No review of a current VW Golf derivative - whether from Car Throttle or another publication - is complete without a moan about the ‘MIB3’ infotainment system. The new setup has always felt like a backwards step from the logical and easy-to-use system in the Golf 7, not least because you now have to use the screen for most climate controls.
It feels ponderous and early on tended to crash from time to time, locking you out of changing said climate settings. But, credit where credit’s due, VW has just revealed a whole raft of updates to the system.
When you’re using the touch screen, the operation of the buttons below is blocked, so you won’t find yourself accidentally changing the temperature or the volume. Before, it was annoyingly easy to do this. There’s a new infrared proximity sensor, making gesture control possible from a few centimetres away.
The software has been tweaked based on the features used by customers the most, meaning the “base load” is reduced, which VW says allows for “enhanced performance for programmes and functions”. In terms of the hardware, for the optional Discover Pro system, there’s a new ‘System On Chip’ giving a 25 per cent uplift in computing capacity, and a graphics card with triple the performance of the old one.
This will make the MIB3 much more responsive. One example VW gives is the input of a navigation destination, which should provide a list of results in under five seconds - “much more quickly than before”.
VW has also done a lot of work on the voice control system, which now responds four times quicker and has an improved “comprehension rate” now sitting at 95 per cent. It can tell who’s talking, so if the passenger says they’re cold, for instance, the car will only crank up the heating on their side of the car.
These changes will be coming to Golf 8s, ID.3s and ID.4s from 2022. For anyone who’s already had one of these delivered, it’ll be possible to take advantage of the software changes as part of a “voluntary service campaign”.