IntelliLink, the gem that is GMC's infotainment system, is one smart cookie.

First seen in the 2012 GMC Terrain SUV, this slick system connects your smartphone to your car's entertainment system, allowing you to fire up your music library on your iPod or stream Internet radio with just the sound of your voice.

Those shopping for a 2013 Terrain or Acadia, or a 2014 Sierra, will find GMC IntelliLink a snap to use, with a clean, simple design.

Like other in-vehicle entertainment systems, the 7-inch, configurable screen is a cinch to navigate. You can choose the placement of your most-used functions on the homepage. This is perfect for those of us who are a little, shall we say, particular about wanting the phone icon first, followed by SiriusXM Radio, Stitcher, Pandora, etc. These can be easily shifted around, too.

GMC IntelliLink's voice-activation component won't have you barking out stilted, one-word commands, either. It uses technology that understands nicknames -- such as bands, for example -- allowing your speech to be more conversational.

And, if you subscribe to the less-clutter-is-awesome theory, you don't need to tote your MP3 player along for the ride. Simply plug a song-packed USB flash drive into a port in the center console and listen to your faves without fiddling around with your iPod.

The system was designed to be relatively distraction-free, keeping your hands on the wheel as often as possible, so you won't be tempted to look away from the road too much while accessing your music or making a phone call.

Getting info and travel help is also a voice-activated breeze. Thanks to SiriusXM Travel Link, you can listen to weather updates and get fuel prices, sports scores and stock info sent right to the vehicle's nav screen.

This kind of in-vehicle intelligence kicks off summer with high marks.

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Lindsay Martell has covered entertainment news for E! Entertainment and tech trends for TechTV, CNBC, Newsfactor, and Sci-Tech Today, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.

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