Consumer Reports: 83% Of Tesla Owners “Very Satisfied” With Infotainment System

3 days ago by Steven Loveday 11

Tesla

Tesla touch-screen infotainment system

It turns out the Tesla touch-screen infotainment system is likely a major selling point for the Silicon Valley automaker.

Though we have heard negative reports about the usability of Tesla’s in-car web browser, the touch-screen infotainment system as a whole is rather appealing. It’s actually one of the first things that people notice when they see a Tesla for the first time. This is likely because it takes up a prime amount of real estate in the vehicles’ cabins.

Tesla

Model S

There are some — hopefully, many — people that purchase a Tesla vehicle because they consider themselves “green-friendly”, and they want to help the environment, and they want to save money on gas and maintenance. But let’s face it, many people are enamored by the cars because they look incredible, offer the latest and greatest technology, and have the largest touch screens (17 inches) in the industry. Technology, screen time, streaming, apps … it’s what many people’s lives revolve around nowadays. Director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, Jake Fisher, said (via Teslarati):

“Consumers want cars that bring the communication and entertainment capabilities of their phones into their cars. And automakers are responding.”

According to Consumer Reports, 83 percent of Tesla owners are “very satisfied” with the touch-screen infotainment system. The review publication performed a recent survey including 82,000 vehicles between the years of 2013 to 2016. Of these vehicles, only 44 percent of the infotainment systems received satisfactory ratings. Survey respondents rated voice command features, streaming audio, Bluetooth calling, and in-dash navigation.

Tesla took the top rating in three out of four categories. The automaker was only narrowly topped by Ford’s SYNC 3 for voice commands. However, CR says that Tesla owners were the happiest with their infotainment systems over all other brands. The publication says that people love big touch screens. CR shared one 2014 Model S owner’s comment:

“The onscreen controls are intuitive, easy-to-use … all cars’ entertainment systems should work this way!”

Source: Consumer Reports via Teslarati

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11 responses to "Consumer Reports: 83% Of Tesla Owners “Very Satisfied” With Infotainment System"

  1. John in AA says:

    I’m a little surprised by this. While overall I like the ergonomics of the CID system very much (after being a long-time “touch screens in cars are bad, m’kay?” guy), the functionality of the media player is pretty awful. People love to kvetch about the nav system, too. I find it OK compared to other OEM systems I’ve used, and the huge map display is transformatively useful compared to any small-display nav, but like many others I’ve learned to fire up Waze for a second opinion any time the routing really matters.

    Overall I’d give the car a “love it, would buy again” but it’s despite, not because of, the ongoing lack of love for infotainment.

    It’s almost worth getting a CR subscription just to be able to “vote” in their next year’s rankings. Not quite, though. (As an aside, I wonder to what extent CR’s rankings suffer systematic bias because although the rely on self-reporting by the kind of person who would subscribe to CR.)

    1. John in AA says:

      “because they rely”

      geez. I really wish it were possible to edit comments.

    2. Tesla4theWin says:

      My Tesla’s UI is awesome:
      1. Use browser 90% of the time by just keeping it on teslawaze.azurewebsites.net (it regreshes your position on the map plus red light/speed camera warnings, hidden cops, etc. As it pulls from the Waze servers)

      2. Over the air updates have added and improved most features over the last 2 yrs (e.g. last month they added ratings and hours open for stores/restaurants/etc. On the map

      3. Internet radio, large navigation map and ability to toggle full or half screen for each app is great

      4. Voice commands to instantly play a song/artist or navigate (e.g. “play fix you by coldplay” or “navigate to 123 main st, chicago, il” or “navigate to pharmacy chicago”

      5. Intuitive features & settings and no need to learn a thousand buttons

      1. John in AA says:

        Yeah, I knew all that of course. (Well actually, not quite all, I hadn’t tried teslawaze, thanks for the tip.) I agree all the things you named are great.

        TBH, although of course there’s always room for improvement, Tesla could fix my gripes with a few straightforward bug fixes:

        1. USB playback that equals the functionality of iTunes 10 years ago. It does a horrible job with tags. Just horrible.

        2. USB playback that doesn’t crash and have to rescan the media multiple times a day.

        3. A radio that doesn’t randomly emit bursts of static for 10 seconds when I start the car, sometimes.

        4. A media player that stays paused when I pause it, instead of randomly unpausing itself when I enter the car, sometimes.

