Today’s list of cars with large touch screens will surprise some people. That’s because even though big touch screens are considered a premium feature, many of the traditional luxury brands have done away with them. They still have their share of massive displays, but those displays aren’t touch screens. They’re physically controlled by various knobs and touchpads that are often mounted in the cars’ center consoles; a few premium choices also have touchpads mounted on their steering wheels or can be operated by sensor-detected hand motions that don’t require touching anything. As a result, most of the vehicles here are from the mainstream names, although the brand setting the pace, of course, is about as anti-mainstream as you can get.
10 Best Cars with Large Touch Screens
Photo Credit: Tesla
2017 Tesla Model S
The 2017 Tesla Model S is an acknowledged technology leader for a lot of reasons, including both for its AutoPilot “self-driving” capability and its all-electric driving range—which can exceed 350 miles in the 100D version. Then, in all versions, the Model S also happens to have a 17-inch touchscreen—measured diagonally, as are all screens mentioned here—and that manages not only typical navigation and media functions, but everything else in the vehicle. That’s another crucial difference from other cars with large touch screens since many of them maintain physical switchgear for drivers who prefer it. In Tesla’s luxury sports sedan, the touchscreen even operates the all-glass power-sliding panoramic roof. It makes for a cleaner cabin design, too.
Photo Credit: BMW
2017 BMW 5 Series
The success of BMW’s iDrive control interface has meant that the brand hasn’t offered many cars with large touch screens in the past. But as the company explores cutting-edge technologies like Gesture Control, which can recognize touchless hand motions, it’s also pairing that with a touch-based screen system.
For example, after debuting in the automaker’s flagship sedan, the latest iDrive 6.0 is now bringing a 10.25-inch high-res touchscreen to the rest of the lineup, starting with the 2017 BMW 5 Series. Tech fans needn’t worry, however, since the iDrive controller is still on board the all-new 5 Series, furnishing both gesture- and voice-recognition, and complementing that setup is a head-up display and virtual instrument panel.
Photo Credit: Jaguar
2017 Jaguar XF
Cars with large touch screens also can use that extra surface area to control more functions. Take the 2017 Jaguar XF: Leveraging the 10.2-inch touch screen for its available InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, drivers can manage not just media, navigation, and climate settings, but also fine-tune the car’s suspension, steering, throttle, and transmission response. Enthusiasts also will enjoy being able to monitor performance metrics on that screen — and, there’s plenty of performance to be monitored. The range-topping XF-S packs a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that delivers 380-horsepower, 332 lb.-ft. of torque, and 0-60 times of 5.1 seconds in its rear-wheel-drive trim; all-wheel-drive models slice that down to 5 seconds flat.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
As indicated above, mainstream cars with large touch screens generally have displays that peak at 8 inches. Chevy supplies a screen that size for affordable choices like the compact 2017 Chevrolet Cruze, but for its all-new, all-electric car, the brand wanted something a little more special. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt ended up with a 10.2-inch touch screen—and a whole lot more: Mobile Wi-Fi, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and a camera-based rearview mirror all help elevate the Bolt’s technology game. Elevating the Bolt’s efficiency is an electric propulsion system that’s good for 238 miles of zero-emissions driving on a single charge. What’s not so elevated is Bolt pricing, since that can drop below $30,000 with the federal tax incentive.
Photo Credit: Volvo
2017 Volvo S90
An attractive alternative to the premium cars with large touch screens is the 2017 Volvo S90. An increasingly worthwhile competitor for the more established luxury sedans, the S90 showcases a 9-inch touch screen as part of its Sensus infotainment system. Notably, the screen has the same kind of “portrait” orientation as found in the Tesla Model S, allowing for an improved navigation experience. And if the S90’s cabin isn’t entirely free of physical switchgear, there’s just a slim, horizontal button-and-knob arrangement that’s fairly unobtrusive. Meanwhile, the rest of the S90’s interior is equally upscale, from its digital instrument cluster to its climate-controlled and leather-covered front seats. Remember, too, that 2017 Volvo V90 provides all those benefits in a station-wagon body style.
Photo Credit: Chrysler
2017 Chrysler 300
As we get into the mainstream cars with large touch screens, shoppers will find most of the displays in a “landscape” format top out at about 8 inches. The 2017 Chrysler 300, on the other hand, stretches the point slightly with its Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system. As you might guess, this setup relies on an 8.4-inch touch screen, but what you may not know is that it also earned kudos in a major 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. The system has been updated for 2017 with enhanced processing power, the ability to recognize pinch and swipe gestures, higher-resolution graphics, and quicker startup times. Also, for a nice boost in connectivity, the Uconnect screen now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Thanks to its corporate connection with Chrysler—and the recent resurrection of the Demon—the Dodge brand can offer the fastest cars with large touch screens. More specifically, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon comes standard with Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system that’s similar to the one for the 2017 Chrysler 300—right down to the 8.4-inch touch screen. The difference with the Demon is that its display also handles the car’s Drive Modes and Performance Pages. With this technology, drivers can unlock the full potential of the car’s 840-horsepower supercharged V8 engine and track a wide variety of key performance metrics, including 0-60 times. Speaking of which, those for the Demon can be as low as 2.3 seconds.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
2017 Infiniti Q60
Customers looking for cars with large touch screens may want to look at the 2017 Infiniti Q60 as well. This sleek and sophisticated sports coupe serves up 15 inches worth of touch-enabled display surface—with a twist: Instead of one expansive screen, the Q60 has two, stacking an 8-inch upper touch screen above a 7-inch unit. They’re part of the car’s InTouch control system, with the top screen focusing on navigation and driving information and the bottom one primarily devoted to infotainment and climate control. Together, customers can use them to manage more than 200 separate vehicle functions, also including settings for such things as engine, suspension, and steering modes, along with memory settings for the front-row seats.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Maxima
Autobytel experts want to maximize customer choice among cars with large touch screens, so rather than doubling up on vehicles from within the same brand, we’ll go to Nissan for an example of an 8-inch unit. The 2017 Nissan Maxima signals its flagship position in the brand’s lineup with a touch screen that’s one inch larger than the one for the high-volume Nissan Altima midsize sedan. The Maxima also checks in with a standard NissanConnect infotainment system, navigation, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and a 7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display in the center instrument cluster.
Photo Credit: Ford
2017 Ford Fusion
We’ll wrap up our honor roll of cars with large touch screens by focusing on a particularly family-friendly option: the 2017 Ford Fusion. When ordered with the most up-to-date SYNC 3 infotainment and communications technology, the Fusion has an 8-inch touch screen that was thoroughly upgraded for its current iteration and is capable of recognizing smartphone-style pinch, swipe, and zoom commands. That said, the system also has enhanced voice-recognition capabilities, plus easy-to-use physical knobs that were carefully engineered to meet driver requirements. Require a bit more over-the-road performance in your family sedan? The Fusion Sport combines the upsized SYNC touchscreen with an upsized EcoBoost engine that can unleash 325 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque when running on premium fuel.