Hate it or love it, tech is quickly creeping into cars and trucks. We are experiencing a steady convergence between the automotive and computer industry – nothing like what Ron Pratte had in his collection. The modern infotainment system has changed every aspect of driving. It can now schedule your next service maintenance and even assist parking in tight spaces.
Infotainment systems have morphed from 2-inch numerical LCDs to 20-inch plus LED touch screen consoles. There’s no need for spending countless hours burning CDs for your next road trip – Infotainment systems are connected to the cloud; all you need to do is stream-play. But for every responsive, up-to-date infotainment system in the market, there’s an equivalent one that is buggy, glitchy, and unresponsive. Here’s a list of the best and worst car Infotainment systems.
It's hard to beat Tesla’s infotainment systems, let's face it, they launched the very first street-legal AI Automobile. Consumer Reports ranked Tesla’s Infotainment as the “best.” Tesla’s Model S Infotainment system has a 17-inch screen that covers the center console on the diagonal. This system runs on Linux, and features custom apps users can continually download. Due to this, Tesla’s infotainments systems are always up to date compared to its close rivals that may feel outdated after a year. Tesla’s infotainment system has been praised for being responsive, easy to learn and use, and has straight forward controls that are easy to identify and operate.
The 2019 Acura RDX has made phenomenal advancements. Unlike your typical compact luxury crossover SUV, that toe the line between luxury and sporty, the 2019 Acura RDX offers you the latter. Its striking front end is appealing enough to out compare subtle alternatives while giving a second thought to owners of rivals such as BMW, and Audi. Its infotainment system, on the other hand, is nothing short of disappointing; you’ll be pestered with error messages, occasional screen freeze, and blackouts or repeated flashing. If you fancy pairing your phone to your car, you will occasionally get disconnected. These defects run across other brands, including the Odyssey, and Pilot.
Branded as the ultimate luxury SUV for off-roading, the new Mercedes Benz G550 is luxurious, spacious and even more tech-friendlier. It might seem all fancy and delicate with its unimaginative shade of iridium silver and luxury interior, but the G550 will burst out of mud pit with little effort. Its infotainment system has a 12.3 -inch screen that runs across the dash. In Mercedes style, the infotainment system contrasts well with its interior trim. The console has organized rows of buttons that offer tactile feedback and simplicity. The steering wheel has secondary buttons strategically placed at 10 and 2 for calls, sound, and climate. The touch screen is easy to navigate and gentle on the eyes. The Mercedes G 550 Infotainment system comes with Spa-style lighting options — That’s 64 colors to match your mood.
It's undisputed; the McLaren 720S is a sensational supercar. Its striking aerodynamic bodywork, dead-eyed visage, and outstanding performance are straight out of a fiction movie. The McLaren 720S comes fitted with a 7-inch vertical central infotainment system that lies low level ( much better than the previous version).
Unfortunately for owners, it takes a dozen taps on the screen to toggle simple functions such as Bluetooth, which frankly, is a disappointment for a refined brand such as McLaren. The infotainment system is also complex; first time users will have a hard time navigating through, which can be a serious distraction behind the wheel.
The BMW 760i checks all the boxes when it comes to performance and luxury; it’s the ultimate expression of luxury car ethos. Its popular infotainment system, the BMW iDrive, has an executive style 10.2-inch screen that unlike some systems on this list responds to voice commands. Its digital instrument cluster includes 3D maps, a spot-on addition. Everything runs by its intelligent iDrive system.
However, it still has a few buttons, which is confusing for first-time users. Its infotainment system requires a learning curve. An amazing feature is its Gesture Control, all you need to do is “wave,” and it...pretty much explains the lack of enough control buttons.
Toyota is popular for one reason; it's reliable and pocket-friendly. Their new Limited trim 2019 Toyota Avalon is one of the favorite top-ranked mid-sized affordable luxury cars in the U.S. It straddles the line between Lexus and Toyota bridging the gap between the Camry and ES 350 Lexus. It also boasts impressive safety scores and great predicted reliability rating. While it boasts a user-friendly infotainment system – the Entune 3.0, is criticized for being messy, with an interface that is rather obtuse and doesn’t support Android Auto. As a consolation, it gets bonus points for having Apple Car Play as standard. The Entune 3.0 Infotainment system also comes in the 2019 Toyota Camry.
The Jaguar XF Sportbrake is, by all means, a sophisticated, stylish long roof spied station wagon. The iconic, stylish long-roof adds dimension to the already excellent luxury grade wagon. Let’s not get started on its all-wheel-drive functionality; this car drives like a dream. Its infotainment system is a 10.2-inch touchscreen paired with a customizable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The display offers full-screen navigation, meaning you can face forward driving. Drivers can also preplan their destination through a phone-app. However, it loses points for its recessed screen; It has an awkward angle that’s not user-friendly. It gets bonus points for its swipe and pinch functionality, with both screens having this functionality.
The 2019 Lexus LC 500 does one thing. It channels the wild edginess of a coupe but with a unique exotic design. Its infotainment system is driver-oriented, with a mouse pad that has haptic feedback, can be flicked, pinched, or swiped. So, what gets this amazing car on our list? Well, for starters, its 10-inch display is painfully glitchy, occasionally freezing for no apparent reason. If you are looking to pair your devices via Bluetooth, prepare to be frustrated, that’s if you finally figure out how to use it. On a lighter note, you get “Siri Eyes Free,” a voice command integrated system that pairs to your portable devices accessing texts and emails.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is available in four unique trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. Regardless of which version tickles your fancy, you’ll get the same infotainment system. For Cadillac fans, the new 2019 Cadillac XT4’s system is an improvement from the previous version. It gets extra points for being quick and sharp looking. Its setup is dated and features unique metallic piano key buttons for climate control and other functions. However, the Cadillac XT4’s infotainment system is set too deep in the dash and is tilted up, bringing glare issues. It’s a complicated interface, and awkward icon access makes it difficult for non-tech owners to navigate through seamlessly.
Ranked seventh, after the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover, the Infinity Qx80 is the ultra-competitive class of high-end luxury family limos. It ranks near the bottom of the luxury SUV class due to its outdated tech features and below-average fuel economy ratings. Part of Its tech issues starts with the Infinity InTouch infotainment system. To be polite, it's rather chaotic. Its navigation system is located up top, while the lower display is home to the climate control, audio system and a variety of vehicle settings, buried under layers of menus. What’s worse, each user interface feels like it was designed by a different team, making the whole system seem out of sync.