Home / Mobile / GPS & Sat Nav / TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition Europe 42

TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition Europe 42 review




  • Recommended by TR
TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition Europe 42


Our Score:


User Score:

In the last six months, TomTom has released arguably the most significant development in sat-nav for years - HD Traffic. But, knowing it's onto a good thing, TomTom also charges you an arm and a leg for devices such as the TomTom GO 540 LIVE, plus a monthly subscription.

A lot of people don't use their cars enough to justify the expense, making the budget end of the market much more sensible. Fortunately, TomTom is also moving some of its premium features down to its more keenly priced models, the One and XL. Both have been redesigned as well. We took a look at the new version of the XL with full European maps.

The most significant premium feature to be making its debut at the lower end is TomTom's IQ Routes system, which we first saw in the GO 930 Traffic. Traditionally, sat-navs have calculated their routes based on fairly dumb, static data - usually either the shortest distance or the speed limit on the roads in question. So, with the latter setting, motorways will be favoured over local roads.

But there are major issues with either method. As anyone who lives in a city will attest, heavy traffic often means you don't travel at anywhere near the speed limit on many urban roads. And, if your shortest route takes you down country lanes where it's only safe to do 10mph, your journey could end up taking hours longer than expected.

TomTom's IQ Routes takes a more savvy approach. Instead of using the speed limit for calculation, it uses historical data for the average speeds vehicles have actually travelled at on given roads. Even better, the latest version even takes into account the day of the week and time of day. So a weekend route will be entirely different to one calculated for weekday rush hour.

For example, rather than sending us down the A406 from the A40 to reach the M4 heading out of London, during rush hour IQ Routes instead directed us to the A312, which is historically less frequently jammed at this time of day. This is the route most Heathrow taxi drivers will take, too. In general, we found IQ Routes calculated much more sensible options most of the time, although of course it couldn't cope with incidental traffic holdups. It also lacks data for roads which are used very infrequently, such as rural farm lanes.

Paul M

January 17, 2010, 2:55 am

I bought one of these to replace a stolen Go500, and it's pretty good, the speaker is loud and clear, the display quite high res, and the GPS receiver quite a bit better than the Go500.

I think widescreen/landscape mode is silly, as what you really want is portrait mode so that you see as far ahead as possible. Anyway, you can set the status bar to be vertical instead of horizontal (all TomToms will do this AFAIK) which makes it much better.

I bought mine with a second Arkon mount and that works well in wife's Peugeot 307 whose gently sloping window means it'd be too far away.

One thing I don't like compared with the Go500 is that the former's car mount had a dock connector so you simply plonked the Go on, this IQ XL's port is solely a USB for power so you have to connect the cable and then put it on the mount.

I wouldn't make sufficient use of the tomtom traffic mode to make it worth while, so the lack of bluetooth and live updates on the road aren't an issue, but if I needed it every day I'd ensure I bought one with bluetooth feature for that. I am wondering whether someone at www.opentom.org has found a way to hack it to add one.

Overall I'd say it's good value for money, is very useable, but not ideal for the everyday user unless you don't venture into areas where getting stuck in traffic is a common problem.


September 16, 2010, 6:51 pm

I bought the XL IQ2 at the end of may and did a journey Dublin to Rome, it went, I've done this journey many times, and never needed a GPS, The only reason I purchased it was for the safety cameras, and there WAS a feature called ADD SAFETY CAMERA REPORTS, BUT TOM TOM removed this feature without telling me, when I connect mt tom tom to the computer to update the speed camera, It cost me over 󌍎 to contact them on a premiun line and running to the shop where I bought it. TOM TOM or any other GPS maker can not up date fast enough, and have no local knowledge where police check are. On 1 stretch of road over 200km in Italy there are 16 new cameras, and a host of new spots where the police wait with speed cameras of all sorts. My advice to anyone who buys a XL IQ2 is to email tom tom and complain, if you don't update and lose that feature, you can not update speed cameras. I have had many types of GPS, TOM TOM'S service was terrible and costly.

Nick J

January 18, 2011, 4:37 pm

Can anyone help please? I recently bought a Tomtom XL IQ2, and was keen to use the IQ function. The manual is very basic. How do I use this function?

comments powered by Disqus