2014 GMC Sierra Denali IntelliLink Infotainment Review

hello everyone I’m Alex dykes let me apologize in advance I do have a bad cold this week so if I sound a little more nasally than normal that is why today we are inside a 2014 GMC Sierra Denali and we’re taking a look at the GMC IntelliLink system also known as Chevy MyLink we’re starting off by taking a look at the seven inch reconfigurable LCD instrument cluster
it’s nestled between the tachometer and

the speedometer and you’ll find this in
the Denali trim as standard and available in a certain number of trims in both the Silverado as well as the Sierra it’s all controlled by a four-way joystick like button control panel on the steering wheel with an OK button right up here we have digital gauges these may look like analog gauges but these are not real gauges across the top there four of them there and as you can see we’re in the first skin that’s available in this seven-inch LCD cluster there are several different themes that you can choose from this is the standard
one and if I press the toe halt button

you’ll see that that gauge over there on
the right changes to a transmission temperature gauge that’s one of the things that’s really snazzy about the system is that the transitions are all very nicely animated this is very closely related to the upper-level Q system that you’ll find in certain Cadillac models where the Cadillac has a full LCD instrument cluster this one has a smaller version of that it all runs on the same software and all the same things that I liked about that Cadillac cue system are true with this system the graphics are all very very well done and the transitions are all incredibly smooth let’s just dive right into the feature set here so right now we’re taking a look at our fuel economy over the last 50 miles this gives you a
running 50-mile average that’s right

there on the right over here it tells
you the best 50 mile average that the car has had since it’s been reset our best 50 mile average is 22 point one miles per gallon which was very good for a 5.3 liter v8 we also have our fuel used and a timer will give a speed limit information right now we’re on a gravel road so it doesn’t know anything about that we have our trailer brake controller it’s integrated into this vehicle that is a $230 option well worth it in my mind and you can control it via the buttons on the dashboard and then you can see the readout right here we can then move down to our engine hours and idle hours meter we have a blank page we have a digital speedometer we also have trip a trip B we have our instant fuel economy as well the status gates telling you whether or not the car

is in its cylinder deactivation mode
to the next screen we have an oil meter and then we have our tire pressure readout navigating the system is very easy as you can see there arrows to help you so this arrow right here tells us that we can move left we can also move right and we can move up and down like we’ve been doing right here in this particular screen if we move right little gauge option will pop up right there and we can choose what the distance for this fuel economy reading is whether we want to be the average of 25 miles 50 miles 400 miles if we want to reset our best score etc you can see that our animations in the system are all incredibly slick right there if we move back and forth between that screen you can see how well that does certain of these other options also have menu options right there as you can see speed limit doesn’t so that little option
right there is grayed out now let’s move

left move left we now will see we have
the options to choose between info screens audio screens phone navigation as well as system settings you can also scroll all the way back to the top we’re going to take a look at the audio settings right now you can move up and down in your XM channels by going up and down with that same button arrangement we can also click right and this allows us to browse media we can also change media devices choose from favorites etc so I’m gonna go up and choose radio media and we can go down to my iPhone that’s plugged into the system and you can see right now that we’re playing a track by pink you can see album art right there and you tell that we’re playing this via the Bluetooth connection one of the nice features about this system as well as Cadillac cue and all the other different General

Motors branded versions of the same

software is that they work very well with a lot of devices over Bluetooth and they provide a lot of the most recent feature sets of the Bluetooth standard which includes being able to browse your device via bluetooth in this system so you can see right now we have access via bluetooth to the playlists that are on our device you can choose what playlist you want to play right here via this you can just click on the button right there and you’ll see the tracks list up here in a second via bluetooth it’s not quite as fast as if you were to connect via USB but the the interaction as well as the quality of the interaction is very much the same whether you’re connected via USB or via bluetooth with this system and that’s just not true of most competing systems if we go to the favorite screen this is where you’ll find your presets in the system but they’re more than just regular old radio presets because you can set any
thing too one of these presets right

there you can see that there are some FM
stations there’s some XM stations that people have programmed into this vehicle before but you can also program artists and songs right into the audio favourites and it will look them up from a connected device and start playing them if you click on that preset we move back left in the system we’re going to go down to the phone interface you see we have a phone connected the only thing we do is go right if we go right we have access to recent calls as well as contacts this will bring up your complete contacts list in the system you can connect and disconnect devices you can also hang up in the system right from this interface we go down to the navigation interface we get a little
navigation screen that’ll show up right

there in the middle it shows you a
zoomed in view of your travel map which is very handy entering a navigation destination the system can’t be done using this interface but it can be done using the 8 inch touchscreen that’s in the dashboard or the natural voice commands if we move back to the left we’ll go take a look at the last option which is settings this allows us to change between us and metric we can also change our display theme which we’re going to do now so you can see what the different ones look like this is the technology theme I think this is quite attractive we get some additional animation it looks a little bit simpler because we don’t have 4 dials and said we just have to we have the engine temperature and we have fuel over there but if we click the toe button on the car then you can see that we then add transmission temperature as well as oil pressure to this display and you turn it off by just hitting that toe button again again we have limited displays here but if we press the toe hall button we get some additional gauge displays right there Chrysler was the first one to use a large LCD instrument cluster like this and their pickup truck now we have this in the Java motorist series of pickup trucks I think this is probably the most attractive one I’ve seen so far one big
huge flaw with the Chrysler system I do

