Toyota models sold through official local distributor UMW Toyota Motor are known to be equipped with aftermarket infotainment systems that are not the nicest to look at nor navigate.
Take the newly launched latest-generation 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis for example, it comes with the DVD-AVX head unit. A 6.8-inch capacitive touchscreen with smartphone MirrorLink, HDMI input, Bluetooth, AUX jack with reverse camera. Five years ago, this DVD-AVX would be the benchmark for infotainment systems.
However, the DVD-AVX interface in today’s age of connectivity is a pain to use and the thick bezels are just an eyesore.
Which brings us to the Toyota C-HR’s Display Audio infotainment system. Although it measures smaller in size at 6.75-inch, it comes with the all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity which makes it better than the Corolla Altis’ system.
Having CarPlay and Android Auto transforms the in-car entertainment experience by integrating your phone into the infotainment screen. The connection is seamless, and you are able to use your favourite apps (Waze, Spotify, WhatsApp) that are optimised for driving – i.e. larger icons, simpler user interface and voice-activated control.
MirrorLink, on the other hand, does not have your phone apps optimised for driving and you need to keep your screen awake to have it working on the infotainment screen. I personally, would never recommend MirrorLink.
If you activate Siri on CarPlay and Google Assistant on Android Auto, you have your very own voice command system that is a gazillion times more intelligent than those built-in systems found on some cars.
The biggest upside to having CarPlay and Android Auto integration is the seemingly cleaner user interface displayed on the infotainment screen. It elevates the cabin ambience by adding a more high-tech and modern element that is also equally practical to use.
Connectivity can be defined and presented in many ways but for the majority of us, is the ability to access our phones anytime, anywhere. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are able to fulfil this need for connectivity and at the same time reduce driver distraction on the road, win-win.
Hence having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is what makes the Toyota C-HR’s infotainment system is better than the Toyota Corolla Altis DVD-AVX system.