Chevrolet Spark running Android Auto: hands-on first look

by: Lanh NguyenJune 26, 2015
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We recently got a chance to check out the big Chevrolet event in Detroit, Michigan, which allowed us to take a look at all things Android Auto. While many other auto manufacturers have revealed that a number of their new vehicles would come with Android Auto pre-installed, Chevrolet recently announced that it’s bringing Android Auto to 14 of its new 2016 model vehicles. Today we’re taking a look at the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark – an affordable vehicle for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank.

Don’t miss: Android Auto review

Android Auto in the new Chevy Spark

Chevrolet Spark AA 4

Just like on other vehicles that come with Android Auto pre-installed, all you need to do is simply plug your Android device into your car’s entertainment system and you’re ready to go. The Android Auto unit can receive its data from either your phone’s data plan or from the car itself, provided you have a 4G LTE connection through OnStar. For most users, though, the most convenient option will be the former. Your phone’s data connection will allow the head unit to navigate with Google Maps, stream music with Google Play Music or even listen to the FDP with Pocket Casts.

Taking a look at the video above, you can clearly see just how easy it is to navigate somewhere with Google Maps. It’s as easy as pressing a button on the screen and telling the computer where you want to go, which is exactly how it should be. Oh, and if you aren’t too fond of looking at the screen while you’re driving, Chevy has added in the ability to use voice control with your steering wheel, bringing a subtle, yet important safety precaution to the experience.

What’s so special about the Spark?

Chevrolet Spark AA 5

Retailing at around $13,000, this car features one of the most accessible price points in Chevy’s 2016 lineup. But why is the lower price point important? Let’s talk numbers for a moment, here. Plainly put, Android Auto isn’t the most accessible OS that’s ever been created. Aftermarket units are retailing anywhere from $700 to $1,300, which is quite daunting for most consumers looking to try it for the first time. Plus, that’s not even including the price of installation. With that said, Android Auto will be most widely distributed through pre-installation in new cars, not so much aftermarket units.

We recently had an interview with Chevrolet on their upcoming Android Auto plans, and from what we gathered from our talk, consumers won’t necessarily need to pay anything extra for Android Auto to come pre-installed. So, the fact that Chevrolet is pre-installing Android Auto into the new Spark brings an added value that won’t be found too many other places.

Of course, that’s not to say Android Auto won’t be available on other higher-end vehicles, though. The luxurious 2016 Corvette is also getting the Android treatment, which will undoubtedly run for a much higher price point than the Spark.

Wrapping up

There you have it – our quick look at the new 2016 Chevrolet Spark running Android Auto. Are you purchasing a new car soon? If so, what are the chances you’ll go for one with Android Auto pre-installed? If you already have a capable vehicle, are you planning to purchase an aftermarket unit anytime soon?

All in all, we’ve covered a ton of Android Auto news from this Chevrolet event, so to get the full experience, be sure to check out our other great posts linked below!

  • tomascooper

    android! I love you!

  • mark

    I thought the big difference between android auto and car play was that android didn’t need to be physically tethered to the car. It could be tethered over bluetooth. Am I wrong? Did GM go a different direction than Hyundai?

    • Techngro

      In the video he said the phone could be connected via USB and WiFi, so I assume that Bluetooth is also an option.

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  • What phone was used in that demo, seemed the screen had looked like some mild performance issues when rendering the map?

  • mrjayviper

    I recall an article where it was said the Corvette was coming out with Carplay. There was no mention of Android auto.

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    My current car is at 210k miles and dying. The Sonata w/ AA is just outside of my budget. More affordable new cars w/ AA can’t come soon enough.

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