Analysis Capabilities And Adaptations Of Dodge, Ford, Chrysler And Chevrolet
Control Method: Chevrolet’s infotainment system has made a name for itself as far as simplicity, responsiveness and user-friendliness are concerned. General Motors uses IntelliLink (an alternative branding for MyLink) in its other brands (Buick, Opel, Vauxhall and GMC), and its functionality is very similar to MyLink’s - aside from the graphics. MyLink comes with either a 7” and 8” touchscreen navigation besides other optional methods. For instance, you can access the Performance Data Recorder that uses your on-track laps to record telemetry and video information. This feature is available in certain models like the Corvette and Camaro and make it extremely convenient if you plan to post the recorded information to YouTube later. Additionally, you can use imply voice commands to operate the media, tuner and phone features on the system with incredible ease. You can gain access to the hands-free vehicular climate control settings without batting an eyelid. This goes a long way to help ease the distraction off of operating the interface and instead, lets you focus solely on driving.
Perhaps what makes the MyLink such a favorite with tech junkies is its easy-to-scan text and icons coupled with a generous helping of analog controls. Another model, the Bolt EV to be precise, kicks the traditional infotainment features up a couple of notches. Using an 8” display, it also offers information about its battery charge time so that you know exactly what to expect before you embark on your journey.
Smartphone Integration: Compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Windows, there isn’t much that Chevrolet’s system can’t do by way of smartphone integration functions. Offering you in-built OnStar telematics connectivity, you can enjoy unlimited hours of FM/AM/satellite radio when on the go. MyLink also supports USB connectivity, Bluetooth and auxiliary devices to make your experience that much smoother.
What the interface lacks in graphics (these aren’t the most impressive when compared to other mainstream infotainment systems), it makes up for in other departments. You have the pleasure of streaming over 100,000 radio shows and podcasts on demand using the Stitcher mobile app. MyLink also doubles up as a powerful 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can accommodate up to seven devices at a time without any restrictions.
Sound and Music: Chevrolet reinforces its commitment to owner satisfaction at every step of the way. MyLink is no exception in this regard. On the homescreen, you have the ability to access your audio settings, making your interaction with the system extremely hassle-free. Engineered to deliver phenomenal acoustics, some of the models come equipped with top-of-the-line Bose sound systems.
With the Chevrolet Bolt, you can enjoy premium sounds with 7 high-performance speakers that also include one Richbass woofer. The Corvette kicks things into high gear. There are several packages that you can choose to invest in. One of these includes a premium Bose sound system that boasts of SurroundStage and Centerpoint technologies and 10 high-performance speakers. Alternatively, you could opt for the package that offers 9 high-performance speakers and delivers similar acoustics at a lower price.
Maps and GPS Functionality: Getting to your destination is an absolute breeze with the Turn-by-Turn navigation and the OnStar Guidance - a mainstay GPS feature in most Chevy models. Because convenience is key with the manufacturers at GM, there are several options that you can choose in order to input your destination; you can tell the Advisor exactly where you want to go after pushing the blue OnStar button; you can relay your destination through the myChevrolet mobile app; you can input a destination into the MyLink system.
So that you remain on par with the ever-changing road infrastructure, MyLink is updated every year with new roads, speed limits, signage, points of interest and addresses to provide you with extremely accurate information. With every map update, your system’s routing functions are optimized, guaranteeing that you stay on the right course and reach your destination on time, every time.
Control Method: The Uconnect 4 infotainment system as seen in the Chrysler Pacifica and the Chrysler 300 is definitely one for the books as far as quality and unparalleled performance go. With a whopping 8.4” display, or a 7” display available with certain Pacifica minivan trims, you get to enjoy stunning visuals, quick responses and easy-to-navigate menus. Being that the manufacturers at Chrysler always put that extra level of detail into their products, the Uconnect Theatre lets you stream movies on the optional rear displays - perfect if you have a restless toddler in the backseat!
The on-screen controls allow you to interact with the interface while exerting minimal effort. Chrysler also has a slew of physical buttons to augment most operations but those are somewhat redundant, considering the on-screen controls. Moreover, Uconnect offers hands-free operability of the technology that includes navigation, voice commands, entertainment and phone systems. Without compromising on driver control, you can easily exert full control over your car’s connectivity.
Smartphone Integration: Supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity not to mention satellite radio, two USB ports and auxiliary connectivity and Bluetooth, the Uconnect sure knows how to pack a punch! Perhaps, a bit of a shortcoming here is that both the USB charging ports and the Aux-In port are located in the central console storage bin. Some drivers might see this as an odd layout considering there are none on the dash within convenient reach.
As you cruise down the street, the UConnect lets you quickly scroll through and use a wide range of apps such as Tidal, MixCloud, iHeartRadio, Whatsapp and Google Play Music that are compatible with both Android and iOS. Given that the screen itself is quite a large and accommodating display, there is plenty of real estate for each app to optimally display information and run simultaneously with each other. While UConnect doesn’t come with a wireless charging pad, the Bluetooth does support Siri Eyes Free. However, Google Assistant is not included in the package. This intuitive infotainment marvel also lets you press a single button to activate the Voice Command functionaity that far surpassess Siri and can even run when CarPlay is activated.
