Remember how cool it was the first time you made a phone call through your car’s audio system via Bluetooth? That was only the beginning, and that integration has been taken to a whole new level with Volkswagen’s second-generation Modular Infotainment platform. There are four different head units available for 2016 Volkswagen models — all of which include a touchscreen display and smartphone integration via Apply CarPlay, Android Auto or Mirrorlink.

Apple CarPlay works with the iPhone 5 or newer with at least iOS 7.1. Android Auto will work with any Android phone that runs Android 5.0 – codenamed Lollipop – or higher. Most newer Samsung and HTC phones have MirrorLink capability along with Sony’s Xperia Z3 and Fujitsu’s Arrows NX handset. Android Auto and MirrorLink also have support for some third-party apps like Spotify and Skype. MirrorLink has its own list of apps that can be integrated, including WeatherPro, Parkopedia and Glympse, among others.

All models include standard features like an auxiliary input, USB interface, SD card slots, Bluetooth and a reverse camera display. Entry-level models have a 5-inch screen, while most mid-level trims have a 6.3-inch screen. The 2016 VW Golf stands by itself with a 6.5-inch screen, and the 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf has an 8.0-inch screen with 3D Navigation, nearly 10 gigabytes of storage and a wireless hotspot. All other premium models include the Discover Pro, which has SSD Navigation and other features not found in the sub-premium systems.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

While the seamless phone integration with support for third-party apps is awesome, I don’t think that is the most noteworthy part of the MIB II platform. Integration of advanced computing systems into our vehicles also brings the potential for security vulnerabilities like those recently found in the Tesla Model S. Volkswagen, like Tesla, kept this in mind and included over-the-air update technology that allows quick over-the-air updates without the need for a major recall like we saw with Chrysler a while back.

Hopefully, as more manufacturers include smartphone integration at this level, we’ll begin to see a drop in distraction caused by smartphone use when driving. I do have one question, though: When will device integration reach the point that it is just as distracting to use the built-in infotainment system as it is to pick up the smartphone while driving? It seems to me that all these features may be approaching that limit, if It hasn’t been crossed already. What do you think? Is it getting to be a little too much, or do you want more?

Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R High Resolution Exterior
- image 613776

Read our full review of the 2016 Golf R here.

Press Release

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced the introduction of its all-new MIB II infotainment system, available later this year on most model year 2016 Volkswagen products. The all-new infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today. The new technology will provide consumers access to information, right at their fingertips, available across nearly the entire Volkswagen range. The first 2016 models featuring the new infotainment system will start landing in dealer showrooms late July 2015.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638531

Under the VW Car-Net connected vehicle services umbrella, features are divided into three key areas, each offering a unique set of customer benefits—“Security & Service” includes connected car services and advanced telematics, “Guide & Inform” enhances the navigation and advanced infotainment systems, and “App-Connect” provides seamless smartphone integration through three interfaces: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®.

“With the new MIB II infotainment platform, Volkswagen’s next generation of Car-Net connected services brings to market one of the most comprehensive suites of connectivity features ever available in an automobile,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “As the people’s car brand, we knew that it was important to democratize these technologies across the Volkswagen line-up, with features like App-Connect ensuring that more consumers can integrate their smart devices in a wide range of trims on virtually every model the company sells.”

Instead of trying to control all connectivity development, Volkswagen has moved away from what has become an industry norm by collaborating with technology industry leaders to identify and integrate the latest innovations into VW products.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638532

Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB II)
At the heart of VW’s new connectivity offerings is the new, second-generation “modular infotainment platform” (MIB II) introduced for the first time in U.S.-market 2016 Volkswagen models. The new platform brings to market one of the most dynamic infotainment technologies available, offering new levels of performance, flexibility and adaptability, enabling the brand to quickly integrate new updates.

MIB II offers higher resolution, faster processing speeds, and crisp graphics that further improve on the MIB I system offered in 2015 Volkswagen Golf models. These units feature touchscreens as standard equipment on all models. On most models, the display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) enabling gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming rather than the resistive touchscreens that require pressure and have slightly longer response times. Similar to MIB I-equipped Volkswagen’s, vehicles with MIB II will feature a proximity sensor, which senses when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features.

