TomTom ONE XL GPS Navigator Reviews

According to Cnet UK Review the TomTom ONE XL GPS Navigator powers on within 30 seconds and is able to lock on to the weakest signal.

They find the screen bright, sharp and colourful. The touchscreen interface is fast, clear and intuitive and the 3D maps are very easy to manipulate, although they would have prefered a more zoomed-out view by default.


Search is very simple and its comprehensive full-postcode database is able to recognise all but the trickiest test addresses.

Route calculation and route management is swift and excellent. The routes can be reviewed as a text list, images of key junctions or a fly-through. Waypoints or rest stops can be added easily.

Navigation is clearly shown and crisply spoken with destination road names. The way TomTom ONE XL re-calculates after missed turns impresses Cnet Review.

According to Cnet it’s in the extra features that TomTom really shines:

  • The Home software for online updates and scenic route downloads
  • The ability to browse a map, with fingertip zooming, when you suddenly hit a traffic jam
  • The simplicity of setting it up for left-handed use, or with the screen upside down for more flexible in-car mounting.
  • There are animated guided tours of all key functions.
  • By using a Bluetooth mobile phone the TomTom Plus service reads text messages out loud, gives weather forecasts and locates your friends who have TomTom GPS navigators.

Cnet Review finds annoying the display of a destination road-name in the top-right corner of the screen.

Equally annoying is the fact that you have to pay for every little extra. To get traffic info the purchase of a TMC radio receiver and a traffic subscription are required. If you use your cellphone instead you need to pay for the subscription for its service.

They also advised in deselecting the feature which adjusts the loudness of the spoken volume according to the speed. When stationary it becomes barely audible.

Battery life is very short – 2 hours only, making it almost impractical to be used outside the vehicle.

Cnet conclusion is that TomTom ONE XL is designed purely for navigation purposes (no MP3, Video player, picture viewer) and works intuitively and reliably with a lot of flexibility and customisation. It handles route planning and navigation very well. based its review of TomTom ONE XL on the TomTom ONE.

The main difference is the size of the screen, 4.3″ instead of 3.5″, which gives a wider view.

The other difference is that TomTom ONE XL has a TMC traffic receiver connector. As stated above, the traffic receiver needs to be purchased separately and an annual subscription is required.

TomTom ONE XL’s Bluetooth feature is basically access the Plus Service and cannot be used for free hands calling.

Another missing feature is the Text-to-Speech for street names. rates TomTom One highly with all the advanced routing functions it has.

According to, the bigger screen of Tom Tom ONE XL makes it easier to read and the buttons easier to touch.

The display is not affected by sunlight and the colors are vivid.

They find the mounting system problematic. Removal of the navigator from the mount proves quite difficult.

Further, an extra inch clearance way from the dashboard is required because of the location of the USB connector underneath the navigator. This means the unit has to be placed higher up on the windshield glass, which may block the view for some drivers.

The length of the USB cable being short makes its placement limited. does not recommend TomTom ONE XL due to its poor mounting system and short battery life.

The cheaper TomTom ONE might be a better choice, according to finds that TomTom does not break new ground with the ONE XL model.

What it likes is that once a route has been calculated, a turn-by-turn list with multiple options can be previewed, or a demonstratation of the route at up to 5X real time can be shown.

A route overview page gives a 2D bird’s-eye view of the route.

In addition, up to six fields can be displayed in the information panel at the bottom of the navigation screen once there is an active route.

A compass in the map view can also be displayed. however recommends going for Mio CN520 which offers Text-to-Speech conversion and more routing options instead of TomTom ONE XL. tested TomTom XL against 2 other GPS navigators: Garmin nuvi 660 and Magellan Maestro 4050.

3 trips with different distances and regions were performed.

Garmin nuvi 660 came out first in all 3 tests, with Magellan Maestro following close behind and TomTom ONE XL last in all the tests. concludes that TomTom ONE XL performance is poor in all three routing tests, producing the longest routes (time wise) in all three tests, and put the driver on the wrong side of the street at the destination address.

They also find that TomTom ONE XL is very slow at route calculation or recalculation.

The poorly designed windshield mount, making its placement and removal very difficult, again proves to be a sore point.

The screen is not as bright compared to other GPS units.

In spite of a wider screen, the text font used on the map screen is too small and can be hard to read from the driver’s seat.

The 3D angle of the map is too steep.

The expected time arrival is not as accurate as other GPS units — time displayed on map changes too quickly while driving (i.e. drive 75MPH for 1 minute, and you’re ETA drops in half. Come to a stop light, and it doubles again).

There is no route optimization feature.

The turns are announced in yards instead of feet.

Important menu options (i.e. cancel route) are hidden until all menu options is manually enabled.

Customer support is also poor.

The things they like are:

  • The multi-destination routing
  • The possibility to view the routes ahead of time (Itineray planning)
  • The time-saving address entry system which pre-populates lists with recently used cities/streets/house numbers
  • Support for routing to longitude/latitude coordinates
  • Preferred arrival time feature which lets you specify what time you need to arrive, and the TomTom ONE XL will report how early/late you’ll be.

Learn more about TomTom ONE XL GPS receiver and compare models: