Our editors' favorite infotainment systems

When it comes to playing tunes, making phone calls or just finding directions to the nearest taco joint while behind the wheel, every member of the Roadshow staff has their own favorite infotainment system. Though we all look for basically the same virtues – ease-of-use, stylish graphics and fast responsive – each of us has our own preference as to which car does it best.

If your favorite car's touchscreen didn't make the cut here, fear not. We've rounded up every infotainment system available today on one massive list.

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Tim Stevens' pick: HondaLink (Honda Accord and Odyssey)

Honda's newest infotainment system is simple to use and very fast to respond to inputs. It has both a bright, clear 8-inch touchscreen and supplementary physical shortcut keys, plus the all-important physical volume knob.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Tim Stevens' pick: HondaLink (Honda Accord and Odyssey)

The new HondaLink system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as satellite and HD radio. Built-in navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot are available as options.

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Tim Stevens' pick: HondaLink (Honda Accord and Odyssey)

For Android Auto users, there's also great functionality when using Google Maps for navigation. Upcoming turns and directions are repeated on the cars' head-up display and instrument clusters. Not all cars with Android Auto support this feature, but it makes navigation using the functionality that much easier.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Chris Paukert's pick: Blue Link (Hyundai and Genesis vehicles)

Blue Link, operated via touchscreen in Hyundai models or rotary controller in Genesis luxury models, is a model of ease and responsiveness. As with Kia's Uvo, it makes every operation simple and fast.

Published:Caption:Photo:Emme Hall/Roadshow

Chris Paukert's pick: Blue Link (Hyundai and Genesis vehicles)

Built-in navigation is offered as an option, and like all of Blue Link's functions, its display is crisp and clear with bold colors.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Chris Paukert's pick: Blue Link (Hyundai and Genesis vehicles)

Whether using the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration or not, Blue Link provides lots of information in easy-to-read formats that don't require taking your eyes off the road for too long.

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Jake Holmes' pick: MMI Touch Response (Audi A6, A7 and A8)

The newest Audi infotainment setup uses two screens, and it's hands-down now my favorite in-car system. On the dashboard is a 10.1-inch touchscreen, while at the bottom of the center stack you'll find a secondary 8.6-inch screen. With powerful graphics processors, MMI Touch Response does everything right now, without even a millisecond of perceptible lag.

Published:Caption:Photo:Jon Wong/Roadshow

Jake Holmes' pick: MMI Touch Response (Audi A6, A7 and A8)

The infotainment system's graphics are also beautiful to behold, with highly stylized elements and buttons throughout. It's a very modern look that aligns well with Audi's interior design language, and despite the modernity the visual language is simple to comprehend at a glance.

Published:Caption:Photo:Jon Wong/Roadshow

Jake Holmes' pick: MMI Touch Response (Audi A6, A7 and A8)

The secondary touchscreen is by far the most interesting part of MMI Touch Response. It means you always have access to the touch-operated climate controls. That's simpler than having to dig through menu screens in other single-screen systems. It also provides a huge interface for typing or writing inputs for the navigation system, simplifying the process of picking a destination.

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Kyle Hyatt's pick: Volvo Sensus Connect

Imagine having a tablet built into your car's dashboard. With its portrait-style orientation and 9-inch screen, that's essentially what Volvo's latest infotainment system resembles.

Published:Caption:Photo:Volvo

Kyle Hyatt's pick: Volvo Sensus Connect

Not only does Sensus have attractive, minimalist graphics throughout, it's simple to use. Swipe back and forth between three pages of controls and data, with the reconfigurable home screen showing your most recently used function along with phone, navigation and music information.

Published:Caption:Photo:Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Kyle Hyatt's pick: Volvo Sensus Connect

Most of all, Sensus is highly legible. With its high-contrast scheme and crisp lettering, it's simple to read the car's status or other info at a glance while behind the wheel without too much distraction.

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Steven Ewing's pick: Porsche Communication Management (Porsche Panamera, Cayenne)

The latest Porsche infotainment system uses an enormous 12.3-inch widescreen display with sharp, stylish graphics. It's a big improvement over prior Porsche touchscreens. A version of the Porsche system is also employed in the new Bentley Continental GT.

Published:Caption:Photo:Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Steven Ewing's pick: Porsche Communication Management (Porsche Cayenne, Panamera)

Best of all, the touchscreen's software puts frequently-used information front-and-center on a home screen made up of highly legible tiles. Side menus on the left-hand side of the display also make it easy to jump to other features.

Published:Caption:Photo:Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Steven Ewing's pick: Porsche Communication Management (Porsche Cayenne, Panamera)

No matter what function you're performing, PCM is super-quick to respond to your inputs. Whether using pinch-to-zoom, typing letters or numbers, or scrolling, PCM is a breeze to operate.

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Emme Hall's pick: Uconnect (Fiat-Chrysler products)

At first glance, Uconnect's multi-page software may look confusing. But dig in and you'll soon find it's one of the simplest to operate in all modern cars. Big, clear buttons and straightforward control pages make for a low learning curve.

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Emme Hall's pick: Uconnect (Fiat-Chrysler products)

Should you not like the built-in software, the latest versions of Uconnect now integrate Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. The phone interfaces look fantastic on Uconnect's bright and colorful screens.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Emme Hall's pick: Uconnect (Fiat-Chrysler products)

One of the biggest praises for Uconnect is that it makes storing and using radio presets a breeze. With so many modern infotainment systems hiding preset selection behind multiple menus and button-pushes, it's refreshing that Uconnect makes saving and picking out your favorite stations so intuitive.

Published:Caption:Photo:Emme Hall/Roadshow

Jon Wong's pick: Kia Uvo

Kia's Uvo systems do a great job of blending touchscreen operation with physical shortcut buttons. Real buttons are always easier to find by feel when on the move, so providing both control options helps with using Uvo while driving.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Jon Wong's pick: Kia Uvo

If you are using the on-screen menu structure, you'll find it's logical and well-ordered. Moreover, there's practically no lag or delay when you touch or scroll on the display. Everything feels fast and responsive.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Jon Wong's pick: Kia Uvo

Finally, Uvo caters to phone users by offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Above all, that means you've always got navigation on hand even if it isn't baked into the trim level of the car you bought.

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Antuan Goodwin's pick: Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect

With standard Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink, Volkswagen is the only automaker that supports all three kinds of phone integration.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Antuan Goodwin's pick: Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect

Car-Net's simple, sharp interface is easy to navigate. Plus, thanks to proximity hand detection, a lot of the controls remain hidden until you approach the screen, for a cleaner look.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Antuan Goodwin's pick: Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect

If your VW comes with Digital Cockpit, many of the Car-Net features can be brought over to the gauge cluster, where you can access everything without ever taking your hands off the wheel.

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Andrew Krok's pick: Ford Sync 3

Sync 3's simple, straightforward design makes it super easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

Published:Caption:Photo:Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Andrew Krok's pick: Ford Sync 3

The quick response times and clearer graphics are a huge improvement over this system's predecessor, MyFord Touch.

Published:Caption:Photo:Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Andrew Krok's pick: Ford Sync 3

We like any infotainment system that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment.

Published:Caption:Photo:Steven Ewing/RoadshowRead the article
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