April 21, 2024

Tech followers like us want a automobile that looks like the long run. Certain, velocity and security are essential, however what actually plucks our coronary heart strings is expertise that makes us really feel like we’re driving one thing not even The Jetsons may think about. That is why we at CNET have rounded up one of the best excessive tech automobiles for all of the drivers on the market who lust for the largest screens, smartest techniques and coolest options.

And never all the pieces on this checklist is wildly costly, both. You will get a whole lot of tech for a low worth, imagine it or not. Take a look at our picks proper down under.

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Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Whether or not you are speaking concerning the cabin tech or the stuff that lives beneath the physique, there’s all types of latest expertise hiding out in Ford’s first electrical Mustang, which simply so occurs to even be a crossover SUV.

Slide into the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E’s cabin and also you’re instantly greeted with a honkin’ 15.5-inch portrait show. This display screen covers the normal infotainment duties, however it additionally hides a wealth of auto settings and different associated options that allow you to customise all types of auto parameters. It is also Ford’s greatest iteration of its Sync software program so far.

Ford has given the Mach-E’s underlying tech some modularity, too. Need only a single electrical motor on the rear axle? Nice! If you’d like all-wheel drive, simply slap one other one within the entrance. Need a greater battery? Don’t be concerned, Ford can slap a kind of in, too. And with much more variants on the horizon, there’s certain to be a Mach-E variant that can suit your wants — and your efficiency joneses, too.

-Andrew Krok, evaluations editor

Mercedes-Benz

At any time when a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class hits the scene, it comes with an entire bunch of latest tech. Whether or not it is a novel infotainment characteristic, an essential new security system or simply some gee-whiz characteristic to impress your passengers, the S-Class by no means ceases to impress. That is very true with the brand new 2021 mannequin.

For the motive force, the brand new S-Class provides a 3D gauge cluster and an enormous — and I imply enormous — head-up show. The HUD tasks the equal of a 77-inch diagonal show onto the dashboard, and has augmented actuality overlays to make sure you’ll by no means miss a difficult flip whereas utilizing the navigation system. There’s additionally a brand-new model of Mercedes’ glorious MBUX infotainment system, with the flexibility to share information between different passengers’ screens, together with the rear occupants. Audio tech extra your jam? There’s an elective Burmester 4D sound system with 30 audio system. And do not even get me began on the heated, cooling, massaging seats, cabin perfume integration or the door handles that routinely come out as you strategy.

Arguably extra essential is the brand new S-Class’ checklist of security tech, which begins with an business first: a rear-seat airbag. This bag deploys from the again of the entrance seat and envelops the rear passenger in a wing-shape cushion, stopping damage within the occasion of a crash. As well as, an entire bevy of driver-assistance goodies come commonplace on each S-Class, together with adaptive cruise management, automated emergency braking, cross-traffic help, automated parking help and extra. Whether or not your tech preferences encompass luxurious, leisure or security, the 2021 S-Class has you coated.

– Steven Ewing, managing editor

Tesla

Need the proper intersection of futurism and performance? For me, that is Tesla. And there is no higher choice nowadays than the 2021 Mannequin Y. The most recent inside refresh of this all-electric crossover SUV does away with most of the nitpicks homeowners zeroed in on (say “goodbye” to the shiny black heart console and all of the fingerprints that got here with it). 

Tesla’s all the time updating its software program with new options; excess of another producer on the market, I might wager. These over-the-air updates for this EV embrace a great steadiness of efficiency tweaks and enjoyable easter eggs. Despite the fact that there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the 15-inch infotainment display screen is loaded with Google Maps and Spotify, so that you in all probability will not miss a lot.

The Mannequin Y has additionally picked up a 5-star safety rating in every category from the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, so not solely are you getting a crossover that can proceed to evolve technologically lengthy after it rolls off the meeting line, you are getting one which guarantees to be extremely protected for you and your loved ones. In the event you love tech, what higher choice than a car that is tech, from the bottom up? 

-Ashley Esqueda, senior video producer, CNET

Nissan

I like low-cost automobiles, as evidenced by my not shopping for a brand-new one since 1993 — huge depreciation is not a characteristic I would like on my spec sheet. But when I had to purchase one thing new, it is perhaps a 2021 Nissan Versa. Beginning at $15,930 together with supply, the Versa is a handsome automobile, in and out, which neutralizes the standard No. 1 turnoff of low-cost automobiles.

Even on the underside S trim degree, Lane Departure Warning and Computerized Emergency Braking are commonplace. S can be the one trim that comes with a handbook transmission, which I might welcome, to not make some “gasoline in my veins” assertion, however to hold by the financial and industrial magnificence of the machine. The Versa will get 32 miles per gallon metropolis and 40 mpg on the freeway.

