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Infotainment Marathon (Part VIII of Sky’s the Limit)

This one is jumping off with a popular brand!

Lexus

Our favorite part of the Lexus infotainment offering is the Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users. Super cool, and couple that with USB, Bluetooth, Scout GPS navigation and more, the basic infotainment set-up with Lexus is anything but. Remote Touch interface can be had on a 10.3- inch screen via an optional upgrade, but fair warning, it’s not cheap. Like Toyota’s Entune integration, Lexus also offers their Lexus Enform app suite which can be downloaded to your phone. Now, their remote touch interface is indeed technologically cool, but also rumored to be a bit tough to grasp. Changing settings isn’t the easiest as some features are locked out while driving to keep the driver out of harms way.

Lincoln

When it comes to Lincoln, think of Ford. Occupying rebranded versions of the Ford Sync infotainment system, with a Lincoln ride you can count on support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio and optional navigation. Not a lot to say here as we already said it with Ford. The systems work well in most occasions and of all the brands on this list Lincoln is situated in the top 1/4th.

Maserati

Starting in 2018, Maserati made the switch to Uconnect touchscreen interfaces for all their cars. Reason why – the holding company FCA initiated this, so in a nutshell, no option for Maserati. A clear, responsive and extraordinarily bright 8.4-inch screen is available that’s also been rebranded with distinctive fonts, colors and graphics just for Maserati rides. The difference is notable as the Maserati infotainment center really pops on the visual side. Odds are however that the performance is the same as other FCA branded cars.

Mazda

Every Mazda comes with a standard 7-inch touchscreen. All of them, no exclusions. Mazda Connect is its name, and in addition to the touch interface, the system can also be operated with a rotary knob embedded in the center console. Support for Stitcher, Pandora and Aha Internet radio devices is available, and included are Bluetooth, USB ports and AM/FM radio. The Mazda6 incorporates an 8-inch version as well as the CX-9.

Overall, Mazda Connect is responsive to inputs, has sharp graphics, and the navigation works relatively well. The system lacks more advanced features (found in many of their rivals), and Mazda is now only starting to integrate CarPlay and Android Auto for example, something standard for some time now in competing brands.  

We covered some real gems on this two-parter. You won’t believe some of the brands to come, have a great week!

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