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'02 BMW 530i; '08 MB C300 4Matic
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Why is the media bombing ATS's CUE?

Sorry, I know there is a dedicated CUE forum, but I wasn't sure if ATS's CUE is somewhat different from CUEs in other Cadillacs.

Anyway, I've been considering the ATS as a possible new car. I haven't driven one yet. I sat it one at an auto show. I've read a bunch of reviews. The common theme in all of them is that it's a great car but that CUE sucks - it's quirky, unintuitive, and just doesn't do a good job of replacing physical knobs. Is the media nitpicking or is it really that bad? In your experience, what are the biggest issues with CUE and do you regret buying your ATS as a result? And is there hope that most of these issues will eventually get resolved through software upgrades in the near future?

Thanks!
 

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2015 SRX Luxury
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481 Posts
I think the media is full of crap. What really irks me is when they report how inconvenient the volume bar is on the CUE when there is a button on the steering wheel to control it.
 

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'02 BMW 530i; '08 MB C300 4Matic
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Discussion Starter #3
What really irks me is when they report how inconvenient the volume bar is on the CUE when there is a button on the steering wheel to control it.
But can you lower the volume with this button as quickly as with a physical knob? Or is there an easily accessible mute button?
 

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ATS 3.6L premium
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33 Posts
I agree with JSATS. I would even go so far as to say that I love the CUE. My guess is that the complaints about the volume bar comes from people tapping on the volume bar to try adjust the sound level. Tapping works poorly, however swiping your finger left or right works marvelously. I find that this method is superior to spinning a volume knob or pushing a button up and down. I find that the other features of the CUE are very user friendly and work well. It is pretty silly that Cadillac thought I would need an iPad to learn to use it. I am also very excited about the ability to update the CUE as new software becomes available.

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A quick swipe from right to left across the volume bar can lower the volume completely.
 

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2013 ATS AWD Performance, 2010 SRX AWD Luxury
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55 Posts
Pressing the Power button on the upper left of the faceplate also mutes the audio.
 

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2018 ATS-V Coupe' 6MT
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340 Posts
I don't feel finding the volume slider while driving is as easy as a knob, and in no way is it as quick.
The problem isn't only the lack of buttons, it's the attention it requires when trying to drive.
You can set favorites for quick access to most things, or try to talk to it, however talking can be very hit or miss and eventually you choose not to use it at all (my experience). Trying to touch a specific point on a touchscreen while driving can be difficult when hitting bumps, leading to hitting the wrong thing. The labels on the roads in the navigation aren't zoomed correctly and typically won't show the names when they clearly should. Screen transitions can be slow, and the information on the screen like weather conditions, traffic, construction, pop up more than once and you have to hit dismiss multiple times. Sometimes with weather alerts there will be literally 4 in a row that get in your way on the screen, and you can either hit dismiss every time, or wait like 5 seconds each for them to go away (they block the bottom part of the screen when up). Playback from an SD card/USB drive can be hit or miss at times, sometimes it resumes when you get back into the car, other times it doesn't. Sometimes those same drives don't even show as connected, so you have to unplug and reinsert them for them to work. Switching phones on CUE can stall and leave neither working until you restart the car. Sometimes my Bluetooth streaming to Pandora just stops working or says "check connected device" and doesn't work again till a restart. Or Pandora will keep working, however the sound will actually come out of the phone instead of Cue (Android/Nexus 4 here). The touch haptic feedback is sometimes much slower than other times and you don't get any indication that it took your press. The seat heater buttons (also touch) have to be pressed multiple times at times to register that you pressed them.

I probably have more I could think of, but you get the idea. I'm HIGHLY looking forward to updates. Also for people that merely think it's people who just don't know how to use technology or thoughts like that, my troubles and opinions are certainly not coming from that type of perspective.

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Also the one at the Auto Show (I'm speaking of Chicago here, not sure if that applies to Detroit or earlier ones) had a new version of Cue which is better than what current owners have now. So if that's the case, your experience may have been better than what we are using/driving with on a daily basis.

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"and do you regret buying your ATS as a result?"
It is the worst part of the ATS currently in my opinion, the rest of the car has been a joy.
Cue can just be frustrating at times, or do odd things, and that gets old. There is a very good possibility it will get much better, and I look forward to that, it's just unfortunate that they'd release something this inconsistent to end customers regardless. Many things that they've fixed (they've said roughly 1000 fixes/changes with this new upgrade) should have been caught prior to selling the product.
 

