It’s not all negative, though. I rarely come across a completely awful product and to give you the impression that the Lucca is irredeemably bad would be wrong. There’s plenty about it that works well. The voice prompts, for instance, are timely and logical. They’re linked together when necessary and the maps are clear too, if a little on the functional side. The visual experience is enhanced further by a lack of on-screen clutter. Routes are calculated quickly and when you stray off course, recalculation is speedy too. The way branded POIs such as Texaco, Jet or McDonalds pop up with their own logos as you drive past, makes them very easy to spot.
The trip management functions work well, and there are plenty of ways to mark waypoints on your route, including a decent map browse mode that you can use to pinpoint roads you want to travel down. You don’t get Bluetooth, but there is a built in TMC module with one of those unsightly stringy aerials to drape across your dashboard, and full street level maps of Europe are included – though annoyingly you have to install the European maps to an SD card (not included) if you want to drive abroad. Finally, the Lucca is equipped with an MP3 player facility, and it even has a proper 3.5mm output for connecting your headphones.
Unfortunately, there’s no getting past the irritation factor of the TravelPilot Lucca 3.5. While it has its moments, these are vastly outnumbered by annoyances in almost every department imaginable. And at £230 it’s pretty expensive too. It’ll get you to your final destination, but it won’t do so without completely driving you round the bend first; and when you’re driving, that’s the last thing you want from a device that ought to be helping, not hindering you.
Score in detail