I'll agree, nothing beats a dedicated control knob or switch. But on the other end of the spectrum, I've seen automotive reviews that hammered the ergonomics because there are too many of those as well. I saw a review that said the Honda Pilot had dozens of switches, knobs, or adjustments in the center console and that this was an example of extremely poor design.
We happen to own that model of Pilot and I'd never noticed either myself or my wife complain about the complexity, so I went out and looked at it carefully. There are a lot of controls, but they're grouped logically and it's really not an issue.
The knock I think Consumer Reports is bringing up is probably typical of early implementations of touch screen/computer technologies in the car. The problem is that the system has to recognize your voice or else you can't control stuff. So, they put a way to control it on the touchscreen, which complicates things a bit because it gives you two ways to do it. I don't think that is a bad thing, except that apparently you have to have a functioning Sync unit or else you can't control the stuff.
The switchover to glass cockpits in aircraft came with similar warnings and resistance. Granted, you can afford to look down for longer periods in an aircraft, but the tasks are also more complex than driving. I think they'll work this stuff out over the long run with an appropriate combination of tactile feedback, touch screen, voice control, knobs/switches and probably driver safety assist systems like auto-braking. It's just going to take some time.