Ever been apprehensive about handing car keys over to a valet? If so, then you should appreciate “valet mode” available in the upcoming 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Accessed via the settings menu in the available 8-inch display powered by the next-generation MyLink infotainment system, Valet Mode is initiated with a PIN and locks the retractable faceplate in the center stack, thereby protecting the storage bin behind it, while blocking access to addresses and contacts stored in MyLink.
According to Chevrolet, customer clinic participants expressed interest in Valet Mode, especially young car buyers who appreciated MyLink’s ability to protect the information stored in the system. Meanwhile, the lockable hidden bin behind the PIN-activated faceplate capable of storing items like wallets, gadgets, or maybe even paraphernalia for [insert a societally-frowned-upon activity of choice here] resonated well as a place to keep personal items out of sight.
In particular, the locking storage space behind the 8-inch display is made possible thanks to the relocation of MyLink system electronics to another location in the vehicle, thereby creating space behind the touch-screen.
The GM Authority Take
Simple, yet convenient features like Valet Mode on the 2014 Impala embody GM innovation at its best.
We do, however, wonder if activating Valet Mode also locks the glove box and trunk. We reached out to our contacts at GM but haven’t heard back yet; as soon as we do, we will update this story.
Update: We’ve been informed by GM that the Valet Mode does not lock the glove box or trunk. That’s rather unfortunate, and is something we hope The General’s engineers implement in a follow-up to the feature in the future. And as James mentions in the comments, Valet Mode could go even further by limiting throttle response (to prevent aggressive driving) and even initiating an alert (sent via the OnStar RemoteLink app) when the car is driven for more than a certain distance.