The 2022 Kia EV6’s touch bar panel is smart (Update)

UPDATE: A form reader wrote to me to elucidate that you could kind of resolve the conundrum we have been dealing with with our long-term Kia EV6’s contact controls. Seems, a long-hold (about 10 seconds or so) on the contact bar’s mode switcher brings up the choice to set both the radio or local weather controls as a “default” show. This fashion, once you swap to certainly one of them, it routinely instances out to the opposite show after about 5 seconds. This solves our greatest grievance with these specific controls, and we’re excited to benefit from this characteristic throughout our time. Because of the reader (an EV6 proprietor) who pointed this out to us, as a result of it’ll be a giant assist.

The up to date, unique story continues under.

The 2022 Kia EV6’s local weather and radio management panel is a bizarre one. It’s largely made up of contact controls, however there are additionally two knobs. Countering regular logic, these two knobs don’t at all times management the identical factor on the similar time. Yeah, that’s the place issues get bizarre.

This can be a state of affairs the place Kia has tried to have its cake and eat it too. As an alternative of getting one set of controls for local weather settings and one other for radio/navigation, Kia determined it’s greatest to have a single strip of controls that you could change on the fly. A mode switcher of types is indicated by a blower fan and navigational arrow. Faucet the contact panel right here, and also you’ll swap the management mode between displaying local weather management settings and radio/navigation management settings. Sure, which means the contact panel of controls is barely displaying one or the opposite at any second in time. It’s not solely the contact panel that adjustments, too, however the knobs do various things based mostly on which mode you may have activated. Once you’re in local weather mode, twisting the knob adjustments the temperature setting. Nevertheless, once you’re in radio/navigation mode, the driving force aspect knob turns right into a quantity knob, and the passenger aspect knob turns right into a tuning wheel.

It’s difficult to elucidate in phrases, however right here’s a video to indicate it in motion.

@autoblog 2022 Kia EV6 contact bar local weather and radio controls
♬ unique sound – Autoblog

The concept right here is pretty clear. Kia didn’t need to bury all the very important automotive controls in the principle touchscreen, nevertheless it additionally didn’t need to busy the sprint with extra buttons than mandatory. There’s the tech facet of it, too, in that such a management interface appears to be like and feels futuristic in comparison with the corporate’s different middle stacks.

Over the previous few weeks with our new long-term tester, I’ve developed a love/irritation relationship with how these controls work in day-to-day life. On the plus aspect, should you’re on the lookout for a button, it exists, and also you don’t have to wade via the infotainment system to search out it. You might need to faucet the mode switcher to search out it, however at the very least it’s there. I’m an particularly huge fan of the “Favourite” button indicated by a star that may be mapped to your required shortcut — I set mine to go on to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. An increasing number of new vehicles are ditching bodily controls in favor of dumping every little thing into the principle touchscreen, requiring a number of touches to search out the specified impact, however not right here.

Cease right here, and circle again to the replace on the prime of this put up. We’ll depart these under complaints so that you can see what working the system the improper approach is like. For any EV6 proprietor, be sure to long-hold the mode switcher button to convey up the choice to default to 1 display screen or the opposite, and you will not have any of those issues anymore.

However, I typically overlook which mode I’ve the contact bar set to. I’ll go to crank the quantity up or down with the useful knob, however will then shortly understand I’ve simply set the local weather management to some scorchingly extreme temperature as a substitute of turning the quantity up. This leads to my needing to twist the local weather management again to regular, faucet the mode switcher button (which is sufficiently small to overlook with a finger faucet occasionally), and then crank the quantity. All of that takes some fraction of my consideration away from the street. And certain, possibly it’s my fault that I didn’t keep in mind or didn’t discover out of the nook of my eye which set of controls have been being displayed. But additionally, possibly my passenger was the one who swapped it into local weather management mode as a result of they have been chilly, then by no means switched it again. It’s one thing that has come up time and again even after I’ve fully acclimated to the system.

The one unintentional inputs you’ll ever make are with the knobs, too. The entire different controls are operated like a touchscreen, so you’ll want to see and focus on what you’re stabbing together with your finger, requiring the operator to at the very least look at and skim what they’re urgent. 

I’m left feeling that that is each a very good and dangerous answer on the similar time. It’s higher than placing each final management in the principle touchscreen. However, it’s additionally problematic in that many house owners may find yourself being irritated by inaccurate inputs semi-frequently. My advice could be to attempt to hold it on the radio/navigation controls as a lot as attainable. That approach, when a very good track comes on and your pure intuition to crank the closest knob kicks in, you’ll be doing precisely as you meant.


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