Multimedia systems are now a major part of the vehicle ownership experience. You interact with it as much as or more than almost any other part of a car. Sadly, most multimedia interfaces aren’t very easy to use and can be confusing to the average consumer. Along with Subaru, FCA, Ford, and sister brand Kia, Hyundai is one of the few automakers that somehow manages to make a good multimedia system that isn’t a pain to use.
Hyundai’s approach forgoes touch-sensitive buttons and avoids dumping everything into the touchscreen. Physical shortcut buttons give you easy access to media, communications, climate controls, and radio functions, so you won’t need to open the owner’s manual to learn how to use the system, and nothing is buried within submenus. As a result, the system in our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson won’t intimidate consumers that aren’t tech-savvy, and it’s a refreshing change for those coming from a complicated unit.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration makes things even easier because it won’t require you to learn a new operating system. In the case of Android Auto, having access to apps from Waze and Google Maps and to music from Spotify gives you extra convenience while you’re commuting simply by connecting your phone. Additionally, with the addition of Google Assistant, you can say “OK Google” instead of holding or pressing the voice command button on the steering wheel.
Overall, the Tucson’s multimedia experience is refreshing. Everything is where you expect it to be, and all the controls are straightforward, both of which will save you from frustration when you’re getting to know a new multimedia system. Is it the slickest and best-looking system? No, but user-friendliness was the priority here, and for that, Hyundai gets a bunch of brownie points.
Whether you’re leasing or buying a car, it will be with you for a few years, so it’s important to take your time and explore the multimedia system. Play with it and make sure it’s not distracting or infuriating, and prioritize intuitiveness over fancy graphics and massive screens. The unit in our long-term 2017 Tucson makes commuting through Los Angeles’ congested roads less stressful, and it helps that you’ve got access to apps with real-time traffic information once you plug your phone in.
Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD: