- LIVE services including HD Traffic
- Top Gear additions add fun for Clarkson fans
- Solid sat-nav feature set
- Clarkson comments will only be funny for a while
- Top Gear POIs and car icons limited
- £30 premium over standard GO LIVE 820
Review Price £179.99
Top Gear is without question the most popular TV car show in the UK, and some would say even in the world. On the other hand, TomTom is the market-leading brand of in-car sat-nav devices in the UK and Europe. So it seems almost appropriate that the two would come together at some point. Well, now they have, in the shape of the TomTom Top Gear Edition, which takes a mid-range TomTom device and adds Top Gear touches, mostly for added entertainment.
You would be forgiven for being uncertain which TomTom device this is by looking at the box, however. The packaging maxes out on the Stig and Top Gear branding, but hides the TomTom model number being used as host rather effectively. In fact, the device in question is a TomTom GO LIVE 820, which sits in the middle of the range, packaging some of the key features of the premium models in a chassis derived from the budget end of TomTom's selection. But even though the precise underlying model has been buried in the packaging, one thing's for certain - it's called the Top Gear Edition.
As you might have guessed, this essentially means a hefty helping of Jeremy Clarkson's voice has been added. If you find him woefully irritating, you should stop reading now, as this device is not for you. James May and "The Hamster" are not heavily involved. Assuming you do appreciate Mr Clarkson's brand of humour, his verbal commands and comments can be genuinely funny, at least the first few times you hear them. We particularly like his quip about toll charges being "paying for a road you've already paid for through your taxes", and his admonition that you've "cocked up" when a U-turn is required.
However, Clarkson mannerisms have been added liberally, and the regular "Umms" and "Hang-on, hang-ons" before every turning can get a bit wearing after a while. We also found particularly bizarre the way he said "then" after some directions, even when there was no secondary direction following the first. So we suspect there will be a time when the amusement of Clarkson-isms fades, and then you have the option of switching to "Stig mode". This is actually just a silent voice profile, although we feel it would have been most accurate if it randomly played Abba or Vuvezelas, rather than nothing at all.