Consumer Reports slams MyFord Touch 2.0

MyFord Touch 2.0 nav screenThe first version of Ford’s MyFord Touch (and MyLincoln Touch) control systems made owners want to beat their dashboards with hammers, so Ford updated the software and launched MyFord Touch 2.0 earlier this year. Sadly, version 2.0 doesn’t seem to be working either, at least according to Consumer Reports, which published a blog post titled “Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks.”

Consumer Reports says MyFord Touch 2.0, which controls nearly every climate, audio, and navigation function on equipped cars, is an improvement over the original system, but that it is still too counterintuitive to safely use while driving. It noted that Ford’s initial replacement of conventional knobs and buttons with a plethora of steering wheel controls, voice commands, and touch screen pads makes life very complicated.

MyFord Touch 2.0 improves the situation somewhat, but Consumer Reports said, “The differences are mostly trivial; it’s the fundamental design of the system that’s flawed.”

Ergonomically, Consumer Reports said the touch screen and its attendant flush capacitive switches are out of the driver’s reach in some models. Since the switches are all the same, drivers need to look away from the road to tell which one is which.

Other parts of MyFord Touch 2.0 fall in the “too much information” category. The testers thought that a display with multiple bar graphs and time duration settings of five, 10, or 30 minutes was overkill.

Consumer Reports noted that its road testers had driven six vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch over a total of 20,000 miles. It said the complexity of MyFord Touch had bumped several Ford models off the magazine’s list of recommendations. “We wouldn’t recommend dealing with the frustrations of MyFord Touch on a daily basis” Consumer Reports’ news blog said, “even to an adversary.”

In a statement, Ford technology spokesman Alan Hall argued that customers seem pleased with MyFord Touch 2.0. “Those who installed the recent software upgrade report a 25 percentage point increase in satisfaction. Also, 71 percent of owners with the new upgrade say they would recommend MyFord or MyLincoln Touch to others,” he said.

Last March, Ford began upgrading existing cars’ systems with new software, and rolled out MyFord Touch 2.0 on 2013 models including the Edge, Escape, and Taurus, as well as the Lincoln MKS and MKT.

The changes included a redesign of the touch screen’s fonts and virtual “buttons” to make them easier to read, clearer maps for the navigation, and faster touch screen responses. In addition, Ford added presets for the radio and streamlined voice commands.

As Consumer Reports argued, the upgrades did not fundamentally change the way MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch operate, so it’s not surprising that they have not fixed some of the major glitches in the systems.