The car in question is any 2016 model Buick — which all come equipped standard with OnStar 4G LTE and built-in WiFi hotspot, letting you easily stream an audiobook using your phone or other wireless device. And thanks to a new partnership with Audiobooks.com, Buick owners will get two free book downloads through the end of next year.
What’s MORE important is that with the new in-car technology, Buick drivers can actually listen to their audiobooks through the car’s audio system using an easy integration with Apple CarPlay (and for Android users, an update in early 2016 will allow you to use Android Auto for the same feature). It’s a seamless blend of technology that makes it easier for you to listen to your audiobooks on the go — and then pick them up seamlessly at home.
And I’m not just regurgitating that from the press release. Buick recently invited me and my husband to try it out for ourselves. We flew down to San Jose, California, hopped in a 2016 Buick Regal, and cruised down California’s Highway 1 to scenic Big Sur, where we spent a relaxing weekend hanging out with fellow book nerds and taking in some gorgeous scenery.
The folks at Buick also provided us with a copy of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, plus a free download of the audiobook — which we were able to listen to and enjoy during our drive. We actually downloaded the audiobook while we were driving, using the car’s built-in WiFi … and damn, it’s better Internet service than I get at home! The download was super fast, and the listening was seamless. I’m not a huge audiobook listener myself (I tend to get distracted easily), but the technology was so dang easy to use, I could easily get hooked if I owned one of these cars.
All-in-all, it was a pretty spectacular experience — and totally changed my perception of Buick. This is NOT your grandpa’s car, guys … it’s sleek, modern, and they are catering to book nerds. And that last part really gives them a place in my heart.
Tune in later this week for more features about our adventures with Buick, Audiobooks.com, and Big Sur!