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TomTom Start 20 - Navigation and Verdict

By James Morris



Our Score:


The general navigational experience is classic TomTom. The map shows your route as a red line, with the bottom of the screen taken up by a bar of information including current speed and speed limit, details of your next turning, and ETA plus remaining journey time. TomTom has also included widgets, once only available in its premium models. Advanced Lane Guidance is present, providing full-screen graphics at some junctions showing the carriageways to be in and signposts to look out for, and helpful schematics in the bottom bar at other junctions.

TomTom Start 20 1

Spoken commands include full street names, helping you navigate without looking at the sat-nav screen. As you approach your destination, the Parking Assist function will ask if you want to find a nearby car park, allowing you to call up a list from the POI database and switch navigation to one of them. This broadly parallels the Clever Parking facility provided by Navigon in devices such as the Navigon 40 Premium.


TomTom's Start 20 still isn't the most keenly priced sat-nav on the market. But street prices for the UK-only model have already fallen below £100, with the European version £10-20 more expensive. Whilst you can get Mio's 5in Spirit 685 for the same as this, with RDS-TMC traffic already enabled, the latter lacks full UK postcode entry, which can be extremely useful. So the Start 20 isn't the absolute pinnacle of sat-nav value, but it does bring yet more of TomTom's premium features down to an even more affordable level.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 9


July 13, 2011, 4:49 pm

Nice review :)

What's the cheapest TomTom with integrated RDS-TMC?

Dave Hughes

September 22, 2011, 2:56 am

Crap machine - why? - the mounting bracket is only about 0.5" in length which means that it has to be mounted either close to the top of the windscreen or too far away at the bottom. It is impossible to mount this on any side window as far the mounting bracket is too short. Not everyone wants this at "above eye level" when driving as removing your eyes from the road can be dangerous. Similarly on cars with raked windscreens - Picasso - it simply is a non starter. Does it work - don't know - didn't even get to that stage.

Dave Hughes

October 9, 2011, 4:33 pm

In order to get this to fix on my Picasso I have been forced to buy a Tom Tom goose neck mount - to give stability - not that stable - falls off the windscreen at every available opportunity - £25 worth. Tom Tom customer services poor and totally useless. The Start 20 cannot at this time accept any "new" voices though T/T say they are working on it. Overall the T/Tom is OK but be aware that there are hidden costs involved in mounting on certain vehicles. I have recently updated my maps and to date I am not certain whether some local roads that have been with us for 2+ years are included on this. Time will tell. My old el cheapo sat nav (£45 - a few years ago) did all this and had they still be available I would have bought another. Don't know if I'd buy another Tom Tom - certainly not based on their customer services.


February 3, 2012, 7:04 pm

Beware! Although this unit has an SD card slot, it is not enabled. TomTom have been promising a software release since summer 2011 to make it functional but as of today it has still not been done. Withiout the functionality of the SD card slot you will not be able to use SD cards. As the maps of some countries are too large to fit on this device 's internal memory you would need SD card functionality as additional storage. The Europe version does have bigger internal memory than the UK&I version but you would still have to remove the pre-installed maps to fit some other countries' maps onto the internal memory. I was dissapointed to learn all this after I had bought the device as I will not be able to use it in the USA. Garmin's apparently do have their SD card slots functioning so I wish I'd bought a Garmin instead.

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