Audi IVIS (MMI 3G+) Reviews

Audi thinks highly of their Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) 3G+ IVIS. This video demonstrates some of its and their car’s features.

AutoMoto TV (2018).

MMI Reviews

This is a sample of the MMI 3G reviews I found to indicate a suspicion that IVIS are distracting to drivers and that they may compromise road safety. You can also read similar Range Rover InControl IVIS reviews.

Audi’s IVIS

Audi USA (2018) describe their new dual or quadruple display IVIS interactions as more intuitive (than their jog dial controls); being similar to a smartphone. Options offer a total of four information displays and two are touch-operated!

  • Optional Heads Up Display (HUD).
  • Virtual Cockpit (display screen replacing analogue binnacles).
  • The upper touch display
  • The lower touch display

Audi car cockpit with touch displays
Figure 1. Audi’s IVIS with optional virtual cockpit. Image from Autocar (Smith, 2019).
Audi virtual cockpit display showing fuel conservation data
Figure 2. Audi’s virtual cockpit screen in Memory and Large Dial mode. Image from Autocar (Smith, 2019).
view through an Audi vehicle windscreen with a heads up display of speed, speed limit, and the lane keep assist iconprojected onto it
Figure 3. Audi’s HUD projected onto the windscreen. Image from Hall (2018).

Audi’s take on their IVIS evolution.

Key statements:

  • (1:12) The MMI touch response operating system is engineered to make the interaction more intuitive, similar to a smartphone.
  • (1:15) Since most of the buttons and controls have been replaced with two large displays, the feature adds simplicity and minimalism to functionality…
  • (1:25) The system also utilises haptic feedback on both [displays].
  • (1:35) Virtual cockpit and head-up display, which projects relevant information onto the windscreen…

Audi USA (2018).

Using a smartphone while driving is very distracting. Audi’s comparison of their IVIS to a smartphone may not be best judged? Certainly, IVIS are coming under heavy and sustained fire for being as, if not more distracting than using a mobile phone. The following is a collection of automotive articles and reviews that suggest IVIS cause “eyes off the road” distractions.

Of interest is the comparison between using a jog dial pointing device and touch interactions. After a short spell playing with Audi’s jog dials and touch interfaces across models, I can only wonder how the jog dial can be claimed less distracting? (Carwow 2018; Carwow 2019; Edmunds 2018). Converting rotary and press inputs combined with an additional Back button to scroll through inputs felt like a higher cognitive and motor load than tapping or stroking with a finger. Maybe that’s something we can test without upsetting the Ethics Council?

Video Reviews

Autogefuhl’s review of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (10:50) [virtual cockpit] has the advantage you can switch the views, for example, have a bigger map also zoom in and out [with steering mounted physical left thumb controls]
  • (11:15) …if you go to Settings, and – a lot to choose from here always so you have to know its display [set haptic feedback] so you really have to press the buttons.
  • (12:05) [touch and tapping] …we’re used to that from our smartphones… [lower buttons] but they’re not that well to control while driving, I have to say.

Autogefuhl (2018).

Sinead McCann’s review of the Audi A6 IVIS for Cars Ireland on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (3:08) is actually a lot more straight forward to use than it might look…
  • (3:19) I don’t usually like using a touchscreen… but because it offers haptic feedback and you can leave this [lower] display off all the time, I don’t find it as distracting as I do in some others
  • (12:50) [swiping] …again it’s easier when you have the haptic feedback deactivated… or use the voice control as just shown.
  • (12:58) …again, it can be quite distracting while driving.
  • (13:33) also a separate button for the rearview camera… Real volume knob left primarily for the co-driver…

Cars Ireland (2019).

Car Buyer review of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (2:50) Haptic feedback… It’s very Premium; very techy… In fact, there’s so much tech I don’t know where to begin.

Car Buyer (2019).

Matt Watson’s Initial Carwow overview of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (0:58) [it] looks futuristic but the touch screens just aren’t as easy to operate while driving as Audi’s old swivel wheel controller system.

Carwow (2018).

Matt Watson’s Carwow review of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (1:46) It all looks very, very cool.
  • (3:17) It does vibrate when you press it though so you know that you’ve hit a button.
  • (3:50) …but its not as easy as quickly turning a dial, which is a bit frustrating…
  • (4:00) …you do have voice commands…but it’s still not great.

Carwow (2019).

Marek’s in-depth review of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (4:00) …vibration in the foot peddle…so you know to slow down.
  • (7:00) …systems which will change the way in which we interact with the car…
  • (7:35) …[lower screen] …you can also add some shortcuts… used to input the address or name of the place you are looking for.
  • (7:50) …both screens give haptic feedback so you don’t press something by accident… you can adjust the strength of the clicking feel but if you don’t like it you can turn it off…
  • (8:25) it’s still easier to write down what you want on the lower display and this works well as I don’t need to remember the address of a restaurant. It’s enough I remember the name… cleaning mode aswell.
  • (9:00) [as a new user] I find it very intuitive… something I could never say about the old version of the system.

Marek Drives (2018).

Edmunds’ review of the Audi A6 IVIS on YouTube.

