GMC's new infotainment system does look oddly familiar...
Four days ago, GMC finally unveiled its 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, and a day later, the first consignment was sold out. We were expecting the Sierra EV to do well, but once we started diving deeper into all the cool features it offered, we couldn't help but notice certain similarities between GM's new infotainment system and the 15.5-inch touchscreen interface that made its debut in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and later in the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Ryan McManus, Ford's Chief Creative Officer for North America, also notice the similarities and threw some serious shade at GMC. McManus offered to send GMC the CAD (Computer Aided Design) file for the SYNC Knob, which is the main reason why Ford's system is so easy to use.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is just a little too on the nose. At least GMC can say that the layout of its interface is different and that you get seven additional toggle switches below the screen. Still, that volume knob is the main reason Ford's interface is far less annoying than most interiors that have gone fully digital.
While it may look the same, GMC can pull out the oldest marketing trick in the book. GMC's screen is bigger. It uses a 16.8-inch screen, which is a full 1.3-inches more than Ford offers. We're reliably informed, however, that size doesn't matter.
All Lightning models get a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, which is a full inch shorter than GMC's unit.
We haven't played around with GMC's knob yet, but, as mentioned earlier, we found Ford's knob to offer a pleasing experience. Even when hustling around in a congested New York, you can quickly find the volume without having to take your eyes off the road. Ford also has some cool features, like the option to use the touchscreen interface as a drawing pad while you're waiting for the car to charge.
But then GMC hits back with Android power. Google's new car-based operating system is called Android Automotive, not to be confused with basic Android Auto. Basically, Google Assistant runs the entire car, and you can simply talk to it. As Google has way more experience in this particular sphere than most automakers, the system generally works much better than a SYNC or a Mercedes-Benz MBUX.
For now, we'll reserve comment until early in 2024 when we get to experience GMC's knob up close.