Overlooking the vehicle's infotainment systems while car shopping can quickly prove to be a frustrating mistake, given how often they will have to interact with the in-car infotainment. Some infotainment systems suffer from laggy and low-resolution displays, while others are painfully difficult to navigate through. These are the worst offenders, as well as some of the leaders in the industry.
Worst: Ford Sync
Ford has been struggling with the Sync infotainment system ever since its initial release in 2007. The system, based on Microsoft software, was (frankly speaking) as bad as it could get. The older versions of the Sync suffered from a wide array of issues, including lack of responsiveness and glitches, all topped off with an outdated interface.
Ford was forced to roll out updates to fix the horrendous Sync infotainment system. The newer versions of the software are reportedly lightyears ahead of the original Sync. The latest Sync 4 debuted in 2019, it can be found in vehicles from the 2021 model year and above.
Worst: Lexus RX
The RX is a stylish SUV sold by Lexus since the 2016 model year. The futuristic design language would make you expect that the car's infotainment system is just as modern. Sadly, its Lexus Enform system is anything but high-tech. In fact, it's one of the worst ones on the market.
What looks like a touchscreen can in reality only be operated by a touchpad. The outdated menus don't improve the user experience, either. On top of all this, some features such as remote start operated by a smartphone app, require the owner to purchase an additional annual subscription.
Worst: Subaru Outback (Before 2017)
Subaru vehicles come equipped with the Starlink infotainment system. The software certainly failed to live up to the expectations. Many owners report lags, connectivity issues, and a terrible experience overall. As if that wasn't enough, the Starlink mobile app is one of the worst-rated apps of its kind.
Luckily, the Japanese manufacturer addressed the terrible Starlink infotainment system. The latest Subaru models are equipped with a much more responsive version of the software, combined with more powerful hardware. However, car buyers who are in the market for a pre-2017 model should be aware of the outdated Starlink infotainment system.
Worst: Nissan Pathfinder (Before 2016)
Nissan is yet another automaker that struggled with developing a modern and intuitive infotainment system for their vehicles. This system, which can be found on Nissan's vehicles produced until the 2016 model year, was one of the worst in the entire industry. Apart from the absolute lack of user-friendliness and an outdated look, the system lacked mobile connectivity, too.
Nissan updated the horrific infotainment system with the release of the all-new Pathfinder back in 2016. The new Nissan Connect was a major upgrade, the software is much more responsive and modern than its predecessor.
Worst: Fiat 500X
The Fiat 500X is a subcompact SUV that visually resembles its smaller cousin, the beloved Fiat 500. Though the vehicle initially debuted for the 2016 model year, it is only available in North America since 2020.
The 8-inch touchscreen installed at the top of the dashboard is quite difficult to reach, and the small icons certainly don't make the experience any easier. The Fiat Uconnect Live lacks responsiveness, too. However, the menus are designed in a fairly modern way that should not appear outdated for the next couple of years.
Worst: Volvo XC60
There is no doubt that the latest Volvo XC60 SUV is a fantastic option within its price range. The exterior design is classy and simplistic, and the comfort of the ride is nothing short of impressive. One of the biggest downsides of this upscale SUV is the Volvo Sensus infotainment system.
The Volvo Sensus system is awful, simply put. The menus are incredibly difficult to navigate through, and the sleek-looking display lacks responsiveness. Many owners report issues with the loading times. It can take up to half a minute for the TuneIn radio to find a station and start playing music!
Worst: McLaren MP4-12C
The MP4-12C marked the beginning of a new era for McLaren. It was the automaker's first roadgoing production vehicle ever since the iconic McLaren F1. The sleek supercar launched in mid-2011, though the Woking-based manufacturer ran into a serious issue merely weeks before the scheduled debut.
The highly-anticipated IRIS infotainment system that the MP4-12C was set to be fitted with had been canceled right before the car's debut. Instead, McLaren was forced to quickly develop an Android-based software for the 12C. The last-minute decision resulted in an infotainment system that did not live up to the standards of the supercar.
Worst: Infiniti Q60S
The Q60 is a stylish coupe sold by Infiniti. Its aggressive exterior design goes in pair with the performance, too. The Q60 makes 400 horsepower in its most powerful variant, allowing the vehicle to reach 60 miles per hour in just 4 and a half seconds.