An S trim Versa has a 7-inch touchscreen central show, however it would not provide CarPlay or Android Auto. Being an Android consumer, I will not truly thoughts since my cellphone OS has a automobile mode that basically turns the cellphone into an automotive head unit, a operate that CarPlay would not provide. As soon as I get a high-quality cellphone mount for my Versa I am going to have a $16,000 automobile with fashionable streaming, navigation, communication, and one of the best voice interface on this planet. (For these of you who need embedded CarPlay or Android Auto, you will should pony up for one of many Versa’s larger trims.)

-Brian Cooley, editor at giant

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Ford’s F-Collection pickup is America’s best-selling new car of any type, be it truck, automobile or SUV. It won’t appear significantly intuitive {that a} beast-of-burden pickup truck may also be one in every of America’s greatest high-tech fashions, however on this case, it’s — handily so. 

Probably the greatest issues concerning the redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 is its accessible PowerBoost hybrid choice, which piggybacks atop the engine vary’s top-dog 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. By including an electrical motor to the prevailing six-cylinder engine, the Blue Oval has created a extra fuel-efficient powertrain whose 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque can tow 12,700 kilos.

Along with nice tech options like Sync 4 infotainment with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android auto, together with bumper-to-bumper OTA updates. Plus, there is a trick energy folding shifter that creates a big, desk-like work floor and first-class lay-flat seats for naps on the job web site. That is all nicely and good, however the F-150’s Killer App characteristic is its accessible Professional Energy Onboard built-in generator. This in-bed energy station generates as much as 7.2kW of energy — sufficient juice to energy many job websites, or doubtlessly even your home in a blackout. 

-Chris Paukert, govt editor

Porsche

The fashionable Porsche 911 is all the time an interesting mixture of digital and good ol’ normal mechanical engineering. It is an train in bending physics to your will and it is also a flagship car for one of the crucial engineering-focused automobile firms on the market. In brief, it is a tech-geek’s playground.

The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is mechanically fascinating in various methods, however it’s exhausting to get round its unbelievable 4.0-liter flat-six engine that revs to 9,000 rpm whereas making nicely over 100 horsepower per liter. It does this whereas providing a guaranty and assembly emissions necessities. Additionally wonderful is the inclusion of tech that only a decade in the past would have appeared nearly like science fiction. This contains stuff like four-wheel steering that operates nearly transparently, insanely quick-shifting PDK dual-clutch gearbox and extra. This Porsche is as fastidiously thought-about and finely fettled as a Swiss watch, and there are few automobiles that come near it.

From an electronics standpoint, the 992-generation 911 would not disappoint, both. It provides a stunning inside the place its giant infotainment display screen is fantastically built-in. The display screen is sharp, and the system working on it’s many-layered and granular, but simple to make use of and really responsive. Past that, the instrument cluster does an excellent job of taking the 911’s iconic five-dial gauge and bringing it thoughtfully and cleanly into 2021. That is achieved by maintaining the large, central analog tachometer — one thing that gives a visceral connection to the automobile’s drivetrain and surrounding it with multi-information shows. I may go on and on about Porsche Energetic Suspension Administration and this automobile’s electronically managed engine mounts and the like, however you get the concept. The 911 GT3 is a real deal with for the technologically inclined.

-Kyle Hyatt, information and options editor

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

I needed to choose an EV for this one, as a result of they’re simply inherently extra interesting to those that prefer to be on tech’s leading edge. However which one? There are literally quite a bit to select from proper now, and extra can be available on the market by the tip of the 12 months. However, in terms of the options I would like in a automobile, Android Automotive is a giant one, and the 2021 Polestar 2 is likely one of the few locations to get it.

Android Automotive takes Android Auto to the subsequent degree by baking Android proper into the automobile. Now, as a substitute of your cellphone driving the expertise, all the pieces runs natively, counting on the automobile’s information connection. Google Maps is constructed proper in, as are issues like YouTube Music and a bunch of different apps — not sufficient but, however it’ll get there. It makes for an intuitive, seamless expertise on this Polestar. That’s, not less than, assuming you are an Android consumer. Apple CarPlay assist is coming, I have been promised.

However it goes past infotainment. The Polestar 2 has the trendy feel and appear that resonates with me. It drives as sharply as an EV ought to and might even be configured with adjustable Ohlins suspension. Love fidgeting with issues? It is good.

-Tim Stevens, editor in chief

Jeep

Why the hell is a Jeep Wrangler on this checklist, with its antediluvian ladder body and a suspension that is anchored by a pair of iron logs? Effectively, the reply is straightforward: Not all expertise must be digital.

