11 Amazing Things You Can Do With Your GMC’s Built-In Amazon Alexa

Today, people are used to being able to get everything done almost instantly. You think of something you need to buy or someone you need to call and you just pick up that little device in your hand… and within a few swipes and taps, you’re done. There is one time, however, when sending that text or making that urgent toilet paper purchase isn’t always as easy as grabbing a device: When you’re behind the wheel, your hands are occupied and using your smartphone isn’t an option.

That’s why many vehicles today—like the 2024 GMC Terrain—have built-in Amazon Alexa capabilities. General Motors knows that people are accustomed to tackling tasks as they come up and that drivers don’t want to wait until they park to set that reminder or send that text.

If you’re shopping for a 2024 GMC Terrain and not sure whether or not it’s worth it to add the built-in Amazon Alexa, you might just need a refresher on all the things this smart system can do. When you truly take advantage of this feature, you can walk in the door having checked off several items from your to-do list, so you can get back to relaxing, working, or doing what matters most to you right away.

Here are eleven things you can do with built-in Amazon Alexa in your GMC vehicle.

Alexa is shown on the touch screen in a 2024 GMC Terrain.


#1) Shop on Amazon

You know those times you’re driving, and you realize something along the lines of, “Oh no—we’re out of toothpaste”? You seem to only remember you need things from the store at the least convenient times… But when you have Amazon Alexa, it’s connected to your Amazon Prime account, so you can just say, “Hey Alexa, please order more toothpaste to my home,” while you’re driving—and then you can just hope it arrives the next day before everyone’s breath gets too stinky.

#2) Add to Your To-Do List

Your Amazon Alexa can keep a running to-do list for you. While you’re out and about, you probably think of many things you need to add to this list, like making an appointment with your physician, taking the dog to the groomer, and rescheduling your housekeeper while you’re on vacation. If you think of these tasks while your hands are on the wheel, simply say, “Hey Alexa, please add [task] to my to-do list.” Remember, at any time, Alexa can recite your to-do list out loud, in case you were wondering what you had on the docket for the day.

#3) Set Reminders

You can also use Amazon Alexa to set time-specific reminders. So, if you realize you need to start defrosting that chicken the moment you get home if it’s going to be ready in time for dinner, you can ask Alexa to set this reminder for around the time you’ll be getting home. If you’ve forgotten to bring in the mail from the end of your long driveway, you can ask Alexa to remind you to do so a few moments before you get home. You probably have a lot on your mind, and having Amazon Alexa remind you of these little details can make a big difference, especially when you’re driving.

#4) Get Prompt Answers

Sometimes, when you’re driving, a question just pops into your mind. It might be, “When will that new ‘Fast and Furious‘ movie be out in theaters?” or “When is the last day to submit my voting ballot this year?” The great thing is that Alexa has access to an immeasurable wealth of knowledge. You don’t have to wait until you get home to look up these burning questions; when you’re driving, you can simply ask Alexa your question and get your answer. Remember, Alexa is intuitive, so if you ask when the last day is to vote, she might also suggest a list of nearby voting stations. Ask about that movie’s release date, and Alexa might suggest theaters near you that are screening it.

#5) Make Calls and Send Texts

Want to tell your partner something hilarious you just thought of? Want to remind your kid to feed the dog because you’ll be getting home late? You don’t need to touch your phone to do so. Just say, “Hey Alexa, please send a text to my son.” Alexa will ask you what you want to say, and you can dictate the message from there. Likewise, you can say, “Hey Alexa, please call my spouse,” and the system will initiate the call without you ever taking your hands off the wheel.

The black interior and dash of a 2024 GMC Terrain AT4 is shown.

#6) Control Smart Home Appliances

When you have a lot to do, it’s easy to forget to turn off the porch light or set the thermostat. It happens to everyone. But forgetting to turn off or adjust certain appliances can mean a huge waste of energy (and money, and peace of mind). Luckily, if you’re driving and you remember you didn’t turn off your smart porch lights, you can just say, “Hey Alexa, please turn off porch lights.” If you want to come home to a temperate climate, you can say, “Hey Alexa, please schedule the thermostat to kick on at 5:00 PM.”

#7) Stream Music

No ride is complete without great music—and if you’re driving but aren’t quite sure what you want to listen to, just ask Alexa something like, “Hey Alexa, please play the greatest hits from the ’80s” or “Hey Alexa, play happy music.” If you love a song you hear and don’t know what it is, ask Alexa, “Tell me about this song.”

#8) Pull Up Navigation

Sometimes, you forget to punch in your destination before you start driving. Luckily, you can just ask Alexa to pull up directions to your destination. She will show your navigation on your GMC Terrain’s touchscreen interface and then give you audio turn-by-turn directions. You can even ask Alexa to find you points of interest along the way, like coffee shops or gas stations.

#9) Remotely Lock, Unlock, and Start

If you’ve ever found yourself a good 15-minute walk from your vehicle and wondering if you remembered to lock it, you don’t have to just wish for the best. You can use Amazon Alexa along with the MyGMC app to remotely lock your vehicle. Likewise, you can unlock it if you have sent a buddy back to get something and forgot to give them the key fob. You can even remotely start your GMC, getting the temperature inside just right before you get back to the vehicle. You can actually connect several vehicles to your MyGMC app using Alexa and lock/unlock all at once.

#10) Remotely Close Your Garage

You know you locked the front door, turned off the coffee pot, and refilled the dog’s water… but did you close the garage? If you keep valuables (or even another vehicle) in there, leaving the garage open leaves you vulnerable to theft. Luckily, you can shut your garage door using your Alexa so long as you have a smart garage door opener.

#11) Chat With Your Family at Home

If you’ve ever wanted to play the “Voice of God” game with your family (you know, where your voice comes in through a house speaker as if you’re omnipresent), you can do that. Using your in-vehicle Alexa, you can do a “drop-in” call on your Amazon Echo at home, speaking directly to your friends or family in your house while you’re on the road. This is especially useful when you check your live security footage and see your kids are doing something they shouldn’t be.