2013 Cadillac XTS
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  • 2013 Cadillac XTS
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    2013 Cadillac XTS
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  • 2013 Cadillac XTS infotainment system

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  • 2013 Cadillac XTS rear seats

Does it seem that Consumer Reports never has anything nice to say about infotainment systems? Well, the problem could be even worse than you think. After talking to CR, Wards Auto says that problems with infotainment systems could be underreported because some customers don't use the systems to their fullest potential.

Responses from customer reliability surveys (used to rate cars and their problems) indicate that younger respondents were more specific in their complaints, which could mean that older users might not be trying to perform in-depth tasks like phone pairing and updating social media. The article says that the Cadillac CUE (shown above in the 2013 XTS), MyFord/MyLincoln Touch and Honda's new split-screen system found in the 2013 Accord are all still problematic for CR's readers.

On the opposite end, Wards also points to some positive signs for infotainment systems from CR for brands like Audi, BMW, Lexus, Chevrolet and Chrysler. Even though the Chevrolet MyLink is a similar system to CUE, it may be more simple to setup, and it uses more hard buttons, while the article says that the Chrysler Uconnect system may receive fewer complaints than competing systems due to its relationship with Garmin, which could make it more familiar to buyers.


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  • 46 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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      jb_x09ajustice
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla has the best infotainment system out of all of them.
        sodamninsane
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jb_x09ajustice
        Why was this down rated... it's true... Tesla's is a little confusing at first glance, but damn is it fast, and easy to use. Eff Cue... Eff myford disaster.. Eff all those stupid scrolly wheels and touchpad messes.
      reattadudes
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was all hot to buy a new Cadillac XTS last fall, then I drove one. that drive took a while to happen, because the cars were pulled from the sales lot due to problems with the CUE system. then I drove one car, and truly hated the CUE system. so complicated. I called Cadillac, and talked to three different people in charge of CUE, including the project manager. he gave me his cell number, and I called one day when he was in the car. I asked him one simple question: "would you send your mother or grandmother out in this car? his answer: "no." I decided to give the car another chance, and took one for another test drive. I'm 59 and hate technology with a passion (I'd still have my reliable brick phone if I could get analog service), and my salesman is a good friend, and 20 years younger than me. he loves technology. we took off, and he said perhaps I'd do better with it using the voice recognition, and not the buttons. the voice recognition wouldn't listen to me (or him), and would then start over. VERY irritating. when I was talking, I apparently was gesturing too much in the car. the CUE system then began to respond to my arm gestures, changing the radio stations and climate control settings. by this time, I was done with the test drive. we went a total of 2.3 miles. even as a kid, I loved Cadillacs, but my parents could never afford one. I promised myself I'd buy one for myself when I was doing well with my business. I bought my first new Cadillac in 1989; I was 35 years old. since then, I've had 22 more new Cadillacs. I also owned a livery business, and had 52 more new livery deVilles for the business over a ten year period. its interesting my dealer has gotten back in trade over half of the XTS it sold within six months, all with very low mileage. the CUE system was the reason, and they were all traded in on new (and simpler) Buicks. this does not bode well for Cadillac, and it is happening all over the country. I called the Cadillac customer service number to vent my frustration. imagine my surprise when my "customer service expert" reminded me that I COULD buy a base model ATS (the one with the vinyl seats), because that was the only Cadillac that didn't have CUE as standard equipment. how nice to know! I'm the guy who always bought the largest and most expensive Cadillac I could buy, and now I could buy a tiny Cadillac with plastic seats. its like Cadillac was upset that Ford had taken a 30+ point tumble in almost every customer survey because of SYNC and My Ford Touch, and Cadillac decided to make their drop in greater than Ford's precipitous fall from grace. it looks like they succeeded.
        jessesrq
        • 1 Year Ago
        @reattadudes
        I am not a fan of CUE. It is partly why I decided against an ATS. But sensationalist lies are no way to prove a point. There is no way your hand gestures while speaking set off CUE. If you happen to gesture precisely an inch or less from the screen, then the screen may change, but pressure is required to activate a command. I also cannot believe a dealer would get back half of a new model sold within six months or that a GM engineer would tell you he wouldn't let his mother drive a GM product. Ah, but this is the internet, the realm of lies and anonymity.
        mylz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @reattadudes
        Did you actually try and spend time with it? I realize that this tech might be complicated but spending a few weeks with it and reading the manual would help greatly. I ma sure there is youtube videos with explanations for help too
          Famsert
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylz
          You shouldn't have to read a manual to know how to use a car infotainment system. That's the problem.
          jmgadget
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylz
