On a trip to the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana we decided to test the TomTom Via 62 GPS. First we had to update the software on TomTom MyDrive Connect.
This was a mere plug and play exercise with the satnav ready in a short while to take us to our destination. We fed the Via 62 the coordinates for the venue and off we went.
It was a great trip and the Via 62 took us there with no pains.
I loved the matt finish on the sixinch touch screen which prevents smears and finger marks. During the race we mostly relied on the knowledge of the local drivers and their shortcuts to navigate around.
The good news is that all these little roads we took to follow the race during the three days were on the Via 62 and this is a compliment to TomTom. However, we lacked the confidence to put ourselves in its hands with race cars flying about all over the place.
We could have. Back in Gauteng, the Via was put to the test in the city and it took quite a while to get used to the format of the GPS, as it is quite different from the Go-series which we have.
The lesson learnt was to trust the technology. Most GPS-systems require a suburb first, then a street name and then a number.
The Via 62 wants it all in one go: 12 Protea Ave, Houghton. And then it appears on the screen. You say go, and voila.
So once this was understood, the workings of the Via 62 became a lot simpler. The screen display is very nice and the mount of the Via attaches to your windscreen with a twist to lock the suction cap in place.
The unit itself then simply clips into place. The Via 62 comes with free TomTom Traffic, which is great, but the one drawback of the Via 62 is that it does not have its own data connection, it relies on a connection to your smartphone.
It uses Bluetooth and pairs with your smartphone to give you access to the traffic information. But it chews your data. If your car doesn’t have Bluetooth, the Via also offers calling functions and voice control.
It syncs with your phone and lets you make and receive calls, using the TomTom’s speaker and microphone.
The Via 62 neatly shows the current time and the arrival time on its right-hand side so you can always check progress.
It also has petrol station icons on the routes on the screen which means you can plan your refuelling quite easily.
The Via also took us to our farm in Skuinsdrif with great ease and found the little village with a bit of a laugh in the end.
Once we were in the village itself it pointed us down a private road, boy was Tannie Sannie in for a surprise.
But by then the TomTom had got us where we needed to be, as it did every time we asked it to.