Battle of the Infotainment Screens: Which Car Has the Largest One?

Screens in cars are getting larger and larger and they have now become the centerpiece of most vehicle interiors.
Mercedes-Benz 12.3-inch screen 12 photos
Photo: Andrei Nedelea
BMW 7 SeriesFord Mustang Mach-EGenesis G90Lexus IS300hMercedes E-ClassPorsche CayenneTesla Model 3Tesla Model SVW TouaregHonda eByton M-Byte
Nowadays, if you climb aboard a new car, if it doesn’t have some kind of big display dominating the center stack, it just doesn’t look right. Many cars also compliment this center screen (usually a touchscreen) with a digital gauge cluster that does away with conventional dials.

Having a 10-inch infotainment screen in your car was a big deal around the turn of the last decade, but nowadays you get a good quality screen that size in a cheap city car. Things really have moved along and the proliferation of large screens in car interiors has changed the way we perceive them for good.

These infotainment screens not only provide the driver with entertainment and information, but now they also have additional functions that in the past would have been assigned to physical buttons.

I’m primarily referring to the fact that you can control the climate functions through the screen in some cars, while others have gone even more extreme, essentially ridding the car’s interior of all buttons aside from those for the electric windows, and hazard warning lights.

Screens smaller than 12.3-inch won’t be mentioned in this article, because they’re really not that special anymore. This size seems to be the current gold standard for many automakers - a 12.3-inch screen is considered large, but it’s no longer a feat worthy of bragging rights.

All new cars from Mercedes-Benz that come fitted with the firm’s new MBUX infotainment system, for instance, have a pair fo 12.3-inch screens (one for infotainment and one as a digital gauge cluster). BMW has also adopted the 12.3-inch screen as its top of the range infotainment offerings in its newest models - it must also be said that the latest version of iDrive is probably the best in-car operating system on the market.

But there are more manufacturers that offer the 12.3-inch central infotainment screen in their cars: Porsche offers one in the Cayenne and Panamera, Bentley in its new Continental and Flying Spur, as well as Lexus across its range. Even newcomers to the premium segment, like Genesis, have a 12.3-inch screen available for some of their models.

You even get a 12.3-inch infotainment screen in the latest incarnation of the Ram 1500 pickup, although unlike all of the screens mentioned above, this one has a portrait orientation. And even if Ram is not a premium manufacturer, this large optional screen (the standard one base models come with measures 8.4 inches) looks great and runs very smoothly.

An interesting case among the vehicles with 12.3-inch screens is the Honda e all-electric city car. Just like the new crop of Mercedes models, it has a pair of 12.3-inch screens, only in this case they both have infotainment duties. They both have the same functions, although they can be customized to show different things.

What makes the Honda e special in this 12.3-inch screen company is the fact that these are not the only screens in the car. It has two additional screens (one on either end of the dashboard) which show feeds from rear-facing cameras placed where rear-view mirrors would have been, as well as a digital gauge cluster - that’s a total of five screens.

But we’ve saved the really biggest screens for last. Both the Tesla Model 3 and the latest Volkswagen Touareg have 15-inch screens in the middle (it’s standard on the Tesla and optional on the VW).

Both feel positively massive inside the car and while the one in the VW doesn’t offer any notable extra functionality over the smaller standard screen it comes with, the one in the Tesla concentrates all the car’s functions on the screen - you even use it to turn on the headlights, as well as the windscreen wipers.

Next up is a newcomer to the massive infotainment screen club, the Ford Mustang Mach-E. We really weren’t expecting this from Ford, a manufacturer not known for the quality (or size) of the infotainment screens in its cars, yet the Mach-E has a very impressive portrait-style screen that measures 15.5 inches and not only is it big, but the Blue Oval is adamant it will be one of the best infotainment systems on the market when it launches.

Then we get to the car that started the whole giant-screens-in-cars craze: the Tesla Model S. It has been around since 2012, but no current production car has been able to match the size of its giant 17-inch portrait style touchscreen. I think Tesla has to be given credit for the dramatic increase of automotive infotainment screens, because not only did it implement a solution that many found crazy seven years ago, but it also made it work quite well.

However, the Model S won’t hold on to its crown for too long, because it will soon be dethroned by a brand new contender whose screen can only be described as gargantuan. The Byton M-Byte whose super wide infotainment screen measures a whopping 48 inches and it will be complemented by an additional screen on the fixed-hub steering wheel, as well as one in front of the center armrest; oh, and it will come with gesture control too once it reaches the market in 2020.
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