My test for Lane Assistant Pro is the A406 junction with the M11 in north east London: as you travel clockwise around the A406, to get onto the M11 you first have to avoid taking the dual carriageway slip road, but then – almost immediately after, you need to keep to the left of the remaining three lanes – a test most sat-navs fail dismally. They often tell you to keep right, then deliver the following keep left turn instruction either too late or too early to be useful. The Navigon, however, passed with flying colours, simply indicating I needed to stick to the middle lane out of five. I was so impressed I’d even go so far as to say it beats TomTom’s lane assistance feature, which is highly impressive in its own right but doesn’t quite offer the same level of detail.
Navigon retains the same Reality View it had last time too, though this is slightly less useful. As you approach motorway junctions, it pops up a detailed, ‘realistic’ 3D view, complete with signs and road markings of the junctions you’re about to negotiate.
Another area where Navigon has TomTom beat is in the appearance of its maps. Where TomTom’s are basic and functional in the extreme and haven’t been changed in years, they look drop-dead gorgeous on the 2110 Max’s bright, clear 4.3in widescreen. All the lines and roads are anti-aliased, the route is clearly marked with a bright yellow arrow, and the next turn icon is among the best around, incorporating a realistic view of the next junction as well as an indication of how far away it is. POIs are particularly clearly indicated, complete with branded logos and swanky drop-shadows. And the moving map updates beautifully smoothly too, which helps keep it in sync with your position, even in the tightest of urban streets.
There’s integrated TMC, which means no more unsightly wires to drape around the windscreen – a much more elegant method than the TomTom XL Traffic’s wires. The signal can also be boosted by the antenna integrated in the car charger, and though the usefulness of the FM-transmitted TMC information can be hit and miss, it works well here, picking up a signal reliably and offering all the usual choices in routing – automatic avoidance or prompted.