We had the pleasure of being guests of GMC at a press event in the Chicago suburbs where we had the chance to drive a few of the new 2016 GMC trucks. The new lineup is pretty awesome when it comes to design, utility and functionality but we were there for the tech. GMC talked Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and USB ports galore. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening with some of the new 2016 GMC trucks and a video of what the new lineup looks like.
GMC adds Apple CarPlay capability to the 2016 Canyon, Yukon and Sierra, taking the iPhone features customers want to access while driving and putting them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner with the brand’s IntelliLink system. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface of GMC’s IntelliLink system. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
“GMC IntelliLink is taking another step forward with this simple and intuitive functionality that makes phones and vehicles work better together,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Like other GMC features, from OnStar 4G LTE connectivity and active safety features, it’s technology designed to enhance the driving experience without intruding on it.”
GMC’s latest infotainment systems include an eight-inch-diagonal screen version offered on Canyon, Yukon and Sierra, which will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. The full list of Apple apps that work with Apple CarPlay can be found on Apple’s website.
A software upgrade enabling Android Auto phone compatibility for 2016 GMC Canyon, Sierra and Yukon models equipped with the available eight-inch IntelliLink system will be offered to U.S. customers in March 2016. The upgrade will be performed by GMC dealers. Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay, which was unveiled earlier this year, offering phone compatibility via the available IntelliLink screen.
Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Google Play Music, Spotify, and podcast players. Many system features can be controlled by voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Using either application is simple in a compatible 2016 GMC Canyon, Sierra or Yukon. A “Projection” icon on the IntelliLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected, and then changes to indicate either CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB. Android Auto requires a phone running the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or above, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later. The full list of compatible Android apps can be found on Google’s website.
GMC Acadia / Acadia Denali
With a long-standing reputation for professional grade functionality, capability and design, the 2016 GMC Acadia focuses on new connectivity and technology features that keep owners connected anytime, anywhere.
All models come with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity that includes a standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The state-of-the-art technology provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected wherever and whenever they like with up to seven personal devices. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial, after which there is an option to purchase additional data.
New for the 2016 Canyon, phone integration technology enhances connectivity and promotes safer driving through Canyon’s next generation IntelliLink system. This new technology allows smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free text messaging, entertainment and news through IntelliLink’s display screen.
GMC Sierra 1500
The 2016 Sierra’s new technologies also include phone integration via GMC IntelliLink, which enhances connectivity and promotes safer driving. It allows smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free messaging and more through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Android Auto is standard on a new 7-inch radio at the start of production and is coming to available 8-inch radios later in the model year.
• GMC IntelliLink with a new, 7-inch-diagonal touch-screen features performance improvements including a faster processor for better performance, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability (available on base model and standard on Elevation)
• GMC IntelliLink with an 8-inch-diagonal touch-screen features performance improvements including a faster processor for better performance and Apple CarPlay capability (Android Auto capability coming later in the model year)
• Wireless phone charging is included on all models equipped with front bucket seats.
GMC Sierra HD
New for 2016, Active Steering Assist power steering on some double cab and crew cab models helps make hauling and trailering easier and more confident, with electronic controls that enhance road holding and stability on the highway regardless of whether the truck is loaded. It also offers greater responsiveness and an improved steering feel. (Not available on WT models or regular cab.)
A new Gooseneck/5th Wheel Trailering Prep Package makes Sierra HD models ready to tow larger trailers right from the factory. It’s available in the first quarter of 2016 for Duramax-equipped models and features a frame-mounted hitch platform and tray that accommodates a gooseneck ball hitch or fifth wheel hitch mounting brakckets, and includes a cargo bed-mounted trailer harness. A new Gooseneck Completion Kit will also be available from GMC dealers, featuring a 2-5/16-inch ball hitch and two chain tie-downs.
Additional new and updated features for 2016 include:
- GMC IntelliLink with a 7-inch-diagonal capacitive touchscreen features a new HD radio and performance improvements including a faster processer for better performance, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
- GMC IntelliLink with an 8-inch-diagonal touchscreen features performance improvements including a faster processer for better performance and Apple CarPlay capability (Android Auto capability coming later in the model year)
- HID projector-beam headlamps with GMC signature LED lighting now standard on all models
- Available wireless phone charging
- Available remote locking tailgate
- Exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (double cab only), Cardinal Red, Deep Garnet Metallic (crew cab only) and Mahogany Metallic (not available on All Terrain or Denali).
And of course many of these vehicles have a generous amount of USB ports to spare, the Sierra that we drove was also equipped with outlets for your laptop or other devices that require more power. Overall the looks of the new GMC trucks is awesome, the Sierra was by far my favorite. Wireless charging is a nice addition but users of larger phones beware, not all phones fit in the space GMC made for this, so test your phone beforehand.