The best aspect about the Garmin Nuvi 3597 is, without a doubt, the quality of its build and design. The unit itself has a 5-inch display screen, but it's wrapped in a metal shell that's evocative of the best high-end smartphone or tablet designs.
In a market that's obsessed with cheaper plastic cases and lowest-common-denominator thinking, the Nuvi 3597 really stands out. There's a lot of attention to detail, from the rounded power button at the back to the very secure magnetic latch that also houses the charging port. The screen mount uses a solid ball-and-socket design, and it's nicely minimalistic, which leaves you looking mostly at the pleasant design of the Nuvi 3597 itself.
Aside from cool factor, the real benefit of the Nuvi 3597's magnetic clasp is that it makes docking to the display screen a breeze. It really does snap into place, even with really lazy orientation work on your part.
Garmin's UI design is also nicely simplistic, which means it's very easy to learn. Like the much cheaper Nuvi 52, you're essentially just looking at a display that asks you where you want to go or offers you a plain map view if you don't actually need specific directions. It's refreshingly simple, although that does mean that in some respects it's not quite as seamlessly powerful as competing options.
Garmin sources its map data via Navteq — for some reason the branding remains Navteq despite Nokia rebranding that particular division as HERE some time back — with, as you'd expect in this day and age, lifetime map updates. We're yet to see a conclusive tilt towards either HERE or Sensis' map data as being "better" across all of Australia; there are still gaps in the road knowledge of either provider.
The Nuvi 3597 tracked our on-road progress well, although like the Nuvi 52, the default view shows very few side roads. That may sound fine in theory, but if you get diverted or change course of your own volition, it can take several seconds for the map to load in.