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'02 BMW 530i; '08 MB C300 4Matic
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback so far. Based on bungee's experience, many of the things he described would drive me insane. Since I won't be buying it right away, I am really looking forward to seeing how much of this gets ironed out with updates.
 

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97 STS (Sold); 13 ATS 2.0T w/AT & CUE
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22 Posts
I agree with bungee91 - good overview of current CUE issues. I don't really think of the CUE as a negative part of the car after a month and a half of use though. I'm fairly used to it the quirks now. I'm not one of those that is complaining about the issues even though I am looking forward to the update to the system. Overall I do think that there are some safety hazards associated with the no physical button layout. I have had success using the voice recognition to control the system. As I become more familiar with the system it becomes easier and safe to control. I enjoy the technology and am looking forward to future CUE apps.

Nathan
 

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2019 Mercedes E450 Cabriolet, previous 2013 ATS 2.0T AWD, 1973 Corvette 454
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Cue is actually simply and quick once you learn to use it. I remember when people complained about remote controls replacing the knobs on TV. Learning curves scare or unnerve people cause they require a little patience and practice....ask yourself, do you really want to go back to tv knobs?.......
 

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2018 ATS-V Coupe' 6MT
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340 Posts
Cue is actually simply and quick once you learn to use it. I remember when people complained about remote controls replacing the knobs on TV. Learning curves scare or unnerve people cause they require a little patience and practice....ask yourself, do you really want to go back to tv knobs?.......
I fail to see the relationship to your example. All remotes I've had do what they're supposed to do repeatedly, but I think your example certainly is intriguing to look away from clear flaws that are currently a problem.

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There is also no reason for technology to evolve if it doesn't clearly make for things to be better... Like it or not, sliding for volume isn't going to outright replace a knob, it just does in this example. It is also (in my opinion) not better but certainly different just to be that way. However that's obviously not the only thing I brought up in my list of problems that I've had.. It is a similar way to thinking that tablets will outright replace computers and be more productive at the same time. Sure they are the future, however there are still many things I can do on a traditional computer that will be much more productive than trying the same thing on a tablet/phone, etc..
 

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2008 DTS Perf-Plat, fr 11 STS, 04 DeV, 76 Eldo Con, 74 Fltwd
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436 Posts
On the 3 daily drivers I've had since 1988, I used the volume knob (buttons on the Bonneville) almost exclusively...to turn the radio on and off.

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
If you want to play with your knob, stop driving first.
 

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2013 ATS 4 Premium 3.6
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I'm inclined to agree with the CUE bashers to an extent.
Nothing gets more attention from first time passengers in my car than the CUE system but when they see how un-intuitive it is, they are not so impressed.
It looks to me like GM is using it as a way to show off what current technology is capable of rather than offering a practical user-friendly interface.
I understand that potential purchasers will be wowed by CUE and that can lead to increased sales, but IMO from an operator's viewpoint it really falls short.
Mine will occasionally default to air conditioning mode in the middle of a Michigan winter, it will change screens on its own as if something touched it, and the GPS street labels, or lack thereof , are ridiculous. It seems no matter what the zoom level is, street names are rarely shown especially at intersections.
I've yet been able to successfully get it to understand voice commands and the two times I tried to have On Star send me the nav directions, they never showed up in my
system.
I have not taken it to the dealer at this point because I suspect these tend to be design flaws instead of a dealer repairable issue. I value my time too much.
In spite of that, I do love the car, especially its performance and handling. And nothing beats those cool razor thin vertical LED daytime running lights!
 

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2015 SRX Luxury
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481 Posts
I must have a good CUE in my car or maybe I'm doing too much driving and not enough screwing around with all thr gadgets. My last car was an Audi and trying to set a destination on the nav was torture. I even had to pull off the road at times to mess with the dumb dial. Now with CUE I just tell it my destination and I'm good to go.
 

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I've had my ATS since mid December; I spent about 30 minutes the first day programming various functions, etc. I find CUE quite intuitive after a few weeks of using it; as in any new technology, there are some glitches from time to time, but over-all, I really like the CUE system. I'm a 'techy' and a pilot, so maybe that scews my interpretation of the system.
 

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2019 Mercedes E450 Cabriolet, previous 2013 ATS 2.0T AWD, 1973 Corvette 454
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On the 3 daily drivers I've had since 1988, I used the volume knob (buttons on the Bonneville) almost exclusively...to turn the radio on and off.

