The 2012 Chevy Cruze won't be out for months yet, but Cars.com already gleaned an option sheet from GM that shows the available navigation in the 2LT trim version going from the current hard-drive-based system to one with maps stored in flash memory, specifically an SD card. As such, the price of this option drops to $995.
The navigation change suggests the possibility of the 2012 Cruze getting Chevy's new MyLink system, which combines voice command with Bluetooth phone and MP3 player integration, and adds app integration for Pandora and Stitcher. MyLink has so far only been announced for the 2012 Volt and Equinox.
A couple of weeks ago we were given a demonstration of Buick IntelliLink, still in beta, which is the Buick-branded version of MyLink. Buick representatives said at the time that IntelliLink would be available on the new LaCrosse and Verano by the end of the year. They also noted that there would not be a navigation app for IntelliLink at launch, making IntelliLink and navigation options mutually exclusive.
The above tidbit could be taken to confirm that, as the Cruze is getting a navigation option, it can't have MyLink. But it is possible that Chevy engineers have found a compatible navigation app for MyLink, opening the floodgates for low-cost, advanced cabin tech in all GM vehicles.
It is also interesting that, as the capabilities of MyLink track pretty closely with those of Ford Sync, Ford similarly ditched its hard-drive-based navigation system for vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch. Ford replaced the system with one that uses maps stored on an SD card.