Audi drivers are most likely to use infotainment features they have in their cars(Photo: Audi)

More is not necessarily better when it comes to infotainment in today's cars, according to a new survey. And many car drivers are less than familiar with the infotainment functions available to them.

Those are just two of the conclusions from a survey of 14,000 recent US car buyers conducted by market researchers Nielsen and consultants SBD.

According to the poll, fewer than 40 pc of respondents considered themselves extremely or very familiar with most infotainment technologies. And 44 pc said they had never used one or more of the infotainment features in their cars.  In addition, satisfaction rates for infotainment features ranked lower than for most other vehicle features.

The survey also found that many car buyers didn't automatically associate branded connected services with particular car brands. The exceptions were General Motors and Ford, with 87 pc of respondents recognizing GM's OnStar brand and 38 pc properly identifying Ford's Sync system.

BMW's leading ConnectedDrive technology had a surprisingly low 8 pc recognition rate. The market researchers suggested this could be the result of the large array of telematics sub-brands that are options in each BMW.

Respondents were more willing to pay extra for voice recognition, smartphone integration and built-in apps than for other functions. And they said they would be more likely to buy a car if navigation, voice recognition or remote app control was fitted as standard.

Buyers of BMW, Accura and Audi models displayed the best understanding of their cars' infotainment features, while drivers of Audi, Nissan and Cadillac cars were most likely to use them.

Audi, Cadillac and Volkswagen brand drivers were most satisfied with their infotainment, while owners of BMWs, Cadillacs and Lexus vehicles most directly tied their brand loyalty to their cars' infotainment features.