The InTouch infotainment system is unresponsive, to say the least. Unlike the previously mentioned Volvo Sensus, the InTouch does come equipped with a touchscreen. Although not as dated as some of the other terrible infotainment systems out there, the InTouch is incredibly underwhelming. Without a doubt, Infiniti's infotainment system remains one of the worst ones on the market.
Worst: Range Rover Velar
Over the last years, Range Rovers turned from practical and somewhat spartan SUVs to upscale land yachts. Land Rover's focus shifted from off-road capabilities to a high-quality interior finish, as well as fitting the vehicles with all kinds of lavish comfort features. The Velar, unveiled in early 2017, is a prime example of the new Range Rover.
Unfortunately, the car's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system simply does not live up to the expectations. While the system does look sleek with its dual touchscreen setup, it is far from user-friendly. Navigating around the different menus can be confusing, and the software is nowhere near as responsive as its competitors'.
Worst: Porsche Cayenne (955)
The original Porsche Cayenne polarized the brand's fans back in 2002. While some Porsche enthusiasts loved the idea of a spacious and powerful SUV developed by the German automaker, others were not so pleased. One thing is for sure- souped-up versions of the original Cayenne, such as the Cayenne Turbo or the Turbo S, were a huge leap forward on the high-performance SUV market.
One of the biggest downsides of the original Cayenne is the Porsche Communication System. The infotainment system has aged terribly, and it is tremendously difficult to navigate through the menus. Much like the previously-mentioned 7 Series, the driver can only use knobs to access different features of the system.
Worst: MG ZS EV
There is a great chance that you have never heard of this electric crossover SUV. It debuted back in 2018 in China as a fully electric variant of the regular ZS. The car is sold in some European and Asian countries, as well as Australia. At the time of its Australian debut in late 2020, the ZS EV was the cheapest electric car on the market.
An 8-inch touchscreen is the heart of this EV's infotainment system. While the interface does look modern, the software suffers from a lack of responsiveness and frequent crashes. It isn't particularly user-friendly either, some options are hidden deep within submenus.
Worst: BMW 7-Series (E65)
The 7 Series is often regarded as the pinnacle of luxury. Afterall, it is BMW's ultimate upscale sedan. While the majority of the 7 Series have aged well, the E65 produced from 2001 is a whole different story. In fact, this generation was a total flop ever since its release.
The E65 7 Series was the first car to feature BMW's iDrive. Unlike the iDrive seen in BMWs today, the first-ever version of the software was one of the worst in the industry. The menus can only be browsed using a single knob, which is a far cry from being user-friendly.
Worst: Mazda 6
Although Mazda has earned the reputation of manufacturing high-quality cars that are both reliable and fuel-efficient, the Mazda Connect infotainment system remains a total miss. Unlike the majority of the other systems on our list, the Connect isn't overly difficult to use or awfully unresponsive. The major issue with the Mazda Connect was initially developed to ensure the driver always keeps their eyes on the road.
The touchscreen can only be operated when the car is parked. As soon as you're on the go, you'll have to navigate through the menus using the awkward control knob mounted on the console. Whoever approved this idea certainly hasn't tested it for themselves first.
Worst: Peugeot 508
The second generation of the Peugeot 508 is a great-looking sedan sold by the French automaker since the 2019 model year. The refreshed design language is futuristic both inside and out. While the interior could double as the cockpit of a spaceship, the infotainment system does not live up to the expectations.
One of the main issues is that the climate controls can only be adjusted via the 10-inch touchscreen, which takes an awful amount of time as opposed to a set of buttons. The silver buttons used to switch between features are fairly difficult to read, too.
Worst: Hyundai Veloster Turbo
The sporty Veloster Turbo first debuted in the US for the 2013 model year. The sporty 2-door coupe featured a 200-horsepower motor beneath the hood, mated with a dual-clutch transmission. There is no denying that this sporty car is a great pick within its price range. The infotainment system, however, has one major downside.
The infotainment system itself is not exactly bad, at least until you try to use the voice control. Voice recognition simply does not work properly in the first-gen Veloster.
Worst: Volkswagen ID.3
The ID.3 is an exciting peek into the future of electric mobility. The German automaker developed this fully electric city car for the 2020 model year. Over 50,000 units were sold in Europe alone, only a year within its launch!