Key statements:

  • (1:45) I’m a little torn on how it works because they got rid of the MMI knob, which I thought was a great way to control systems like this and gone with two split touchscreens. And so far on this trip, I’m not sold because it’s demanding a lot more attention than just the knob.
  • (6:45) Virtual cockpit …and it’s great. It’s easy to use … and it’s easy to read in almost any light.
  • (7:00) …Split level touchscreen… …it’s cantered towards the driver, making it somewhat easier to use, but maybe a little harder for the passenger to use.
  • (7:15) Mounted right in the middle… I prefer having them on top because it’s right in the driver’s sightlines, and its less distracting to use.
  • (7:28) When you touch [a button] it responds with this lovely little haptic feedback that mimics the physical buttons that are in the car… they eliminated about 43 physical buttons… in my opinion, though, they should have left a dozen or so because I like having some tactile buttons that you can use without even looking down.
  • (7:53) …what I don’t like is how much of a distraction it can be, just because it’s not as easy to use as the old MMI dial or the BMW iDrive… or the Mercedes MBUX system, which I think is the best in the industry at this point.
  • (8:35) I just wish this was a little less distracting to use.

Edmunds (2018).


Review Articles

Ben Barry’s long term A6 review findings.
  • The off button is hard to find by touch, meaning some potentially dangerous eyes-off-road time.
  • “Its infotainment is far superior to the Mazda’s,” noted Alex, pointing to the slick twin touchscreens that define the dashboard.
  • I don’t mind the [Masda’s] analogue dash instruments at all, because even though they’re not as flashy as the Audi’s digi dash, they’re easier to process at a glance. Which is the point.

Barry, (2019).

The RAC offers a review.
  • Behind the wheel, you’re going to need to like screens because this completely redesigned cabin can incorporate no fewer than three of them, largely replacing all the many buttons and dials of the previous A6.

RAC, (2019).

Autocar’s A6 review.
  • …inside it felt like a spaceship (more foreboding Galactic Empire rather than knockabout Rebel Alliance, in Star Wars-speak).
  • The topic is a recurring theme with both Autocar testers and readers alike (and even editors). I’m with the majority: proper buttons are best.
  • LOATH IT…Touchscreens They look snazzy, but real buttons you can actually push are always better – and safer, too.
  • Touchscreen fails If your finger-aim is off by a smidge, the virtual button you want to press will stare back at you blankly. Infuriating and distracting.

Smith, (2019).

Audi lower display graphic user interface buttons
Figure 3. Audi’s “virtual” buttons on the lower display. Image from Car Magazine (Barry, 2019).

Carwow’s A6 review article.
  • …interior comes with high-tech touchscreens as standard, but they aren’t all that easy to use.
  • You have to pay extra for a slick digital driver’s display…Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit system. This feature replaces conventional analogue dials with a huge digital driver’s display that looks fantastic and is a doddle to use.
  • Less user-friendly, however, are the Audi A6 Avant’s heating and ventilation controls. These are operated through the lowermost touchscreen (rather than through a series of knobs and dials) which makes them rather tricky to use when you’re driving.
  • Even the most affordable models come with two large touchscreen displays that replace almost every conventional button on the A6 Avant’s dashboard.
  • Both are easy to use when you’re parked up at home.
  • Unfortunately, you still have to take your eyes off the road for some time to use the screen’s when you’re driving.
  • …not quite as easy to use as the systems in the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate with their physical scroll-wheel controls.
  • Audi’s old MMI and BMW’s iDrive are easier to use while driving because both have a handy rotary dial rather than relying solely on touch.

Carwow, (n.d.).

Country Life takes a turn.
  • …refined and pleasing a place to while away long motoring hours. Provided you keep your eyes on the road
  • Losing the dial-and-button control is a mistake, at least in my antediluvian opinion, in part because that system was the best on the road. 
  • The technology pack, which will recognise voice commands and allow you to watch where you’re going

Rangeley-Wilson, (2019).

Auto News consider their top priorities.
  • …another feature I’ve started using to make my life easier: the built-in weather application on the infotainment system.
  • Although it looks very impressive, I’m still getting to know how it all operates. I’m not sure that I like having to use a touchscreen so often while I’m driving, but we’ll reserve judgement on that for when I’ve worked out exactly where everything is.

Newsautotop, (2019).

Another preference for an earlier jog dial system.
  • the loss of the old physical controller dial for navigation means you have to rely solely on touch, which means you need to look at the screen and make sure you hit the right icon.
  • Text input can be a little more tricky, but the entire bottom display will become a scrawl pad, letting you trace in letters and recognising them and making suggestions on the top display.

Hall, (2018).

A compliant to Audi from Auto Express.
  • …trying to find the sub-menu marked “lane assist – on/off.” And in the process, you take your eyes off the road several times in your frantic search to switch the function off. And ultimately you fail to find the right sub-menu – because it doesn’t exist.
  • So in order to get an extra half star from the ultimate assessors of a vehicle’s safety, Audi has done something that most of its engineers aren’t especially comfortable with. And which I personally think is unsafe given the, shall we say, erratic way in which I drove the new A6 until I sussed out how to switch the wretched lane assist system off.

Sutcliffe, (2019).



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AutoMoto TV. (2018, December 2018). 2019 Audi A6 Infotainment system</em. [Video File]. Retrieved from

Barry, B. (2019, July 18). Audi A6 Avant: so much technology, so little driving pleasure. Retrieved from

Car Buyer. (2019, January 14). Audi A6 saloon 2019 in-depth review. Retrieved from

Carwow. (n.d.). Audi A6 Avant interior. Retrieved from

Carwow. (2018, April 12). New Audi A6 Avant 2019 revealed – is it the ‘smartest’ estate car ever?. Retrieved from

Carwow. (2019, April 25). Audi A6 2020 in-depth reviews. Retrieved from

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RAC. (2019, April 2). Audi A6 40 TDI review. Retrieved from

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Sutcliffe, S. (2018, May 18). Electronic safety aids aren’t always as safe as they seem. Retrieved from