          Why shouldn't you learn how to use a system inside a car? Just because its in a car should make it automatically easy to use? Everybody has different ideas on how systems should work or be laid out and the only way to truly understand all of the options is to read a book with them in it. Because you don't want to take the hour to read a book with options to use a system doesn't mean its a problem.
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 1 Year Ago
        @reattadudes
        I have never had a problem with CUE. In fact as far as voice recognition works, it may be the best in the business. You can actually talk to it like you would to a person, in a conversational manner and it understands and does it. No endless specific commands that have to be inputed in a specific sequence in an exact manner.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jonathan Wayne
          This is a problem. Voice commands require an actual thought process, something hitting a button doesn't require.
        brandon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @reattadudes
        I'm sure CUE sucks, but given your age, and "brick phone" comment, I seriously doubt you are the ones that the OEM's are listening too. You didn't want it to begin with, but some(idiots) do. I just want a plain touchscreen that interfaces with my phone for music and such. Get with the times man.
        jmgadget
        • 1 Year Ago
        @reattadudes
        I just recommended and helped buy and train a family friend who is 70 years old a new SRX with CUE. They have had 0 problems yet and they have had it over a month. He spent time in the car after getting it for the first week after I showed him some stuff and every now and then I show him a trick or tip on it but he has picked it up well and he has 0 experience with computers and uses a old flip phone. If you refuse to actually work with the system or bother learning how to use it properly, don't expect perfect results in a 2.3 mile test drive. As for hand gestures, that is extremely hard to believe as you actually need to TOUCH the screen to get it to respond. The 2 Cadillac dealers in my area have had exactly 3 XTSs on the used lot since going on sale.
      Rebel Ducote
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am late 40s. Focus St with sync/MFT. Spent an hour or so in my driveway learning how to use all features and sync multiple phones. Works great and is real convienient. Most of the problems involve frustration over learning something new.
        Famsert
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rebel Ducote
        I doubt spending an hour with it helps with freezing/reboots/bugs.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rebel Ducote
        Not crazy about touch screen computers, but I have to agree with you here. Most humans are idiots, who would not spend the time to learn the system before venturing out on the roadways. You can't expect good results trying to operate an unknown system blindfolded.
        John Ward
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rebel Ducote
        My mom is almost 60 and has no problems with Sync in her 2013 Focus. It may not be the best case of usability but it's not broken like these reviewers seem to state. I feel like consumer reports couldn't use my cell phone if I gave it to them.
        Frederick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rebel Ducote
        The fact that you had to spend an hour in your driveway to get comfortable with what should be basic functions of your car is a problem. As some old guy from Ford said, "Today's cars are the most complex sophisticated machines ever to be places in the hands of inexpert operators". Cars are dangerous. They don't need to be any more complicated than they already are. I do think virtual controls have the potential to actually reduce distraction, especially with the casual speech type functions, but we are nowhere near that yet.
          Chris Hickey
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Frederick
          And if someone is to damn lazy to take an hour out of day to learn and get their know their new car, shouldn't be driving a new car
          jmgadget
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Frederick
          Because GPS is a basic function? Nothing in a car is a basic function other than steering and de/accelearating. As for virtual controls, you said it best. "inexpert operators" are the problem, everyone does it differently. nobody wants to take the hour to learn the controls of their 3-4000lb vehicle. Just hop in and go. It is the EXACT same reason everyone calls Tech support for their computers. "It doesnt work the way I think it should". LEARN how to do it first.
      Neal O
      • 1 Year Ago
      A driver's distraction, you need to pull off the road just to change radio stations. Yes, people still listen to the radio.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Neal O
        Hey Neal, see those doo-dads on the steering wheel?, one of them turns the radio (volume) up and down, and another changes the radio stations. Oh WOW, not only do you not have to take your eyes off the road, you don't even have to take your hand off the steering wheel. Oh, what's this thing they call "VOICE Control"? you mean if I spent the time LEARNING and programming the system, I could tell the system what to do and it would do it? Just WOW!!
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          You know, some people listen to all parts of the radio, XM, FM, AM, etc. My steering wheel doesn't change bands/source, I have to reach over, and hit a physical button, but I can do it without looking for it. Lets see you do that with a touch screen. And voice command is simply ridiculous. By the time you've hit a button, and given a command, I could have changed the station a dozen times, assuming you're in a silent area, and the system can understand you. If not, you have to keep repeating yourself. Also, not everyone has steering wheel controls.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Cause every steering wheel has every function required to work the radio?
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          clquake: Don't be silly, go back and re-read Neal O's post. Our conversation was about changing stations. There are functions in the infotainment systems in cars today, that no driver should even be fiddling with while the car is in motion.
      eli
