Ask the man in the street what he thinks of his sat-nav and he’ll probably launch into a run-down of its extra features – that it doubles as a Bluetooth hands-free, or can spot a pensioner thinking about crossing a road at a hundred paces.
Get that man out of the street and into his car and you’ll probably find he doesn’t use these features, which means he’s spent £200 too much on his device and often leaves it at home because he’s too worried it’ll get stolen. So enters the Acer V200 – £120 of 3.5inch screened sat-nav.
Our review sample came with UK/Ireland maps, but we’ve seen the V200 advertised elsewhere as having Western European mapping built-in – a bargain for £120, if it’s correct. Check before you buy. There’s a V210 model with TMC traffic information for about £50 more.
So is this budget sat-nav entirely without compromise? No. It works noticeably faster when plugged into the 12v socket than on batteries, the screen appears to be lower quality than similarly-screened rivals and the speaker isn’t powerful enough for noisy cars or open-top motoring.
The Destinator sat-nav software can make bizarre decisions, turn diagrams obscure the map and it tends to repeat voice instructions too many times. That makes the V200 sound like a disaster, but it isn’t. For the money, it works perfectly adequately, and it comes down to your own ability to ignore niggly problems.
Plus, while we remarked on its lack of extra features, it has two that are useful. Firstly, multi-stop journeys, for when you want to pick up a mate, or get petrol, before you head off. Secondly, a pedestrian mode, perfect for when you want to find your way from the car park to the town centre.