The top 6 infotainment systems available in 2023
What features do you consider a priority when car shopping? Horsepower and cargo space are often mentioned, but the reality is that today’s vehicles are quite similar in how they drive and how much stuff they can hold. However, there is one attribute that still makes a significant difference: a vehicle’s infotainment system.
A new vehicle’s centre display screen, software interface, audio system and associated features – all commonly known as its infotainment system – are as varied as the countless makes and models you’ll find on dealership lots. But, when shopping, there’s no easy way to know if a particular vehicle’s infotainment system is innovative and user-friendly or slow to respond and counterintuitive.
FORD SYNC 4
Ford has been evolving and improving its Sync operating system since it debuted more than 15 years ago. The latest version, Sync 4, boasts an intuitive nature, particularly in how it accepts voice commands that aren’t awkward and robotic like those found in some competing infotainment systems. Sync 4 allows for over-the-air software updates, and it appears on a large touchscreen that measures up to 15.5 inches. Even better, Sync 4 is available in some of Ford’s most popular vehicles, including the F-150 pickup truck and Mustang Mach-E.
HYUNDAI INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM and KIA CONNECT
Hyundai and Kia are corporate cousins. The two automakers have separate identities but cooperate in terms of shared engines, vehicle platforms and vehicle infotainment systems. Hyundai Infotainment System and Kia Connect are uncomplicated yet fully featured in how they operate. Better still, the functionality of the nearly identical systems is excellent whether you’re in an economy-minded car like the Hyundai Elantra or a three-row SUV like the Kia Telluride. In the recently updated 2023 Telluride, for example, the 12.3-inch touchscreen has large icons and very quick response times.
GENERAL MOTORS’ ANDROID AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEM
General Motors has also recently pivoted toward Google’s Android Automotive operating system and it’s now found in models like the GMC Hummer EV, Chevrolet Suburban and the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV. It is one of the better infotainment systems available, as it features native Google Maps, quick responses and high-definition graphics. In the 2023 Suburban, a 10.2-inch screen is fitted to all but the base trim level. Google Assistant voice commands provide useful shortcuts, and Apple users can still bring CarPlay and Siri integration. It’s also complemented by wireless smartphone connectivity.
Having multiple means of controlling a vehicle’s operating system takes into consideration not every car shopper is the same. Some prefer touchscreen inputs, while others like intuitive voice commands or more tactile controls. This is part of what makes the latest Mercedes-Benz MBUX interface so good. This feature-rich system can be operated via a touchscreen, natural voice commands or touchpad controls. In the 2023 Mercedes GLE SUV, MBUX comes with smartphone connectivity and a navigation system that delivers wonderfully clear turn-by-turn directions using augmented overlays projected onto the windshield when paired with the available head-up information display.
STELLANTIS UCONNECT 5
Similar to Ford Sync, the Uconnect operating system used in Stellantis brands including Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram has evolved and gotten better with every update. The system isn’t limited to pricey high-end models either. From the throwback Dodge Challenger muscle car to the rock-crawling Jeep Wrangler, Uconnect 5 is quick to react and easy to use. In the past, Uconnect was typically paired with an 8.4-inch touchscreen but recent models, such as the new Dodge Hornet or 2024 Wrangler, have bigger screens.
TOYOTA AUDIO MULTIMEDIA
Toyota has improved its infotainment system dramatically in the past year or so. Its latest vehicles, such as the Tundra pickup and redesigned Prius, have a large touchscreen that’s responsive to your touch and sharp-looking. The on-screen menus are easy to understand, and wireless connectivity for CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is standard. This new Toyota system also supports natural language voice commands, over-the-air software updates, and the ability to pair two devices using Bluetooth.