Drivers say car infotainment systems are complicated
Posted April 14, 2014
Car radios received getting high-tech upgrades in recent years, but many drivers say the "infotainment systems" replacing them are more hassle than helpful.
A Consumer Reports survey asked readers about more than a million vehicles and found that more than 60 percent of drivers with the electronic systems said they were tough to use, and a third said one of the system's features, like the navigation system, didn't work properly. The survey showed Cadillac, Ford, Honda and Lincoln had the most complaints about their systems. Audi, BMW, Chrysler, and Lexus had systems that were relatively trouble-free.
"What's odd is that you have a knob down here that controls a screen up here, whereas down here you have the touch screen which doesn't work with the knob, doesn't work with the buttons, and you don't know exactly which one to look at," said Consumer Reports' Deputy Autos Editor Jon Linkov.
But it's not just older drivers having a hard time.
"More older drivers found the systems complicated to use at first," said Consumer Reports' Donato Vaccaro. "Younger drivers reported the most problems. This may be because they use the systems more."
Consumer Reports warns that the high-tech systems aren't just a fad. Car makers are packing more features than ever into dashboards.
The magazine says the best way to learn how to successfully use a out a car's infotainment system is to take the time to read the manual.