Proving that connectivity is quickly becoming a requirement for all new cars, regardless of price range, Chevy has announced that the Sonic RS
and higher-trim levels of the Spark will come standard with its MyLink infotainment system
If that’s the good news, here’s the bad news: unlike other MyLink-equipped models, the Sonic RS
doesn’t include voice recognition, which means that data from a linked smartphone is selected only through a seven-inch touchscreen interface supplied by LG Electronics. That’s better than working with the three-inch display on your phone, but it’s not exactly distraction-free.
In the Sonic RS
, the MyLink system will allow users to access playlists, photo galleries, movies, phone books and other stored data from linked or paired smartphones. GM sees the purpose of in-car entertainment as enhancing the abilities of a smartphone, not duplicating them.
Once linked or paired to a phone, the MyLink system gives users the choice of five main menu selections, including Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each main menu heading then gives a list of selectable functions.
Since the MyLink system doesn’t include voice recognition, placing a call would require the driver to select the Telephone function, choose a name from the address book and then select call. That’s a considerable amount of time with your eyes off the road, especially when many smartphones now have voice activated dialing via Bluetooth.
Chevy promises to have apps for Pandora and Stitcher ready by the launch of the Sonic RS, which should hit dealers in the fourth quarter of 2012.