These day, in-car technology is equally as important, if not more so, than how the car actually drives. Customers are becoming more and more obsessed with infotainment systems, so they are becoming more and more important. Car makers must invest millions of dollars into developing these systems to insure that they’re fast, responsive, easy to use and full of useful functions. So rating a car’s infotainment system is actually quite important to most consumers.
In light of this, Carbuyer UK got ten of the biggest and most popular brands and compared their infotainment systems against one another. Cabuyer’s five different criteria were Usability, Performance, Connectivity, Navigation and Cost. Each system is scored out of five starts for each different criteria and then the scores are averaged out.
Audi’s MMI system received incredibly high praise for almost everything. It was deemed very fast and responsive, very easy to use and it has a ton of features that make like while behind the wheel easier. The navigation system uses Google Maps, which is fantastically helpful, and can use traffic information as well as find nearby points of interest with ease. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit also helps quite a bit, by putting the screen immediately in front of the driver and redundant buttons on the steering wheel. The only knock against the MMI system is the cost. It comes standard on the upcoming Audi A4, but on most models it’s a costly optional extra. Overall, the MMI system received a 4.4 out of 5 stars, which is good for third in the test.
The only two systems to receive higher marks were BMW’s iDrive and SEAT’s Full Link systems. We haven’t sampled the SEAT system, so we cannot attest for its 4.8 score, good for highest in the test. However, we’ve spent extensive amounts of time with BMW’s iDrive system and it probably deserves its second place finish. All in all, the iDrive system is very similar to Audi’s MMI and is about the same, in terms of quality. But BMW’s system is just a touch easier to use and less complicated. Plus its iDrive knob actually spins in the right direction.
But having Audi’s MMI score third in this test is excellent news, considering that it wasn’t always deemed so great. But now, especially with the Virtual Cockpit, it’s one of the best systems out there and worth the extra cost, regardless of how much it is or on which model. It’s an excellent system and should be had on all Audis. The Virtual Cockpit is also a must have, if affordable.