The infotainment system in a car is just as important as its power output, performance, or handling, and a good infotainment system will definitely go a long way to improve the car ownership experience. The infotainment system is what lets you manage all the entertainment features and interact with all the nitty-gritty features available in the car.
So, a good infotainment system should have an easy-to-understand user interface, and there shouldn’t be any sort of lag while interacting with it. It should also have an easy learning curve for all the new customers to the brand who don’t have prior experience in their cars.
With the advancement of technology, the infotainment system in a car has come a long way, and there has been some incremental advancement in this direction in recent years. Things like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration have become mainstream in the car industry, which has revolutionized how we interact with our cars.
And the fact that it is gradually becoming a standard feature in almost all vehicles. From cars like the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, it is also available in most entry-level budget-oriented cars like the Chevrolet Spark, which means almost anybody can get their hands on a car with this feature. That being said, not all infotainment systems are created equal.
There are some brands that have nailed the art of developing the proper infotainment system in a car. And then there are some brands that need to further improve the infotainment system in their cars to make it relevant to the competition. In this article we will be taking a look at some of the cars currently available in the market with the best infotainment system:
2021 Jeep Compass
The Jeep Compass is a result of Jeep’s attempt at competing in the compact crossover SUV segment and the Compass is a pretty interesting vehicle in this segment, to say the least. It maintains its own value proposition in the market due to its premium and authentic Jeep design, superior on-road driving dynamics for its segment, along with a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.
The 2021 Compass comes with the next-generation Uconnect entertainment/connectivity system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Although it might come under the radar, FCA’s UConnect infotainment system might just be one of the most reliable infotainment systems out there in the market. It might not be the most up-to-date visually appealing infotainment system among all the other infotainment systems, but the thing that separates it is that it just works.
The interface is easy to learn and understand, and interacting with it is a breeze, be it through the infotainment display or by using the physical buttons. The 2021 Compass comes either with a 7” or a bigger 8.4” touchscreen display for the infotainment system, depending on the trim level. It also comes with most of the connectivity features you can think of.
2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Praised for its outstanding driving dynamics, spacious and premium cabin, and the amount of value you get for your money, the Golf GTI is one serious hot-hatch that does not need any introduction. On top of all these, it also comes with an easy-to-use infotainment system, which is quite functional as well.
Depending on the trim level, it comes either with a 6.5” or an 8” touchscreen display for the infotainment system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration come equipped as standard across all the trim levels.
2021 Kia K5
Kia’s user-friendly design for their infotainment system makes the new K5 a really compelling car in its segment. Moreover, their innovative UVO connected car solution gives it that slight edge in the competition.
The UVO telematics system is basically a dynamic solution to seamlessly integrate your smartphone, car, and infotainment system. That being said, the UVO telematics system is only available in the trim levels with the bigger 10.25” touchscreen infotainment display.
The entry-level trims with the smaller 8” display do not come with this feature. Nonetheless, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available in all the trim levels, along with most of the connectivity and modern entertainment features you can think about.
2021 Ford F-150
Ford’s Sync infotainment might not be one of the best in the market, but it has got quite a bit better in recent years. Its latest iteration is the Ford Sync 3, on which Ford tried to work on the flaws in the previous versions of the infotainment system and make the Sync 3 relevant and competitive in the market.
The 2021 Ford F-150 comes equipped with either an 8” or a larger 12” touchscreen display for the infotainment system. With the new Sync 3, Ford tried to make it as flexible as possible, on top of making it updatable and configurable to your individual preferences.
2021 Audi Q3
The 2021 Audi Q3 is a serious bang for your buck in its segment, especially in terms of its infotainment system. Referred to as the MMI or the Multi-Media Interface, the Audi smartphone interface in the Q3 integrates the AMI or the Audi Music Interface, establishes contact with customers’ iOS and Android mobile phones, and brings their Apple Car Play or Android Auto environment onto the MMI display.
MMI navigation plus is also joined by the Audi connect services onboard the new Q3. Although available with a standard 8.8” touchscreen display across the trim levels, the Technology package equips it with a bigger 10.1” display.
The package also includes wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, Amazon Alexa integration, a larger digital instrument panel cluster, integrated navigation system, remote control, and monitoring through a smartphone app, along with a premium Bang and Olufsen audio system, among the list of enhancements.
2021 BMW 3 Series
BMW’s iDrive system has always been quite a compelling infotainment system in the executive and luxury car segment. It pioneered the modern screen-based infotainment system when it launched in the all-new 7 Series back in 2001. As time passed by, it got all the necessary updates and enhancements by BMW, and it is still one of the more compelling infotainment systems in the executive car segment.
The 2021 3 Series comes equipped with a standard 8.8” touchscreen infotainment display across the trim levels. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come as standard, so does an in-built navigation system. The standard 10-speaker audio system can be replaced with a premium 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system which is available as an option.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas
Another Volkswagen on the list, the 2021 Atlas is quite a compelling car in the three-row mid-size crossover SUV segment. The 2021 Atlas gets a bold new refresh, both inside and out, along with enhancements in tech and features as well.
It comes with Volkswagen’s MIB II touchscreen infotainment system, and depending on the trim level, it comes either with a 6.5” or an 8” touchscreen display. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard across the trims level so does in-car Wi-Fi hotspot functionality as well. Other notable features include five USB-A ports, a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM radio, and HD Radio.
The Discover Media unit offers 2.5D navigation, featuring one-shot voice destination entry, typed destination entry with search and auto-complete, and predicts possible destinations based on frequently used routes.
2021 Audi A8
Another Audi on the list, the 2021 Audi A8’s infotainment system brings some innovations to the table. Although it might not be the most reliable system out there in the market, it is one of the interesting systems to use nonetheless.
On top of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available as standard across the trim levels, it also comes standard with a wireless charging pad with an Audi phone box signal booster. Known as Audi Virtual Cockpit, the 2021 Audi comes with a really unique digital instrument cluster.
A premium Bang and Olufsen audio system comes equipped as standard, and the Google Earth-based navigation system makes it stand out from the rest in its segment.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The S-Class has been the benchmark with regards to innovation and new technologies, and the 2021 S-Class is no exception. Starting off the 7th S-Class generation, the 2021 S-Class brings some innovative new changes with regards to the infotainment system of the car. The MBUX infotainment system from Mercedes has improved leaps and bounds in recent years, and the 2021 S-Class takes it to the next level.
The second generation of this learn-capable system is being debuted in the new S-Class. The vehicle interior is even more digital and intelligent than ever before. Developed with the help of OLED technology, brilliant displays on up to five large screens make the control of the vehicle and comfort functions even easier to operate. The new 3D driver display allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time.
A real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses. This type of feature might look like a gimmick at first, but it certainly makes owning the car a fun and memorable one. The HUD now provides augmented reality (AR) content. When navigating, animated turn-off arrows are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.
2020 Bentley Continental GT
If budget is not something to worry about, then you might consider something the Bentley Continental GT. It might look like it has a normal infotainment system just like any other high-end luxury car, apart from the fact that it has been beautifully crafted and laid out with some of the top-notch materials available. But if you spend some time, you will find a lot of nitty-gritty features available underneath.
Although a lot of them might be a bit of a gimmick rather than providing some useful functions, these make cars like the Continental stand out of the rest of the cars in the market. The rotating display features are a perfect example of that. The infotainment display in the dashboard rotates when the driver chooses between a screen and three analog gauges. For the infotainment display, a 12.3” touchscreen unit is available as standard along with Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
It is effectively a reskinned version of the Porsche Communication Management setup found in most new Porsches, but with a more usable layout, thanks to an array of hard buttons and control knobs situated in ideal locations beneath the screen that handle most of the important functions.