In-Car Tech

Everything you need to know about Audi's third-gen MIB infotainment system

Audi has introduced the next-generation of its infotainment system.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has announced that the third generation of its infotainment system (MIB 3) will arrive in most 2021 vehicles starting this autumn. The biggest upgrades are to the hardware, which includes a chipset that is 10 times faster than the MIB 2 technology, but there's a significant number of new features users will want to know about.

Verizon has become Audi's wireless internet provider.

If you want to use your car's Wi-Fi hot spot to surf the web, you'll need to have a data plan through Verizon. No other provider is available. If you already have a plan through Verizon, you may be able to amend your plan to include the addition of the vehicle hot spot rather than setting up a separate account.

The new LTE Advanced Pro modem is rated for up to 1 Gbps download speed. 

The new modem allows for gigabit internet. That means that the hardware is capable of transmitting and receiving up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of data every second. Consider that the average portable Verizon Wi-Fi hot spot is capable of speeds of just 600 mbps, that's 60-percent of the capability of the new modem.

MIB 3 runs on a new Linux-based operating system.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Linux is the foundation for many operating systems. Subaru adopted automotive grade Linux for its 2020 Outback and Legacy, the first models in the company's lineup to feature tablet-style infotainment screens.

Up to eight devices can be connected.

While some early mobile hot spots could connect one, two, three, or four devices, the newest models can link to eight or more. The newest offering from Audi allows for up to eight devices to connect at once. It's important to remember that, like your home modem, that the more devices that are connected at the same time, the more divided up the bandwidth, slowing the connection speed for each device.

A variety of bandwidth options are available.

In-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots are available to be activated in a variety of bandwidth options. There’s the Care base level, and a mid grade Prime package. The Prime package is optimized for audio streaming and remote working applications, meaning its bandwidth is a percentage of the modem's full capability. Upping to the Plus package allows customers to take advantage of the full bandwidth capability.

It has high-definition voice communication technology.

With the new high-high-definiition voice communication technology, the system is able to understand more nuanced, conversational, and natural speech.

SiriusXM with 360L has been added.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Ram was the first to debut SiriusXM with 360L but its time as the only automaker with the technology is up. For the 2021 model year, most models will have the tech as available or standard. The new SiriusXM offering expands the listening experience of the SiriusXM satellite radio system, adding more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content including exclusive interviews, live and in-studio concerts and smart "For You" content recommendations.

According to Audi, "'For You' allows listeners to easily discover more content based on their listening habits. For college and professional sports events, SiriusXM with 360L allows the listener to easily find the game he or she may want and, in most cases, choose between home and away broadcasts. Individual vehicle profiles allow multiple drivers and passengers to customize and maintain their own vehicle favorites."

The new MyAudi app has a digital storefront.

Audi has improved the MyAudi app to offer several key improvements. The marketplace now gives owners the ability to purchase in-car features and new, more flexible subscription plans.

The app also allows for a more simplified registration and payment process for Audi connect Care, Prime, and Plus subscriptions.

Function on Demand gives navigation now with plans to add more functionality in the future.

Function on Demand gives Audi owners the ability to purchase vehicle functions through the MyAudi marketplace. Navigation can be purchased for 2020 and 2021 A4 and A5 Premium or Premium Plus models not factory-equipped. Additional features are expected to be announced at a later date.

Maps are updated monthly.

In the previous generation of Audi infotainment systems, the navigation system maps would be updated quarterly. In the MIB3 system, the maps will be updated monthly in Audi models equipped with navigation.

Amazon Alexa is more widely available.

Audi introduced Amazon Alexa in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and has expanded it throughout their SUV and car lineup. The new system will include Amazon Alexa and further expand the technology into the Audi model line.

There's new hybrid digital radio.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Hybrid digital radio allows listeners to enjoy their favorite terrestrial radio station once they drive out of the signal's

For terrestrial FM or HD FM radio listeners on the go, hybrid digital radio allows them to continue listening to the same channel even after driving outside of the channel's range. Either automatically or by request, once the hybrid radio senses a weak radio signal, it will switch to the online, digital version of the same channel. Conversely, the channel will switch back from a digital to a radio signal when it senses better reception.

Upon cycling a vehicle off and on again, the digital radio station will continue to play.

Availability of the Integrated Toll Module has been expanded.

The mirror-based toll payment solution provides accents to select toll road services across the country, eliminating the need for one of the traditional, large toll responder tags to be mounted to the car's license plate holder or windscreen. The technology was first introduced in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and Q7 and is being added to the Q5, Q8, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 in 2021.

The list of models expected to receive MIB 3 features includes: Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3 (late arrival), Q5, Q7 and Q8, with other models to be announced at a later date. Pricing and a complete features list will be available at a later date.

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All-new sports sedans

All-new 2022 Audi A3 and S3 coming soon

The 2022 A3 gets sharper styling.

Audi

The Audi A3 and S3 might be small, but both cars bring benchmark performance and luxury to the compact side of the premium market. The cars have been totally overhauled for the 2022 model year, and pick up new powertrain tech, updated interiors, and sharper styling.

Audi says that the A3 is wider and more aggressively styled than its predecessor, and notes that it will carry a new, wider grille and headlight design. The S3 is now longer and wider than before, and will sport a larger, more aggressive exhaust system.


2022 Audi A3 The A3's interior gets new color options for 2022.Audi


The 2022 A3 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The powertrain also gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid boost for the first time in 2021, which will provide better take-off acceleration and can allow the car to coast with the engine off.

The S3 derives 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is a bump of 18 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque over its predecessor. Audi says that the new powertrain configuration allows the 2022 S3 to sprint from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The S3 also benefits from a .6-inch drop in ride height and new available S sport suspension with damper control that can be adjusted with drive mode selections from the cockpit.


2022 Audi S3 The sporty S3 has also been redesigned for 2022.Audi


The A3's interior brings standard heated setas with eight-way power adjustment, a standard panoramic sunroof, tri-zone climate control, and leather upholstery. Two new color options are available for the 2021 A3, including Santos Brown with Steel Gray stitching and Parchment Beige with Steel Gray stitching. The S3 gets new power-adjustable S sport seats, and can be upgraded inside with diamond-stitched Nappa leather upholstery.

A 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard for both cars, along with a 10.25-inch digital gauge display. Audi's virtual cockpit system, which can project maps and other information into the gauge cluster, is available with a 12.3-inch gauge upgrade option. A head-up display is also available for the first time in both cars.


2022 Audi S3 The S3's interior has been updated with new seats.Audi


Audi includes a few advanced driver aids as standard equipment, which include forward collision warnings, high-beam assist, lane departure warnings, and a pre-collision system that shuts windows and pretensions seatbelts. Most features are optional, and include a parking assistance system, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, and more.

The 2022 Audi A3 will have a starting price of $34,945, which includes a $1,045 destination charge. The A3 Quattro will start at $36,945 and the 2021 S3 will have a starting price of $45,945.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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