If you are used to buying second-hand cars, you might be missing out on some of the new technology that the newer cars are equipped with—especially if you buy a car that is three to four years older than the buying date.
Technology has come a long way in making our lives easier and safer in cars. Gone are the days when you had to buy an external GPS, which were necessary as the built-in GPS units were simply horrendous and devastatingly slow to respond. And the reason you had to buy an external GPS is because your car didn’t come equipped with one, so, that’s an even more remote past.
Modern in-car navigation is at its finest, with nearly immediate response to touch, type and voice. It can locate points of interest, download traffic data and take detours when needed, all while saving your preferences.
But that’s not even what this article is about. Neither is it focused on front-row heated seats—although that’s undeniably going to become a timeless feature of cars to come. And it’s not about having a rear camera either, as that’s getting old. Nah, I’m talking about cooler features, features that keep the car in lane automatically, provide last-minute braking to avoid collisions, move headlights in the anticipated direction of the car, sense your full hands, and open the trunk automatically…features that will blow your mind.
20 Tesla Model S P85D
One can write on and on about Tesla. It's an exceptional company, holding the potential for being the future electric car company. And the praise doesn't stop with the company—the cars themselves are a piece of work. The interior functions simply from one elongated iPhone-like device. Gone are gadgets and widgets, and manual maneuvering. It's time for touch-screen. It's so advanced that Tesla doesn't release new model each year; over-the-air software updates do the job. The all-wheel-drive five-seat sedan runs on electric motors purely. The price is the only place where you might have a hiccup though, as $133,333 is not the kind of money an average person would want to spend on a car. But the benefits are replete, so it might be worth thinking about it.
19 Rolls-Royce Wraith
Derived from the RR Ghost, Wraith comes layered with an aroma of sportiness. Compared to the Ghost, Wraith has a shorter wheelbase, but the same 624HP-producing V12 engine. Overall, it is the faster sibling between the two. Noteworthy in the tech department is a satellite-assisted transmission, which automatically reads the road conditions ahead, and adjusts the powertrain accordingly—meaning you don’t have to worry about the mountain-like ascent or a steep downhill. There is also an alert for increased risk of ice when the temperature drops below 37 degrees Fahrenheit, which could possibly save you from an accident. While you’d expect the base price to be high, you might not have expected it to rise at rocket-speed with the optional features; accessories can increase the price by as much as $80,000.
18 2017 Honda Clarity
The Clarity is unique because unlike some of the others here, it uses hydrogen fuel cell as its source of power. The Honda Clarity lineup started in 2008, with Honda FCX Clarity being the first retail car ever to be based on hydrogen fuel cell. And if you are not familiar with the concept of a fuel cell car, brace yourself. An electrochemical cell is essentially a device for generating electrical energy from stored chemical energy, and a hydrogen fuel cell uses that, with its source of fuel being hydrogen. It also utilizes oxygen, which comes directly from air. The electricity produced from hydrogen and oxygen runs the motor, which propels the car. The Clarity is only available in California though, due to the limited fueling locations. Nonetheless, it has the highest range and MPG-e in the electric car category.
17 Corvette Stingray Coupe
Believe it or not, the Corvette Stingray has made it on the list. First of all, the new Corvette is gorgeous. In its seventh generation, Chevy manufactures have been doing an exceptional job of churning out the best of the best. The Corvette Stingray is the first one to have front cameras (that also records data), hidden in the grille, almost like the car has a GoPro on it. Why might you need that in a beauty equipped with 455 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque in its standard form? To record RPM and lap times on the track, speed and G-force for fun, and temperature and elevation for touring. You probably don’t want to share a video of your adrenaline-pumping driving on social media, though. The 8-inch in-dash touch-screen system will integrate your iPhone nicely, also.
16 Cadillac CT6
Standing for Cadillac Touring 6, the CT6 has seen only 2 model years, with the 2016 model being shown at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Designed as a rear-wheel drive, you still have the option of making it all-wheel drive. The full-size luxury sedan looks impressive from all angles; the front grille area looks impressive, with beauty being highlighted by the unique and long headlamps. Come inside, and you will find a system capable of handling both iPhone and Androids via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively. While you read about the GoPro-like camera in the Corvette, the CT6 brings something similar, yet different. The “rear camera mirror” allows you to see the view from the camera in the rear on the surface of your rear-view mirror with just a flip of the switch.
15 Chevrolet Malibu
The Malibu used to be a trim-level of the Chevrolet Chevelle, but became its own nameplate in 1978. The mid-size car is in its ninth generation now, although even the 2015 Malibu had some neat technology features. In fact, the 2015 was the first vehicle to have GM’s OnStar in-car Wi-Fi Service, which provided Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices in the car. That was back in 2015. Come to present times, and you have an OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity, wireless phone charging, various safety technologies, including ten standard air bags, collision avoidance system and rear cross-traffic alert. There is an option of optional automatic parking assist. It also has a pedestrian alert system, which can stop the car at the last second to prevent a collision.