The overall design language of the ID.3 is futuristic and modern, the interior is no different. A 10" touchscreen sits at the heart of the car's infotainment system. Sadly, the fancy graphics prove to be more than the software can handle. The interface is laggy and lacks the kind of responsiveness you get in a Tesla, for example.
Worst: Skoda Citigo-E IV
Skoda is yet another automaker that has recently joined the electric car craze. The fully electric version of the Citigo city car launched in late 2019. This cute little car has a single-charge range of over 150 miles.
The Czech manufacturer decided to fit the A/C controls at the top of the dashboard directly above the small infotainment screen, which is quite an awkward placement. What's more, Skoda dropped any kind of built-in navigation system in favor of a smartphone holder on the dashboard. This may be a decent solution, as long as your phone has a large display. Otherwise, it's a hard pass.
Average: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Giulia Quadrifoglio is a souped-up Italian sedan that serves as a rival to the BMW M4 or the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Sadly, one of the car's biggest disadvantages is the outdated infotainment system. The resolution is awful, it isn't particularly responsive, and there is no touch control available.
Luckily, Alfa Romeo developed a much-needed upgraded infotainment system, fitted on all Giulias starting from the 2020 model year. The system can now be controlled using a touchscreen, as opposed to knobs. The screen resolution, among other features, has been dramatically improved.
Worst: Toyota Camry
The mighty Camry may be the last vehicle you'd expect to be the worst in anything. Afterall, this sedan has rightfully earned the reputation as one of the most reliable vehicles of all time. Add in the roomy interior as well as a fuel-efficient hybrid engine option, and you have a vehicle that's nearly perfect.
One of the few downsides of the new Camry is the car's infotainment system. While the Entune software itself is perfectly fine and easy to use, the phone app is a whole different story. In fact, it's one of the worst-rated car connectivity apps on the market!
Worst: Audi A3
The current version of the Audi MMI infotainment system, internally referred to as the MIB 2, is very responsive and user-friendly. Sadly, the same can't be said about the previous generation, codename MIB 1, which was only fitted on the Audi A3 between 2015 and 2017, as well as the Audi A1 between 2018 and 2019. This version of Audi's MMI infotainment luckily did not make it over to any other models.
If you're in the market for a 2015-2017 Audi A3, you may want to opt for a newer model year. The driver can switch through the menus only using a knob on the center console.
Worst: Chevrolet Camaro
The sporty 2020 Camaro, much like the rest of the GM lineup, features an easy-to-use infotainment system powered by a 7-inch touchscreen. While the interface is far from the worst in the industry, many buyers reported issues with Bluetooth connectivity, rear-view camera problems, and even the screen going completely blank.
In mid-2020, there has been a class-action lawsuit filed against GM. The 7-inch IOR infotainment system is allegedly prone to a wide array of issues and glitches, all of which lower the value of the vehicles. According to the lawsuit, GM vehicles from the 2019 and 2020 model years may be affected. What's more, the lawsuit claims that GM refuses to fix the faulty system and fails to acknowledge the issues.
Worst: Honda CR-V
The latest, fifth-gen of the CR-V SUV debuted for the 2017 model year. The refreshed crossover shares its platform with the sleek Honda Civic. Luckily, the air conditioning can be adjusted using two dials next to the touchscreen, as opposed to the previously mentioned Peugeot 308.
The 7-inch touchscreen is rather responsive, though it does not feel particularly precise. While Honda does offer a voice-controlled virtual assistant, the system is nowhere near as seamless as the MBUX voice control found in Mercedes-Benz cars.
Worst: Cadillac CTS
The third-gen CTS was a great vehicle overall. The upscale sedan had even won Motor Trend's Car Of The Year award in 2014. One of the biggest downsides of the CTS, however, was the terrible Cadillac User Experience infotainment system.
Despite the name of the system, it can safely be assumed that user experience was the least of Cadillac's worries. The CUE lacked responsiveness, and its interface appeared outdated ever since its release. Luckily, the automaker replaced the Cadillac User Experience infotainment system just a few years after its 2012 debut.
Worst: Opel Corsa
The latest Corsa received a major refresh when it comes to exterior design. The new design language is a lot more exciting than any of its predecessors, and buyers might expect the same inside the cabin. Sadly, this is certainly not the case. Instead, the interior of the Corsa remains utterly bland, and its infotainment system is no exception.