like the graphics I like the way that it
works however with the Chrysler system you can’t display current media information or browse your media device with certain media device so if you have an iPhone plugged in or certain USB devices it will just tell you that a track is playing but it won’t give you any track information and you can’t browse that track with this screen in the car and it seems kind of a waste we haven’t seen what the forward system is going to be like but it just looks like a bigger version of what they had in the pickup truck from last year it’s now on a 7-inch display eight inch display instead of the 4 inch display that they had before however that software in general doesn’t seem to be quite as advanced as this software that General Motors is using that’s true for both this display as well as the display that’s nestled in the dashboard as I said this software is based on Cadillac q but it uses a different physical interface that also uses different icons etc the underlying software is all the same but the changes to the screen are very important instead of using a glass digitized touchscreen very much like you’d find in an iPhone

that has a glass surface that you

touched etc that’s a capacitive touch screen this is a resistive touch screen which means the physical action of pressing your finger on the screen is what actually causes the screen to recognize your touch so this has sort of a matte finish on it it’s going to scratch a little bit more easily than the glass screen that you’ll find on the Cadillac it’s not going to be quite as crisp to view and also will not recognize multi-touch gestures quite as easily as the Cadillac system so the use of finger swipe motions in this system is very limited versus the Cadillac system that’s part of why we get more physical buttons right down there below we’re gonna start out on this home screen it’s divided into various applets as you can see right here we have settings navigation phone audio Pandora which integrates with the Pandora app on your smart phone device weather and OnStar these arrow buttons on either side would bring us to additional app pages if we had additional apps installed but our system does not in most screens the system you’ll see this
little arrow right here on the right

this brings up the favorites or
shortcuts bar in the system again this is more than just a radio preset button because you can add anything you wanted here you can set it to a particular song or a playlist etc in the system it doesn’t just have to be a radio station right now you see we have five options right there across the bottom and if I move it to the left or to the right we can drag that across and get different presets for this little red dot there to tell you where you are you can also drag this option all the way up we can still drag this list across as you can see and then we can drag it down to collapse it certain dragging motions are not going to be as easy to do in this system as they are in Cadillac skew but it’s really just because of the touchscreen in the system you can drag that down once more to close that and collapse it we move over to the Audio tab this is where you’ll find your radio as well as your media interface we hit the Browse button we can tune to our various stations also have categories right over there and categories you can drag a little slider around like that to make that a little
bit easier and you can also do the same

over here on the right we’re here on the
menu button this is where you’ll find tone settings on a volume settings etc if we hit the radio button again this is how you’ll change to FM leave the radio button again that’s how we get XM satellite radio if we want to hit the media button media buttons how you get on to your iDevice or your USB device or whatever it is that you have plugged into the system now if we’re on here and we click the Browse option this is where you’ll get your playlists your artists albums songs genres etc in the system the system does offer complete and full voice commands for all of your devices it does take a little bit of while to catalogue all that data on your device so they are a voice command able but the voice commands are among the best in the industry very much like Cadillac q IntelliLink takes a novel approach to plugging more than one USB device into the system so if I had two iPhones or two USB devices and I plugged them both into the system that I would actually have one music library with everything amalgamated together so it would just jam everything into one big music
library and then play for you so if your

two devices had identical content then
you’d see everything listed in the system twice there’s a different different take on things than my Ford touch where you actually have to select a device they’ll only play things from that device whereas this system will let you search across all of your plugged in media devices and play songs with the same interface instead of requiring you to go back to the home screen we do have shortcut buttons across the top for our audio as well as our phone interface which we’ll take a look at now we have voice commands of course we have contacts recent calls we have access to a full and complete keypad in the system which makes it easier to dial numbers and interact with things voicemail as well as your phone interface right there with the home button we’ll take a look at the nav via this option again we do have that shortcut button across the top to take a look at the nav system as well we do have 3d map view right here as you can see they have topographical information very much like you’d find in BMWs iDrive and you can see that because I haven’t touched the screen in a while that the screen has now gone to a larger map view to allow you to see a little bit more screen real estate right there we also have lost the shortcut buttons across the top only displaying the one icon showing what we’re in right now this is different than Cadillac queue
again because the Cadillac cue system

