Expert TomTom VIA 1515M Review 2019

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TomTom VIA 1515M

rating: 4.3
  • Affordable
  • Lifetime maps for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
  • More points of interest preloaded than similarly priced models

TomTom VIA 1515M Car GPS

BEST CAR GPS

One of the best car GPS options from a leader in the industry, the TomTom VIA 1515M is an affordable option with both the features you really need plus a few extras. It comes with functions which add value to the system, such as lifetime traffic alerts and Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s also a top choice when it comes to entry-level automotive GPS navigation systems due to the number of preloaded points of interest.

 

By Editorial Team | 14th June 2019

The VIA 1515M has a 5-inch screen, and if you want to go slightly smaller, you can opt for the VIA 1415M, which has a 4-inch screen. The TomTom VIA 1515M gps is simple to use and comes with a car mount that takes just moments to set up. The lifetime maps which come with the device cover the United States, Canada and Mexico – perfect for those who plan on taking long road trips. The device also stands out due to its IQ Routes and split-screen junction view. There is even a convenient Map Share feature to help with frequent road changes.

Features of the TomTom VIA 1515M

Overview

It’s safe to say that the TomTom VIA 1515M is a navigation system which provides the best value for those who don’t want to spend too much money. This entry-level unit comes with a 5-inch screen – not too big, but not too small either. The touch screen is less responsive than those seen with higher-end systems, but it remains responsive enough to get the job done. The screen has a 480 x 272-pixel resolution, which is an average display for entry-level GPS systems. The unit itself has 8 GB of internal memory and there is a microSD slot that lets you expand this storage. There is support for 28 languages to be loaded with the user interface and spoken instructions.

Navigation

The TomTom VIA 1515M has millions of different points of interest preloaded for ease of use right out of the box. It also comes preloaded with maps. When you first turn it on, you will notice maps of each of the states in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. There are 10 million points of interest already there; you’ll struggle to find this many elsewhere. The GPS also comes with free lifetime updates. These not only include the United States but Canada and Mexico as well.

When using the TomTom VIA 1515M, you’ll find all the information you would expect from an automotive GPS navigation system. Not only will you see upcoming turns, you’ll receive a warning so you can get in the right lane ahead of time. The device also tracks your current speed and compares it to the speed limit set in the area. 

The default display is a split screen with one side showing an overview of the route. The other side features additional details, such as the distance until your next turn, the exit you need (including the name and number), and the lane to be in. If you prefer, you can also set up the VIA 1515M to show landmarks on screen.

The IQ Routes are a nice feature from TomTom that adds value to this GPS unit. This feature calculates the route that will get you to your destination most quickly. The unique part of this feature is that the calculations depend on the current speed of traffic, not average speed limits like most competitors would use.

Additional features

  • You can connect the TomTom VIA 1515M to your smartphone for added functionality.
  • This GPS is a good pick when it comes to battery life, as it will last for three hours on average – a particularly strong point considering its low price. 
  • The Map Share feature on the VIA 1515M is designed to stay up-to-date even with frequent road changes. For example, you will benefit from dynamic updates regarding blocked roads and new speed limits. This feature can help you avoid delays along your route to reduce your travel time and frustration.
  • You can set up Frequent Destinations if you often make trips to the same places. This way, you won’t have to plan a route manually each time you want to travel there.
  • If you need to arrive at a particular time, this can be factored in when you’re planning a route. 
  • This model offers the ability to plan a route in advance, allowing you to find out how long a journey will take, study the route and so on.
  • The MyTomTom service helps you manage the contents of your device and connect with the TomTom community.
  • Safety settings are available, such as warnings when you’re driving faster than a speed limit allows.
  • Users can connect a traffic receiver to their TomTom device to view the latest traffic information.
  • Enjoy the benefits of your device constantly searching for the fastest route to your destination.
  • Adjusting the traffic settings will ensure you either minimise the impact of delays or avoid them altogether.
  • Commuting to work is made easier by pre-setting your work and home locations. 
  • If you need more information about an incident, you can tap ‘Show traffic on route’ to view further details. 
  • Find out where speed cameras are located in certain countries and regions.
  • If you have a camper van, van or alternative vehicle to a car, you can plan routes using roads which are suitable for you.
  • You can make your own menu and add up to six buttons to your personalised setup. 
  • Set up personalised points of interest and program your TomTom device to let you know when you are near one.
  • Personalise how you want your device to handle road features such as toll roads, ferries, carpool lanes and unpaved roads.
  • Reduce the brightness of the screen or switch between day mode and night mode.
  • Use the Help menu to phone a local service centre if you need assistance.
  • Find out where the nearest hospital is and tell emergency services your exact location if you are involved in a car accident.
  • Use the Walk to Help button to navigate on foot to the nearest service centre.
  • View safety and product manuals from your device for further information.
  • Use the Favorites feature to speed up navigation to places you regularly go to or want to save.
  • Enter the latitude and longitude values of a location to create a favorite.
  • Find out about weather locations on your route, such as fog, rain, wind, ice and snow.

Pricing and warranty

The VIA 1515M from TomTom is highly affordable, typically priced between $200 and $270. This makes it one of the most budget-friendly options you will find when you compare GPS systems. The price is great value for money when considering features such as the free lifetime updates to maps. Additionally, the TomTom VIA 1515M comes with a one-year warranty, which is the average for the industry. Furthermore, if you have any issues with this device, you can contact support via email or phone.

Conclusion

The TomTom VIA 1515M is one of the best choices available if you want an entry-level GPS system. It offers all the basic features you need, plus a few extras that will surprise you considering its price bracket.

Setting up this TomTom model is simple, thanks to the inclusion of a car charger, USB cable and reversible integrated mount. The screen is just five inches, which is a typical size, but the battery life is capable of lasting a full three hours. This is better than many other models on the market, even those which cost more. 

Those who want the freedom to travel anywhere will find this model to be one of the best GPS navigation systems for a car thanks to its preloaded maps for the entire United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. While some competitors offer lifetime map updates for the United States, this TomTom does one better by also including this feature for Mexico and Canada. To top it off, there are 10 million points of interest already loaded onto the device.

The split-screen functionality of the VIA 1515M is a feature that drivers will appreciate, as it lets you get both an overhead and a detailed view at the same time. It even includes lane guidance so you do not have to suddenly change lanes to reach a turn. 

The TomTom VIA 1515M is best suited to those who regularly take road trips or like to explore. It will also do well on local commutes and errands, but the up-to-date maps across three countries make it a real winner for international road trips.


Pros


– Affordable
Lifetime maps for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
– More points of interest preloaded than similarly priced models


Cons


Touch screen less responsive than more expensive models
– Minimal premium features

Reviewed by
Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team is constantly watching for new and exciting services to report on. They aim to bring balanced, honest reviews to the site to give you the best comparisons and ensure you have the knowledge to choose the product right for you. Read more.
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