14 Volvo S90
Executive sedan S90 has been in production for only one year, but has done well so far. The design of the car was greeted with accolades, even winning the Production Car Design of the Year award in 2015. The plug-in hybrid has various engine and transmission options that support the luxurious interior. And as you might have guessed it, the S90 beats every other vehicle in safety, being packed with the numerous standard safety technology—it can detect pedestrian, cyclist and large animals. With the lane-keeping assist, it will make sure you stay in your lane; with the automatic braking for speeds up to 80 mph, it will make sure you stay on earth. You also have a 9-inch touch-screen-based infotainment system, which facilitates your driving experience.
13 2018 BMW 5 Series
Looking for a mid-size luxury sedan? Look no further. The 2018 BMW 5 Series will satisfy all your needs. In production since 1972, the 5 Series has spanned seven generations. The difference between the sixth and seventh generation is not in the exterior, but the interior. Get in the car, and you will be surprised by the upscale and spacious cabin; peek at the hood, and you will be excited by the various powertrain options available. The innovative technology is mind-boggling. It can tell you on-street parking information through the touch-screen system, and help you with garage-space booking with ParkNow. And at home, you can treat it like a miniature car, parking it perpendicularly by manipulating the key fob; you don’t have to be in the car for that. The 5 Series also offers lane-keeping assist and an automatic start-stop system.
12 Ford Mustang
The highly-awaited Mustang, now in its sixth generation having been under production since 1965, will come out soon. The exterior will have minimal changes from the 2017 model, with some changes in the powertrain. You will be looking at the familiar 5-liter Coyote V8, being paired with a new, ten-speed automatic transmission. Normally you don’t see an LCD screen in a sports car, as widgets look cooler in a compact setting, but this baby is going to have an easy-to-use 12-inch LCD screen. The system is smart, and it will remember your preferences. And for things that can’t be accommodated by the LCD screen, Alexa will be there to carefully heed your voice commands. While safety might be the last thing come to your mind when you think of the Mustang, it has a pedestrian detection system and a lane-keeping assist, nevertheless.
11 Hyundai Ioniq
Debuting in South Korea in January 2016, the Hyundai Ioniq (a mixture of the words “ion” and “unique”) is available not only as a hybrid, but also as a plug-in hybrid and all-electric, which is good because then users are not stuck with only the hybrid. The 136mpg-e under the EPA four-cycle test, 150mgp-e city fuel economy and 122mpg-e highway economy made it the most efficient EPA-certified vehicle. Hopefully the wide variety of engine types satisfied your needs. If not, it still has technology to win you over. Equipped with the automatic emergency braking system, it can save not only your life but also other lives. The Ultimate Package for Limited has even more to offer, including lane departure warning, headlights with dynamic bending light and wireless device charging.
10 Chevrolet Volt
The gasoline-electric hybrid has done an impressive job in various aspects. Going just by looks, the 2018 Volt’s exterior is aesthetically pleasing, something that a lot of other cars in this category lack. The front grille looks intimidating, yet very sporty in combination with the curves of the hood; the sides also look futuristic with the curves in the right place. Car and Driver said it’s fun to drive the car, and I think that’s partly due to relief from range anxiety; the all-electric motor will carry you for 53 miles, after which the gas engine has your back. While marketing of the Volt did not go as well as intended, it offers a lot of features, from heated cabin seats to remote start to off-board connectivity via internet, to name just a few.
9 Audi A4
Built on the VW Group B platform, the A4 replaced Audi 80 way back in the mid-90s; so far, the compact executive car has done well in the market. With a price of only $36,000—which is a steal when you look at some of the others on this list—you are paying not only for a top-notch brand name like Audi, but also for a gorgeous, yet unpretentious exterior, and an exciting interior. The 252HP-producing inline-four engine is mated with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the technology department are imparted to every single unit, regardless of the trim. There is an optional 12.3-inch “virtual cockpit” and a 19-speaker audio system; as captivating as the audio system is, the virtual cockpit is definitely more useful.
8 Lexus LS 500
LS 500 was launched in Japan just near the end of last year; global-release is expected to occur in the first quarter of this year. The “Spidle Grille,” as Lexus call it, is unique and exciting, making a good impression right off the bat; the car looks fresh from the sides also. The interior is equally jaw-dropping, as far as beauty is concerned. Coming to the main topic of tech, it has 3D-surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling speakers, giving you sound through and through. The infotainment system is remote-touch, mimicking smartphone operations, all the while supporting handwritten inputs. A 24-inch color heads-up display is optional, which can transmit and display a lot of crucial information for the driver. Don’t blow it off just because it’s optional—it’s the largest in the world.
