Perhaps you have already been tempted to equip your car with an OBD reader. It is a small accessory that plugs into the diagnostic socket of a vehicle and allows you to read part of the information from its computer, directly on a smartphone. His goal ? Monitor your driving style to try to initiate a more flexible, more economical and therefore more eco-responsible driving.
When TomTom, specialist in the automotive world and consumer products, embarks on such a niche, we are obviously curious to review its accessory. So we used the Curfer for several weeks and with different vehicles to judge its performance.
Quite easy to install and configure
The installation of the Curfer begins with the download of the mobile application on the one hand and the physical installation of the product on the other. If the installation of the application goes well, connecting the Curfer to the car is not always easy. Indeed, on the three vehicles with which we reviewed the product (VW Passat 2003, Nissan Qashqai 2016 and Mini Clubman 2016), the app will have offered us on only one of these vehicles to easily identify the location of the OBD socket.
And even in this case, the accuracy of the location in the passenger compartment, thanks to the schematic view above, is not great. On the other hand, we like the small icon on the right part of the screen which allows to turn on the LED of the smartphone (if it is equipped). The diagnostic socket is often under the dashboard, the light is indeed essential. If by chance the socket is too difficult to locate, a quick internet search often allows you to find the answer.
On our three review vehicles, this socket was easily accessible. The task can however be more difficult, especially if this socket is behind a somewhat recalcitrant cover to dismantle.
Good point however, the Curfer is very thin (about 2.7 cm) and should therefore easily find its place in the car. For the most cramped places, TomTom offers an optional (20 euros anyway!) An extension cable to deport the Curfer in an empty space.
Note that if you already use an OBD box as part of your car insurance, in particular to make a tele-declaration of the kilometers driven, it does not say that you can add the TomTom Curfer.
Anyway, if the diagnostic sockets (OBD, for On Board Diagnostic) have been present in cars for a long time, we strongly recommend consulting the TomTom website to find out if your car is one of the compatible models. If so, then you will be able to access different vehicle information, which is supposed to teach you how to drive better. In reality, this is unfortunately not the case!
The information collected by the Curfer is, in fact, too minimalist. Basic mode indicates engine speed, speed, journey time, average speed or even maximum speed. In short, information that does not bring much, because it can be found in the on-board computer of the car. Expert mode is almost too expert. It is difficult to identify who among the general public could be interested in the air flow rate, the pressure of the fuel detected or the temperature of the catalyst indicated here by the application of Curfer.
By collecting all its data, but also by analyzing your driving style, the Curfer is able to note the quality of your driving. The concern is that he doesn’t offer any advice to improve you. It’s a shame, at this price level, we clearly expected more.