Sunday, March 18, 2012

Consumer Reports disses TomTom mounts

TomTom ring mount

Ouch! Consumer Reports has posted an article that is very critical of some of TomTom’s integrated mounts. I’m not sure they are being entirely fair though. With the exception of the START series, they are criticizing mounts from discontinued units.

Types of TomTom mounts

There are several types of integrated TomTom mounts that have been used on recent models:

Ease/Start/XL/XXL mounts

These older or entry-level devices have a ring that attaches the mount to the device, as shown above. Unfortunately this can separate and pop off the device, leaving the mount attached to the windshield and the GPS in your hand or tumbling to the floor. I definitely do not like this one. In the picture below you can see it connected to the START 55TM.

TomTom Start 55TM integrated mount

VIA series mount

This one dispenses with the ring and is built into the device. It takes a little getting used to but our experience has been good. Consider this from our VIA 1535TM review:

…this is the best performing windshield mount I’ve ever used. Even haphazard attempts to put it on the windshield worked in most cases. You simply put the mount in place and then twist the knob to lock it.

GO 2xx5 series mounts

The newest high-end GO models use a powered, magnetic mount. I like this one too.

Their take and ours

In the end, Consumer Reports says these latter two mount styles are better. But they even start that paragraph off with a nasty swipe:

This is not just an anecdote. We’ve tested 28 different TomTom models recently, and the vast majority have a similar mount style. The worst offenders include the TomTom Ease, Start, XL, and XXL devices. The TomTom VIA and Go Live 1535 M mounts are similar, but they work better, because TomTom eliminated the ring that snaps onto the back of the GPS unit. The mount and GPS device are essentially one piece in this design and the attachment point is “ball-in-socket.”

TomTom has learned that the early EasyPort mounts did not work well. Kudos to them  for improving the design of their integrated mounts, but they definitely need to eliminate the old style mount from their entry-level START series.

Are you a TomTom owner? What has your experience been with their mounts?

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Bill William says:

    Consumer Reports lost my trust years ago. I no longer subscribe nor read it in the nearby library.

  2. Have to concur with CR on this. I have one of these mounts and its very frustrating. The twist mechanism on the lock ring does not lock so anything (bump, cosmic rays, etc.) causes it to lose tension and then randomly fall off the windshield. I bought a Tom Tom goose neck mount which is better about staying on, but jiggles so much its hard to read. Also cost me $30 bucks.

  3. I have the TomTom Start 55TM and totally agree with CR. The suction cup part is fine and sticks on to the windshield. But when you try to touch the unit or are driving on a bumpy road, the unit pops off of the mount and falls. Very lousy and dangerous. I hope that TomTom does something about this before it causes any accidents.

  4. Kris T. says:

    Interesting read, but …

    I have had two XL units, one which is older than three years, with the “dreaded” EasyPort mount. They have remained stuck on my windshield in SoCal for weeks and weeks, including trips to sub-zero climates in Colorado. The device itself has never once fallen off in the way described by the reviewer. The drawback is that clicking the unit into the EasyPort is a two handed operation, but the design DOES work, as long as the user ensures that ALL THREE spring mechanisms are properly engaged, securing the device to the mount. I do this by pushing the device on BOTH sides with my thumbs, on either side of the screen, while holding the EasyPort ring with my fingers from behind. I then spin the device back and forth in the ring about an inch or so, to make sure it is securely held. I didn’t like the mount for the first month or so of ownership, but I changed my mind after some practice, using nothing more than common sense.

    Secondly, I have the newer magnetic mount of the GO LIVE 2xx5. This is close to perfection, and is easy to use with just one hand. The fact that they still managed to find something negative to say about it, ignored all of it’s advantages, and gave it just a passing grade, is stunning. Hard to adjust can it be? How hard is moving the device around in ANY mount currently on the market? Which mounts are better, I’d like to know?

    I don’t know how they are testing these, but these reports do nothing whatsoever to help a desperate customer make informed purchase choices. This is yet another, shoddy, poorly researched, over-dramatized and unprofessional review from Consumer Reports.

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