7 Sierra 1500 Denali
You might not think that a pickup truck would have made it on the list. After all, you probably associate a pickup with things like moving furniture, appliances or what have you. Why would you need it to be high tech? Well, whether you needed a technologically advanced pickup or not is going to be your personal battle, but be rest assured that Sierra 1500 Denali has some things that not a lot of other pickups offer. To start off, it offers a wireless charging pad, collision warnings and automatic high-beams. The automatic high-beam is neat—I’m sure you’re familiar with the blinding light you sometimes experience when oncoming motorists forget they are not driving on a race track. The driver seat is also equipped with vibrations to make sure you stay in lane.
6 2018 Honda Odyssey
While the wheelbase is the same compared to the predecessor, the first model of the fifth generation is longer and taller, but narrower, giving you that sleek appearance from the sides. While the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission are standard, it also can be equipped with a 10-speed automatic—something new for Honda cars in production. The interior is also designed with the future in mind. You can watch the underlings in the back from the 8-inch dash screen via the interior ceiling video camera, day and night. Should you see them misbehaving, no need to yell. Much like on planes, the speakers will clearly send your message from the dashboard microphone. Only little Johnny is misbehaving? Speak to his wireless headphone directly. The minions also have access to a 10.2-inch screen for their world.
5 Chevrolet Equinox
The completely redesigned Equinox is one of the best in the compact SUV category. The new design is lighter than the previous one. The gasoline engines are identical to the Malibu listed here; but a 1.6-liter LH7 Turbo I4 diesel option is available. The transmission options are either a six- or a nine-speed automatic. It is equipped with a myriad of tech and safety features, with some being available in the base model, while others being optional. The only thing not available in the Equinox is the adaptive cruise control; otherwise, it has low-speed automatic braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and so on. The MyLink infotainment is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other features include OnStar telematics and Wi-Fi hotspot in the car.
4 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Convertible
Quite possibly one of the best convertibles out there, the S-Class convertible is unmatched by competitors, as they don’t offer convertibles from their best marques—the A8 and 7-Series from Audi and BMW, respectively. With a base price of $132,000, the car has a lot of tech features to offer. There is a 12-inch double-screen that is rather revealing, and serves as the nexus of the car. The S-Class can anticipate impacts and apply autonomous braking. It is also equipped with a pedestrian and cross-traffic detection, in addition to a night-vision system. The night-vision system uses thermal energy to capture things not visible to plain eyes. Adding on to the list, we have lane-keeping assist. All of these should prevent you from getting into an accident. If all else fails, the rollover-protection with the roof bars will keep you in the car, should something happen.
3 2017 Infiniti QX30
In production since model-year 2017, the Infiniti QX30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250. The crossover QX30 doesn’t look compact at all, even though it’s of the same length as the subcompact marques from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. It’s probably the well-designed curves of the sides that make it look larger and intimidating; the rims help out a lot also. In addition to the adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot detection, the QX30 also features parallel and reverse-in parking. It uses four sensors to gauge the space and determine whether there is enough space to park. If parking space is a fit, you move the gear shift lever and press a button; the car will take care of the rest, which is nothing short of being insane.
2 Tesla Model S P100D
If Model S P85D didn’t satisfy your hunger, fret not for Tesla has more in its arsenal. The Tesla Model S P100D is an affordable supercar that gives you a good gas mileage also. “Jack of all trades, master of none” doesn’t apply to Model S P100D. The car looks stunning from the outside with the curvilinear waistline and unique door handles. Get inside the car and you come face-to-face with the revamped hardware and software for the autopilot feature. Equipped with eight video cameras, 12 short-range ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar, it can self-drive for speeds up to 45 mph. If you thought those were the best features, wait until you meet the powertrain. Under the “ludicrous” mode, you attain 0-60 mph in 2.28 seconds—the fastest in any production car. And the price? $145,000.
1 Tesla Model 3
Quite arguably, Model 3 is the best electric car available for the masses, considering the price of $37,500. It looks very similar to Model S P100D from the outside, although is not as long as that is, due to its compact nature. Unlike Model S though, Model 3 doesn’t have even the speedometer where other cars normally have it—there is nothing on the dashboard. The only thing that’s jutting off the dashboard—much like the steering wheel—is the horizontal 15-inch touch-screen system, which is used to operate the car, and is used while operating the car; it has your speedometer, maps, fuel, and the like. It’s kind of surreal to look at the picture, let alone be seated in one. This is quite possibly the future of autonomous cars.
Sources: tomsguide.com; pcmag.com; digitaltrends.com