With wireless CarPlay becoming a growing number of common amongst car makers, Volkswagen is another brand name that has actually welcomed the innovation and I recently had an opportunity to evaluate out the German car manufacturers implementation in the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan.
The 2021 Tiguan is available in five trims, starting with S trim at a little over $25,000 and going up to the SEL Premium R-Line at practically $40,000. My test vehicle was the SEL trim at a step below the high-end, and it can be found in at around $32,500 plus location.
The Tiguan SEL and SEL Premium R-Line come with Volkswagens new MIB3 Discover Media system, that includes a main 8-inch infotainment screen with integrated navigation, in addition to App-Connect phone combination. For the driver, there is a Digital Cockpit cockpit console with configurable options for showing a range of information from the conventional speed, fuel, and variety information to driving directions, audio information, elevation, compass, and more.
The mid-range SE and SE R-Line trims include the MIB3 Composition Media system that uses almost the same features as the Discover Media system with the exception of built-in navigation. The entry-level S trim includes an older MIB2 system and a 6.5-inch Composition Color screen that just offers wired CarPlay and cuts back in other locations, so youll need to step up to a minimum of the SE trim to begin taking benefit of the most recent infotainment functions.
MIB3 infotainment system house screenMy total impression of VWs newest infotainment system is that its a responsive and reasonably tidy system that works well however does not have a great deal of flash to the user interface. That can be helpful for minimizing diversion, however I likewise choose a bit more flair to help interface aspects stick out a bit more.
VW does some fascinating things with distance and gesture picking up on its infotainment system, tracking where your hand remains in front of the primary display screen and reacting appropriately. At rest, some of the on-screen icons diminish and labels fade away, however as your hand approaches the screen, they expand and some get highlights around them to help draw your attention. Its type of a neat trick that helps deliver a simple look for the system many of the time and only complicates the visual when youre engaging with the system.
Infotainment radio screenGesture control likewise permits you to perform some fundamental tasks without even touching the infotainment screen, such as waving your hand to move between menus and alter radio stations or audio tracks. VW isnt the only car producer to attempt gesture controls, however they still feel like mainly a trick to me.
Vehicle status screenAs for the primary infotainment screen itself, its an 8-inch display screen with a resolution of 800×480, whichs truly beginning to feel like the bare minimum when it pertains to a native infotainment system. CarPlay in specific feels a little bit cramped when it pertains to the user interface, and you dont get the perk of extra screen property from the native system surrounding it given that CarPlay takes over the entire screen.
CarPlay dashboard viewI discovered the system to be responsive both in the native infotainment experience and in CarPlay. I also valued the committed “App” button together with the screen to make it simple to hop into CarPlay at a single touch from anywhere in the native system. The only minor quibble I have is that I would have chosen the app button to the left of the display instead of the right for convenience, as it was one of the most regularly used buttons during my time with the car.
CarPlay house screenWhile CarPlay takes control of the whole primary infotainment screen, avoiding single-screen watching of both CarPlay and any aspects of the native system at the same time, the Digital Cockpit helps a bit in this regard, enabling the screen of additional information like audio information or turn-by-turn navigation instructions from the native system.
Theres one other CarPlay technique up the systems sleeve, whichs the capability to display CarPlay turn-by-turn navigation from Apple Maps in the Digital Cockpit. Dual-screen support for CarPlay was presented as part of iOS 13 in late 2019, but assistance for it has only simply started rolling out to cars, so VW is definitely a leader in embracing it. Its essential to keep in mind that the Digital Cockpit needs the SEL or SEL Premium R-Line trim, so you will require to step up toward the leading end to take benefit of all of the available tech performance.
CarPlay Apple Maps with turn-by-turn navigation in Digital CockpitThe graphics for second-screen CarPlay navigation arent elegant on the Tiguan, but theyre similar to those for the native system with directional arrows and distances for upcoming turns, street names, range to location, and predicted arrival time. The one location where these CarPlay instructions came up a little short compared to the native system was in lane assistance, as the native system showed them in the Digital Cockpit while CarPlay directions did not.
The convenience of cordless CarPlay pairs nicely with cordless gadget charging, and VW has actually things covered because regard in the Tiguan with a convenient charging cubby at the base of the center stack. It fits my iPhone 12 Pro Max with a little bit of room to spare, and a rubber mat keeps your phone in place.
Front USB-C ports and cordless phone chargerAs with lots of lorry wireless battery chargers, it only charges at 5 watts, so it will not have the ability to rapidly charge a depleted phone battery, however it can help keep your phone topped off on longer journey. The greatest win here is that the battery charger is basic, unlike with most manufacturers where it usually requires an upgraded bundle on lower trims, if its even readily available at all without stepping up to a top-level trim.
For wired connections, VW has gone all-in on USB-C with a pair of those ports at the base of the center stack nearby to the wireless charging pad. A third USB-C port (charge-only) lies on the back of the center console for second-row seat passengers. The SEL trim of the Tiguan also includes a third row of seating, but there are no USB ports for these guests.
Rear charge-only USB-C portOverall, Im thrilled to see cordless CarPlay rapidly expanding across automobile brand names, and the bottom line with VW is that its done a solid task of incorporating it into the native infotainment system. I do want the main screen was a bit bigger or a minimum of greater resolution with the capability to see more on the screen.
Im truly thankful to see early adoption of second-screen CarPlay functionality, as thats a great method to help incorporate the 2 systems and utilize your favored system for various functions, though you do need to move up to a minimum of the SEL trim to have access to it. I havent yet had the ability to test second-screen CarPlay in a car with a head-up display screen, but CarPlay does support turn-by-turn directions on those as well.
I also hope well see more alternatives from Apple for second-screen CarPlay material, whether it be extra content types like full music assistance or perhaps being able to broaden a more feature-rich CarPlay experience throughout several screens on vehicles that have multiple large screens.
Wireless charging is constantly excellent to have together with wireless CarPlay, so I was glad to see the Tiguan geared up with a practical charging pad, and its consisted of on all however the most affordable trim that lacks cordless CarPlay anyhow.
Another charging port in the 2nd row would have been good to see to help prevent charging squabbles among brother or sisters on journey, and even a third-row charging port might come in convenient, although given the tight fits of third-row seating in mid-size SUVs like the Tiguan, theyre mainly for use just in a pinch and I would not ordinarily expect them to get a heap of usage on longer trips where charging is more vital.
Its kind of a neat trick that helps provide a basic appearance for the system most of the time and just makes complex the visual when youre engaging with the system.
CarPlay dashboard viewI discovered the system to be responsive both in the native infotainment experience and in CarPlay. I also appreciated the committed “App” button together with the screen to make it simple to hop into CarPlay at a single touch from anywhere in the native system. Theres one other CarPlay trick up the systems sleeve, and thats the ability to display CarPlay turn-by-turn navigation from Apple Maps in the Digital Cockpit. Dual-screen support for CarPlay was presented as part of iOS 13 in late 2019, but assistance for it has only simply began rolling out to cars, so VW is certainly a leader in adopting it.