The 8" touchscreen interface is tricky to navigate through and can prove distracting when driving. The optional 10" display is a bit better, though Opel's software remains anything but user-friendly. Luckily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are available, which makes the whole experience much easier.
Worst: BMW M235i
It should be pretty clear by now that BMW has struggled with iDrive over the last two decades. The latest version of their infotainment system is among the best in the industry. However, this is certainly not the case with the iDrive found in the BMW 2 Series produced until the 2016 model year.
While the interface is responsive and relatively simple to navigate through, the voice control is truly awful. It is nowhere near as sophisticated as the virtual assistant found in Mercedes-Benz cars. Trying to use any of the features using your voice can quickly prove to be incredibly frustrating. Luckily, the issue has been fixed in 2016 with the release of the iDrive 5.0.
Average: Maserati Ghibli
While the Chrysler UConnect is far from a bad infotainment system, many buyers would expect a Maserati to come with top-notch software. Instead, those in the market for this upscale sedan may be disappointed to hear that the Ghibli infotainment system is in fact a slightly redesigned version of the Chrysler UConnect. This may be yet another reason for many buyers to stay away from the early model years of the seemingly luxurious Ghibli.
Luckily, the Italian automaker updated the infotainment system for the 2017 model year. The latest Ghibli features an 8.4" Maserati Touch Control Plus system, along with a high-quality stereo system.
Average: Acura RDX
The latest RDX SUV from Acura was redesigned for the 2019 model year. The car was refreshed inside and out. Interestingly, Honda decided to ditch a touchscreen interface in favor of a touchpad mounted on the center console.
Overall, the infotainment system is not terrible enough to qualify as one of the worst in the industry. Using the console-mounted touchpad to control the system is counterintuitive, to say the least. Once you do figure out how to navigate using the True Touchpad Interface, the entire system will feel a lot more user-friendly.
Best: RAM Trucks
The latest UConnect infotainment system can be found in a variety of Chrysler products, including RAM trucks, Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler cars. Some of the vehicles, such as the 2020 Ram Trucks, even feature a vertical touchscreen that spans five inches. It should come as no surprise that the UConnect is considered one of the best infotainment systems in the industry.
The UConnect is simple to navigate through and very responsive. Features such as climate controls can be adjusted using traditional knobs and buttons, as opposed to submenus hidden deep within the software. This makes nearly every feature of the infotainment system easy to access.
Best: Porsche Taycan
Porsche's latest fully electric sedan, the Taycan, has quickly become a hit among wealthy buyers worldwide. The vehicle is more advanced and arguably better-looking than the Panamera, not to mention the eco-friendly powertrain. Inside, the Taycan is spiked with more high-tech features than any other Porsche, combined with a minimalist design language.
The Taycan is fitted with an enormous touchscreen on the dashboard, similar to the one found in the new Panamera or the latest 911. The interface is easy to navigate through and extremely responsive. Sadly, Porsche has ditched physical buttons for the infotainment altogether, which can take a while to get used to.
Best: Tesla Model 3
It is simply impossible to overlook Teslas when thinking of the greatest infotainment systems in the auto industry. While Elon Musk's electric vehicles certainly aren't perfect, there is absolutely no doubt that Teslas are one of the leaders when it comes to in-car infotainment system. The Tesla Model 3 is a prime example.
A massive 15" touchscreen is the heart of the infotainment system here. The interface is sleek and intuitive, there are no issues with responsiveness or glitches. In addition to all of the standard hi-tech features, Teslas also come equipped with fun apps such as driving games that can be played using the car's steering wheel. As long as the vehicle is parked, of course.
Best: Mercedes-Benz S Class
The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz S Class debuted in 2020. The German automaker combined the release of the ultimate lavish sedan along with the debut of the all-new MBUX 2.0 infotainment system. The 2021 S Class is the first vehicle to be fitted with this system, and it is even better than the original MBUX!
Mercedes' award-winning "Hey Mercedes" voice recognition system has been improved even further for the latest S-Class. MBUX 2.0 is timeless and more intuitive than ever before. Plus, there is an array of high-tech features such as the augmented-reality head-up-display, which projects navigation directions directly on the windshield. That way, the driver never has to take their eyes off the road.
Best: BMW M3
The latest, sixth-generation of the M3 launched for the 2021 model year. The vehicle sparked controversy from the get-go, primarily due to its enormous front grille. Unconventional design aside, the new M3 is a high-performance beast that also happens to have one of the most advanced infotainment systems in the industry.
