diagonal

6.0" Width x 3.5" Height
6.95" Diagonal

6.0" Width x 3.5" Height
6" Diagonal

5.7" Width x 3.2" Height
Screen Resolution1024 x 600 pixels1024 x 600 pixels1280 x 720 pixels
Screen FeaturesGlass

Multi-touch

WSVGA color TFT with white backlight
Glass

Multi-touch

WSVGA color TFT with white backlight
Glass

Multi-touch

HD color TFT with backlight
Storage Features16 GB internal storage

microSD card slot expansion
16 GB internal storage

microSD card slot expansion
16 GB internal storage

microSD card slot expansion
Smartphone RequirementsAndroid or iOS

Bluetooth connection
Android or iOS

Bluetooth connection
Android or iOS

Bluetooth connection

Cellular data connection
Alexa FeaturesNoneAlexa Skills

Infotainment

Music

News

Smart Home

Time Management
Alexa Skills

Infotainment

Music

News

Smart Home

Time Management
Map Features3D buildings

3D terrain

Map updates
3D buildings

3D terrain

Map updates
3D buildings

3D terrain

Add new maps

Map updates

Preloaded street maps
Navigation FeaturesBluetooth calling

Driver alerts

Foursquare points of interest

Garmin Real Directions landmark guidance

Route shaping through preferred cities and streets

Lane assists with junction signs

Speed limit indicator

Traffic

TripAdvisor Traveler Ratings

Voice-activated navigation
Bluetooth calling

Driver alerts

Foursquare points of interest

Garmin Real Directions landmark guidance

Route shaping through preferred cities and streets

Lane assists with junction signs

Speed limit indicator

Traffic

TripAdvisor Traveler Ratings

Voice-activated navigation
Bluetooth calling

Driver alerts

Foursquare points of interest

Garmin Real Directions landmark guidance

Route shaping through preferred cities and streets

Lane assists with junction signs

Speed limit indicator

Traffic

TripAdvisor Traveler Ratings

Voice-activated navigation
Advanced FeaturesApp live services

Smart notifications via app

Wi-Fi map updates

Wi-Fi software updates
App live services

Smart notifications via app

Wi-Fi map updates

Wi-Fi software updates
App live services

Smart notifications via app

Wi-Fi map updates

Wi-Fi software updates
Compatible CamerasGarmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera

Garmin BC 40 Wireless Backup Camera
Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera

Garmin BC 40 Wireless Backup Camera
Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera

Garmin BC 40 Wireless Backup Camera
Battery TypeRechargeable lithium-ion batteryRechargeable lithium-ion batteryRechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery LifeUp to 1 hourUp to 1 hourUp to 1 hour
PricingCheck price on Amazon.Check price on Amazon.Check price on Amazon.

What’s in the Box

There are two versions available for the Garmin DriveSmart 65 as you can pick between the cheaper standalone version or the more expensive version that supports Amazon Alexa.

You can check out what’s included inside each new retail box for the DriveSmart 65 and DriveSmart 66 below:

Garmin DriveSmart 65:

Garmin DriveSmart 65 GPS Navigator

  • Vehicle suction cup mount
  • Traffic receiver
  • Vehicle power cable
  • USB cable
  • Documentation

Garmin DriveSmart 65 Alexa Edition:

  • Garmin DriveSmart 65 GPS Navigator with Amazon Alexa
  • Vehicle suction cup mount
  • Traffic receiver
  • Vehicle power cable
  • USB cable
  • Documentation

Garmin DriveSmart 66:

  • Garmin DriveSmart 66 GPS Navigator
  • Vehicle suction cup mount
  • Traffic receiver
  • Vehicle power cable
  • Documentation

Weight

The older 65 model of the DriveSmart is heavier than the newer release.

You can find the weight specifications below:

  • DriveSmart 65: 8.45 oz (or 239.6 g)
  • DriveSmart 66: 6.17 oz (or 175 g)

Dimensions

The DriveSmart 65 is also wider in width and taller in height than the DriveSmart 66.

You can take a look at the full measurements below:

  • DriveSmart 65: 6.8” Width x 3.9” Height x 0.7” Depth
  • DriveSmart 66: 6.0” Width x 3.4” Height x 0.7” Depth

Screen Size

When it comes to the screen size, the DriveSmart 65 offers a bigger display when compared to the competition:

DriveSmart 65:

  • 6.95″ Diagonal
  • 6.0″ Width x 3.5″ Height

DriveSmart 66:

  • 6″ Diagonal
  • 5.7″ Width x 3.2″ Height

Screen Resolution

On the other hand, the 66 version of DriveSmart has a higher resolution screen, which means that texts and images should look sharper with the newer model.

You can check out the pixel count for both screens below:

  • DriveSmart 65: 1024 x 600 pixels
  • DriveSmart 66: 1280 x 720 pixels

Screen Features

You can also find the screen features for both Garmin products below:

DriveSmart 65:

  • Glass
  • Multi-touch
  • WSVGA color TFT with white backlight

DriveSmart 66:

  • Glass
  • Multi-touch
  • HD color TFT with backlight

Storage Features

Both the 65 and 66 models come equipped with 16 GB of internal storage. You can also add more space through the expansion microSD card slot.

Smartphone Requirements

You should be able to connect your iPhone or Android phone to these navigators. Your smartphone must support Bluetooth as well as be connected to a cellular data to take advantage of all the features.

Alexa Features

The DriveSmart 66, as well as the Alexa version of the DriveSmart 65, can use Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant for the following:

  • Alexa Skills
  • Infotainment
  • Music
  • News
  • Smart Home
  • Time Management

The standalone version of the DriveSmart 65 does not come with any Alexa features.

Map Features

When it comes to map features, the Garmin added preloaded street maps and the ability to add new maps with the DriveSmart 66.

You can find the complete list of features for both vehicle navigators below:

DriveSmart 65:

  • 3D buildings
  • 3D terrain
  • Map updates

DriveSmart 66:

  • 3D buildings
  • 3D terrain
  • Add new maps
  • Map updates
  • Preloaded street maps

Navigation Features

The navigation features remain identical for the older DriveSmart 65 and newer DriveSmart 66, which you can find a full list of below:

  • Bluetooth calling
  • Driver alerts
  • Foursquare points of interest
  • Garmin Real Directions landmark guidance
  • Route shaping through preferred cities and streets
  • Lane assists with junction signs
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Traffic
  • TripAdvisor Traveler Ratings
  • Voice-activated navigation

Advanced Features

The following advanced features are also supported for these vehicle navigation devices:

  • Live app services
  • Smart app notifications
  • Wi-Fi map updates
  • Wi-Fi software updates

Compatible Cameras

Both the DriveSmart 65 and DriveSmart 66 are fully compatible with the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera and Garmin BC 40 Wireless Backup Camera.

Battery Type

The Garmin DriveSmart 65 and Garmin DriveSmart 66 are both equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Battery Life

When unplugged from a power source, these devices should last up to 1 hour.

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