2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Five Reasons Why UConnect Rocks
May 20, 2015
I really like the optional 8.4-inch touchscreen interface in our 2014 Ram 1500. It's Chrysler's corporate 8.4AN/RA4 system that's used in a variety of other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, but that commonality doesn't diminish its specialness.
Here are five reasons why the Ram 1500's UConnect system is superior to systems offered in other full-size trucks.
1: Big 8.4-inch screen with a nearly square aspect ratio. This UConnect system not only has a large diagonal measurement, it also has a squarer aspect ratio compared to more rectangular screens. The result is that the screen's size allows for bigger and easier-to-press virtual buttons, bolder and easier-to-read fonts, and more space to display a map and its details.
2: Simple and logical layout. It doesn't take much time to learn how to operate UConnect. All the main system functions (Radio, Media, Controls, Climate, Nav, Phone and Apps) are always on display at the bottom of the screen. Specific functions on those individual system screens are also clearly displayed, whether it's cycling through map orientations or digital media device operation. The physical tuning/selection knob is also a big help.
3: Plenty of features. UConnect provides many functions beyond the basics. As Dan Edmunds noted in a previous update, when we signed up for the UConnect Access package we also got smartphone app integration, WiFi hotspot functionality (3G, admittedly) and enhanced remote vehicle access.
4: Redundant climate controls. The system in our Ram 1500 gives you two ways to adjust the climate controls. There are the normal, physical buttons mounted below the touchscreen or the virtual on-screen buttons. Both work well and provide the opportunity to use whatever set you like according to circumstances.
5: Responsive and quick processing. One of our biggest historical gripes regarding touchscreen interfaces has been slow or missed responses to touch inputs. That's not the case with UConnect. Touch a virtual button and the system responds quickly and correctly every time. Knowing that it's going to work reduces potential driver distraction.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 31,513 miles