People are getting increasingly fed up with the built-in touchscreen systems in their cars

We’ve been very vocal about the touchscreen apocalypse happening inside our cars. We know that many of you share the same sentiment, too, and according to a recent JD Power study, it seems that we’re not alone.

In the latest 2023 edition of its Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, JD Power has found that overall customer satisfaction is only at 845 (on a 1,000-point scale), a decrease of two points from a year ago, and three points lower than in 2021. That’s the first time in the 28-year history of the study that the consumer research firm recorded a consecutive year-on-year decline in owner satisfaction.

No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on Proton and ACO Tech’s Atlas OS

The study is based on 10 different factors, but one of the biggest contributors to this year’s decline is the confusing and problematic tech equipment in the cabin. According to JD Power, only 56% of owners prefer to use their cars’ built-in system to play audio, down from 75% in 2020.

The numbers are even more dire for navigation, voice recognition, and phone calls, with less than half of the owners saying they like using their car’s native systems for each of those functions. Evidently, customers are getting more and more fed up with the increasingly confusing touchscreen systems on their cars, that – for some reason – continue to hide more and more of the frequently-used features under multiple layers of settings.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto continues to be the preferred method of controlling in-car entertainment, and even Porsche is now themselves adding climate control buttons directly into the Apple CarPlay interface, probably in recognition of their own software’s complexities.

What’s interesting, though, is that customers are actually quite receptive of infotainment systems that are built atop the Android Automotive operating system (AAOS) – specifically those with Google apps built in, like in Volvos. According to JD Power data, these cars “score higher in the infotainment category than those with no AAOS whatsoever.”

I guess what this shows is that carmakers should just stick to making cars, and let people who make touchscreen interfaces (smartphones) make the software. I’m only half kidding.

RELATED: Volvo C40 Recharge – Google’s Android Automotive OS will make you forget about everything else

Aside from the in-car technologies, the JD Power APEAL study also looked at customers’ satisfaction levels with their cars’ exterior design, and – perhaps unsurprisingly – the category also saw a stark decline this year, dropping from 894 in 2022, to just 888 this year.

Out of the 10 factors, the only one that didn’t see a decline this year was fuel economy, which posted a score 15 points higher than in 2022. This category is now, however, a slight misnomer, as the improved scores come courtesy of the new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that scored 797 in the “fuel economy/range” category, compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE) cars with just 758.

The JD Power APEAL Study is based on responses from 84,555 car owners of new 2023 model-year vehicles, who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The responses were fielded from February through May 2023, based on vehicles registered from November 2022 to February 2023.

Among the responses, car buyers seem to be the most satisfied with the Porsche 911 overall, while EVs like the Kia EV6 and BMW iX3 continue to dominate many of the rankings in their respective segments. Tesla – which made their official debut in Malaysia yesterday – also saw a decline in satisfaction this year, although it still remains one of the higher performing brands in the industry.

[H/T: The Verge]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here