Review of TomTom Start 25 5 inch Sat Nav

Another sub £100 sat nav with full UK, Ireland and Western Europe lifetime update maps. This is a TomTom so should be well specc’d at this price and have some great features, we review this product to see if it’s worth the money.


This is a review of the TomTom Start 25 which is a basic to intermediate sat nav device by TomTom. We have chosen this device to review as it comes in at just under £100 with UK, Ireland and Western Europe lifetime map updates, has a 5″ screen and we’re comparing it to other devices by manufacturers like Garmin.

What is in the box?

  • TomTom Start 25 device: This is the main GPS navigation unit with a 5-inch touchscreen.
  • Car Charger: This is used to power the device in your car.
  • USB Cable: This is used to connect the device to a computer for updates and charging.
  • Documentation: This includes the user manual and other relevant documents.
  • Mounting Device: This is used to attach the GPS unit to the windshield or dashboard of your car.

Features of the TomTom Start 25

  • 5″ touchscreen
  • Window or car dash mounting is integrated on to the device
  • Lane guidance for motorway driving and route planning for multiple destinations
  • Speed camera alerts
  • Lifetime map updates for UK, Ireland and Western Europe with this device

Again, we have tested a 5″ touchscreen sat nav. We have done one which was 7″ and we thought it was too big and having a smaller screen means that if you require to use this without power, it should last a little bit longer. Even from the middle of the car or infront of the passenger seat, we were able to read and navigate using this device.

The TomTom device’s mounting is connected and fixed to the sat nav itself, which means that you have to take the whole thing off of your window or dash if you are to remove it from your car or take it somewhere else. This we think is a bit of a downside, they’ve probably made this for ease of use and to have less items to lose.

tomtom start 25 sat nav

The routing for multiple locations was great and the lane guidance was especially good. You get clear colour images of the exact look of the lanes ahead of you and it shows you exactly which lane you should be taking, this is especially good for driving on large motorways that you have not driven on before.

As with the Garmin we reviewed, you get full lifetime map updates of UK, Ireland and Western Europe. This is actually only four updates a year but it is more than enough to be updated on new roads, tolls and other improvements to road infrastructure. One problem we had is the first time we tried the update, which we recommend as soon as you get it, is that it wiped the TomTom sat nav device clear before it re-installed of the maps available to us. This could prove tricky and could provide more problems in the future, we will see.

Using The TomTom Start 25

We were very happy with it, it’s quite a bit different to older sat navs we have used and from other manufacturers but it has some good points. It is advertised as a starter/beginner sat nav device but it is much more than that. It’s not the best most featured or biggest, but it is high end and feels like good quality.

You get a nice wide landscape sat nav, which is better than using a phone in my opinion. The display seems great compared to just using a phone as well, it has a matte type finish and feels nice to touch and enter details or search for the next location you are driving to. One of the downsides to entering addresses or post codes we found was that the keypad that pops up has the letters and numbers on different pages so it can take a while longer to enter details of your next location.

The maps come in both 2d and 3d view, which compared to its competitors is great for viewing more detail and understanding where you are in relation to where the GPS sat nav is taking you.

You can’t link the device to your phone so you will miss out on live traffic updates but it does have the backup AI traffic which guesses when traffic will be bad and where. It probably uses data from all those that link their sat nav to a phone or have a better featured device. It’s not rocket science though and anyone can guess coming in or out of a city at rush hour will have problems. This will not show you live accidents or road works, so you may want a better version.

Other Features From TomTom

If you require any of these other features such as Lifetime TomTom traffic or TomTom MyDrive you will have to get the TomTom Go 60 or better. If you want the  Lifetime TomTom Speed Cameras or fully interactive screen you’d have to go up one more model and get something like the TomTom Go 610 or the TomTom Go Expert.

Pros & Cons

  • Fast starting time, so once you’re in your car, you can navigate within seconds
  • Screen is clear, functional and easy to use
  • Volume is not bad, might struggle with the radio on as well but is loud enough for us even when we’re talking to each other
  • Voice commands mention street names when directing you which can help in towns
  • Speed camera alerts and lane routing are great features which come with the sat nav
  • Sat nav and suction mount are all one piece so everything has to go with you when you want to remove it
  • Locking the sucker to the window is hard and fiddly
  • Power button is located on the rear of the device so can be hard to get to, think they would have been better off using a separate suction bracket like most other sat nav devices
  • Apple computers are not compatible with TomTom mapping software, we don’t have a Mac but have read this when installing the software ourselve’s on our PC

Conclusion & where to buy

A little bit more than the Garmin LM57 and not as well built. The maps though are second to none and similar features with similar priced sat navs, just a shame it has sort of been let down by the build quality and how it is used in the car, we would have preferred a separate suction mount so that the power button and removal of device were easier to access.

TomTom Start 25 Europe Satellite Navigation System


2 x 13.4 x 9.5 cm


Martin Shaw
Martin Shaw

Martin is an automotive enthusiast with a deep passion for all things cars. He has spent the last decade immersing himself in the industry, reading up on the latest models, attending car shows, and tinkering with his own vehicles. Loves: family, all things cars (apart from selling them), pizza.

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