Why are the new cockpits so complex?

Why are the new cockpits so complex?

LAST CHANCE: REMOVE CAR BOOK! Whoever has reached that point has been desperate and cursed. However, the range must include different control positions. The tasks were as follows: He was angry that modern cars are hard to understand. Even for the simplest things like checking the engine oil level or setting the clock. And in the extreme cases, the thick operating manual may not help you. In the new Audi A8, the flagship flagship of the technocratic brand, the"bible"recommended us to dim the speedometer lights something other than what the driver system required. Did the developers themselves go wrong and have not checked it? We are returning to everyday things: eleven simple tasks - from tire pressure testing to"calling"in the on-board computer - have been tested by AUTO BILD. We deliberately did not choose modern, sophisticated steps as required by the top systems, but basic things like entering the address of the navigation system plus later erasing. Our test includes models from the entire automotive market - from the small Hyundai i10 to the modern BMW X3, from the French 3008 to the English Jaguar XF.
> Check the tire pressure
> Check the engine oil level
> Enter and break an address in navigation
> Adjust the clock, also with daylight saving time
> Switch gear in automatic mode
> Turn off the Start-Stop system
> Replace and store a radio station
> Temperature change
> Reset the daily mileage
> Dimming the instrument lights
> Calling up fuel consumption
In fact, this should not be complicated at all. Unfortunately, it is - as we have many times found.


Proper tire pressure is important for the car: for safety, fuel economy and comfort. We want the data sticker to be legible and in a convenient place. There he wrote that the second tire pressure value served the comfort. In addition, the numbers are white on a black background. The best solution (in the lid of the tank, black numbers on a white background, large font) is not available to anyone. The closest is Hyundai with location data on the middle column. But how to do this in V90? Volvo figures are hidden low on the middle column, the numbers are light gray on a white background and very small font. The reason: the Swedes give confusing data, too, for a movement with economy or pace to / over 160 km / h. Worse yet with BMW. X3 recommends different pressures for the W and Y maximum speed markings. However, they are difficult to read on the tires in the DOT field, which almost excludes a quick adjustment of the petrol station. This is how the tire pressure test works on the dealer, and the consequences are that you will be driving with soft tires for a long time. We think Mercedes's solution is better: a table in the lid of the tank, which is easier to read. But what does that mean in the book of the car?

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  1 Table praise in the tank lid. But Mercedes wants you to look at the car's book - unnecessarily complicated Why are the new cockpits so complex?  2 Hyundai offers the best solution: large font, black numbers on a white background, unfortunately the middle column Why are the new cockpits so complex?  3 BMW insignia: what is the speed index of the tire?


We do not want much: entering an address, calculating the route and then deleting it. But how does the introduction work? Audi confuses us as you enter below on the display and read at the top. Also, the acoustic confirmation of the letter does not help, it is better to make the mark more visible on the screen. Or through the controller like the X3, or via a touchscreen like the Golf. It's not a matter of taste, but when the car is stopped, the touchscreen is the best technique - especially when the computer counts as fast as the Golf. Jaguar searches and calculates slowly, requires constant attention. We add the confusing management logic, and the ignorant will need two minutes to enter the address. Moreover, the operating manual does not exactly match the readings of the monitor. The BMW controller also works very well and does not distract you so much while driving. BMW recognizes distinct characters, Audi even whole words, handwritten. However, it is complicated.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  4 Requires exploration: Jaguar's navigation system is not intuitive, it also responds slowly to keyboard commands Why are the new cockpits so complex?  5 VW's quick way: quick calculation, big keys - so good Why are the new cockpits so complex?  6 Many Roads: In the new BMW X3, iDrive rotation, pushing, voice commands - complicated


How is the heart of the car? We will understand the level of oil that the stick will tell us. Start the measurement and the result appears immediately. At BMW you have to find it in the menu, start the measurement and then show you the progress of the process. With Mercedes we did not get any results at all - we waited in vain for five minutes and gave up. Eight of the cars offered our best solution: a clear mark on the handle, a bright stick, distinctly grafted, making it easier to read in the dark in the garage. That's how things work with Hyundai i10, Kia Stonic or Jaguar XF. It may not be so well fulfilled: at Mégane the hole is so low in the engine block that it is quite difficult to insert the rod in the dark. And what is this black golf range? Dark oil on black metal - obviously the engineers from Wolfsburg want to turn us into fortune-tellers. Audi, BMW and Mercedes have saved the stick at all. This means you have to check the display level. It is best in the case of A8.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  7 Julia looks for the yellow handle in vain. Mercedes has saved the 220 bar diesel engine Why are the new cockpits so complex?  8 Mercedes: calculates and calculates... We have lost patience waiting for the result Why are the new cockpits so complex?  9 Finding in the menu, starting the measurement, the result for the level arrives. BMW takes a bit longer but at least your hands stay clean