A 12.3" touchscreen is the heart of the car's infotainment system, powered by BMW's latest iDrive software. To ensure easy accessibility, BMW has added a range of climate control buttons on the center console, as well as a rotary knob to adjust the volume. The interface itself is responsive and extremely easy to use.
Best: Audi Q3
The refreshed second generation of the Q3 SUV debuted in 2018 for the following model year. The infotainment system of this upscale Audi is widely considered to be one of the best in the industry.
The infotainment in the new Q3 is made up of a dual-screen set up: a 10.1" touchscreen as well as a 10.25" virtual cockpit digital gauge cluster. The new Q3 boasts a wide array of luxurious features, such as a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, wireless phone charging, and a WiFi hotspot.
Best: Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG
While the latest MBUX 2.0 found in the latest S-Class is probably as impressive as any infotainment system can get, its predecessor was equally revolutionary. The third-gen A-Class hatchback, launched back in 2018, was the first in the German automaker's lineup to receive the brand new MBUX system.
The performance-oriented A35 AMG is fitted with a sleek dual-touchscreen setup. The MBUX interface is extremely responsive and easy to use. The driver can navigate through the system either by tapping the touch-sensitive screen, pressing small panels directly on the steering wheel, or simply saying "Hey Mercedes" to enable the award-winning voice recognition system.
Best: Honda Odyssey
The Odyssey may be the last vehicle you'd expect to have a great infotainment system. Afterall, most manufacturers only focus on a spacious interior, as well as comfort and safety features when developing minivans. The new Odyssey, however, is a completely different story.
Unlike the previously mentioned CR-V, the Odyssey features an infotainment system that's surprisingly responsive and easy to use. The 8" touchscreen can be found in every trim level of the minivan, except for the base model. The interface is customizable and easy to navigate through, and the software comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Best: Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet MyLink remains one of the best infotainment systems in the car industry. Naturally, this does not include the previously mentioned 2019 and 2020 model years that may be prone to an array of issues. The latest version of the system that can be found on cars such as the 2021 Suburban, is back on track.
The MyLink is easy to use, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing to look at. The large icons are easy to distinguish even while driving. GM has clearly prioritized user experience above all else when developing the MyLink. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are both available, too.
Best: Volkswagen Golf 8
The latest, eighth-generation of the Golf is a massive leap ahead of its predecessor. The refreshed exterior design is sleeker than ever, and the same can be said about the cabin. The infotainment system received an upgrade, too, along with an array of new high-tech features.
The central 8" touchscreen is accompanied by a single row of touch-sensitive pads, making the dashboard look simplistic and modern. The resolution is sharp, and the interface is responsive and intuitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as standard, though the built-in Volkswagen system is perfectly fine on its own.
Best: Ford Fiesta ST
You may remember the older versions of the Ford Sync system that are widely regarded as one of the worst on the market. Luckily, the American automaker addressed the issue by announcing the redesigned Ford Sync 3 in 2014. Unlike its predecessor, the new system was based on Blackberry software and not Microsoft.
The Fiesta ST received an 8-inch touchscreen that comes with Android and Apple screen mirroring as standard. The high-quality display is easy to read, and the interface itself is responsive and quite intuitive. Sadly, Ford did not include physical buttons to quickly browse between different submenus.
Best: Skoda Kamiq
Thankfully, the awful infotainment system found in the previously mentioned Citigo has not carried over to other Skoda products. In fact, the system that the Kamiq SUV is equipped with one of the best systems that are currently available on the market.
Many drivers consider systems similar to the one found in the Kamiq to be the ultimate mix of old-school and high-tech. Skoda has added seamless buttons on each side of the car's 9.2" touchscreen. That way, the driver can quickly browse between different submenus or adjust the volume at ease.
Best: Hyundai Ioniq
The latest Ioniq is a rather interesting addition to the Hyundai lineup. This hybrid family car features a modern design, and its upscale DNA is reflected inside the cabin. What's more, the new Ioniq comes equipped with an 8" touchscreen as the heart of the car's infotainment system.
The hybrid's infotainment system features Bluetooth connectivity and digital radio. The interface itself is simple to navigate through, with a set of physical buttons below the screen to switch between different submenus. Hyundai has decided not to add a sat-nav system. The driver has to rely on smartphone mirroring for directions, instead.