For 2016, four head units will be available (depending on the trim level of the vehicle), all of which offer more connectivity, services, and convenience when compared to outgoing models.

Entry-level VW models will feature a Composition Color touchscreen radio with a 5.0-inch resistive 400 x 240 color display and a host of standard features including AUX-in, SD card slots, and a USB multimedia interface with Apple iPhone® and iPod® compatibility, reverse camera display, and Bluetooth® technology.

The Composition Media unit is available on select trims across the Volkswagen line. Incorporating the features from the Composition Color unit, the Composition Media unit adds an 800x480 capacitive color touch display with proximity sensor, with either a 6.5-inch screen for the Golf family or a 6.3-inch screen for all other Volkswagen models. Other standard features include industry-leading App-Connect smartphone integration, Bluetooth with the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with compatible phones, sync two phones simultaneously, enhanced electric vehicle functions, two SD card slots, and a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio and support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC).

Higher trim levels feature the Discover Media unit, which captures the features available in the previous two units and adds 2.5D Navigation, one-shot voice destination entry, additional electric vehicle functions, predicts possible destinations based on often used routes, and Destination Entry with Quick Search and Auto-complete, and Car-Net Guide & Inform.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638533

For 2016, the e-Golf SEL Premium model will receive the Discover Pro unit which adds an 8.0-inch color capacitive touch display, one-shot Point-Of-Interest (POI) entry, 3D SSD navigation, Jukebox music storage with approximately 10GB of available storage, wireless connectivity, even more electric vehicle functions such as range check and range view in the map, DVD drive, and a simplified route editing features for the navigation which allows the user to drag and drop waypoints directly on the display.

Volkswagen Car-Net
Volkswagen is committed to driving the development of more connected and intelligent vehicles, and the new and improved Car-Net® connectivity system is a major element in achieving that goal. Features available through the new Car-Net are divided into three key areas, “Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect.”

Features available through the new Car-Net are divided into three key areas, “Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect.”

Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with VW Car-Net will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of VW Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99.

Volkswagen Car-Net “Security & Service”
One of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership is feeling secure with your vehicle and Volkswagen has built several features into Car-Net “Security & Service” that underscore that customer expectation. Consumers have the ability to access the Car-Net Security & Service suite through the innovative online Customer Web Portal as well as an advanced app for smartphones, providing access to all the features available from virtually anywhere your mobile device is connected to wireless internet. The system incorporates new advanced app and smartphone integration while creating a platform that offers higher levels of comfort and convenience to Volkswagen customers.

Available security related features include Automatic Crash Notification², which automatically notifies an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of an collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement with locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

In addition, VW Car-Net Security & Service offers other new features for 2016 model year including a new layers of convenience such as remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash (of lights), last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows). Consumers will also be able to send a location from their connected smart device to the factory-installed compatible navigation system on select models. For consumers that prefer a more personal touch, agent destination assist is also available.

The Car-Net Security & Service also offers Family Guardian, a suite of features that help families. Features including speed alert, which notifies the owner of the vehicle when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638534

Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through Car-Net. A Vehicle Health Report allows Volkswagen customers to quickly check to see if their vehicle is in proper running order. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net Security & Service not only notifies the customer, but provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit. It can even identify the closest dealer in case you need a recommendation.

For e-Golf drivers, enhanced e-mobility services grant access to a long list of vehicle information from their mobile device or online. Through Car-Net, customers can access the vehicle’s climate control system remotely in order to pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle before they return (saving energy). In addition, electric vehicle drivers will be able to set up remote charging times right through the mobile app or Customer Web Portal. Driving data is also available, allowing customers to see information including range, state-of-charge, vehicle status, and maintenance information.

