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Top Touchscreen systems under Rs 10 lakhs compared: An introduction

Touchscreen systems today

Touchscreen systems today have become a crucial element in the features list of most modern cars. Call it if you will entertainment, or just a way to make a cleaner appearance on the dashboard. But there is no going away from the fact these systems are, today, an integral part of the interior design of a car.

There was a time when these OEM based systems were a forte of cars over the Rs 25 lakhs price bracket, thus making them an object of aspiration for those with smaller pockets. However, today you can have an infotainment system that controls a variety of functions across the vehicle in cars that costs as little as Rs 4.3 lakhs. An ‘upgrade’ to an aftermarket head unit suddenly doesn’t really seem like one. Plus, there’s the small matter of retaining the warranty of your car.

So we’ve taken some of the best touchscreen infotainment systems from a variety of manufacturers who produce cars under the Rs 10 lakhs bracket and compared them, so that you, the consumer, need not go around touching strange screens a lot of times. In this list, we’ve left out the Tata system that’s being offered in the Tigor and Tiago NRG as its screen which, at 5.0-inches, is too small to be competitive. We did use this system in our Tigor long term car and you can read about that here.

How did we do this?

We’ve used a 100 point scoring system and picked up 4 parameters with 25 points going to each of the parameters. The points across all 4 criteria have been divided on a 48-52 basis with the former being awarded on the basis of what is provided by the manufacturer while 52 points are subjective and have been awarded based on the discretion of the tester.   

1.    Screen size
2.    Features
3.    Ergonomics
4.    Software

Screen Size
In this section, we have looked at screen size, display quality and most importantly, visibility of the screen in direct sunlight.

The features section is the heaviest in terms of direct points and looks at elements like navigation, phone connectivity as well as media input options.

Whereas the features section relies heavily on direct points, the ergonomics sections is the most subjective as its entire test criteria is based on the discretion of the tester. Here we looked at items like angle and placement on dashboard, size of buttons as well as touch and feel.

This is the other subjective section and looks at elements like the graphics, ease of use as well as speed of the infotainment system. 

The contenders


10 lakhs (ex-showroom). That was our criteria and we chose it because this where a majority of the car-buying action happens in the Indian car market, thus putting us in the thick of the action. We decided to spread out and what you in see in the cover photo are our final contenders.
We have taken the Renault Kwid, Ford Freestyle, Maruti Dzire, Hyundai Grand i10, Volkswagen Ameo and the Honda Jazz and each of their infotainment systems represent what their parent company have to offer in this part of the market.

The testers

The people you see in the photo above are our testing team, each with a varied opinion on the different facets of the testing process.

How did they fare?

 Well, that’s what our next two stories will be about. In round one, we will tell you about the cars that came in 4th, 5th and 6th. And in our final story in this 3 part series, we will talk about our winners and who finally got to say touche (!) in this game of touch fencing. 

Photos: Kapil Angane & Kaustubh Gandhi

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