Sound and Music: UConnect uses Voice Command that lets you call text and access music that is stored on your USB stick or your Smartphone. For its 300C model, Chrysler uses Boston Acoustics. The basic models come with this standard audio package and it is capable of producing clean, powerful and balanced acoustics like no other. You have the option of upgrading to the SRT Design-spec 300C which has a touchscreen sat-nav and a speaker system with integral 20GB hard-disk. The in-car audio system doesn't leave you hanging. It has a pre-loaded Gracenote compact disc database that can be used for conveniently ripping and storing all your favourite tunes from your CDs. The long and short of it? You can enjoy unlimited access to 1600+ tracks with absolutely no need to lug around your iPod. The system also supports 3.5mm external audio sources.
There are several infotainment systems that produce far more advanced acoustics than the UConnect. However, considering how affordable the latter is, we couldn’t possibly fault it. The system uses big drive units located at an optimal distance from the driver and this helps amplify the sound quality. Besides this, the Boston Acoustics package lets you crank up the bass quite significantly without giving in to that lagging effect that some sounds systems have. All in all, the superior acoustics make this sound system a keeper!
Maps and GPS Functionality: UConnect prides itself on partnering with Garmin - manufacturers of the most superior navigation systems in the world. The GPS is loaded with over 6 million points of interest and boast of highly-detailed maps. With the infotainment system’s capacitive 8.4-inch screen that is thoroughly responsive, the UConnect makes swiping and zooming practically effortless - a feature that lets you interact with the maps quickly. This means that you can get directions fast without ever taking your eyes off the road. It features lane assist technology that highlights and guides you to the right lane and makes unfamiliar roads that much easier to navigate.
The unparalleled functionality doesn’t end there. You can also enjoy realistic 3D road signs and junctions en route on the display, with arrows that highlight the proper direction to your destination. Besides the turn-by-turn directions that provide personalized voice directions, you can also get your exact coordinates, the nearest intersection and addresses and the closest police stations, hospitals and gas stations.
Control Method: Dodge models employ an older version of the UConnect interface as seen in Chrysler vehicles. However, the system is nonetheless jam-packed with highly intuitive features that promise you a very pleasurable ride. The UConnect system itself is constantly being evolved to meet safety, security, lifestyle and information needs. The Dodge Charger and Challenger come with either 7- or 8.4-inch touchscreens. Both of these support Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, aux and USB ports and satellite radio. The Journey model, the oldest in Dodge’s line, comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen and is compatible with AM/FM radio, satellite radio, USB ports and Bluetooth plus aux.
To interact with the system, you can use the extra on-screen displays to change vehicle settings. These controls even let you monitor engine data and record your acceleration and brake times. It must be said that the on-screen climate controls aren't all that user-friendly. To augment the on-screen controls, Dodge provides its drivers with physical buttons as well that some might, perhaps, view as redundant.
Smartphone Integration: The most exciting thing about Dodge’s infotainment system is that your smartphone integrates seamlessly with it and lets you text hands-free and take calls on-the-go. Because the interface supports Apple CarPlay, all you have to do is plug in your iPhone and gain access to Apple Maps and Apple Music - either through the touchscreen or by using Siri to voice your commands. With Android Auto, you can groove to Google Play tunes and enjoy Google Maps, voice recognition and easy touchscreen navigation no matter where you go.
With SiriusXM Guardian, you can lock or unlock your vehicle remotely as well as kick start the engine. If that wasn’t enough, you can also send destinations from your smartphone to the inbuilt navigation system with unbelievable ease. Even the longest of road trips become a blast with the unlimited number of entertainment options offered by this system. This tech is activated with a single touch letting you access over 150 channels on SiriusXM Satellite Radio as well as the latest news, sports updates and the likes.
Sound and Music: With its top-tier sound system, the makers at Dodge pull out all the stops to provide an exhilarating driving experience. It is a self-described brains and brawn interface that combines innovation with state-of-the-art technology. The 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 comes with a standard Sound Group Package that offers a 6-speaker system and a 276-watt amplifier capable of delivering high-quality acoustics. The Sound Group 2 package in certain trims do allow you to access 9-Alpine speakers to elevate an already sublime listening experience. This also includes a 506-watt amplifier and a subwoofer. There is yet another upgrade for those who demand an even more superior listening journey. With the Harman Kardon Premium Sound Group, you can enjoy unsurpassed acoustics created by 18 speakers, two subwoofers and 900-watt amplifiers.
While you can access the standard radio, Dodge has created a few trims that enable access to HD radio stations. With a few models, you can opt to have radio 3.0 in the cab. Along with Apple Music and Google Play, you have the option of streaming over 45 million tracks without interruption, making you a master of the road and a master of your musical experience.
