Ford Sync 3 infotainment system is coming soon to a car near you

This next-generation system promises improvements over MyFord Touch

Published: June 09, 2015 02:30 PM

Photo: Steve Petrovich

The Ford Sync 3, the anticipated replacement for the much-maligned MyFord Touch system, will launch in the 2016 Escape and Fiesta this summer, featuring all-new hardware and software.

A simpler layout and larger onscreen buttons give the next-generation Ford Sync 3 a cleaner look than MyFord Touch. Beyond the fresh appearance, Sync 3 promises an easier and less distracting experience while driving. The menu structure is more intuitive, and the demo unit we used had a faster response time, which Ford promises will carry over to production versions. Seamless app integration and easy-to-use voice controls that respond to natural speech add to the appeal.

Ford Sync 3 can automatically detect compatible smartphone apps, such as Glympse, iHeart Radio, NPR One, Pandora, and Spotify, integrating their graphics into the display. When paired with an Apple iPhone, Sync 3 can access Siri via a button on the steering wheel. The touch-screen controls mimic those on a smartphone, responding to screen gestures and pinch-to-zoom operation.

Ford Sync 3 also includes the capability for over-the-air updates via Wi-Fi, delivered to the car as soon as they’re available, along with a notification that they’ve arrived. Such updates would be performed when the car is in the driveway or garage within reach of Wi-Fi coverage.

A subscription-free 911 assist can alert emergency services in the event of a serious accident, much like GM's OnStar, via a paired phone, transmitting key information such as location and airbag deployment to first responders. This heightens functionality available on select MyFord Touch systems currently by delivering more car details.

We look forward to evaluating production versions of the Sync 3 to see whether this infotainment system eliminates the screen freezes and other glitches that have plagued MyFord Touch and resulted in the carmaker getting lower scores in our reliability and owner-satisfaction surveys.

Following the Escape and Fiesta to market with Sync 3 will be the C-Max, Focus, Mustang, and Transit. Other models will continue the roll out through late 2015 and beyond.

Jeff Bartlett

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