Previously, we introduced the first half of our picks of the 10 best OEM infotainment systems on the market today. And now we’re back with the second part of that list. Some of these systems are praised for their sophistication, others for their features, but most for their ability to seamlessly connect with smartphones and operate in a way that is intuitive, clear, and safe to use.
As we pointed out in our last piece, many drivers seem to enjoy a retention of analog switches and knobs (even among all the fancy new touch screens). Chevy employs this tactic for a number of basic functions to keep things user-friendly in the cabin. In fact, our friends at Car and Driver rated MyLink 5/5 stars. They called it one of the best infotainment systems on the market, adding that “its clear graphics, attractive looks, quick response times, and straightforward configurability make it likable and easy to use.”
Additionally, the MyLink system offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility, a WiFi hot spot, 4G LTE connectivity, and an On-Star accessible GM concierge for emergencies and annoying questions. The system also links to a free myChevrolet app. This allows drivers to use their smartphones as a remote control for the car. Chevy’s MyLink even offers a Teen Driver mode. The feature allows overbearing parents to monitor their kids’ driving and keep a report card of all the times they broke the speed limit or turned the radio up too loud. (Really makes you miss the good ol’ days, doesn’t it?)
With an intuitive interface, voice-activated commands, and Apple/Android compatibility, Kia has one of the friendliest infotainment systems on the market. Praised for being simple, clear, and easy-to-use, the UVO system is built on Microsoft technology. It links with a free smartphone app that accesses car maintenance, enhanced navigation, parking reminders, roadside assistance, and more. And linking to the Luxury Services app allows drivers to use their phones to lock and unlock doors, start the car, and set cabin temperature, taking tech-entitled laziness to a bold new level.
Volvo Sensus Connect
Like most luxury badges, Volvo’s infotainment offerings are sleek, refined, and impressive. But setting it apart is Sensus Connect’s large, easy-to-read touch screen that is set vertically in the console. With clear graphics and a minimalist Scandinavian set-up, users are quickly acquainted with features and capabilities. And to minimize distractions while driving, Sensus employs a voice recognition system and an extremely reactive touchscreen. By taking a cue from Apple, Volvo’s new Sensus system is more focused on perfecting the way drivers interact with their infotainment system, rather than cramming in extra bells and whistles. While Sensus is still a newer system with a few bugs, Volvo’s approach shows a lot of promise.
Hyundai Blue Link
While not winning any style awards, Hyundai’s Blue Link is simple, clear, and user-friendly. Refreshing qualities compared to many complicated infotainment systems on the market. Consumer Reports mentions that 63% of Hyundai owners are “very satisfied” with Blue Link, and appreciate its integration of touch screen and hard knobs. Like Chevy, Car and Driver also rated this system 5/5 stars for admirable smartphone integration and connectivity. With Apple/Android compatibility, well-designed navigation, and smart voice command features, Hyundai’s Blue Link ranks high on customer satisfaction.
We can’t talk about state-of-the-art infotainment systems and not mention Tesla, as it’s invariably the very first thing people notice when they see the car’s interior. As The Verge reports, “Unlike every other legacy carmaker, Tesla came into existence at a time when this kind of in-car technology was foundational, not evolving.”
With a whopping 17-inch touch screen display, run on Linux, Tesla’s system is smart, simple, and capable, which will come in handy since it’s used to control almost every inch of car. It features highly visible turn-by-turn maps, incredibly fast response times, downloadable software updates, voice recognition, and even a built-in web browser. Tesla’s system sets a clear precedent for other auto manufacturers.
Do you use one of the infotainment systems on this list? Let us know in the comments what you think of it.