10 cars with the most convenient interfaces and electronic assistants, to which you don’t have to get used to.
Modern cars are crammed with so many electronics that it would be more than enough for a few Martian rovers. Here you will find AI navigation, which plots a route taking into account previous trips, and adaptive cruise control, which allows you to shift the burden of driving to soulless mechatronics, and even virtual assistants who understand natural speech, and not stereotyped commands. Another thing is that all this high-tech is not always clear – and the fault is UX. The acronym stands for user experience and essentially describes the experience of interacting with the interface of the multimedia system or electronic assistants and also helps to understand whether the buttons on the center console are comfortable. So the publication Wards Auto took the liberty of evaluating the technology from the standpoint of “friendliness” and chose the top ten winning models.
The main trend at the beginning of the decade is personalization. Moreover, “k-seventh” brings the concept of “customization” to a new level. After spending some time wandering through the countless menu items, you can, for example, choose the volume of the parking sensors, turn on traffic jam warnings or display tips for economical driving on the dashboard – and this is just a small part of the possibilities that are hidden in the depths of the multimedia system crossover.
The Wards Auto jury did not disregard the electronic dashboard Virtual Cockpit (again, thanks to several design options, it is unlikely to get bored quickly), and also appreciated the impeccable work of the assisting safety systems. Moreover, the latter perform their duties no worse than on the flagship sedan Audi A8 L.
Gestures, indirect voice commands, and an entire menu section dedicated to the health of mind and body – all of this X7, whose multimedia is running the BMW 7.0 operating system. Inside the crossover, the editors of Wards Auto note, it is pleasant to relax after a working day or to cheer up in the morning before a long trip. This is the responsibility of the Caring Car mode with massage programs, its own air conditioning, and background lighting settings.
In addition, special praise was given to the welcome animation on the center display, the ability to preheat / cool the interior, and the Assisted Driving View display mode. It combines data from several assistance systems and, using augmented reality, displays a three-dimensional visualization of the surrounding space on the dashboard.
The right UX for little money – that’s how Wards Auto described the Trailblazer crossover. The base price of less than $ 20,000 (1.5 million rubles) includes an impressive array of technologies and a multimedia system through which you can pay for purchases in some stores and restaurants. In the post-pandemic era, such opportunities become almost the main competitive advantage.
You can also sign up for maintenance from the main display, call the call center operator in case of an emergency, or read the digital version of the operating manual. That said, there are still enough physical buttons and switches on the console to make it all convenient to use.
If you are a visual, that is, you belong to the type of people who perceive most of the information with the help of sight, then Escape – aka Kuga – was created for you. According to the judges of Wards, Escape’s displays deserve the highest praise: the data from the “tidy” and the multimedia system are read without any difficulties, while the screens themselves are of high resolution, clarity and practically do not glare.
Sync 3 multimedia supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces, is equipped with Amazon Alexa voice assistant and Waze navigation. The guardian angel of the crossover is the Co-Pilot360 complex of electronic security systems. These include, among other things, adaptive cruise control, a lane hold function and Evasive Steering Assist, which helps to avoid slowing or stopped cars.
A push-button transmission selector, an infotainment system with a clearly arranged menu structure and a center display that can be divided into three functional sections – this, according to Wards, brings Sonata closer to the best representatives of the premium segment yet unavailable to it. With all this, as in the case of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, the buyer will get a solid set of “chips” for a price below the national average (38,000 dollars).
Among them is the RSPA Remote Parking Assistant. It allows you to park your car while standing at the side with a key fob as well as a digital key. Depending on the level of equipment, the sedan relies on a smartphone interface, built-in navigation and voice control.
The experience of interacting with Seltos begins even before you get into the salon. The catchy exterior decor and bright color evoke positive emotions. Specially mentioned speaker grilles with a sophisticated yet delicate pattern.
Kia’s multimedia system has been hailed as one of the best in the industry: “Seltos shines at the front of the user interface, with intuitive and easy-to-use controls,” concluded Wards. A separate line mentions the Sounds of Nature app, which creates a special atmosphere within six scenarios: Snowy Village, Living Forest, Calm Sea, Rainy Day, Street Cafe and Warm Fireplace.
Mercedes’ MBUX is about to step into the second generation. Until that happens, the 2020 Wards 10 Best UX jury is actively praising its current version. Vibrant colors, great customization options, and many truly “friendly” features make it one of the most technologically advanced on the market.
There are no questions for the nannies-assistants: Distronic cruise control is able to automatically change lanes, having enlisted the support of the blind spot monitoring system, and the speed limiter, by checking the maps and road signs, will help save on fines. However, the top-end feature is augmented reality navigation, which embeds visual cues with direction indicators and house numbers right into the streaming video from the front camera.
Unexpected but true: Subaru wins the Wards 10 Best UX award for the fourth year in a row. In 2017, the Impreza was named one of the best, a year later – the Ascent, and in 2019 – the Outback. The Legacy sedan was praised for its Volvo-like vertical display multimedia system and DriverFocus for driver fatigue monitoring. It recognizes faces and stores up to five separate profiles with seat positions and climate control settings.
The list of Legacy user-friendly functions is continued by various communication solutions (Wi-Fi, USB ports), adaptive cruise control with setting the acceleration intensity after a full stop, and the eBird application built into the navigation, in which the birdwatching locations are “protected”, a list of residents nearby bird species and data on their seasonal migration.
Toyota is usually criticized for being conservative, but in the case of Highlander, things are not so simple. The SUV is equipped with the Entune 3.0 media system – unlike the previous ones, it runs under the Linux operating system, and not the Blackberry QNX, supporting a bunch of communication interfaces. In addition, it can connect to a cloud database and download traffic and weather information from there.
The Driver Assistance System (ADAS) is the best tested by the 2020 Wards 10 Best UX jury. The list includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic tracking when reversing out of parking, and collision avoidance with automatic braking.
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
The last member of the ranking does not stand out for anything special, but the jury believes that Atlas Cross Sport brings the era of self-driving cars closer. Quite a strange statement, because the maximum that the crossover is capable of is to show the level of autonomy “two plus”. There is adaptive cruise control with a full stop function, which works at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour, and a lane-keeping system that recognizes lane markings even in bends.
Car Net telematics service opens up even more possibilities. By installing a special offer, the owner of the Atlas can remotely start the engine and lock the doors, determine the location of the car and receive information about the remaining fuel. In addition, a complete vehicle diagnostic report and roadside assistance service is available via Car Net.