The 5 Worst Infotainment Systems on the Market


Get the Flash Player to see this player.

For all the work that goes into developing infotainment systems, some of them just plain suck.

Considering how much we interact with these interfaces each day, frustration is bound to boil over when dealing with laggy, awkward, and convoluted systems. From circuitous menus that take far too long to navigate to console-mounted controllers that do little more than complicate matters, here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of the worst infotainment systems on the market today.

Subaru Starlink


The tide is slowly turning for Subaru’s Starlink system, and the latest version is lightning quick and easy to use. But until the new Crosstrek and Outback hit the market later this year its availability is limited to the 2017 Subaru Impreza, leaving the rest of the pack with an interface that has more lag than a 2.0-liter TDI. Worse still, most of the system’s multimedia features, including satellite radio, must be run through a smartphone companion app that’s laggy and equally as baffling to use.

Mazda Connect


If there’s one system on the market that proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover it’s Mazda Connect. Unfortunately, the cover is about as appealing as spectating a cars and coffee event filled with Ford Mustangs. The interface itself is actually fairly easy to use despite looking outdated and juvenile and features a touchscreen that’s responsive if not overly crisp. Unfortunately, said the touchscreen is locked out once the car gets rolling, leaving the finicky console-mounted control knob as the only option.

Volvo Sensus


Difficult-to-navigate menus, a confusing interface and a complete lack of responsiveness make Volvo’s Sensus system painful to use not to mention more than a little distracting. Its big display and touch-first interface should make it a home run, but the execution is more like striking out on a bunt attempt. It’s not exactly responsive, this despite its massive tablet-like touch display, while its menus are confusing and challenging to navigate.

Lexus Enform


Lexus’ design language is as futuristic as it is beautiful, but the brand’s Enform infotainment system is anything but on both fronts. The interface looks even more outdated than Mazda’s, but worst of all, it goes without a touchscreen in favor of a touch pad on the console that’s tricky to master and anything but rewarding once you do. Even the most mundane tasks — switching between the navigation and audio functions, for example — can be agonizing to execute, a product of the hypersensitive touch pad. On the bright side, it’s better than the stupid joystick that came before it.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Cars Bleeding Sales in 2017

Infiniti InTouch


The good news is Infiniti’s InTouch system lives up to its name with a touch-sensitive screen — two of them, in fact. But that’s where the praise for this system ends, with far too much overlap between the two displays, and quite a bit of lag when scrolling from one to the other. It’s also not exactly attractive and, while not quite as dated-looking as Lexus’ Enform, doesn’t scream modernity.

  • Ji Dosha

    Mazda is probably the easiest to modify though.

  • VG

    Honda’s system in the Civic is not great either

  • Erkl Wayne

    my 16 chevy SS sedan is horrid , as is the bose so called sound system

  • Prez

    I own a Mazda and as shitty as the original one was on the 2014 to 15 models the new one is easy and comfortable to use. Yes it locks you out but only the nav, as do many others on the market. The center knob is easy to use and NOT finicky. Stop whining you bitch! 🙂

  • Diwa Galvez

    I personally find the following to be the best in-car infotainment systems:

    1. Ford
    2. Kia
    3. Honda with a volume knob

  • Eli peraza

    don’t pay attention to the writer, most likely he is an 90 year old who can even connect his phone via Bluetooth to the car.

  • K03sport

    I have the Mazda Connect system in a ’16 CX-5, and other than a few screen freezes, I think the system works fine as designed. Computers, (smart) cell phones, and similar technology has its glitches and will “protest” every now and then, but what should really be tested along with the headunit is the sonic performance of the speakers – aka the whole package. I’m sure there are a few folks that have a Blose system in their car that will chime in about “not all its cracked up to be”. Our ‘4 Pathfinder’s Blose was ok at best. Blose systems can’t be the only over-hyped, less than spectacular infotainment system on the market; however is some cars it is great and it others, not so much. Also, where is Cadillac’s Cue system? Was it #6? Also, where is the article outlining the 5 best infotainment systems or better yet, the article that lists the systems in rank order from 1 to 35 to help shed more light on this subject.

  • Ernst Kanter

    There are some aftermarket alternatives available from the company called GROM Audio. I have their VLine solution in my Lexus, and it works quite nice. I use it for Google Maps and music, and I like the fact that I do not have to take the stereo out.

  • Kent McClain

    I have had a cue in my cadi for the last 4 years and i like mine. how long have you had yours?

  • U9301

    I have a 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Limited with Starlink and I think it is fine. It isn’t slow at all. One thing that is odd is that once you get into the Bluetooth and finish a call when you hit the back arrow it does nothing. I am required to hit the home button to get back to where I was, which is usually the audio section of the system. Sure, using some apps like Aha requires your phone to be plugged in but up until recently even Apple CarPlay required your phone to be plugged in. Overall I’m very pleased with the system. I think it even sounds good. I replaced the front door speakers and added an amp with a small subwoofer and do not feel then need to replace the head unit. If Subaru’s Starlink made the list of worst the other systems must be completely awesome.

  • What about Chevy’s Mylink (especially the older version found in the Chevy SS Sedan), its pretty garbage in the older models with it being laggy, with a horrible user interface.

  • Same here, my 17 Chevy SS has the same piece of garbage 🙁

  • John

    How does the Audi MMI rate?

  • Get rid of the Pencil-Necked-Geek and the silly dialog.

  • James Hunt

    The current MyLink seems to be ok. Got a 2017 Malibu and the Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto helps cure most problems you might have with built-in. The biggest issue I have with this MyLink is that it consistently leaves the iPod in some state that prevents it from docking again (have tried 30 pin and lightning models). iPhones do not seem to be affected by this, and doing a reboot of the iPod fixes it every time.

  • Pos driver hater

    Haha look at all the salty, POS drivers in the comment section, standong up for their Subaru and load and other american pile of shit