xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

The best TomTom GPS system

Before leaving on a long trip, verify that your TomTom unit is charging properly. The last thing you want when you’re on the road is a power loss on your GPS system.
Before leaving on a long trip, verify that your TomTom unit is charging properly. The last thing you want when you’re on the road is a power loss on your GPS system.(BestReviews)

GPS systems have come a long way in the past 20 years. Though it's possible to use the GPS on your smartphone while driving, it's not always as convenient as using a TomTom GPS system. Not only are TomTom GPS systems designed to give you the best possible route, but also calls on your cell phone won't interrupt your directions the way they do on a smartphone GPS app. With a TomTom, you get the best of both worlds.

If you're in the market for a new TomTom GPS system, you're in the right place -- our useful buying guide can help you pick the perfect unit. We even included reviews of a few favorites at the end. Our top pick, TomTom GO COMFORT 6, is a great all-around unit made even more convenient by WiFi connectivity.

Advertisement

Considerations when choosing TomTom GPS systems

Functionality

Basic functionality is the most important thing to consider when choosing a TomTom GPS system. While some people want all the fancy "bells and whistles" on their GPS unit, others prefer a straightforward, easy-to-use interface. Assess what you want to get out of your TomTom unit before making your final choice.

Screen size

The most popular TomTom screen sizes are 4.3 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches. Consider whether you prefer to have the biggest viewing area possible or if dashboard space is more important to you.

Maps

Keep in mind that not all TomTom GPS systems include worldwide map sets. The majority include U.S., Canada, and Mexico maps. If you plan to use your TomTom in other places around the world, opt for a model that includes worldwide maps. TomTom units all currently come with lifetime map updates, so you don't need to pay an additional subscription fee for them.

Mount

Advertisement

Your car model and your preferred line of sight dictate where you mount your TomTom system. Make sure the model you want to purchase will fit comfortably in the area you've designated. Some come with an active magnetic mount, and others utilize a suction cup mount.

Features

Smartphone connectivity

While smartphones might not be the best primary tool for GPS navigation, they can be a great supplement to your TomTom unit. If you want this benefit, purchase a TomTom that includes Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. Most higher-end TomTom units include this feature. Once connected, you can use Siri and Google Now through your TomTom unit. You can also utilize the MyDrive app to control some of the aspects of your TomTom right from your phone.

Voice commands

A few TomTom models incorporate a voice command feature. Though not always the most accurate, this hands-free feature can be a lifesaver when you want to stay focused on the road ahead.

Advertisement

TomTom Traffic

Some TomTom units include TomTom Traffic, a real-time traffic feature that can help you avoid those nasty traffic jams on your way to wherever you're headed. This is a major upgrade from original TomTom units, which only offer directions.

Price

Most TomTom GPS systems cost between $100 and $250. For $100, TomTom units are basic models that usually only include North American maps. For $20, you can find models that may include a larger screen and TomTom Traffic. If you spend $250, you should be able to get a top-of-the-line TomTom GPS system with lifetime worldwide map updates.

FAQ

Q. Will a TomTom GPS system drain the battery on my car?

A. Not if you're using it correctly. TomTom units only use a little bit of battery power, and they shouldn't drain any electrical power from the vehicle when not in use.

Q. Does my TomTom need to connect to my smartphone in order to work?

A. No. Although many TomTom GPS units include smartphone connectivity, they work just fine without it. Your TomTom should include everything you need for basic GPS functions.

TomTom GPS systems we recommend

Best of the best: TomTom GO COMFORT 6

Our take: One of the best all-around TomToms available.

What we like: Largest screen available, free traffic updates for life, free world maps for life.

What we dislike: TomTom Traffic can be hard to access on this model.

Best bang for your buck: TomTom VIA 1525TM

Our take: Many of the best features of premium models for a more affordable price.

What we like: TomTom Traffic feature. Easy-to-see five-inch screen.

What we dislike: Only includes North American maps, no world maps.

Choice 3: TomTom GO 620

Our take: A great all-around TomTom model.

What we like: Easy smartphone connectivity. Worldwide lifetime maps. Largest available TomTom screen at six inches.

What we dislike: Similar to other models with TomTom Traffic, the feature can be difficult to access.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement