As a brand new model, we had high hopes for the Insignia’s infotainment rig, known in top spec as the DVD800. It’s actually the latest customer system supplied by Bosch. Historically, Bosch infotainment systems have been a little behind the curve, but first impressions certainly suggest a well specified setup complete with a large central LCD display, BMW iDrive / Audi MMI-aping control wheels and a secondary information screen in the driver’s instrument cluster.
The spec list also ticks most of the important boxes. There’s full navigation with voice guidance notes, Bluetooth telephony as well as support for both iPods and USB storage devices. It’s a thoroughly contemporary solution, in other words.
What it’s not, however, is a joy to use. For starters, it lacks touch-screen functionality. In our experience, only BMW’s iDrive pulls off an effective non-touch in-car interface. But that’s partly thanks to the lengths BMW has gone to with ConnectedDrive in terms of reducing the need to input data manually when in the car. Ultimately, even iDrive would be improved with the addition of a touch-screen.
The Insignia’s system also lacks the coherency of control seen in the best in-car interfaces. For instance, there are two control wheels for the main display – one centrally located on the dash and buried in a sea of buttons, the other situated on the centre console among a small bank of shortcut keys behind the gear selector. It’s not immediately clear what the division of labour is between these two wheels. With familiarity, it turns out they both allow you to scroll around the infotainment system and click to select items, but only the dash-mounted wheel also acts as a direction joystick.