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TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition Sat-Nav - TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition

By James Morris



Our Score:


As with the most recent TomTom XL release before this, the XL LIVE also incorporates IQ Routes. So instead of using the speed limit or distance alone to calculate the optimum route, it will take into account real average road speeds at particular times of day. If a route is always jammed during rush hour, IQ Routes may calculate a quicker option via less frequented streets when travelling at that time.

The XL LIVE also incorporates Advanced Lane Guidance, TomTom's take on the now-ubiquitous full-screen graphic which makes sure you know which carriageway to be in at a complex motorway junction. This pops up in plenty of time to avoid the mad scramble across from the fast lane when you realise your turning is rapidly approaching.

The overall interface follows TomTom's standard design, and hasn't changed significantly for a few generations, although the menus have been streamlined for recent iterations. The map takes the lion's share of the screen, with a bar along the bottom providing pretty much every piece of information about your journey you could want. The plain presentation of this bar makes the morass of details feel rather opaque at first, but it's extremely handy when you get used to it. The traffic bar down the side is similarly functional.

So the XL LIVE lacks none of the important innovations which have made the last couple of GO generations the best all-round sat-navs on the market. But there are a few things missing. Gone is the excellent voice activation system, which allowed you to control most aspects of the GO LIVE verbally, after just an initial finger press to kick off the process. There is also no Bluetooth connectivity or FM radio transmitter built in. Of all these omissions, Bluetooth will probably be the most sorely rued, as this means you can't hook the XL LIVE up to your mobile phone and use it as an in-car hands-free kit.


It's great to see LIVE already filtering down to less pricey members of TomTom's sat-nav range. But with the subscription costing the same this isn't yet LIVE for the masses. We can't really criticise TomTom for wanting to maximise its income and not annoy those who have already purchased a GO LIVE. Nevertheless, this does dilute the XL LIVE's argument somewhat. On the one hand, it's £100 cheaper than the equivalent GO LIVE with full European maps (the 740). But the identical monthly fees mean this isn't quite the value proposition it seems, even if it is still a great sat-nav device.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Features 9
  • Design 8


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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