QOTD: Who Has the Worst Infotainment System?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today's Volkswagen news has me wondering: Does VW have the worst infotainment system? Or is it someone else?

For me, the VW system is right up (or is it down?) there as one of the worst. I'd also argue that until recently, Toyota and Lexus were bad -- but those brands have been improving with newer models. I find Honda's to be disappointing, though not that bad, per se. Jaguar/Land Rover has some issues, but the haptic touch works better than VW's system does, and JLR's system does get better as you learn it. It's also not as laggy as VW's system, though I remember it inexplicably losing audio for 30 minutes in a Defender I reviewed two years ago.

Ford's Sync is easy to use but can also crash unexpectedly.

What say you? Which brand or model has the worst infotainment out there? To avoid skewing the sample against outdated tech, keep it to the last model year or two, please.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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10 of 36 comments
  • Dharder Dharder on Nov 29, 2022

    After two head unit replacements I would say 2019-era Subaru Starlink. Just rubbish.

    • See 3 previous
    • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Nov 29, 2022

      No issues with my 18 Forester.

  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Nov 29, 2022

    My experience is limited but the worst I've used is Acura. Our '20 MDX looks and operates like a Commodore 64. I'd say my best experiences have been with UConnect in FCA/Stellantis vehicles and Ford Sync in a new F-series.

    • Motorqjoe Motorqjoe on Dec 07, 2022

      Totally agree. Our '20 MDX Advance is a really great vehicle with the sole exception of the infotainment system, just craptastic. I know Acura has upgraded since.

  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Nov 29, 2022

    The Ford Edge I recently rented had a huge touchscreen that would crash and reboot on a drive longer than an hour. When connected to carplay via a cable, navigation voice prompts were "jittery". Carplay over wifi worked OK.

    I get the visual impact of a large screen, but touchscreens suck for climate controls.

    Frankly no carmaker I am aware of does a good job with infotainment systems. I hope ALL car manufacturers go back to physical buttons for most controls and leave infotainment to Google and Apple.

    Complex software seems beyond the capabilities of most carmakers. Most of them even outsource their BCM/ECU modules to others.

  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on Nov 29, 2022

    I travel frequently for work so rent a lot of cars.

    I think Ford and Chrysler systems are very good.

    GM, Kia/Hyundai, Toyota, Honda and Subaru systems are junk across the board.

    • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Nov 29, 2022

      The Chrysler system gets a lot of good reviews.