TomTom was the first sat-nav manufacturer to provide full seven digit postcode support, so it comes as no surprise to find that the system in this Clio offers that feature. Although I have seen a few other factory fit systems with seven digit postcode support, it’s still a relatively rare feature, despite it being such an obviously useful one.
The Carminat TomTom also comes equipped with a database of speed camera locations, so you’ll get a warning whenever you’re approaching such a device by the roadside. You can specify how early you want the warning to come and also the audio alert that’s played. Considering the proliferation of these, so called, safety cameras (although they rarely seem to be on dangerous roads, only long, straight ones), this is definitely a feature worth having.
Like modern aftermarket TomToms, the system in the Clio GT has a wide range of voices in multiple languages. It also features computer generated voices, which bring an array of extra functionality to the party. Okay, so the computer generated voices sound a little, well, computer generated, but the benefits they offer far outweigh the unusual intonations and pronunciations. When using real voices, the system can only playback what has been recorded, and the amount of words recorded will always be limited. However, with the computer generated voices, the system can playback any word, including every street name on every map in the system and every point of interest in the database. You can even have traffic reports read out to you rather than having to read them on screen.
I’m sure that some users will still prefer the sound of a real voice, and whichever option you choose you’ll find that the vocal instructions are excellent. All instructions are clear and made in a timely fashion, ensuring that you don’t miss a turning or take the wrong exit off a roundabout. One thing that is conspicuous by its absence though, is any form of visual instruction in a dash mounted display, but that might be a bit too much to ask from a Clio.
There’s a good points of interest database, although there are a few issues with it. I set it the task of finding a Tesco supermarket near my location, but it managed to find none. However, it did tell me that there was an Abbey National located at a Tesco that was near by – basically it was telling me that there was an Abbey ATM at the local Tesco, which, in essence, told me where the Tesco was. Not particularly straightforward, but most of the information you might want is in there, you’ll just have to think creatively to get to it!
Another feature worth mentioning is the Help Me section. Here you’ll find emergency phone numbers and locations for things like Police, Hospitals, Dentists, Doctors, garages etc. You might question how often you will need this stuff, but on the one occasion that you do need it, you’ll be very glad that it was there.
Finally, I have to mention the fact that you can configure the icon for your current position on the map to be whichever Renault you happen to be driving – assuming you’re using 3D maps. Of course I doubt that you can really get a Renault F1 car with this sat-nav system in it, but it’s a good bit of fun nonetheless.