TomTom Start review

Nice and easy does it with this new entry-level sat nav

TomTom Start main menu
The TomTom Start's home screen is simple and to the point

TechRadar Verdict

If you're new to sat nav this entry-level TomTom is a great place to Start. Just don't expect too much of it, eh?


  • +

    Stripped back interface is a joy to use

  • +

    Gives you all the basics including UK and Ireland maps, speed camera alerts and IQ routes for smarter route mapping


  • -

    Could be too basic for some

  • -

    Can get confused in busy cities

  • -

    Ongoing costs of map upgrades, alternative maps, safety alerts, and so on

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

It's Saturday, the city is choked with traffic and you're in a hurry. There are juggernauts to the left of you. Cars full of shoppers to the right. You're queuing in the middle lane and there are four sets of traffic lights, two speed cameras and a coach full of gurning kids in front of you. Oh for the freedom of the open road.

You'll get there. And soon.

Stuck to your windscreen is the new TomTom Start sat nav - a back-to-basics sat nav that's blessed with all the features you actually need and very few you don't. A grin spreads across your face. You're actually starting to enjoy yourself.

As you negotiate the roundabout you think back to how your journey started.

TomTom unboxing

COMPACT DEVICE: The TomTom Start is small, slim and very square

Straight out of the box, the TomTom Start put you in a good mood. It's slim, small, with a 4:3 colour screen and a great new windscreen mount that's easy to attach and keeps your sat nav secure.

Start in-use

OOPS: The road's empty now. But that's because all the cars roared off leaving us still taking pictures. The man behind wasn't best pleased!

On the back of the TomTom Start you find a grey recessed power button and underneath a USB port that not only recharges the built-in battery when you plug the supplied 12v adaptor in the cigarette lighter in your car, but also lets you sync the TomTom Start with the TomTom Home app on your Mac or PC.

Simple touchscreen

We said it was simple, and it is. The TomTom Start's home screen presents just two main options - Plan Route and Browse Map.

Start home screen

TAKE ME HOME: The TomTom Start's home screen is simple and to the point

You hit the touchscreen and pick your route: type in the city, then the postcode, a physical address or a Point Of Interest (POI).

Start navigation

CLEVER SIMPLICITY: Finding your way from A to B couldn't be simpler

By the time you've done that, the TomTom Start has already locked on to the network of GPS satellites whooshing around the planet above your head. Which means you're very nearly good to go.

Well, in the UK and Ireland at any rate. Because this is an entry-level sat nav, you don't get any of the overseas maps found on other higher end models from TomTom.

You do have the option of buying them via TomTom Home though, which is handy if you fancy a driving holiday abroad.