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TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition Sat-Nav review



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When we first took a look at TomTom's LIVE system in the shape of the GO 540, we could see it was a huge leap forward in sat-nav technology. Although further testing has shown that it's not completely perfect, we still think this is the most significant development for some years. However, LIVE has remained a premium feature, requiring a monthly subscription and is only available in top-of-the-range devices. So now TomTom has decided to give LIVE slightly more mass appeal by offering it in a lower-end model, the new XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition.

At first glance, the XL LIVE looks similar to its higher-end GO cousin. It sports a 4.3in widescreen and has the same general interface. However, the differences are obvious as soon as you try to mount the XL in your car. Instead of the streamlined Active Dock screen attachment now offered with the latest GO LIVE range, the XL keeps the Easyport of the XL and ONE.

This makes the whole unit simpler to move from car to car, as the mount can be left attached. But the device isn't that easy to detach and reattach to this mount, and you have to plug in the USB connection for the car power adapter first as well.

Fortunately, the core LIVE features remain unchanged. The main benefit is HD Traffic, which goes far beyond the capabilities of the usual RDS-TMC traffic services offered by other manufacturers. You can read exactly how this works in our recent article on HD Traffic, but in a nutshell it offers updates on more roads than services based on TrafficMaster camera information, and these are more frequent as they're delivered via mobile data link every three minutes rather than over an FM radio signal every 15 minutes.

In our long-term testing, we have found HD Traffic much more effective at avoiding nasty jams than anything which went before, although you still need to second-guess suggestions from time to time, as we explained in our detailed feature on the subject.

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July 7, 2009, 5:25 pm

just bout a tomtom one iq mainly based on your review. i blame you for much of the fortune i spend on tech! ;-)

James Morris

July 10, 2009, 11:30 pm

I'm most honoured to deserve that blame! Hope you like the TomTom.


July 12, 2009, 1:53 pm

Had one of these for over a week now, initially worked great but suddenly the system kept rebooting. Now the HD traffic comes up with TomTom server error unable to establish a connection. All updates have been done and rest numerous times without avail. Looks like it’s heading back to the manufacturer as faulty. During the period it was working it was great, just unlucky… who knows, time will tell.

James Morris

July 13, 2009, 6:18 pm

@tonyk Sorry to hear that. I think it must be a faulty unit, as I've had a number of HD Traffic-enabled TomToms over the last six months and, whilst they've occasionally taken longer than expected to download traffic updates from the server (usually during rubbish weather), the problem has always fixed itself after a few minutes.


August 29, 2009, 5:21 pm

It seems that the price of the TomTom GO 540 LIVE has dropped so that it is almost the same as the XL LIVE.

Given that the 540 has the voice commands and bluetooth, I wonder whether it might be a better buy now.

On the other hand, the 540 doesn't seem to have the Active Lane Guidance, which I think I would find very useful.

Not sure whether I would use the LIVE service after the trial period, but I think I might and would like to keep the option.

Just wondered if anybody had any thoughts on this.



November 28, 2009, 4:57 pm

All right we know TomTom can make the actual Satnav unit. When will they create an updated version of TonTom Home for Mac Snow Leopard


September 14, 2011, 1:11 pm

This model is beyond a joke, I upgraded from a 520 XL to this model thinking that Tomtom had finally got a traffic update system that worked - yes I actually believed the Radio adverts... Big mistake. I was continually driving home along the M11 to join the M25 only to find the junction closed due to the roadworks that was widening the M25 to 4 lanes, after the first night it was actually displayed on the big traffic report screens so I was able to divert my route - it was NEVER reported via the HQ live system - I even sent Tomtom UK an email telling them and the fault still remains. Their adverts tell you that you can avoid the traffic before you are in it - believe at your peril....

Processor is so slow that by the time it works out your route, it has to replan again due to you having moved so far from your original location. My old 520 Xl which I still have knocks spots of this one, it even has an MP3 player which this updated version does not. If it was for the dodgy windscreen mount I'd go back to using it again, as it is I have bought a Tomtom Go from a buddy and use this - this processor is so much faster and it just works so much better...

I have to be honest and say the only things I like about it are the windscreen mount and the speed it gets a signal - havent told the wife yet as I know she will blow a fuse as she bought it as a birthday present at great cost.

Why do you have to buy your own case for the Sat-nav when you've just paid £200 for it....If ebay can sell cases for less than £5 then why cannot Tomtom supply you with one like they used to when the early 300,500,700 & 900 models came out..

I have always used Tomtoms, sadly now due to this escapde I have 3 of which I use the oldest - the Tomtom Go, this has resulted in me having to create a Hotmail account as you can only register 1 device to 1 email address - what is that all about.....

I have never found a better excuse to buy a Garmin and that is saying something from someone who has bought Tomtom since they first started up.....

Very Disappointed

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