UConnect Hands-Free Infotainment System: A Look Inside

In addition to a host of original crowd favorites, including a very colorful array of Dodge Challengers (pics here), Dodge had another unique feature at the New York Auto Show this year – though it wasn’t so much about the vehicle itself as what was inside it. Unveiled earlier this year, Dodge’s UConnect system marries the latest in information and entertainment technology to provide the ultimate experience for busy, constantly-connected drivers. While it’s definitely a cool gadget to play around with, utilizing it to its full capacity is even cooler. When we were finished fiddling with the radio (bass is awesome, by the way) we had our friend from Mopar, Doug Johnson, give us a brief demonstration. Hit up the video above to check out the “connected” Dodge Grand Caravan and all of the awesome features UConnect offers.


48 Comments

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I think people need to be made aware of the fact that you have the same capabilities as OnStar does with GM products. Most people do not know that.

  • Dave
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    But they don’t have the same capabilities as GM’s OnStar. Not even close. Like comparing apples to oranges as well.
    They are closer to having the same capabilities as Ford’s Sync.

    With that said, Chrysler is the first U.S. automaker to offer “live” mobile TV.

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Dave, I have OnStar on one vehicle and all it has that may or may not be better is that you have to wait to talk to some OnStar representative that will download you a navigation location, a seperate phone service (pricy) that may give you better reception out in the middle of nowhere, and someone who asks if you are in a wreck or not, but I believe that if any of your airbags deploy in the Dodge they send a signal as well. It really isn’t as great as everyone thinks it is.

  • Dave
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    But the OnStar is like an add-on to the rest of the features that compare to the MyGig. Without OnStar, yes, the “radios” are comparable. OnStar can remotely unlock your doors, flash your lights and sound the horn, cut the throttle (if it’s stolen for example) notify them if the airbags deploy, etc. To sum it up simply, it has a wireless two-way connection to something outside the vehicle – in addition to receiving AM, FM, and SAT.
    The MyGig only receives AM, FM, SAT, and now TV, but cannot transmit anything.

    But I do agree with you that people do not know all that the MyGig CAN do. I’m very happy with the Nav MyGig in the Challenger. I can program a destination and start the route by pressing just one button, and using voice commands for the rest. Same for making a phone call…. one button press. And it downloads the phonebook from my iPhone everytime I get in the car, so it’s always got the latest changes to my contacts – without me doing anything.

    People just don’t know about these things, so they don’t ask for them when buying a car. Ford, on the other hand, promotes it heavily. And I’ll bet they sell a higher percentage of vehicles with bluetooth and navigation because of it.

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Dave, thats right is has that two way feature but you pay for it every year. I can place a magnetic box under my car with a spare key in it for under $5 and be set for the rest of my life. In addition, any car with the satellite radio can be tracked so is it worth the extra $100+ a year, probably not. I don’t like the idea that they could be listening to you at any time and track everywhere you ever went. I guess its good that the FBI, big brother, etc. can keep track of criminals.

  • 440
    Posted April 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I wouldnt want a car that someone can shut it off,unlock the doors ,listen to your every words ect…One day the criminals will have a hand held devise that will shut your car off and unlock the doors,then they will rob you and steel your ride and leave you in the ditch !! This is the reason I love my old non computer Mopars !!

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Yes, if they can hack into your computer, then they can hack into your car. They can record everything you say so if you make a joke about the President they will haul you off and no one will ever see you again. Big brother is here. Just remember who holds the controlling interest in General Motors. The US government and that is a little too scary for me. People do not understand the full implications involved with OnStar. Mopar or no car…OnStar or behind bars. It isn’t a tough choice.

  • 440
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Right on Sublime,agree with you 100%….right on..

  • 440
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Hands free is a good idea,especially if you own a Chrysler/Dodge with a 3.5 V-6…you need your hands free when you are punching the interior of the car when the water pump starts leaking,or the timing belt goes south !! The new 3.6 pentastar 6 bangers better have a timing chain and not have a timing belt !! Funny how the 2.7,3.3,3.8 have a timing chain but the more popular 3.5 in lx cars has a belt (unreliable)..HEMI all the way…better fix this before Dodge gets a worse name then they already have !!

  • Tracy
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi 440, I heard something years ago that went like this, If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Why replace the chain with a unreliable belt. Tracy

  • 440
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Tracy,You got that right….they started with belts for cheaper build costs ( but more costly for owners)My brothers Charger 3.5 pump started to leak @60,000 miles..I know Honda’s have this problem with alot of their cars at 30k !! (my buddy is a Honda mechanic) Pretty rare on a Chrysler product , so they say,he lives 200 miles away from me,so I made the trip a few weeks back and fixed it for him (he didnt have the cash for a dealer fix he has 3 young kids)

    The chain is much more reliable than a belt.. if you want to change the waterpump,you have to remove the timing belt,pullies ect..and timing the 3.5 is some what of a pain…third one I have done ,usually older Intrepids and 300m with well over 110,000 !! Not 60 k…we fixed it, and he ditched the car !! I just hope the new V-6 Pentastar has a chain..better reliability and cheaper maint.costs !! Will keep buyers happy,and who knows they may buy another Chrysler product !! Got it Chrysler no more timing belts,even the imports are going back to the good ole reliable timing chain !!

