Entering a destination offers the usual range of options, with the ability to enter an address via the traditional city-street-house number sequence or via postcode, although you can’t search for a keyword here so will need to know which town a street is in. The Points Of Interest (POI) database does let you search by name, or you can use the traditional method of drilling down by category. You can also save a Home location and list of Favourites, as well as navigating to a point on the map, entering latitude and longitude coordinates, and your last known location. This usually means where you turned the device off, so can help you find where you parked your car and headed off on foot. You can also plan a route with multiple destinations.
The Start 20 offers a comprehensive range of routing options, including the usual fastest and shortest, plus walking and bicycle options and TomTom’s assessment of the most economical. The IQ Routes system is used for calculating, although you can turn this off if you want a less accurate idea of your journey time! For those who are not familiar with IQ Routes, this uses a database of historic traffic speeds, which also takes into account the time of day and day of week. So, barring unusual incidents or roadworks, the estimate of journey time should be much more realistic when enabled. We’ve tested IQ Routes-based sat-navs for a few years now, and can confirm that it’s usually very close to correct, unless you drive noticeably faster or quicker than the average person.
The Start 20 is ready to receive traffic updates via RDS-TMC. You need to buy the receiver, which comes with a lifetime subscription, to activate this. This will set you back £49.99, which does start to push the price of the Start 20 perilously close to higher-end TomTom models. There’s the facility to report safety camera locations and make a note of any errors in the map via the Map Corrections system, although this information will only be uploaded to TomTom when you next connect the device to a PC running the Home desktop management software, unlike TomTom’s mobile data-connected LIVE devices. You can make entering this infomration easier by placing an icon onscreen for direct access, using the Make your own menu system, which can also be configured with options like nearby car parks and taking you directly to postcode entry. If you add more than one option here, however, the onscreen button takes you to a submenu containing your choices, which isn’t quite so convenient.