        All of these, except maybe the first one, are absolutely bugs, and have been present for years now, through multiple over the air upgrades including major version upgrades. You could argue the first one is a feature request, although, seriously?

        Disclaimer, although I already said it above: I love my car. I love my car despite these shortcomings. It could be even better. Nobody’s perfect.

  2. BenG says:

    This is a great result for Tesla, and I think it reflects just how horrible most manufacturers’ infotainment systems are.

    My 2012 Volt’s infotainment has some good qualities, but it just leaves me scratching my head sometimes and it is difficult and distracting to use while driving. The GPS is so weak I use my phone instead whenever possible.

    My 2008 Prius is easier to use, but still has too many menus to navigate through at times, and the GPS is even more useless than the Volts.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      Yeah the gen 1 Volt infotainment system is confusing and difficult to use at a glance.

      The Gen 2 is better. So is the Spark EV and Bolt.

      UI wise Tesla is the best I think. Although it is missing some key features like Carplay.

  3. chris says:

    I’m the second TESLA fan that is supprised – the system was amazing in 2014 but today, it is kind of laggy, it doesnt support android or apple car-play, there is no 3rd party app support still – it’s a disconnected system for the most part for me 🙁

  4. pjwood1 says:

    It’s terrible. Don’t get me started. It takes ~85% of the screen to open a sunroof, and since it’s activated by touch you have to take your eyes off the road.

    “Infotainment”. You have to beat the steering wheel scroll wheels to turn audio down, or tap just the right spot like a mad man. It’s like the old Volt, when much of the climate control was on the Center Stack, accept the Volt has a Volume knob instead of my above reference. Put volume, and bury everything else accept climate, on a bigger and more responsive screen, and you have Tesla.

  5. Terawatt says:

    It actually turns out that this article is likely so badly written that I likely actually may not want to read it.

    Apparently it is neither required to know anything about EVs, nor be able to string together sentences in a coherent manner, to be a “writer” at InsideEVs!

    ***mod edit (staff)***

    This is far from the first time we’ve seen comments like this from yourself. Having an opinion – ok. Not agreeing with an article – fine. Constructive criticism – no problem. Outright slander – not fine.

    Usually we just moderate for slander against the site or to other posters, but that doesn’t seem to be effective in curbing the behavior in this case. We simply can’t permit repeated actions such as this – so we will leave this post up, while at the same time temporarily removing you from the site for rest of the month.

    We value your input to the community, and hope you can stay inside our ToS in the future, but understand if you choose to not return on October 1st.

    ***mod edit***

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I will just make a quick note myself:

      To answer your Qs (not shown, but read), this is the first time we have taken this step…we appreciate your contribution and discussion on the site, however it takes many hours a day to moderate the comments (avg of about 1,200/day in Sept), longer still to be able to repeatedly respond with a well-thought out and calculated response to a comment such as above, and then to likely continue to discuss its merits in an extended thread.

      As noted by your comment, we have a difference of opinion, as you feel comments such as above are merely deserved satire/sarcastic humor that is perfectly ok to have dotting the site (as has often been the case in the past) when you are not satisfied with a particular piece.

      That is your opinion, of which you have a right to of course…however, we also have the right to disagree and ask you to please be a little bit more considerate/mature with such comments.

      This is what we do, what we love…and for many of us – our livelihood. I have to back up my extended family here at IEV in this regard; so we simply can’t tolerate the proliferation of these types of comments repeatedly.

      If you can find it in yourself to step back, consider what is being said, and exist inside these bounds, that is great (no one is saying you can’t make a point, or we won’t accept criticism…but you have to say it in a way that can be heard/understood as such, and not just post to ‘burn everything down’).

      If you can’t live with that (again, totally understand that), and on October 1st it continues in the same manner (or you don’t wish to stay apart of the IEV community), then unfortunately that will be the end.

      /up to you

  6. cab says:

    Honestly, if you took away the big screen and google maps…what the heck does the Tesla Infotainment really have to offer? The big map is awesome, but virtually everything else is subpar. Indeed, the big screen is what everyone likes about the interior overall as the rest is pretty plain Jane. It really is a one-trick pony interior.

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