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    440

    Timing belts are worthless. They may be a little quieter, but that is why you turn up the radio. Most of the new cars have 200 watt or better sound systems so who cares. Timing chains and louder radios…that is what the world needs!

  • 440
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Sublime,You are right ..thats what they say, the timing belts are quieter than a chain..personally I never heard a noisey chain in a good engine and cant tell the difference,I dont see the point in using a stethoscope to see what is louder…….

    My brother also has a 04 Grand Caravan with a 3.8 timing chain and his X tradded in Charger 3.5 timing belt engine and the 3.8 ran quieter than the 3.5 ,checked them out a few weeks ago for him.He was pissed to find out the Charger had a belt..I told him never buy a car with a timing belt..never..ever..ever !!

    Love my old 440’s pop the hood and you dont hear electric fans clicking,no ticking no knocking sounds as many newer cars…all you hear is a nice rumble !!

  • SUBLIME
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    440, you are correct…the electric fans are louder than the timing chain. It is all about the extra few cents for a chain versus a belt. Meanwhile when the belt breaks, the customer goes elsewhere. The accountants never think about that.

  • Tracy
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Hello Sublime and 440, I went to you tube tonight and watched the Bullitt chase scene again, man that Charger sounds sooooo good. Does anyone know what kind of mufflers that thing is running because that is this bitchinest sould ever. Do you think they might sound as good on a new Challenger? Or was it a combo of the 440 and the mufflers. Any way I still hear it roaring away from Steve so I think I’ll go and get it another look. Tracy

  • 440
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Hey Tracy … I think its stock ,as I had an article talking about the 2 cars and the Charger’s engine was bone stock…..I believe the only modifications were stronger torsion bars for jump scenes,engine trans ..stock ..I had a few stock exhaust 440 cars and pretty quiet at idle but step on it and they scream and sound like a monster !!!

    Tracy,I had an article talking about the cars in that movie..the stunt drivers and mechanics..The Charger’s 440 was bone stock and it ran circles around the Mustang’s modified 390..The Mustang had a cam,headers and still couldnt beat a stock 440 in a heavier car !! I threw out a whole load of mags years ago..and I read and re- read this article for years..and now wish I would of kept a few..oh well..They raced them at a circle track to test them for the movie and they said the Charger lapped the Mustang..The 440’s are 12 second 1/4 cars out of the box…if you can get the skiny 14 inch tires hooked up !!

    And yes, you can find a set of aftermarket mufflers for a new Challenger that will make it sound awesome,My Hemi Ram sounds like a monster !! So yes,any Mopar with a aftermarket exhaust would sound sweet…on the old Mopars I prefer Dynomax,they make such a sweet sound on big block Mopars,and even newer Hemi Mopars,I put on a dynomax but my buddy has a borla exhaust on his Ram and it also sounds good….

  • 68sportfury
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    re: The “Bullitt” car chase.
    I remember reading or hearing some years ago that the authorities in San Francisco were under the impression, when they granted the permits, that speeds would be kept at or near the speed limit (30 mph in most of the in-town areas), which would make it more of a tail than a chase. So when the Mustang and the Charger were sent screaming up and down hills and through intersections and around corners at much higher speeds (no undercranking here!), it was a surprise to them. They were less than pleased with the filmmakers at the time.

  • Tracy
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys thanks for the info, another thing thats fun to see is the differnt cars that they pass 2-3 times during the chase. If you sit back and really watch you see them going one way and then the other. Man that must have been sooo fun to do, ripping up and down in a bitchin set of cars. Wow hope hollywood doesn’t want to make a remake they would screw it up so badly with all their unrealistic stunts. See ya Tracy

  • pete chasas
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    you should bring back the slant 6. it has more power then the v/6 and better milage and very dependable .the reason you stopped making them ,is they run forever !!!!!!!!

  • manuel
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    i bought a 2010 dodge jounry and would to know how to go about to hook up bluetooth i have compable cell phone and i tryed to pair it to my car but it say not connected on the car would like to know who to talk to about connecting it are who do i have to talk to are call would like some phone numbers to call to get it connected so i can use it ty manuel please let me know are give me a phone who to call and talk to ty

  • SUBLIME
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Manuel, all the radios have the bluetooth button, however, unless it states that on your window sticker, then it didn’t come with it and you have to purchase a whole new radio. Mine did not come with it and it has that button and gives me the same message. I did not want to spend the extra $500-1,000 for that option.

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