I've been looking at getting into a 2012 Cruze (2LT, 6M, leather, etc.) and an important aspect for me is iPhone functionality. I've read probably every thread here on the subject, mostly it's negative or neutral, but I wanted to share my positive experience with you all especially potential buyers concerned about iPhone/iPod integration! (I was at my local dealer today testing this out). I'm very picky when it comes to my driving experience, and I LOVE MUSIC. Therefore it's essential to me for a car to have a nicely manageable interface with my iPhone.
Overall: pretty good experience!
My phone: iPhone 4S 64gb white - approximately 29.5 gigs of songs/podcasts/audiobooks.
Cable: Apple iphone usb/dock connecter cable
Cruze model: 2012 1LT with USB port and standard (non-pioneer) system.
After they brought the model around front and I sat in it, I plugged my iPhone into the USB port in the centre armrest. (Car is turned on, engine running, it was cold outside). The iPhone chimed like when you charge it, and lo and behold, it was charging. It took about 5 to 7 seconds and then the radio automatically switched sources and displayed "Sam's 64GB iPhone" with a USB symbol. Music began playing! It was the song that last played on my phone, a few days ago..
Once connected, the radio (for whatever odd reason) DOES start to index the songs. During this time- I could not go forward or backward to different songs i.e. the controls were just unresponsive. *During this indexing/unresponsive time, clicking forward and back buttons produced intermittent static clicking sounds (nothing to do with audio file quality). However this indexing did not take long, 20 to 30 seconds if even that. With that finished, I was able to use radio and steering wheel buttons to go forward and backwards through songs in the playlist. PLAY / PAUSE WORKS just fine. And no static clicking sounds anymore- that was only during indexing when trying to press buttons.
The downside, as noted by many, is that this entire process locks out the iPod function on the iPhone and it's just "accessory connected". On my bmw 330i I have a DICE USB/iPhone unit and it lets me scroll and search through everything on the iPhone, AS WELL AS still being able to use steering controls, which I really like. My ideal scenario is to be able to scroll between lots of artists/playlists/audiobooks or use the search function ON THE IPHONE, just holding it there in my hand- and then at the same time be able to use steering wheel controls to move through songs and chapters. I know the Cruze compatibility is not like this setup so that's why I've been anxious to try things out and see if I could get used to a different routine, if it's easy enough and still enjoyable.
Once the iPhone is plugged in and locked out to "accessory connected", and radio switches to iPhone/USB input source... I found it very easy to navigate my entire 29.5 gig library right there through the radio controls. There are 2 main interface knobs- left is power/volume, the right is menu/selector. By pressing the right knob, the radio displays the iPhone/iPod menu. "Play All, Search, Random Shuffle Mode..." etc. I clicked "Search" and it quickly went to navigating the iPhone library- Artists, Playlists.... Audiobooks... etc. Very nice feel. I rolled the right knob to Playlists, clicked in on the right 'Menu' knob. It went snappily to the next screen and displayed all of my playlist titles, I selected one, scrolled to a song I wanted, and clicked. Everything works very smoothly!
As for "Artists" searching, I tried this out too because I have a LOT of different artists and it is a freaking pain to scroll through one artist at a time for every knob click.
Not NEARLY as bad as I thought it was going to be, especially after reading some seemingly negative experiences on here in other threads. A few click turns moves through 1 artist at a time, and as I turned the knob quickly and constantly it began "fast scrolling" and letters of the alphabet flashed on the screen.. A... B..... etc. And I was at W in barely a few more turns. (in fast scrolling it moves 1 letter of the alphabet for each click of a turn, probably 7 or 8 clicks for each normal turn of your wrist). Presto. Artist scrolling is easy too.
The only definite lack of function I can notice is that there is no completely manual search function, (perhaps I missed it), but that would be really annoying to enter in letters one at a time with a scroll wheel. However I never do this while driving anyways. Here's a SOLUTION >>> unplug your phone, quickly search via onscreen keyboard for the song you want, play, immediately plug back into the USB cable... That one song that you just HAD to search for and play, is now playing...
very nice! It's not my ideal setup like in my 330i, but this is very manageable and enjoyable. It is easy to change songs and switch playlists on the fly. I do not usually search artists while driving, instead I have the ones I want to listen to in a playlist.
I was VERY skeptical and a little scared after reading threads about horrible issues and compatibility functioning with iPhones and iPods. But I tried it today with my apple usb cable- and it's a very nice interface. Still not my "perfect scenario" as I can't navigate through my iPhone simultaneously, but DEFINITELY smooth, snappy, responsive, and something I can get used to. Trust me, if it was a really crappy iPhone music experience, that would keep me from buying a Cruze. But I'm encouraged, no more fears, and going to order one soon.