TomTom Go Live Top Gear Edition review

Jim Martin
3 Nov 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

This limited edition will naturally appeal to Top Gear fans, but we'd expect full maps of Europe at this price


If you're a Top Gear fan and need a new satnav, this limited edition is the ideal choice. It's limited because the BBC realised that it had breached its own guidelines about product endorsement and decided to cancel the project. Fortunately, this happened too late to stop thousands of the finished products being delivered to Halfords, which has the exclusive rights to sell it. All the BBC's profits will be donated to Children in Need due to the legal issues.

The device itself is the TomTom Go Live 820, with a 4.3in resistive touch screen, a compact integrated windscreen mount and maps of the UK and Ireland. The Top Gear tie-in is obvious from the moment you turn it on, as a photo of The Stig appears on the loading screen.

Stig welcome screen

Jeremy Clarkson's voice is set as the default and barks directions in his usual sarcastic style. Needless to say, phrases such as, "Take the third exit and then take the motorway. You can't miss it. It's that huge piece of tarmac full of caravans and traffic cones" tend to wear a little thin after you've heard them a dozen times, but are amusing nonetheless. Stig's 'voice' is also included in the list, but is only useful if you prefer your satnav to be silent. Sadly, James May and Richard Hammond's voices aren't present.

You also get some extra car icons specific to Top Gear. These mostly relate to the special episodes, such as the recent snow plough made from a combine harvester. You'll also find Top Gear points of interest including racetracks around the UK, plus the Dunsfold Top Gear test track. The latter isn't much use of course, as it isn't open to the public.

Shut down screen

Overall, the Top Gear content may not sound like much, but it won't be available to other TomTom owners for download to other models in the future, so is truly exclusive. It might even mean you could make a profit if you decide to sell the satnav later on.

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