Gadget guzzlers: Five cars with the best tech

Modern cars are such sensible machines that it is hard not to think of them as being a little dull. Frugal fuel economy, ultra low emissions and bags of safety features are all worthy inclusions but they do little to get the blood pumping or put a smile on your face. Thankfully there are some great gadgets in our cars to add a little bit of fun and interest. We look at the top five.

Tesla Model S

1) Tesla Model S

Tesla has managed to do something incredible with its electric cars, not just extend the driving range between charges to something actually useful, but also making them objects of desire. The company has recently published strong sales figures and has posted an impressive profit, so it is clearly doing something right. The car features an innovative design with three rows of seats and luggage to the front and rear. The biggest gadget here is the incredible engine and battery combination that allows a range of up to 260 miles between charges but the LCD control panel is also a huge step forward, removing the need for all those secondary control switches and levers and controlling almost everything via a touch screen.

Audi A6

2) Audi A6

This executive saloon majors on an incredible 3D navigation tool, developed along with Nvidia and featuring Google Earth Street View. The Infotainment systems are a major strongpoint and can be controlled by voice or even via writing on a touchpad. With such quality cars lasting for many years, Audi has decided to make the entertainment module upgradable, so you can keep up-to-date with the latest technology without the expense of trading in your car.

BMW 3 Series

3) BMW 3 Series

Audi’s German competitors are also doing well on the gadget front. The latest technology does tend to become available first on the most expensive models. This is understandable. The buyers of these cars have more cash to spend and desire luxury, so the manufacturers are pushing at an open door. Expensive options also tend to look less costly when considered as a percentage of the purchase price, so including some state of the art gadgetry is less of an obstacle. BMW should be applauded then for making all the tech that comes in their premium 7 series motors available in the entry level 3 series. Here you will find parking cameras, head up displays, automatic parking, blind spot detection and a consol for Twitter feeds and texts.

Ford Focus

4) Ford Focus

The Focus has just been voted Britain’s favourite car in a poll by Auto Express and the latest model is bursting with tech innovations. There are two iPod jacks, bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, automated self parking. There are also systems to prevent music playing until seatbelts are used and the electric power steering saves fuel. There are a lot of available gizmos in a mass market car and that makes the Focus a good choice for budget motoring gadget enthusiasts.

Nissan Pathfinder

5) Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder is a decent SUV with a neat trick up its sleeve. It has cameras on all four sides of the vehicle. The on-board gadgetry manages to combine all of these images to give you a computer generated ‘overhead’ view of your car and its surroundings when manoeuvring at slow speeds. This is probably the best parking assistance ever offered and the birds-eye view makes such tricky operations in tight spaces an absolute breeze. It is a clever new take on existing technology that we are sure to see adopted elsewhere.

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