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Nissan Connect: Steering wheel adjusts volume, skips tracks, also steers

Nissan's Connect music-integration system is making its debut in the Note and Micra, turning these cars into iPod docks on wheels. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road


Nissan is showing off its Nissan Connect music-integration system at the Geneva Motor Show this week. First seen at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the system brings together some of our favourite things: music, cars and great big touchscreens.

It's designed to integrate your various music devices with your car, in a similar way to the Fiat 500 we tested last year. The centrepiece of this system is a 127mm (5-inch) touchscreen for browsing menus and displaying information such as song names. To help you keep your eyes on the road, track-skip and volume-control buttons are built into the steering wheel.

As well as old-school options such as a CD player and AM/FM radio, there's a concealed storage cubby containing a USB connector and 3.5mm input socket. It'll cope with USB sticks and hard drives as well as iPods and MP3 players, which can be concealed in the cubby while you nip into the chemists for your ointment.

Nissan Connect can also play, skip and display tracks from any device that supports Bluetooth audio-streaming (A2DP). Hands-free calling is possible via Bluetooth too.

As well as tunes to keep you entertained while you get where you're going, the system can tell you which way to go with an integrated sat-nav. The GPS system includes gyro and speed sensors that constantly monitor the car's movement, and as well as shortest or fastest route options offers an 'Eco' route designed to optimise fuel economy. There's an SD card slot for any map updates you buy, but oddly, points of interest and speed camera locations are updated via USB.

Nissan Connect gets behind the wheel of the Note and Micra range. It comes as standard on the top-end Tekna versions of these cars, or as an optional extra on the mid-range Acenta price plan. The system adds £400 to the usual Acenta.