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have myford touch nobody complains because it would achieve nothing. I have told the dealer several times about it but the truth is i paid already, they don't care and theirs nothing i can do.
        Chris Hickey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eli
        I have MFT in my 2013 fusion and not ONE PROBLEM with it...3000+ of problem free performance from it... Get the latest update and be happy
          Titansfan1967
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris Hickey
          But the consumer index scoring for ford has been a nightmare because of my ford touch. We can complain about consumer reports and their gripes but they hold a lot of weight.
        kp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eli
        Go to the website and install the update. I don't recall having any issues since the 3.6.2 update.
        The Other Bob
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eli
        I have a 2011 Ford with Sync and find it to be total garbage. It goes deaf and cannot listen to voice commands about half the time I try it and just fails to link via bluetooth. It is crap.
      justfrancis
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've spent considerable time using the touchscreen infotainment screens in Fords, Chevy's and Chryslers on my company's fleet vehicles and I can tell you as a 27 YO the Chevy and Ford systems are garbage. While they do have some quality features, they are by no means intuitive, and that is the problem here. Its the user interface and responsiveness of the system which need to be changed/upgraded. The time delay between pressing the screen on a the Ford Sync system and it reacting is maddening when quickly trying to dive through multiple levels of the interface, or trying to quickly input info at a red light. Not to mention trying to use the touchscreen with gloves on is nearly impossible and the system slows to a crawl in cold weather. The Chevy system has similar issues to the Ford system, too much delays etc. The best system is the Chrysler one in my opinion, the screen reacts quickly and all options are 100% intuitive, the biggest problem with the Chrysler/Dodge/Ram system is its Bluetooth pairing is extremely buggy. It took over 10 minutes to pair because the phone wouldn't pair with the car, once paired however you're sitting pretty.
      Matt Mossberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wouldn't these systems if they came with a useful click wheel or similar to navigate plus the ability for people who want to use the touch screen. The model s seems to have done it the best IMO but I wasn't driving so I don't know how distracted I would get using it while driving. The system in the caddies are plain bad if automakers are really concerned with safer driving. No hypnotic button will be easier and safer to use then analog while driving. What bothers me perhaps the most is so many of these touch screen systems will not allow you to change the gps while driving but it is necessary to do almost everything else with touch. At and simple menu items such as tuning are sometimes found deep within the menu.
      conslaw
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think they're right, I think problems with infotainment system are underreported, because they are overweighed when they are reported. I've had a few glitches with MyFordTouch, but overall I value the system, and it's a lot better than what I had before which was NOTHING. If Consumer Reports asked me (and they will), I'm not doubt that I'll report it as a problem. They rated my C-Max hybrid as the 4th worst car. I would buy the same car in a heartbeat if I had it to do over.
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @conslaw
        Why would you just accept that? If I buy something and it doesn't work the way it's supposed to work, that means it broken, and I want it either fixed or I get my money back. It doesn't matter if it's a toaster or a microwave or a car. It has to work.
      TIMMAH!
      • 1 Year Ago
      The technology should be adaptable to the user and not the other way around. If the user wants a "dumb" car then it should have a mode where that can be the case.
        jmgadget
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TIMMAH!
        "The technology should be adaptable to the user and not the other way around." - Tell that to EVERY technology company in the world who tries this method, it just ends up a bigger problem that it tries to solve. The fact that people don't want to bother with learning is the problem, not the other way around. As we like to say in my company, you cant program for stupid. We try and make things easy to use and understand, but the world creates a better idiot.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jmgadget
          That doesn't change the fact that Apple's method works for them, and if you think Apple's not actually doing well, you need to follow the money, not the stock prices. Their products just work (except for parts of the maps), they adapt the products to fit their consumer. And Apple's method is closer to car manufacturers than you think. Just about every OEM system development is controlled by the manufacturer, just like Apple. FYI, I don't have a single Apple product, I don't even like the company, but you're lying to yourself if you think Apple's doing poorly.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jmgadget
          Apple seems to be doing quite well with this method.
          jmgadget
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jmgadget
          The fact that you think Apple is doing quite well with that method clearly shows that you have no idea what you are talking about. Apple controls every aspect of their ecosystem, you just use it the way they want you to, you cant control it at all. Heck, you couldn't even change the background wallpaper to what you wanted originally. The only reason Apple is successful in being easy to use is because they do control everything in their ecosystem and release things slowly so people have the time to adjust. Most of these systems are still in their iPhone or iPhone3G stages. Not iPhone 5S level.
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