When the iQ arrived at the TrustedReviews car park, I wasn’t really expecting too much from the in-built satellite navigation system. After all, the Porsche Cayman that we looked at recently still couldn’t manage that most basic of desirable features – seven digit postcode support – and that car cost the best part of £50,000. In fact, even the system in the £81,930 Lexus LS600h couldn’t handle a full seven digit postcode, making it all the more impressive that the iQ can navigate directly to a full postcode without blinking an eye (or should that be headlight?).
At first I didn’t think that the iQ could manage a full postcode, since it wouldn’t allow me to input more than four digits. However, adding a space after the fourth digit allowed me to enter the rest of the postcode, thus enabling direct navigation without the need for street names or house numbers. It’s about time that full seven digit postcode support became the norm on factory fitted sat-nav systems, considering that sub-£100 after market units offer the feature. Hopefully the system in the iQ is a sign of things to come.
Seven digit postcode support isn’t the only thing that the iQ’s sat-nav has going for it though. You also get a 6.5in colour touch-screen, which is another step up from many systems we’ve seen in far more expensive cars. Also, despite being touch sensitive, the screen is still very bright and vibrant, while also being viewable from pretty much anywhere in the car – okay, so it’s not like there’s enough space inside to make the angle too acute anyway.
Entering your destination is a breeze using the touch-screen, and if you’re using a postcode it will only take a few seconds to get your route calculated. Like other sat-nav systems I’ve looked at recently, the iQ can be configured to return three different routes to your destination – one will be the quickest, one will be the shortest, and the third will be, well, different.
You get a basic TMC traffic avoidance system built in, but nothing as advanced as the Live services offered by the latest TomTom products. You might be thinking that you wouldn’t want to pay a subscription for real time traffic information, but if you’ve ever used one of TomTom’s Live products you’d probably change your mind. Either way, no other in-car system sports such a feature yet, so I’m not going to criticise Toyota for not offering it.
Very good as this system is though, there are a few issues that take some of that shine away. First up, the system has something of a nationality crisis when it comes to points of interest. I decided to list tourist attractions close to me, fully expecting to receive options like Ascot Racecourse and Windsor Castle, but the results I was actually given were slightly confusing. OK, so Windsor Castle was listed, but it was listed three times as “Castello De Windsor”, once as Chateau De Windsor and then finally as Windsor Castle. Slightly odd, but hardly a deal breaker.
The system also only supports 2D maps, or if it does support 3D maps I couldn’t find an easy way to switch over to them. Again, that’s not a big issue for me, since I prefer top-down 2D maps anyway. And while I’m on the subject of maps, they reside on an SD card, which means that if you wanted to play music from an SD card, you wouldn’t be able to use the sat-nav.
But despite those niggles, this is a superb factory fit satellite navigation system, and even at a price of £930, I think I’d be tempted to tick the option box.