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
If you want to play with your knob, stop driving first.
That's why I almost always use the button on the steering wheel to control the radio and/ or change stations....never have to take my hands off the wheel; period. When I first start up the car or have it at a stand still to adjust climate, selectons, etc. I use the CUE itself...I think it's convenient and better looking than the knobs and sliders of old....IMO!
 

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2013 ATS Performance 2.0T M6, 2016 Mustang GT Performance Pack, M6
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I'm inclined to agree with the CUE bashers to an extent.
Nothing gets more attention from first time passengers in my car than the CUE system but when they see how un-intuitive it is, they are not so impressed.
It looks to me like GM is using it as a way to show off what current technology is capable of rather than offering a practical user-friendly interface.
I understand that potential purchasers will be wowed by CUE and that can lead to increased sales, but IMO from an operator's viewpoint it really falls short.
Mine will occasionally default to air conditioning mode in the middle of a Michigan winter, it will change screens on its own as if something touched it, and the GPS street labels, or lack thereof , are ridiculous. It seems no matter what the zoom level is, street names are rarely shown especially at intersections.
I've yet been able to successfully get it to understand voice commands and the two times I tried to have On Star send me the nav directions, they never showed up in my system.
This.

The press is a different story but I think one reason owners are all over the map is that some grade on a curve. A hammer that's badly balanced with an uncomfortable handle is MUCH better for driving nails than a rock is. But its lacking compared to what a hammer could be. CUE is such a hammer. In a way I guess its a little like "is the glass half empty or half full". CUE is definitely half full. I almost went with a BMW because of CUE. CUE was a half full glass. The BMW may have slightly less water but it better fills a smaller glass.
 

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2018 ATS-V Coupe' 6MT
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I'm a carpenter by trade and as far as hammers go most people don't know the first thing about how to use one. I'm starting to think this may also be the case with CUE.
This has no bearing in my case. It doesn't mean I'm OH SO great with electronics, I'm just saying that I'm no stranger to it and it isn't my reason for bashing it.

I will admit some of my dislike is based on better implementations in other non vehicle systems, however that's not specifically the complaints that I put forward.
For instance, Google Maps and navigation is SO much better than CUE nav in almost every way. I've honestly tried to use it unbiased, but it doesn't compare.

Voice dictation is the same way with Cue, vs Google Now/Siri (yes they use a data connection for results, however it is still vastly better at it).
For instance try just saying, navigate to a place like Starbucks, Walmart, etc.. She will then ask for more info like a point of interest, intersection, etc..
Then if you say point of interest, followed by the name, most times (for me) she still doesn't get what your asking. Also yes, I wait for the beep, etc...
If I say to my phone, navigate to Walmart, Starbucks, or even an address it (more often than not) it just does so, with no real follow up.

There are also things available on lesser vehicles from GM that we don't have in Cue (remember Cadillac is the upper brand here) like the Stitcher app for example.

Let's also not forget that this system as an option is expensive! Something in the realm of $2k or so, and compare that to an iPad, phone, tablet, etc and you'd expect better.
An 800x480 screen isn't exactly revolutionary at this point, and the SDXC standard put out in 2009 isn't even officially supported.
More?..Okay.. The screen is a fingerprint magnet, and so are all the touch surfaces that you have to touch.
Absolutely no option for a folder list with music playback, it has to index your music, and that can take a LONG time if you have a lot of music.
Hard drives also aren't officially supported, and larger iPods I've been told can be very glitchy and also take a long time to index (I don't have an Apple product, but there are numerous complaints in the appropriate threads).
No support for MTP based communication for all newer android phones that have ditched traditional USB drive mounting.
Touch sensitivity towards the bottom of the screen is bad, and leads to touching the bottom button, as opposed to the slider that your trying to scroll down with (the radio button I believe is the one that gets hit accidentally).
Pull up favorites from the bottom of the screen isn't fluent at all, and is very clunky requiring you to pay complete attention while doing so.
Remember the marketing of Cue reading your text messages to you while driving?.. Absent, and uncertain when/if it will be coming. I'm told BMW and Ford have this implementation currently functioning.
I even once lost most of the info pages on my driver information cluster until the next time I restarted and they all magically came back.


Does it have potential; yes!
Am I confident that while driving it will work seamlessly and not glitch or do something odd; no.
 
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