With the TomTom XL LIVE, the Dutch direction maestro’s are trying to combine the best of both worlds. The latest version of TomTom’s widescreen satnav comes with a low-end price, but the high-end, up to the minute live services of the more costly GO range. A jack of all trades for sure, but is it a master of any too? Read our full TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition review and find out.
With its uber-stretchy 4.3-inch wide screen, the TomTom XL has long been our favourite map reading machine from the firm, and the LIVE IQ Routes edition is no different. With its small frame and thin bezel, it’s slim enough to slip in even Johnny Borrell’s skinny jeans, and that’s with the EasyPort windscreen sucker (An invention that ranks up there with Tetra Pak, velcro and the wheel) still on.
This time though, there are LIVE services bolted on too. That means Google searching for local information and petrol prices, but best of all, HD traffic. IQ Routes uses historical data to work out the best routes for the right time of day, but HD traffic scoops up information from millions of mobile phones around the country to calculate where the traffic hotspots are at that instant, as well as average road speeds. It’s an incredibly useful, unique feature, and one you’ll only drop due to the subcription price.
On the navigation front, little has changed. The usual TomTom ghost speed limit problem on motorways persists (The TomTom XL LIVE will frequently warn you of a 50mph limit when there isn’t one), but otherwise, you probably know by now how TomTom rolls: its mapping and routing are spot on, lane assist poifect, and the touchscreen easy to see and use.
If we have any grumbles, it’s that for the price you’re paying for the TomTom XL Live, plus a monthly £7.99 for LIVE access, you don’t get a few extra features thrown in. We don’t care for gimmicks like patchy Freeview reception, but Bluetooth syncing so you can route phone calls through the car stereo wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The price bump over the dinky TomTom One might put you off, but even if you’re heading out to far flung fields for a Christening just once this year, we still reckon the extra services in the TomTom XL Live are worth slapping down for. After all, you can always buy the LIVE services for just the months you know you’ll need them.