This rough-and-tumble SUV provides an abundance of helpful options that improve its off-road functionality and make it extra pleasurable to drive. Among the Wrangler’s admittedly low-tech facilities embrace simply detachable doorways and a folding delicate high so you’ll be able to indulge in nature’s glory whereas out on the path. This off-roader additionally provides a two-speed switch case for mountain-goat climbing skill, the accessible EcoDiesel V6 delivers locomotive ranges of torque for straightforward drivability and Rubicon fashions even characteristic a disconnecting entrance sway bar, which supplies larger suspension articulation, in addition to locking differentials at each ends for optimum traction in even probably the most making an attempt circumstances.

Yeah, the Wrangler is completely old-school, and far of its expertise is, nicely, fairly historic, however these things is nonetheless tremendous helpful. If, nevertheless, you completely will need to have max circuits and software program, this Jeep would not disappoint. A spread of electrified mild-hybrid powertrains is obtainable, together with a new-for-2021 4xe plug-in hybrid mannequin. Plus, you will get a Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch display screen and assist for each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus every kind of contemporary digital driving aids can be found, together with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, trailer-sway management and even adaptive cruise management, to call just a few. Because of options like these and its sledgehammer off-road functionality, the Wrangler is an unexpectedly techy car.

-Craig Cole, evaluations editor

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Common Motors is hell-bent on democratizing electrical automobiles within the US, and whereas the primary Chevrolet Bolt EV felt like a half-step, the new-for-2022 Bolt EUV feels prefer it strikes the goal much better. And tech? The Bolt EUV is chock filled with it.

The spotlight of all of it is Tremendous Cruise — the primary time the hands-free freeway driving assistant can be supplied in a Chevrolet. Thus far, the expertise that really allows you to take your palms off the steering wheel has been a Cadillac-only ordeal. A whole lot of consideration focuses on Tesla and its Autopilot system, however Tremendous Cruise is actually a hands-free system in the precise circumstances, and it is able to roll on over 200,000 miles of US and Canadian roads.

To not point out, the Bolt EUV incorporates a typical slew of expertise that can fulfill a technophile’s desires. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each commonplace, and run on a big 10.2-inch touchscreen. Exterior of Tremendous Cruise’s smarts, there is a candy of different driver-assist and lively security features. And an elective rearview digicam mirror is a cherry on high. Severely, you will not miss an ordinary mirror. With all of the tech talked about right here, you are additionally taking about an EV beneath $40,000. Not solely is it a great purchase for tech lovers, it is an reasonably priced buy in the event you’re desirous to go completely electrical.

-Sean Szymkowski, information editor

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

In the event you’re like me, being a fan of tech means having the liberty to improve, build-it-yourself and modify. Shiny new tech and mega screens are good, however all the pieces finally turns into out of date. The 2020 Toyota 86 started its life as a Scion — a model born with customization and personalization at its very core. Now, half a decade after Scion’s demise, the admittedly low-tech-for-starters Toyota 86 — and its doppelganger, Subaru’s BRZ — persists as one of the crucial customizable and simply upgradable new automobiles you should buy. That makes it very best for tech-loving tinkerers and performance-loving modders.

Most new automobiles characteristic deeply built-in dashboard tech that’s usually tough to improve. Pop the radio out (in the event you even can) and, who is aware of, perhaps the flip alerts cease working? Perhaps you lose all entry to local weather controls? The 86 is one in every of a handful of latest automobiles that also options an trustworthy to goodness, easy and standard-sized double-DIN dashboard receiver. That implies that when its tech will get outdated otherwise you simply need one thing new, upgrading is as simple as swapping in an aftermarket unit. No different very important parts will cease working; no costly adapters or dashboard rebuild kits are required. Feeling bizarre and wish to construct your personal tech powered by an outdated Android pill or a Raspberry Pi? No drawback, simply punch out the Toyota unit, seize your soldering iron and get to modding. Sarcastically, being comparatively low tech makes the 86 and automobiles prefer it good for individuals who desire a hands-on strategy to tech.

The upgrades do not should cease within the dashboard, and the 86 can be an excellent candidate for modders who like to show wrenches. This rear-driver’s well-sorted chassis and off-the-lot efficiency will get the motive force’s automobile fundamentals proper whereas leaving simply sufficient on the desk so that you can uncover and personalize with suspension, traction and power-adding mods of your personal. Whether or not trying to construct a monitor toy or simply hone the efficiency and magnificence for the streets, if “constructed, not purchased” is your lifestyle, you will discover quite a bit to like within the 86’s distinctive formulation. (Observe: Whereas the 86 is a 2020 mannequin 12 months holdover, loads stay at sellers.)