Maps and GPS Functionality: As already mentioned, not only can you activate your vehicle’s engine remotely using your smartphone, you can also send directions directly to the infotainment system using Send & Go as well as easily locate your parked car with the Vehicle Finder app. The intuitive UConnect system receives constant updates as highways, streets, lanes and road infrastructure evolve. This means that the driver gets to enjoy access to up-to-date maps, turn restrictions, address, points of interest and street signage as well as traffic updates.
The 8.4-inch interface can be upgraded to support SiriusXM traffic navigation and travel data. The system is so advanced, in fact, that it can provide routing accuracy, estimated arrival times and be updated should you switch your destination en route - ensuring that you do not waste any time getting to where you need to go. This complex stream of data is so well integrated within the system that interacting with it is child’s play. In addition to what is already a feature-rich navigation interface, you can also avoid idling in traffic jams as UConnect reroutes you quite accurately, thus reducing fuel costs. Rest assured that, every time you get behind the wheel of your Dodge car, you will enjoy an optimized driving experience!
Control Method: Ford’s infotainment system has come miles and miles from its original rendition - the MyFord Touch. While this early version was error-prone and very difficult to navigate through, the current Sync 3 infotainment system features responsive touch screens, voice-command activation and intuitive menus. This enables the user to interact with the system more freely and easily.
The base models feature non-touchscreen AM/FM radio, USB and auxiliary inputs and basic voice command features. However, the stark upgrade in the Ford Sync 3 infotainment system has completely revamped the game. It uses 6.5 or 8-inch interfaces and accommodates satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other optional navigation functionalities. To augment the touch screen interactivity, Ford’s infotainment comes with physical volume and tuning knobs for your convenience. The interface is also perfect if you want to adjust the climate control settings as well as the heated steering wheel settings quickly.
Smartphone Integration: The Sync 3 has long since proven to be every tech junkie’s dream infotainment system. As mentioned before, it is compatible with Android and Apple smartphones and you can remotely access your vehicle’s features as well as track its location using your phone. You can start, lock, unlock and check the fuel levels easier than ever before with your device. Newer models with the Sync Connect offer a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot option that lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. This hotspot can be accessed within a 50-feet-radius of the car, letting you browse the internet with immense ease.
While the overall system might not be the most attractive thing out there, it does allow for tremendous user-friendliness as it lets you integrate the AppLink app to things like AccuWeather forecasts and Slacker internet radio. Additionally, with the Sync AppLink, you can launch and interact with all your favourite mobile apps using voice control or swiping through them on the highly responsive touchscreen.
Sound and Music: Long distances and daily commutes fly by with Ford’s innovative and ingenious B&O Play audio system that truly elevates the consumer experience. A team of music specialists at Harman collaborated with Ford to produced refined acoustics over a period of 24 months. To get the audio just right, about 1,200 hours were invested into each vehicle. This has manifested in a next-level custom-tuned audio experience for the driver.
Ford focuses on everything from amplification to speaker placement in order to negate unwanted vibrations, no matter where the listener is seated. The Ford EcoSport features a B&O Play system with 10 speakers and 9 amplified channels - all propelled by a 675-watt digital signal processor. On the other hand, the Ford Expedition uses a B&O Play system with 12 speakers and 10 amplified channels - powered by a 1,100-watt digital signal processor. To any tech-savvy driver, it’s clear that the cleverly devised speaker architecture and measurements (carefully tailored for every Ford model) are what deliver consistently high-quality acoustics.
Maps and GPS Functionality: With the latest Ford navigation system map, locating new roads, points of interest, addresses and street names is a breeze. The regular updates to the GPS system ensure that you can always identify the most efficient routes, thus saving on money and time. The Sync 3 allows you to browse through tons of navigation options, either through voice control or by using the light-tap touchscreen.
To further complement this experience, Ford has partnered with Sygic, a GPS app, that is available to both Android and iOS smartphone users. Using AppLink to seamlessly integrate Sygic to the Sync 3, the driver is able to project navigation apps directly onto the vehicle’s touch screen from their smartphone. This means that you never have to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel when receiving turn-by-turn directions.
Control Method: The Genesis infotainment system is a force to be reckoned with. The G90 features a 12.3-inch touch screen and supports AM/FM, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports. The interface is compatible with Sirius XM traffic and travel information and also lets you charge your smartphone wirelessly. The major pitfall here is that it isn’t compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
However, with the more affordable and smaller G80, the driver enjoys an infotainment software that has all the standard features along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. With a highly responsive and intuitive 8-inch display, you also have the option of adding a 9.2-inch screen that comes with a rotary controller on the center console. Similar to Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment system, the G80’s system quickly responds to on-screen touch commands and also displays clean and easy-to-peruse menus that can be easily navigated through with a scroll wheel. This avoids the driver getting distracted from the road in order to interact with it. Overall, the software boasts of a clean and bright display that promises to impress with its clarity, size and user-friendliness.