If you’re anything like us, you obsess over all things automotive. That means not just driving, but also keeping track of what’s going on in the world of automotive news. As you might expect, we’re keeping a close eye on the Porsche WEC team as it gears up for its next season, we read reviews of vehicles like the 2016 Porsche Macan, and we lust after the latest concept cars. But every so often, we read something that doesn’t quite compute, like Ezra Dyer’s latest piece for Car and Driver, titled Infotainment Overkill: Do We Really Need This Many Features in Our New Cars?
On one level, we understand what Mr. Dyer is saying. First and foremost, a car exists to be driven. If you’ve ever gotten behind the wheel of a Porsche 911, you know the thrill that comes with feeling like you, your car, and the road are in perfect communion. No argument there. But then we had to wonder: did he try the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system found in many Porsche vehicles? You know, the one JD Power picked as one of its “10 Luxury SUVs with the Best Infotainment Systems” (and ranked number one, no less)?
PCM can be operated via a touchscreen, voice control, or a steering wheel-mounted rotary pushbutton. It gives you instant access to hands-free calling (via Bluetooth or iPhone interface), CD player, SD cards, an internal hard drive, USB stick (which can also be used to store vehicle diagnostics), and a host of applications for navigation, points of interest, and much, much more.* The PCM goes beyond “information and entertainment” to encompass tools that can make your drive safer even as it makes it that much more enjoyable.
At one time, infotainment features must have seemed like something out of the Jetsons or Knight Rider — the stuff of the future, or of science fiction — but no more. Now it’s here, and here to stay. After all, it’s not like people are giving up the features of their smartphones just because they’re driving. But with the voice-activation features found on PCM, drivers get to have it both ways. PCM allows the features and convenience while cutting back on the distractions and safety issues. On balance, that’s a good thing.
The best way to make up your mind about Porsche Communication Management is to try it yourself. To do that, call us at (888) 695-4130 or just stop by the Porsche of Nashua showroom for a test drive. Once you’re on the road in a 2016 Porsche Panamera, the PCM is likely to be the last thing you notice. We’ll try to remind you, but we’ll be perfectly content to let you enjoy the drive.
*Some services require a subscription.