My car’s infotainment system is a DISASTER! Here is a warning to all contemplating a new vehicle purchase.

While I’m waiting for the factory to get back to my dealer with a fix (I’m not holding my breath), less than 50% of my infotainment system remains utterly useless and non-functional. THE. Please. It is a NIGHTMARE. “And I’m afraid that Jaguar-Land Rover isn’t currently speaking with Apple to resolve this issue. Adding insult to injury is that Jaguar-Land Rover is apparently defaulting to Apple CarPlay in 2019. I should have insisted on test-driving the infotainment system before I bought the goddam thing. It takes up to seven years for a car to go from design to showroom floor–and that includes developing whatever proprietary software is in the dash. Here, then, comes my cautionary tale. When a fellow at Jaguar corporate called to ask how I was doing with my car, I explained the iPhone issue. This, of course, is ultimately all my fault. Cede the ground to Apple and Google. There’s a 3G SIM card that’s supposed to connect the car to an online service that offers everything from traffic conditions to emergency communications to remote starting. They make AWESOME infotainment gear. Meanwhile, here is my warning to you: If you are shopping for a new vehicle, demand that the salesperson allow you to play with the infotainment system until you’ve made a proper evaluation of its functionality. Most don’t work as advertised, or are poor imitations of more popular apps (why not just inclued Waze?) The ones that do work are so slow and kludgey that they’re useless. From CNET:
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) brought the surprise announcement that Apple is opening up CarPlay to more third-party developers, and the company even teased Google Maps (iOS, Android) and Waze (iOS, Android). “Sorry, sir,” the dude said, “but your system isn’t compatible with iOS versions above 11.1.”
“What? Can’t plug your smartphone into your car? They’re up to 11.4.1 and iOS 12 is coming in a few weeks. When it’s not plugged into my ar, of course. Meanwhile, I keep getting emails from Jaguar’s chosen 3G provider partner demanding more money because I’ve used up my data allotment on a system that doesn’t work. We’ll let you know.”
If you’re reading this Jaguar, and if you can’t fix my problems pronto, I will never, ever buy another one of your vehicles again. “That is correct, sir,” he replied. Dealbreaker. Therefore, for the good of their customers (and the for the sake of their JD Power ratings), they should give up. Trust me on this. And I will tell everyone thinking about buying one of your products the same thing. Like Kia, for example. Wanna bet that there won’t be a solution? That took a whole day. Bottom line? Whenever I plug in my iPhone via USB, the whole thing crashes dead. With cassette players gone (the last factory-ready cassette player came in the 2010 Lexus SC 430) and with CD players disappearing (I didn’t even notice my new car came without one), the focus is now on things like Bluetooth, satellite navigation, 3G/4G connectivity, WiFi and especially smartphone integration. I can’t wait to see what the company does to the customers they’ve screwed over with their crappy system. Others fight until everything crashes. It is HORRIBLE. How? There’s no way any auto manufacturer can keep up. It has never, ever worked. “Sorry, sir, but the factory has not got back to us with a solution. Apple has moved on long ago! Not that long ago, car-buying consumers were focused on features like horsepower, air conditioning, power windows, and other comfort and convenience features. This required a trip back to the dealer to have the system reloaded. Fantastic. If you like, I can provide you with a list of phones that are compatible with your vehicle.”
WHAT. That move accomplishes approximately bugger-all. And I won’t be able to use any of those new tools, features that I use all the time on my iPhone. The dealer has tried many, many times to fix it and ultimately just gave up. Surrender. The infotainment system in my wife’s Honda C-RV is, while maddeningly short of proper knobs (since corrected in newer models), is bulletproof. Those things still matter, but one of the main considerations in buying any new vehicle is what’s in the dashboard, specifically the infotainment stack. And it gets better. Within a week of taking delivery of the vehicle, the infotainment system began spontaneously crashing dead 90 seconds after I started the car. Meanwhile, Apple and Android are iterating new versions of their automotive software every few months with a complete upgrade coming every year or so. Do not repeat my mistakes. The factory will work it out.”
That was back in March. “Try unplugging the USB cord and plugging it in again,” says the car. I check in every couple of weeks and only get a sad shake of the head. Total dealbreaker. They don’t. At least you’re not alone. Failure to do so may result in you really, really hating your new ride. “We’ve referred the problem back to the factory with 18 other owners of ’18 vehicles. This is why I believe that all auto manufacturers must get out of the infotainment software business and farm everything out to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Jaguar corporate has asked that I take my vehicle into the dealership later this month with instructions to explain (again) the problems I’m having. Let me count the ways. If I had done that, I would have found another manufacturer. My current ride is a Jaguar with Jaguar-Land Rover’s proprietary infotainment software. You’re telling me that my year-old iPhone won’t work with my six-month-old so-called state-of-the-art infotainment system? F**K? Meanwhile, CarPlay is set to be updated with the release of iOS 12. Jaguar-Land Rover has a series of apps called InControl that are supposed to make the connections between smartphone and car seamless. Even though I was assured it was state-of-the-art for 2018, it SUCKS.
Here is a warning to all contemplating a new vehicle purchase. My car’s infotainment system is a DISASTER!