Study Finds Best, Worst Car Infotainment Systems

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 10, 2016

As infotainment systems become standard equipment in new cars, they’re quickly becoming one of the deciding factors when buying a vehicle. Automakers have been making the systems more and more sophisticated with touch screens, Bluetooth technology and most of the functionality you get with a smartphone. But some of these systems can be infuriatingly hard to use.

Consumer Reports just surveyed nearly 60,000 of its subscribers to see which infotainment systems are best-liked and which are more trouble than they’re worth.

Some systems require too many steps to do simple things. Others don’t even have a basic volume knob. And other systems can be hard to figure out or unreliable to respond. Infiniti’s new InTouch system is the worst, according to a Consumer Reports survey.

Cadillac’s CUE system isn’t much better. One survey respondent describes it as “stupidly complex and unintuitive.” And another said: “This car really needs a co-pilot with an IT degree.”

Some infotainment systems do get it right. Chrysler’s Uconnect 8.4 system, with its big screen and easy-to-use interface, has the happiest users in the Consumer Reports survey.

“You don’t need the manual or an advanced programming degree,” one commented. “This sounds cheesy, but we love it,” another gushed.

Car owners with Hyundai’s infotainment system are also pretty pleased. They especially like the Bluetooth system and the voice commands.

Of course when you buy a car, there’s more to consider than just the infotainment system. You’ll find top-performing infotainment systems in several cars Consumer Reports recommends, including the Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Impala, and Kia Optima.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to