– Antuan Goodwin, evaluations editor

Hyundai

In the event you’re on the lookout for an reasonably priced compact sedan chock filled with expertise goodies, look no additional than the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. New-for-2021, this wildly styled four-door sports activities a wholesome checklist of infotainment and security tools that make it a tech standout within the aggressive section. Accessible in commonplace, Hybrid and higher-performance N-Line guise, the Elantra checks a whole lot of bins for lots of consumers.

Within the cabin, a ten.2-inch customizable LCD gauge cluster is accessible on mid-grade SEL variations and comes commonplace on the range-topping Restricted trims. Dealing with infotainment on most Elantras is an 8-inch touchscreen with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, Bluetooth and an accessible Bose audio setup. Hyundai’s Digital Key system is accessible enabling homeowners to unlock and begin their Elantra by a cellphone app with out the important thing.

A powerful checklist of normal security tech comes on the Elantra together with ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross site visitors alert, lane-keep help, lane-following help and Secure Exit Alert. Adaptive cruise management and pedestrian detection are choices.

-Jon Wong, evaluations editor

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

In the event you’re a fan of screens and superior driver’s aids, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade SUV ought to be on the high of your checklist. The cabin is dominated by three curved particular person OLED panels measuring greater than 38 inches throughout. The colours and graphics on these screens are good and the system is lightning fast, with no lag even when utilizing pinch-to-zoom. Navigation will get a bump with accessible augmented actuality, overlaying directional arrows on a video feed displayed within the gauge cluster, so you will by no means miss a flip once more.

Along with screens galore, this full-size and super-lux Cadillac SUV might be had with Tremendous Cruise, a hands-free driving expertise that makes use of cameras and GPS information to maintain the Escalade rolling down the street beneath sure circumstances. This technique solely works on highways which were 3D mapped, however the North American community is in depth and it is seemingly your commute is roofed. The system can change lanes by itself as nicely. After all, you will should hold your eyes up and listen (a driver-facing digicam ensures you do), however Tremendous Cruise is likely one of the solely hands-off driving applied sciences presently accessible available on the market. We desire it to Tesla’s Autopilot, and so does Client Reviews.

The Escalade’s OLED screens are commonplace on all trims, however if you’d like Tremendous Cruise you will have to begin with the Premium Luxurious trim after which add nearly $9,000 in choices, placing the value at $93,140 together with $1,295 for vacation spot. Look, no person mentioned expertise was low-cost.

-Emme Corridor, evaluations editor

Finest SUVs, vehicles and automobiles for tech lovers for 2021

Class Title Powertrain Choices Killer Tech Base MSRP (together with supply)
Crossover SUV 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Electrical EV powertrain, Sync 4 infotainment $43,995
Sedan 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Gasoline/Hybrid EQ Increase hybrid, OLED screens, Burmester audio $110,850
Crossover SUV 2021 Tesla Mannequin Y Electrical EV powertrain, Autopilot, MCU infotainment $51,100
Sedan 2021 Nissan Versa Gasoline Low worth, commonplace ADAS $15,930
Truck 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid Hybrid, ProPower Onboard $43,485
Coupe 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Gasoline PCM infotainment, PASM $150,000 est.
Crossover SUV 2021 Polestar 2 Electrical EV powertrain, Android Automotive $61,200
SUV 2021 Jeep Wrangler Gasoline/Diesel/Hybrid Powertrain range, customizability $29,970
Crossover SUV 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Electrical EV powertrain, Tremendous Cruise $33,995
Coupe 2020 Toyota 86 Gasoline Plug-and-play customizability $28,055
Sedan 2021 Hyundai Elantra Gasoline/Hybrid BlueLink infotainment, wi-fi AC/AA, phone-as-key $20,655
SUV 2021 Cadillac Escalade Gasoline/Diesel OLED screens, AR navigation, Tremendous Cruise $77,490

How we made our checklist

We drove these automobiles, vehicles and SUVs! Roadshow’s new-car testers and editors are always on the street, evaluating all kinds of automobiles in all circumstances and conditions (to not point out different gearhead necessities like storage heaters, ground jacks, instrument units and extra). It is our collective expertise and many years of data that guides the selections that flip into these greatest lists. 

The automobiles seen right here characterize our favourite new SUVs, vehicles and passenger automobiles for tech lovers of all stripes. Whether or not you are somebody who desires an EV filled with the newest cabin conveniences and superior driver help techniques; a low-cost DIYer who relishes personalizing your journey with your personal brought-in options, or simply somebody who desires an reasonably priced on a regular basis automobile with commute-easing tech, the CNET Vehicles staff has you coated. 

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