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I've noticed the trend of infotainment screens stuck on the dashboard as a separate element and I think it's really ugly. Audi and BMW struggled with early placement of displays high on the dash and with a big hump that extended the instrument cowl over the displays. These weren't that great - exhibit below:


The current gen Audi A3/A6, etc. use a MMI (multimedia interface) screen that retracts out of view and has a thin black border. Aesthetically, I think they look great because they don't disrupt the dashboard flow.


The current C-class Benz and Mazda 3 use displays that look stuck on and have HUGE black borders like a 2000s era GPS. These invite theft, don't look OEM, and in my opinion, are quite ugly. exhibit 3:



IMHO, these look like someone stuck a tablet on the dash and that big black border looks like an outdated display. It totally destroys the flow of the dashboard. At least with the current Audis, the screen disappears and the thin border makes its placement feel more organic. Am I the only one who hates the stuck-on look?
 

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I agree. In these examples the A3/A6 retractable is the most aesthetically pleasing.

Just finished 1800 mile road trip to get a break from Pennsylvania's ice box temps. The 2014 Sportwagen TDI was more comfortable then the 2011 Subaru Forester XT Limited that I drove last year.

Even though the Sportwagen has Nav, I chose to use a Garmin Nuvi 3597LM specifically because it has lane assist. That feature is very useful when negotiating DC traffic. Additionally I got a mount for my smart phone which I attached to the corner of the windshield, so I could use Waze. Waze provides useful real-time traffic data, as well as having a map and all the other information you can get with the smart device connected to the Internet. So to summarize the auto manufacturers need to improve their multi-medial infotainment systems, because they are still lacking available features.

Perhaps the new 4 G equipped vehicles will provide these features
 

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I don't mind the one on my Jetta, integrated into the dash. But the ones that look like they super glued a cheap tablet to the dash are terrible!
 
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