Android Auto: Steering Wheel Controls

Android Auto Sonata AH 1

We’ve been playing around with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata this week, mostly in an attempt to see if it’s better to buy a car with Android Auto built in or if it’s better getting a after-market head unit like the Pioneer head units. Also seeing what the differences are. Some of the bigger differences is the fact that Hyundai has built in Android Auto and has steering wheel controls built in as well, makes it a bit safer to use Android Auto, and easier as well.

On the 2015 Hyundai Sonata (we have the Sport, but it is the same setup on all Sonata models for this model year), on the left side of the steering wheel we have a slew of buttons. Including a volume rocker as well as an up and down arrow which can be used for previous or skipping music with both Android Auto and Hyundai’s proprietary infotainment. Up top is a button for using voice actions. Just press and hold the button and tell Google what you want to do. For instance, I use it mostly for traveling to new places. Of course at the bottom you have buttons for answering and hanging up on calls. With Android Auto you can take phone calls and it goes through the speakers inside the car.

On the right side there are a bunch of buttons as well, but that’s mostly for the instrument panel, so we don’t need to cover that here since we are talking about Android Auto.

Having these buttons on the steering wheel has made me reach over to use the touch screen in the Hyundai Sonata a lot less than I would in my own car which has one of Pioneer’s units inside. Which I think is a huge safety feature. Think about it, is it safer to turn up the volume from the steering wheel or from the display in the center of the car? Using the steering wheel means you don’t even need to look and you can keep your eyes on the road. Definitely much safer in my opinion.