Consumer Reports Slams MyFord Touch

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
consumer reports slams myford touch

Consumer Reports published a scathing critique of the MyFord Touch infotainment system, saying it “stinks” and even worse, is prompting competitors to come out with their own versions of the system.

CR’s critiques of the system largely focus on ergonomics and ease of use. Without physical buttons, MyFord Touch is difficult to use while driving, says the publication – and there are a few TTAC staffers (myself included) who would be inclined to agree. Consumer Reports best summed up the problems behind MyFord Touch with this analogy

Ever consider why video games still use separate controllers with physical buttons, knobs, and joysticks? You never have to take your eyes off the screen, where the bad guys could appear suddenly and shoot you. The same should be true for the view of the road out the windshield while driving. Studies have shown that crashes escalate dramatically the longer drivers take their eyes off the road. We think MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch require far too many glances away from traffic to operate even common functions. And the voice command system is awkward enough that for simple adjustments, most of our drivers don’t use it instead.

While Ford has updated the software to enhance its operation, the lack of any tactile sensation is something that many people have trouble adapting to. Having a car for a week at a time many not be enough for most reviewers, but with CR purchasing their cars outright, and ostensibly spending significant amounts of time behind the wheel, they may have a better-founded grievance.

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Aug 24, 2012

    I have two friends with Edges, and the system annoys the hell out of them both. Their wives liked it, at first, but after a few months have changed their opinion to "It sucks", and "It annoys the shit out of me!"

  • FJ60LandCruiser FJ60LandCruiser on Aug 24, 2012

    How is barking commands at a voice recognition system, or fumbling with a touchscreen without tactile feedback better than turning a knob or pushing an up/down button? Is it "the future" and we just have to get used to it because all of the car's controls being condensed into a tiny screen that fades out in bright light or becomes blinding on dark back highways and is distracting to use is somehow superior because focus groups and car companies INSIST on it? Or is it just simple ignorance that we need to continuously push high tech gadgets in cars because there's an implied consumer demand to advance them technologically and turn them into rolling smart phones? When we went car shopping recently dealers kept insisting about getting the upgraded editions which had the "LCD panel" in the dash and how it's ensuring that the car will have better resale value in the future when every new car has a clumsy dash interface. I've used MFT and Sync on rentals and haven't been impressed, and found them clumsy and distracting.

  • Michaelhagerty Michaelhagerty on Aug 24, 2012

    I've had two of the MyTouch systems freeze up (no ability to control volume, source...anything) and require rebooting...which required shutting off the ignition. After turning the car back on, one of those two took 9 minutes before the system was operational again. And just the week before last, I was in a '13 Flex that would turn the radio back on seconds after I'd turned it off...every single time. I finally just dialed the sound all the way down.

  • Cpthaddock Cpthaddock on Aug 29, 2012

    I feel lonely in this thread! I first met MFT last year in rental vehicles. I liked it and the more I used it, the more I liked it. I sampled the Chrysler systems in their (then) new model Chargers and Challengers and found it competent but found it limited in function and ambition. From what others have written I guess I should count myself lucky not to have experienced any problems in the 7 or 8 Ford Edge models I rented for a week at a time. Fast forward a year and my wife finally decided to part with her 2005 Acura MDX touring - a vehicle that also has extensive touch screen controls with zero feedback of any kind that never seemed to ignite the depths of Consumer Report's wrath like MFT has done. Maybe it was being so familiar with the Acura system from '05 that MFT didn't seem to be such a massive change to her when we went shopping. My wife loved her Acura so much, she kept it 4 years longer than she normally would. Despite repeatedly looking at the newer MDX over the years, it was the seemingly timid pace of technology adoption at Acura which disappointed her every year. My wife swore off domestic autos after an early 80's factory new GM experience but recalling how much I enjoyed MFT last year I suggested we take a look. To my surprise, she picked a Flex LTD Ecoboost - the final decision coming down to a 2012 without MFT and a 2013 with MFT. While it would be a lie to claim not a single issue with MFT in the 2013 we picked, the things that have not been 100% as they should has been trivial. One time I have started the car and had to set a new NAV destination in order to cancel it and override the previous destination's persistence. One time the Sirius button's logos didn't show up. Compare that to the kind of problems I've experienced in DVD based navigation systems that decide they can't quite read the disc that day ... uh oh! We are fans of MFT. No haptic feedback - don't notice. Complicated submenus (have you seen a BMW lately) ... it's called customization and control. LCD sub displays and steering wheel controls - truly awesome. Put a European or Japanese badge on the hood and I'd bet most people would just be moaning the lack of technological advances in domestic autos and holding MFT up as an example. Then again maybe that's just me being lucky and not experiencing the problems that others have - but I haven't and the vehicle rocks!