does have a proximity sensor very much

like a modern smartphone so when you get your hand closer to that Cadillac cue screen it would instantly pop up those shortcut buttons for you and the other menu buttons this system you actually have to touch the screen first and then the buttons appear on the bottom and the buttons appear across the top destination entry in the system is very easy on the keyboard right here you can just type in the address you can just type it right in there naturally so just street number 1 2 3 Main Street this is very snappy because it is not actually looking up the address right here what’s unique with this system is once I hit the Go button it will actually start searching for the address so even if I have a spelling error in that address or I got the street number or some other information in there incorrect it will actually try and search for it and correct it in the system so you can see right here it has found the closest thing to my entry there that it has in the system and then it’ll give you that option right there if there are multiple options available based on your input entry then it will give you all those in a list and you just hit the Go button there it makes it very easy to enter an address into the system the voice commands work very well in this system and overall entering an address is much easier than in the myford touch product line it’s also a little bit easier and a little bit more convenient just because of that autocorrect feature then the Chrysler you connect system as with many
modern vehicles because the infotainment

system is highly integrated into the

cars electronics we have a wide variety of vehicle settings as well as just system settings so while older systems on the market used to just have options that pertained only to this screen in the dashboard the system very much like my Ford touch as well as UConnect has a wide variety of vehicle settings from comfort convenience to collision detection systems you can choose how you want your Park Assist to alert you whether you want it to you know beep at you whether it’s on and you have your tow bar attached so that we can try and sort of compensate for the tow bar when it’s on the vehicle right there in that same screen you can choose whether you want it to vibrate your seat or just beep at you I think the vibrating seat is kind of an interesting thing it sounds a little gimmicky but it actually works very well back on the home screen we have Pandora this does require that you have the Pandora app loaded on your phone it works very well and it does give you full access to all of your Pandora playlists you can fast-forward back go backwards you can thumbs-up and thumbs-down songs as well we have a weather app this weather information is delivered by XM so you do have to have an XM satellite subscription in order for this weather forecast to work this OnStar button is a little bit interesting because onstart was really
one of the first telematics systems

available on the market but because of

its age doesn’t exactly integrate with this system this button really just calls OnStar for you so you can see you press that button and it allows you to voice command the OnStar system you get exactly the same thing by just pressing the OnStar button on rearview mirrors there’s nothing particularly unique about that OnStar button so you can’t interact with the OnStar services via the screen you can just use that to press the OnStar button depending on your software version or the vehicle that you’re in you will also see an additional microphone button right over here that microphone button would be for pass-through voice recognition to your iPhone or your other smart device you can just press that button and it essentially operates like pressing the voice recognition button on your device as if I were to press the home button on my device and get Siri to pop-up right there that would be exactly the same as if I’d press that microphone button again it really just depends on your software version as well as the vehicle that you’re in overall I give the system eight point five points out of ten just about half a point above my Ford touch my Ford touch is very fully featured but it is definitely getting a little bit old and it’s really obvious when you take a look at the way that it handles your media library as well as the navigation system in that Ford device the forward system does offer

some features that you won’t find in the

system like the ability to operate as a
Wi-Fi hotspot something that you’ll also find in Chrysler’s UConnect product etc but overall I think I would rather have this system than my Ford touch without question a big feature of the system is that seven inch LCD nestled right there in the instrument cluster that’s something that does seem to be a bit better than everything that I’ve seen about the 2015 Ford f-150 I rank that also slightly above the same system that Chrysler is using in the RAM 1500 versus Chrysler’s UConnect I rate this just slightly behind in terms of usability I think the graphics in the system are snazzier and I do like the interaction of that LCD between the gauges but I think that this system in the dash is not as fully featured as you connect they’re definitely more apps immediately available on you connect you connect also integrates a cellular modem with the system so you can download apps right to your car inside the system you can also use that cellular modem to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot so whereas the Ford system you have to plug in a USB cellular modem into the system and have it to share that with things in the car the UConnect system has it integrated right into the system so you just activate that and then you can share that with people in the car you can turn it on and turn it off on a monthly basis or a pay per use basis type thing with Sprint I think that’s a little bit handier than anything else that I’ve seen out on the market the navigation isn’t quite as attractive in that UConnect system but is just about as good it’s also just about as snappy as this system and that brings me to my last point which is that the last few interactions I’ve had with Cadillac

Q Cadillac Q software has been getting a

bit better if you were familiar with my earliest reviews of Cadillac Q was really quite disappointed with its performance it seemed to freeze regularly it crashed now and then that seems to have convinced all in the later software versions of the system overall if you’re debating whether or not to pay extra for the system if you’re looking at a model of Sierra or Silverado that does not come standard with the system take my advice it’s definitely worth the plunge I would definitely spend at least $1,000 on this system depending on the trim level that you’re looking at in the Sierra or the Silverado it can be around $1,000 or so to get yourself into this system and I think that’s about a thousand dollars well spent thanks for taking the time to check out this video again I’m Alex dykes this has been the IntelliLink system in the GMC Sierra Denali go ahead and click those links down there at the bottom of your screen to subscribe to this channel as well as to click on over to the full review of the Sierra when it comes live in about a day or two [Music] [Applause] [Music]

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