A Touching Interface - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: A Touching Interface

May 03, 2010


When you drive a different car homealmost every day it can be tough to remember exactly how each one works.

"Where's the E-brake release on this thing?"

"How do I get the fuel door open?"

"Why does the seat position change every time I start it?"

Certainly asmall price to pay for such a vast array of driving options,and a side benefit is how this constantexposure to multiple vehiclesallows our staff to quickly discern which systems work best among the various manufacturers' designs. And in the case of LCD screen interfaces, our long-term 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T confirms the obvious:touch screen worksbest.

Sure, there can be some variation in touch screen interfacedesign, and some are better than others. But all of them are better than the ol' "wheel-and-button" control system. Simply put, it's more intuitive to press on a screen with your finger than to try and navigate it via a mechanical middleman.

When I got in the Challenger recently and wanted to change audio settings it was refreshingly easy to tap the screen a few times and be done versus twisting a knob while hitting a button. Anyone who has used those systems knowshow frustrating it can beto keep missing your intended setting because you turned the knob a tad too far or didn't hit the button at the right moment.

No, the world is moving away from mechanicalinterfaces and rushing toward interfaces that work directly with our fingers. If you don't agree, maybe you missed a little technology intro a few weeks ago. It's the one surpasssing all sales expectations and likely to redefine how information is gathered/transmitted.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large @ 24,255 miles

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