A new study by J.D. Power and Associates says that while the quality of new cars is the highest it's ever been, buyers are more frustrated than ever by confusing infotainment systems.
The report says that hands-free phone systems figure highly in consumer complaints, with voice recognition problems the biggest headache.
J.D. Power's Dave Sargent said that hands-free systems, while rare in the past, are becoming increasingly common in new cars and buyers are suddenly on a sharp learning curve.
Sargent said that quality scores will improve over time, however, "the onus is on the automakers to make things simpler".
There's good reason for carmakers to improve, Sargent added, with the study showing that many Ford customers in the US are attracted to the brand's SYNC and MyFord Touch systems.
"You could almost say that Ford took one for the team. They went early, they went big, and a lot of learning has come from that, not only for Ford, but everybody else has benefited by Ford being the first to go over the top."
Ford's SYNC is expected to hit Australia in the coming months as part of an update to the new Focus, as production of the Australian-delivered small car moves from Germany to Thailand.
Peugeot 208 Info System Awarded
Combined with a seven-inch colour touchscreen, the system is designed to group together features normally separated across multiple screens and controls in the cabin.
Its features include radio, music, navigation, and trip computer, along with configuration settings for interior mood lighting and rear wiper linked to reverse gear, among others.
The system also features Peugeot's new Connected Apps, providing information on fuel prices, parking availability, traffic and weather conditions.
Some of these Connected Apps features rely on integration with local services, however (similar to the SUNA package available in Australia).
As with many other brands, the system can connect with a mobile phone to play music and make phone calls from the car's controls, although it can also load contact addresses into the navigation, marking them as potential destinations.
The new Peugeot 208 will hit Australia in October, with specifications and pricing to be confirmed closer to launch.
Peugeot has confirmed that the new award-winning interface will be fitted as standard with all 208 trim grades in Australia.
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