Available later this year, the VW Car-Net app for Apple Watch will allow VW customers to control a host of features and functions available through the iPhone app and Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Apple Watch wearers can keep an eye on their vehicle from afar, remotely locking and unlocking doors and viewing the status of doors, windows and sunroof (open or closed). Consumers will also be able to find a parked vehicle quickly, with a map of the current vehicle location, walking or driving directions to the vehicle, and the ability to honk the horn and flash the lights remotely. As with the Car-Net app for iPhone, Apple Watch wearers will also be able to receive alerts directly to their Apple Watch from the app.

Drivers of gas and TDI® Clean Diesel-equipped Volkswagen vehicles will be able to check their fuel level, while those driving the all-electric e-Golf will be able to monitor their current charge and estimated driving range, turn charging on or off and access climate control features, all from the Apple Watch.

VW Car-Net for Apple Watch will be available on the App Store for Apple Watch later this year.

Volkswagen Car-Net “Guide & Inform”
Car-Net Guide & Inform offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for VW consumers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that empowers consumers.

Satellite navigation is refined with Car-Net Guide & Inform, incorporating several layers of information right onto the screen. MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models with in-vehicle navigation systems will now feature real-time fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary four-year SiriusXM Traffic trial.

Volkswagen App-Connect
Through App-Connect, Volkswagen becomes one of the first automakers to offer three of the dominant technology standards available for in-vehicle smartphone integration. Understanding that one of the most important updates to the second generation of Car-Net is app and operating platform integration, the new App-Connect system creates seamless smartphone integration across smartphone brands utilizing three options— Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®.

Designed to be incredibly intuitive and fully integrated with Volkswagen’s infotainment system, Apple CarPlay is the smarter way to use your iPhone in the car. It takes things you want to do with your iPhone and puts them right on the car’s built-in display. With CarPlay, you can get directions, send and receive messages, and listen to audiobooks or music, through the vehicle’s touchscreen, steering wheel controls or Siri®, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638535

CarPlay supports some third party apps including Spotify, Audible, and at Bat. CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later iOS 7.1 or later. For more information about CarPlay, please visit

Android Auto will also be available as part of the Car-Net suite of connectivity offerings. Designed with convenience in mind, Android Auto will offer a simple and intuitive interface that enables users to access features through existing vehicle controls, touchscreen and voice actions for compatible Volkswagen models. Android Auto organizes contextual information into simple cards that appear on the overview screen when they are needed. Enhanced voice technology for compatible Volkswagen models makes controlling the features of Android Auto quick and easy with minimal distraction.

Consumers with Android Lollipop 5.0-powered smartphones will also be able to make and receive phone calls, listen to incoming messages, respond to messages by voice and access other features through the in-vehicle system.

Google Maps provides voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic, and predictive features based on your settings and preferences. By accessing previous destinations, searches, contacts, or messages, Google Maps is able to suggest your destination as well as places of interest the consumer may enjoy. Android Auto also provides access to stream music through Google Play Music.

Third party apps will be available with Android Auto including Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher and messaging apps including Whatsapp, and Skype.

2016 Volkswagen Models Will Offer Apple CarPlay & Android Auto High Resolution Interior Press Releases
- image 638536

Another interface available through App-Connect is MirrorLink®. MirrorLink® technology integrates select apps and operating layouts of numerous smartphones (including select phones from Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony) into Volkswagen products. In addition to seamless integration in to a Volkswagen infotainment screen, the MirrorLink® interface will feature third party app integration including Parkopedia, Glympse, AUPEO!, miRoamer, WeatherPro, and many more.

VW Apps
Volkswagen has also developed a number of apps that can be used as part of the App-Connect suite, with plans to develop more in conjunction with each connectivity provider in the months to come.

In addition, Media Control, a technology that enables the integration of tablets and smart devices into the infotainment system and uses a special app that allows you to remotely control the infotainment system, will be available on e-Golf premium models.

The first MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models will hit dealer showrooms in the third quarter of 2015. The only 2016 Volkswagen models that will not receive the new technology are the Eos, which has a short production run, and the Touareg.

VW Car-Net is available on select Volkswagen models. For more information, visit

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: