VW RNS 315 Navigation
I love Audi MMI Touch with handwriting recognition. But sister company VW doesn’t have access to that phenomenal infotainment system. Instead, a majority of its line-up (including the Jetta, Beetle, Tiguan, and lower-trim CC) employs the dated RNS 315 navigation system, which I consider to be one of the worst available. It might be passable on, say, a Mitsubishi Mirage. But on a vehicle selling for more than $20,000, it's weak.
The platform employs a tiny five-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 400x240, or slightly less than a Super Nintendo. You get a nice array of buttons and a control knob to access the various features. However, the screen is just distractingly small set into VW's custom form factor. The graphics are plain, and colors appear washed-out.
There is an SD card slot for adding your own music, as well as support for a proprietary MDI cable (enabling iPod or USB connectivity). Expect to pay about $35 for VW's own USB MDI cable or $10 for a third-party one. Most RNS 315 equipped vehicles come with a 30-pin dock connector support. It's not expensive to change the MDI cable to USB, but it shouldn't be necessary. Manufacturers from Kia to Chrysler offer seven-inch or larger displays with 800x480 resolutions and USB. VW should at least be following suit.
If ever an infotainment system was designed to satisfy a check-box on a spec sheet, VW's RNS 315 is it.