TomTom Start 55TM Car GPS Review

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The majority of cars currently come equipped with built-in GPS systems, but many people still prefer to use a familiar stand-alone navigation unit. An independent in-car GPS system has become as important as having a full tank of fuel, and no matter what car you get in they will invariably have some form of GPS. The TomTom 55Tm is one of the most popular GPS devices currently on the market for aftermarket navigation devices. The 55TM offers every amenity you would expect to find in a modern GPS while keeping its costs competitive.

Founded in 1991, TomTom has a long history of producing quality GPS receivers, and are currently one of the leading worldwide manufacturers of consumer electronics. The TomTom Start 55TM is the newest addition to TomTom’s wide selection of GPS devices currently on the market. The 55TM is a simple, user-friendly device, packed with useful features. The GPS is reliable, accurate, and does not require any previous technical experience to run. After you input the address you want to travel to using TomTom’s navigation menu, the 55TM will guide you to your location without any added hassle.

TomTom Start 55TM Car GPS


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  • The TomTom Start 55TM features a five inch wide, 16:9 touchscreen display
  • TomTom’s fuel prices function displays the location of the closest gas stations with the lowest prices
  • The GPS displays advanced lane guides that highlight the correct lane so you won’t miss your exit when on multilane highways and freeways
  • The 55TM comes with TomTom’s 24 hour roadside assistance program that gives you access to emergency services at the push of a button
  • The TomTom Start 55TM package comes with the GPS-enabled car navigation system as well as a car charger, and a windshield mount
  • The GPS has a screen resolution of 480 x 272 pixels
  • The TomTom Start 55TM includes a small speaker system that is used to call out street names so you can keep your eyes on the road
  • The total weight of the 55TM is about nine ounces
  • The product measures 5.2 inches, by 0.1 inch, by 3.5 inches
  • The GPS comes prepackaged with a lithium ion battery that has a battery life of about three hours
  • The TomTom Start 55TM comes with 2GB of internal flash memory


The TomTom Start 55TM works similarly to a standard aftermarket navigation system with a few new features added that make the 55TM unique. The 55TM has access to TomTom’s IQ route database. The IQ routing software tracks the time it takes other TomTom users to get from one destination to another and uses that information to improve your driving experience by offering more accurate travel times and better alternate routes. The IQ feature can also be used to upload and share your personal favorite routes to a location on the TomTom IQ routing website.

TomTom’s Lane Guidance System

The Start 55TM comes packaged with TomTom’s advanced lane guidance system (wiki) that was also present in TomTom’s Via and GO models. Making several much needed improvements, the advanced lane guidance system helps you get into the correct lane when on the highway. By telling you which lane to get into well ahead of time, you won’t miss your exit or have to make a dangerous maneuver to get into the correct lane.

Advanced Touchscreen Technology

Boasting one of the industry’s largest touchscreens at the lowest price point, the 55TM can be seen in any light and displays information in large, easy-to-read fonts that won’t get lost with the other information onscreen. When you’re driving, your main focus should always be directed at the road. A GPS device that is too small to be easily read can make for an unpleasant, or even dangerous, drive. TomTom has spent years researching and developing a GPS that has a reasonably sized screen that won’t interfere with the driver’s field of view, but can easily be read from any position.


  • The battery is able to be recharged while still in use by connecting the car charger to the GPS while the vehicle is running
  • The TomTom Start 55TM comes preprogrammed with over seven million points of interest located in the United States and Canada
  • The GPS unit has a much lower price point than similar five inch standalone navigators
  • TomTom’s gas price listings will save you money when you’re traveling though unfamiliar areas and need to stop to refuel
  • The IQ routing feature tracks the speeds of back roads, giving you much better routing than a GPS that just send you the shortest distance
  • The TomTom Start 55TM can be used right out of the box without any downloads or setup
  • The GPS outperforms smartphone GPS programs and the majority of in-car navigation systems
  • The 55TM comes with maps of the United States and Canada already installed at the time of purchase
  • The device’s EasyPort mount folds, so the GPS can be easily carried in your pocket


  • You have to pay extra to get lifetime traffic and map updates
  • The mount sometimes disconnects from the windshield if you adjust it suddenly
  • Some users might have difficulty connecting to the mini-USB port on the side of the 55TM
  • On overcast days the GPS has difficulty establishing a steady satellite connection

Final Verdict


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Overall, the TomTom Start 55TM is a competitively priced and user-friendly navigation system that harnesses TomTom’s twenty years of GPS building experience to bring you a high-quality product. As long as your 55TM isn’t lost or stolen, you’ll be able to use the GPS for the foreseeable future without the need to update to a newer model. Featuring an intuitive user interface and a powerful GPS tracking system, the TomTom Start is an excellent aftermarket GPS device at an unbeatable price. Eighty percent of users who reviewed the TomTom Start 55TM gave it a rating of four stars or higher, making it one of the most highly regarded navigation devices TomTom has ever produced. TomTom products maintain a high level of quality while offering many unique features that put their devices head and shoulders above the competition.