As part of the 2019 10 Best UX awards, WardsAuto editors are sharing their impressions of vehicles we’re testing. In this installment we cover highlights of the Lincoln Nautilus Black Label, Kia Telluride and Audi A8.
Previous installments focused on the GMC Sierra Denali Carbon fullsize pickup, Honda Insight hybrid, Lexus UX 200 F Sport small CUV, Chevy Blazer, Nissan Altima, Toyota RAV4, BMW 330i, Nissan Kicks, Volkswagen Arteon and Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD, Lexus ES350 Ultra Lux and Mazda3 Sedan with Premium Package.
For the UX competition we evaluate the user experience behind the wheel and test all-new vehicles. We assess a vehicle’s connectivity, design, controls, displays, navigation and maps, ADAS functionality, infotainment, overall value and elements that surprise and delight, and we give high marks for features that are easy to use and for intuitively integrated technology.
We’re wrapping up testing for 10 Best UX in the next few weeks and will reveal the winners in September, with trophies presented Oct. 1 at the WardsAuto User Experience Conference at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
This year’s field will include more than 20 nominated vehicles. Editors submit scoresheets for each vehicle evaluated, and the following comments come directly from those sheets.
Bob Gritzinger: The startup sequence is truly wowing – and creates significant brand differentiation from the sister Ford Edge. Nice job, Lincoln.
Drew Winter: Really detailed high-quality map. I think it is an advantage because you can recognize specific buildings and structures.
Christie Schweinsberg: Two USB ports seem slim in a brand-new CUV.
Dave Zoia: Missing head-up display, which is a glaring miss at this price point. But nice clean and modern digital instrumentation. Center screen also has nice, crisp text and icons.
Gritzinger: Adaptive cruise control is very capable and confident out on the open road but does seem awfully touchy on the brakes in stop-and-go driving and in traffic.
Amy Alexander: A bit pricey ($67,000) for me. It has upgraded features, of course, but other vehicles have comparable ADAS and convenience features with a smaller price tag.
Tom Murphy: I like Nautilus but I’m not sure it puts the best UX foot forward for either Ford or Lincoln.
Gritzinger: Good, clear HUD along with a large, well-placed horizontal touchscreen that provides multiple views depending on how you want your split-screen divided. Small ADAS indicators in the cluster could be larger.
Winter: Embedded navigation and voice commands worked well for me.
Jim Irwin: ‘Check-rear-seat’ reminder supplemented with ‘device-left-in-charger’ reminder, which is a pleasant surprise.
Alexander: The back two rows are definitely ready for people to occupy them. Each seat has its own USB.
James Amend: Lane keep is outstanding. Just keep your hands lightly on the wheel and the Telluride will do all the work. Not quite Cadillac Super Cruise but definitely the next best thing.
Schweinsberg: What a screaming deal. $48,100 for all this seems like a misprint. You’d pay $65k or more in the luxury sector for this level of content.
Gritzinger: This vehicle, at this price, with this level of truly usable, functional and dependable equipment, seems like a shoo-in. If this isn’t among the best, I need to get my UX recalibrated.
Murphy: Outstanding value. But how do we choose if Telluride and (Hyundai) Palisade both are in the hunt?
Murphy: Second-row detachable tablet is another instance of surprise and delight. I also like the illuminated seatbelt buckles – very unusual.
Alexander: I really liked the voice control in this car. The prompts were short and sweet and very little steps from start to finish. Aside from the voice control, I did feel lost and overwhelmed with the two screens. Simple navigation through the radio was anything but simple.
Winter: Automatic cruise control stalk is an anachronistic remnant from another generation. Aside from that, very intuitive.
Zoia: I think the displays are state of the art all the way around, with best-functioning touchscreen. Less dual screen than it really is a second touchscreen for the HVAC controls. I think they’re ahead of the curve on that and more brands will go that route.
Winter: This has every ADAS feature available. Took me through miles of stop-and-go traffic in a construction zone. Just tap the accelerator pedal while stopped, and it will resume stop-and-go mode.
Irwin: Attention given 2nd row truly limousine-level. I felt pampered driving the A8.
Schweinsberg: This vehicle seems outdated, despite the fancy new touchscreens and interior lighting. Lots of better choices out there for $100k if you’re looking for great infotainment and ADAS. If this is their latest-and-greatest, they are behind BMW and Mercedes.
Winter: One of the best showcases of UX and ADAS technologies at any price.
Alexander: Overall, $102k is a lot of money and I wasn’t absolutely blown away.