Kia makes probably the greatest automobile infotainment systems on the market. Here’s why it really works

Let’s be honest — the infotainment system in your automobile probably sucks. Built-in automobile infotainment systems are notoriously slow, unresponsive, and confusing. That’s given rise to systems like CarPlay and Android Auto, which essentially act as projections of your phone, allowing you to play your music, access maps, and more, without the necessity to navigate your automobile’s own software. I hope those proceed to grow in popularity and in how widely they’re supported — but until then, Kia and Hyundai even have a good infotainment system on their hands.

Now, carmakers appear to be terrible at naming their infotainment systems and the various iterations of those infotainment systems, and there’s little about what they’re naming their latest offering. Due to Kia and Hyundai’s ties, they share much of the identical technology — and that extends to the infotainment system, though their separate options have a distinct color scheme and overall skin. But no matter which company’s automobile you utilize it in, the infotainment system built into Kia and Hyundai’s most high-tech EVs (not their older cars and plenty of of their non-EVs) is definitely setting a high bar for the way these systems should work.

Very phone-like

Perhaps much of what I like about this infotainment system stems from the indisputable fact that the experience of using is kind of just like that of using a phone. The house screen, which shows whenever you activate the automobile, isn’t all that interesting beyond showing just a few bits of knowledge, but, swipe right, and also you’ll straight to a grid of what looks an entire lot like apps. From these icons, you’ll have the ability to dive straight into different settings, your maps, and more.

Christian de Looper / Digital Trends

So what type of “apps” are there? Well, you may dive into the “Map” app, the “Phone” app, or the “Setup” app. A lot of the apps are well-labeled and do exactly what you’ll expect them to do. A few of them, just like the “EV” app, are a bit more nebulously named — but with details about how much range you have got left and settings about charging speed, I find that it just about is sensible.

Now let’s not pretend that, for instance, the mapping feature built into the EV6 is definitely good in comparison with the mapping apps in your phone. It’s still a bit dated-looking. Nevertheless it does react just about the best way you’d expect it to. It shows businesses near you, allows you to easily seek for destinations, and pulls up recent destinations whenever you open it, which is handy.

Responsiveness is essential

It’s not only that the interface itself is best than others. It’s also that it type of acts like one. How so? Well, unlike other carmakers, Kia and Hyundai’s infotainment system seems to react to the touch relatively quickly. Sure, it’s not as responsive as a solid smartphone, nevertheless it generally takes only a split second to open menus and cargo latest screens, which is super handy.

After all, it’s vital to notice that this has less to do with the design of the software, and more to do with the processing power under the hood. If considered one of these cars were to supply a less powerful processor, the infotainment system may look the identical, but not act as responsively.

A map displayed on the Kia infotainment center. Christian de Looper / Digital Trends

I’m glad these cars do offer enough power to make for a responsive-enough user experience. In any case, having to attend for a second each time you touch the screen and be dangerous, especially when paired with an infotainment system that takes too long to load.

But the explanation doesn’t really matter why the infotainment system is responsive — all that matters is the final result. The infotainment system built into the EV6 and the Ioniq 5 is responsive enough to make use of without compromising your safety.

Removed from perfection

I’m not attempting to argue that this infotainment system is great. Quite the opposite, in comparison with the smartphone and computer operating systems we’re used to, it needs lots of work. It just needs less work than lots of the others on the market.

No matter how much work it needs, most of Kia’s and Hyundai’s cars support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — despite the indisputable fact that for some reason they simply refuse to supply wireless connectivity. It’s possible that sooner or later these carmakers will adopt either Google or Apple’s full automotive infotainment systems, which can likely offer a radically improved software experience over what they’ve now.

But until then, and even if you happen to didn’t use CarPlay or Android Auto in any respect, you may absolutely get by with the infotainment system these cars have at once. That’s greater than many other automakers can claim.

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