New Audi A4 Avant & BMW 3 Series Touring vs Volvo V60: infotainment
Audi, BMW and Volvo are all experienced at making plush executive estates with four-wheel drive if you need it. Let’s see which of their contenders is the best buy...
We’re not convinced that the A4’s updated system is a step forwards. At 10.1in, the screen is bigger than the previous one, and the graphics are sharp, but the old rotary controller has been binned; the system is now fully operated via the touchscreen. That makes it more distracting to use on the move, and reaching the top left of the screen is a real stretch. It can be slow to respond, too. At least you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
There’s a multitude of ways to control this 10.3in screen, including touch, voice, gesture (optionally) and a rotary dial between the seats. It’s the last option that’s easiest on the move, allowing you to easily select the icon you want from the well laid out menus. The screen is responsive, with sharp and attractive graphics, too. However, Android Auto isn’t available, and although you get Apple CarPlay for a year, you have to pay a subscription if you want to keep using it.
The 9.0in touchscreen is portrait-orientated and is much like a tablet to use. It can occasionally be slow to respond to inputs, but once you get the knack, it’s not too tricky to navigate. We do wish some of the screens weren’t just a page of small icons, though. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are optional, coming bundled together for a one-off £300 price. Your smartphone contents are displayed too low at the bottom of the screen, though.
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