By GPS (that is, through navigation) or by radio signal - the time in principle arrives automatically in the vehicle. Bad, if not, then waiting for you to dive into the deep menu structures. If you get time by GPS data, you will have automatic summer and winter time changes, but manual change is often complicated. As more and more functions become more and more important. Daylight Saving Time? Sometimes it's a nightmare - diving is required in the operating manual of the car. Not in the exemplary Hyundai i10, which has a separate Setup Clock button on the audio system and so I get to change the clock immediately. Well, the small model is not equipped with sophisticated features. The more expensive the car is, the more complicated is the calibration. Kia Stonic wants only three strokes to reach the time of day, while the Golf steps are eight in number. Some of them even illogical. BMW has hidden the clock setting in the iDrive settings for which we need an electronic guide.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  10 With delay: Typical for touch systems is the change of time data on hidden surfaces Why are the new cockpits so complex?  11 There is nothing to go wrong with: a separate button for setting the clock on the Hyundai i10 Why are the new cockpits so complex?  12 It can last long: VW has hidden the possibility of changing the menus


Julia is desperate: put the lever on D and go off - this should be the easiest thing in the world. But 3008 seemed to be unwilling to do so. With Mercedes, the lever is on the steering column, perfectly accessible, with clear feedback. D is down and you're off! The lever did not move. The reason: Julia had forgotten to press the unlocking (hidden) button - without it the electronics did not release the gear lever. Well, you will only do this once, but what happens if you give a car to a friend and he does not know about the problem? Why did Peugeot make such a lever design? Or Jaguar with their round button that comes out of the center console? The new big Audi, whose lever does not come clearly, is a bit vague. The design of the A8 gear lever also dries the clear function. In Golf and Mégane things are getting well.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  13 It looks good but not practical: the A8 lever with illogical feedback. Requires call time Why are the new cockpits so complex?  14 Keep calm: the Jaguar button comes out of power and takes time Why are the new cockpits so complex?  15 Only when requested: the Peugeot lever responds sensitively to the unlocking button


Do you remember what the radio switches looked like? Logical and easy station management. The shortest route to the new radio station is back again. While manual tuning through traditional switches previously existed in every car, we now only find it in the Hyundai i10. There, they work best - only display station search takes longer. Instead, modern cars pose unnecessary obstacles to searching and memorizing radio stations. For example, Opel: Insignia has virtual fixed buttons, but every time you change the station, you need to go through a"search"to select the new station first and then save it. This way is chosen by more manufacturers - the difference is only in the steps to reach. Long pushing or selecting a"favorites list"is required, and Jaguar is annoyed with the slow introduction. In A8, you can also choose your favorite stations by touching a tablet. Golf has its favorite stations like cubes on the display, while BMW also offers a number of standard buttons under the touchscreen.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  16 Logically and easily accessible: BMW has positioned the shut-off button next to the start button Why are the new cockpits so complex?  17 Mercedes button and green light - the easiest way Why are the new cockpits so complex?  18 The little button with the red Audi control light is above the air conditioning switches

Deactivation of the START-STOP system: Nerves may hurt you

During traffic there are always moments when you want to turn off the Start-Stop system. Better to save your nerves than the environment. Volvo's exclusion is complicated and the procedure will definitely distract you. Peugeot has hidden the function among"assistants"and to get to it, a large number of pressures are needed. It's good if you do not forget them. The Audi has located the button under the air conditioning menu (!), Where you can accidentally press another button. As we know, the system is reactivated after each new engine start. For this you need an easily accessible and well-marked shutdown button! As well as the control light they put on Mercedes on the center console - in the field of vision. We find it very logical that BMW has positioned the button directly to the start button. We also accept a yellow control signal like the Kia Stonic, but not the red light of Mégane. What does red in the Start-Stop system mean? Off or on? It's far worse when the shutdown is through the menu.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  19 Large buttons and clear feedback: so before any audio system looked, it's only with Hyundai Why are the new cockpits so complex?  20 Virtual buttons like at the time, but the demand for Peugeot stations is complicated Why are the new cockpits so complex?  21 First you search, then remember as favorite - additionally, the introduction to Jaguar becomes too slow


The blue is cold, red - hot, turn the switch in the appropriate direction and ready. Adjusting the air conditioner must be intuitive. Audi's decision is quite modern. There are several variants of the separate air conditioning setup display (input, symbol hold, handwriting) - however, the display is extremely low. At least some models work like that - for example, with Opel: thick temperature switches, a small display next to them shows the values ​​(in half degrees) - everything is fairly easy to read and easy - great! In the same way, BMW also proceeds. Additionally, the Opel driver can also adjust the temperature via touchscreen. This is not very logical, but Peugeot and Volvo are betting on this principle. Virtual up and down buttons sort the wishes for adjusting the air conditioner. Control is not so intuitive, and you can get distracted while adjusting degrees. In the E-class we have a combination of rotating switches and touchscreen. Here the control buttons and the degrees indications are separated - this also unnecessarily distracts you.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  22 Always double: Fixed rotating switches, plus Insignia features virtual buttons for warm and cold Why are the new cockpits so complex?  23 Invisible: The air conditioning menu in the Peugeot 3008 must first be called Why are the new cockpits so complex?  24 Always special:"picture in the picture"makes it possible to change the degrees in the Volvo V90


Most mileage has a daily mileage that returns to zero with one touch. Naturally, if you find the button. The most modern car has the oldest and best solution: in BMW we find the traditional, old-fashioned button. Press and ready. Similarly - though well hidden - Peugeot and Jaguar work, whose switches are on the turn signal. The others have placed the steering wheel. The simpler and most readily accessible buttons are nicer, like the Hyundai i10, Trip and Reset are more than clear. Audi and VW want to jump into the menu and clear the mileage from there - complicated and not automatic. If resetting is so complicated, you should learn to remember the odometer.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  25 Reset daily mileage: the Audi A8 comes from the steering wheel menu Why are the new cockpits so complex?  26 Tested solution: on-board computer in the field of vision Why are the new cockpits so complex?  27 Classic solution for BMW: button. Super!


We leave the city and climb the highway - it is now the turn to darken the lights on the appliances. It's not a magic wand. The best solution is the good old rotary switch, which, with BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, Mercedes and Opel, is located next to the headlamp switch - logically and easily accessible. In the same way, we take the wide switch to the left of the wheel at Kia and Hyundai. It's difficult if the function is hidden in the menu. Peugeot has positioned the lighting in the settings to darken and you need six steps to get there. Why is it necessary? VW does not do better - here are just nine steps, and then you have to close the menu. The icing on the cake in the negative sense is with Audi - here the function is not only hidden, but it also writes in the car's book something different than what the cockpit wants. It's not good!

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  28 At Peugeot, the blackout of the instrument lighting is a complex task - six steps and inevitable distraction Why are the new cockpits so complex?  29 The Jaguar switch is pretty chic - it comes out and gets electrically Why are the new cockpits so complex?  30 The Audi booklet shows a different way of blacking out the instruments compared to the system


It should be easy: the car is aware of the fuel consumption and the remaining mileage and their indication should not be a problem. That's how they make from BMW - to the fuel tank, the new Audi A8 and Kia Stonic - in the middle of the field of view. The next best solution is a separate button like the Hyundai i10, Jaguar - the turn signal lever, and Peugeot - at the wiper lever on the right. It's more complicated when you have to go through the menus to find out the fuel consumption and the remaining mileage. Renault uses the buttons on the steering wheel, Stonic distracts you, as the driver has to look to the right to the touchscreen. Mercedes also does not make it easier for you to do that. Although the on-board computer is in the field of view, a few steps are required on the left touchpad on the steering wheel: it is small, poorly responsive and may be inadvertently disconnected.

Why are the new cockpits so complex?  31 This makes it easy and intuitive. Jaguar XF turn signal button Why are the new cockpits so complex?  32 Average VW beauty: The on-board computer is called by a button on the steering wheel Why are the new cockpits so complex?  33 Just at the tenth at the Hyundai i10: an easy-to-use, separate button


We will say it straight: attention has to be focused on the road, and concentration - focused on traffic. We do not want to scroll through the display and guess where the functions in the menus are hidden! Our test shows that in the cockpit the less is more. Ordinary switches, the good old rotary switch or clear and logical buttons - these are the best decisions we think.