2015 Audi A3
The 2015 A3 is the first Audi with 4GLTE wireless connectivity through AT&T and it offers Facebook and Twitter apps exclusively. The “Picture Destination” feature can scan photographs stamped with geographical coordinates automatically and provide step-by-step directions to your destination. These unique features are accessed using the onboard MMI controller and the 7-inch dash mounted touchscreen.
2015 Volvo XC90
This 7-passenger all-wheel drive SUV features an AM/FM HD radio with Sirius XM satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port, auxiliary inputs, and Bluetooth audio. It also has Sensus connect for downloading apps like Pandora, Rdio, Stitcher, and TuneIn. I tested the 19-speaker 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system using a standard iPod and it proved to be quite impressive.
2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
The Avalon is the flagship sedan of the Toyota lineup. It offers a spacious and luxurious interior combined with that classic Toyota exterior styling. Cutting-edge hybrid tech aside, Toyota’s Entune infotainment system is a crowd pleaser. There are no subscription fees to pay and Entune provides access to apps like Pandora and Yelp. There is a 7-inch touchscreen and an innovative wireless phone charger.
2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum
The Maxima has become one of the most trusted sedans among North American families. For 2016 the Platinum trim level offers a 300hp V6 engine and a CVT transmission. Although early release makes Apple CarPlay Android Auto impossible as a standard feature, the Nissan Connect smartphone system provides connection to a handful of popular apps, voice activated texting, stolen car tracking, and geofencing for teen drivers.
2015 Dodge Charger R/T
This hot rod sedan comes with a 370hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Tech goodies include the Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, AM/FM satellite radio, Bluetooth, auxiliary USB ports, navigation, rear back up camera display with 3D mapping, as well as weather and travel links.
2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum
The 300C Platinum is the pretty (and more refined) sister of the Charger R/T. It has virtually the same tech features including access to Pandora, Aha, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher, free for the first five-years. The Chrysler Uconnect control head is one of the best in the industry and makes controlling audio and telematics systems easy and effective. Automatic collision notification, theft protection, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location are all free for one-year.
2015 Buick Encore Premium AWD
This ain’t your grandaddy’s old Buick. This all-wheel drive crossover SUV features room for five and a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. 4GLTE wireless connectivity and OnStar telematics are among the highlights in the tech segment of this visually appealing Buick. Hands-free voice activated texting and Bluetooth communications work flawlessly as does the AM/FM and XM satellite radio system.
2015 Tesla Model S P85D
Even if you overlook the fact that the S P85D has one of the most innovative and impressive propulsion systems in the industry, this car is loaded with high-tech goodies. How about a 17-inch touchscreen? It is laid out simply and gives the driver instant information about battery usage, time, and ambient temperature, as well as the strength of the integrated 3G connection.
2015 Ram Big Horn Quad Cab 4X2
This diesel powered pickup certainly qualifies as a “Cowboy Cadillac” with its luxurious interior trappings and slick exterior. It also features state-of-the-art techno gizmos like an 8.4-inch color touchscreen monitor, Chrysler Uconnect, and AM/FM radio with XM satellite radio added.
2016 Honda Pilot Elite
The Honda Pilot is one of North America’s best selling SUVs. It features room for seven-passengers, a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, and a 9-speed automatic transmission. High-tech safety features include adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and a forward collision warning system.