One of the perks of reviewing all manner of cars and trucks is that we're exposed to all the different infotainment systems. Whether Cadillac's CUE, Chrysler's UConnect, BMW's iDrive or MyFord Touch, we sample each and every infotainment system on the market.

Not surprisingly, some are better than others. It seems consumers have come to a similar consensus, with Consumer Reports claiming that Ford and Lincoln, Cadillac and Honda offer the worst user infotainment experiences. Not surprisingly, you won't find much argument among the Autoblog staff.

Take a look below to see just what it is about the latest batch of infotainment systems that grinds CR's gears. After that, scroll down into Comments and let us know if you agree with the mag's views.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 129 Comments
      Denster
      • 9 Months Ago
      No matter how good a car looks or performs, the dealbreaker for me is the Instrument panel. If the controls are not well designed and intuitive, I'm walking away. Simple knobs for the radio and climate control might seem quaint these days, but they are essential to focusing on the task at hand - which is DRIVING. Acres of buttons and capacitive touch screen controls make bad drivers out of everyone. If the auto manufacturers can't police themselves on driver distraction, then the government will likely intervene and start mandating and regulating how vehicle instrument panels are designed, which seems more likely than not in the near future.
      e39M5
      • 9 Months Ago
      I rented a Cadillac ATS a few days ago and found the controls absolutely terrible. The touch sensitive buttons do not give you any tactile feed back and you have to take your eyes off of the road just to find what you want to press. What ever was wrong with simple knobs? Then there was the 5 way button on the steering wheel to cycle through OBC functions. I couldn't figure out how to reset the fuel economy calculator even after driving the car 1,200 miles. I much prefer the simple single button to cycle through OBC functions on my 02 BMW e39. The best control layout I have used is the simple one in my Oldsmobile 88. Three knobs to control the non automatic ventilation system and 5 preset buttons on the radio. I can use every function on that radio and ventilation system without taking my eyes off the road.
        GEORGE OREMLAND
        • 7 Months Ago
        @e39M5
        RIGHT ON. I HAVE A 2014 CAMERY XLE WITH NAVIGATION AND BLIND SPOT MONITOR. THE CONTROLS ARE GREAT. MY 2013 CADALLIAC XTS HAS TOUCH SCREENS AND I HATE THEM.
      Beardinals
      • 9 Months Ago
      Mainly because of manufacturing lead time. these things are 3+ years out of date. It wasn't a big deal 20+ years ago but it's a huge hinderance today. Combine that with the $2000 cost and the fact that I can get everything I need from my phone, means I won't be paying the upgrade price any time soon.
      v6sonoma
      • 9 Months Ago
      I think the biggest issue is while they try to pack as much feature wise as they can into cars they fail to realize that HAVING to look a a touch screen to operate them is not as safe as knowing where a knob or button is and being able to find it without looking. For that same reason capacitive buttons are also a poor choice because again they are just a touch screen without the screen and require your attention to operate them.
        Hazdaz
        • 9 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        There is no muscle memory with a touch screen. I shouldn't have to look down to turn the heat on or change a radio station. I don't have to do that with my current car, so why the hell should new cars be like that? Its needlessly complicated and unsafe while offering no advantages. I don't give a crap about Facebook integration, and I don't want Twitter controls. I want a car to be a freakin' car.
      Michael Carvey
      • 9 Months Ago
      The manufacturers can have an easy solution: user-selected interfaces based on level of complexity. A lot of users only use a small percentage of the available features. So focus on that. Build into the settings an option for a simpler interface screen with a choice of basic functions (listen to radio, listen to CD, listen to AUX, enter NAV destination). Then as a user gets used to the simpler mode, they can choose to switch to the standard mode if they want. They could even add a learning feature that determines the most used functions and creates a home screen based on those functions!
      ChrisH
      • 9 Months Ago
      more than three clicks and the interface is wrong.
      William
      • 9 Months Ago
      As is typical the hype of digital technology providing improvement to our lives is vastly, vastly over stated. (Emphasis on "vastly.") Its shocking that this low level of performance would be foisted into our lives.
      ragtopdodge
      • 9 Months Ago
      Huge distraction on the road. Definitely not safe anytime you take your eyes off the road.
        b.rn
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ragtopdodge
        but with voice commands, I never need to take my eyes off the road. On my old car, I had to take my eyes off the road to tune the radio, adjust the temperature, etc.
      JasonERF
      • 9 Months Ago
      We're still in a transition period with this tech. Most manufacturers are getting a crash course in software design and it's not pretty. The new Caddy's tech looks better but it's just as sh*t as the previous-gen tech. That video rightly points out that it has nothing to do with age... Usability is still quite low compared to say, an iPhone of iPad... Even the response times of the touch screens aren't even there yet.
        Jeff S.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @JasonERF
        There are multiple axis of performance here. One which you mention around responsiveness, but another is durability ie longevity. I pity the person trying to use a current generation ipad in 10-15 years where as I expect these systems to still be running and supported. (Not updated, but functionality supported)
          JasonERF
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jeff S.
          I understand. My main concerns/desires, that I should have made clearer, are: Excellent smartphone integration, ease of use & responsiveness. When you mention longevity, that actually makes me worry... who knows how long a lot of these systems will last & be supported.
      ferps
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wish at least one automaker would simply design the dash in a way that makes it easy to plugin your own device. No proprietary mapping software of music player is going to be better than the best of what Android and iOS have to offer.
      Dart
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm very happy with my Uconnect, but that shouldn't be a surprise considering how highly rated the system is. I can do most functions from the steering wheel controls or voice commands, never taking my eyes off the road. Keep in mind I only use my system for two things: Music and hands free phone conversations (and I use the phone as little as possible when driving). I despise selector knobs.
      RG1527
      • 9 Months Ago
      I like the system in my Juke ok. Works really well wiht my old Ipod Touch. (I wish that the usb port was out of the way in the glove box tho) The naviagation is pretty clunky. On thee newer models they have the send to car feature from google maps which i really prefer.
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