As the wheel of technological progress continues ever onward, so do car infotainment systems. Every year, manufacturers put out newer and more impressive systems that wow and amaze us until the next system inevitably comes along. Unfortunately, this makes older systems feel obsolete and outdated very soon after launch, which can be really annoying.
Which begs the question: Is there any infotainment system that doesn’t feel out-of-date after a few years?
For example, I drive a 2013 Volkswagen GTI, and my wife drives a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport. The infotainment system in my wife’s car makes the one in my car look like it might as well be running on vacuum tubes. The system in my car has a smaller screen, the user interface isn’t as sleek, and the navigation system feels dated — because it is. The Jetta, on the other hand — which is only three years newer — feels like it’s actually from this century.
I understand why this is the case. Every other piece of technology in our life is constantly updating itself to match refined user interface tastes and standards, while the infotainment systems in our cars are installed and never touched again, aside from occasional map refreshes for navigation.
Furthermore, car development and manufacturing operates on a completely different timeline from everything else in our lives, where it’s not uncommon to see updates and refreshes occur every three to five years, as opposed to every two. This means that when manufacturers do update infotainment, it feels like a much more sudden and drastic change than everything else. This will also probably continue to be the case until manufacturers start pushing updates to systems, like you see with Tesla.
It’s honestly not that bad in my GTI; the system may feel and look fairly outdated, but it doesn’t try to do much. The simplicity means it works. However, what about today’s more complex systems? Will the system in my wife’s Jetta feel as old as my system currently does in another 3 years? I bet it will. Find a used car for sale