My first gripe with the Route 66 is the lack of more detailed audible feedback. The basics are there, but instructions are often vague and lack the greater detail of Medion's GoPal Navigator software.
Consequently it's necessary to glance at the main unit more often for information, which is both dangerous and not necessarily informative. Most of the visual information is arranged as part of one black bar running along the bottom of the screen, with speed and junction information all squeezed in. It's not a very attractive formation, nor is it a very clear one and it takes a good while to get used to finding the information you need quickly.
One neat addition while on motorways is a small graphic that appears to show you which lane you need to be in, though it won't show precisely which lane you need when there are several to choose from. Moreover, this again requires you to look away from the road to check and I'd rather have better audible instructions so one can make judgements based on what's ahead of you, rather than what's on the screen.
It's a problem that was touched upon in Sandra's Get SatNav â€“ Drive Safer column, and the Chicago 6000 definitely falls into the category of a GPS system that doesn't make driving safer, despite the aforementioned speed warning system.
It's a fact not aided by the rather ponderous POI system. As with any worthwhile sat nav these days, the Chicago 6000 features a POI database alerting you of attractions and services. Unfortunately configuring the system to alert you of specific items is a complete chore, requiring you to sift through a massive list of items, many of which will be of little interest to anyone. Why, for example, should one need to know about a nearby high-rise building?
Another annoying facet of the POI alarm system is if you want to be warned of changes in speed limit, or speed cameras, you must select each change of limit individually. Why not just a blanket warning, or at least the option of one? It's obvious that a lack of thought has gone into designing the interface, consequently wasting the extra screen space provided by the 4.3in display.
A good illustration of this is the menu confirmation buttons, situated at the bottom right corner of menu screens - they are just slightly too small to be easily pressed using your finger. There's no real need for them to be that small, and it's a simple oversight that could've been easily avoided.
Though the Route 66 Chicago 6000 may be cheap, value is only relative to performance and in a competitive market there's little that stands out.