When thinking about technology and the various features offered either as standard or optional equipment in vehicles, the range of offerings is quite varied. Another surprising fact is that buying a tech-savvy vehicle doesn’t mean laying out the big bucks. There are many used cars, crossovers, SUVs, minivans, convertibles and trucks that are available with technology features uncommon in their respective classes.
In the used market, some bargains can be found in tech-savvy vehicles – providing you are willing to do your homework and thoroughly check out the fine print in what’s being offered. Beyond that, take the time to do your research and when you do look at a vehicle that fits your requirements for tech, be sure you know how it works and how to operate the technology.
Here, then, are our picks for the top 10 used tech-savvy vehicles. One caveat is that while certain model years are listed, there are likely others with equally impressive deals to be had, as well as other models not mentioned here due to space constraints.
2012 – Let’s face it. The 2012 Audi A7 is a gorgeous car. It’s also loaded with technology that not only makes driving safe but also rewarding and fun. Front-and-rear parking system utilizes ultrasound wave sensors that warn the driver of approach to nearby objects. Adjustable drive settings, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, a head up display and LED headlights are other tech highlights. The Audi A7’s MMI Navigation plus features an 8-inch, high-resolution, full-color CD screen that rises up from the dash when the ignition turns on. Plus, navigation and telephone functions are voice controlled. Audi teamed with Nvidia to render 3D animations of buildings and terrain, affording near lifelike viewing. The A7 is a WiFi hotspot so that passengers can use the Internet with ease and security.
2011-2013 – Debuting its fourth generation in 2011, the Honda Odyssey remains the one of the top minivans built. With its longstanding reliability and confident driving dynamics, the Odyssey is a family favorite. In addition, the Odyssey provides a list of standard and optional tech features sure to please family members.
In 2013, the Odyssey gained a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a USB/iPod interface. Other tech features include power sliding side doors, automatic headlights, multi-adjustable second-row seat, chilled storage box and satellite radio. Touring and Touring Elite have standard navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems. Touring Elite adds an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a widescreen video monitor, a premium 12-speaker audio system, automatic xenon headlights and a blind-spot warning system.
2012-2013 Volvo S60 – The Volvo S60, available in T5, T6 and T6 R-Design, feature loads of tech-savvy features. With its sportier look, more dynamic driving experience and more power from the turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the 2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design midsize luxury sedan is also filled with tech-savvy features. Adaptive bi-xenon headlights, adaptive suspension called Four-C with three driver-selectable settings, and more.
With the Technology Package, the T6 R-Design adds a pedestrian detection feature that can apply full braking force. The package also includes electronic warnings for driver inattention, lane departure and impending collision (which includes automatic braking). A dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system also joined the options list in 2012.
Even base models are generously equipped with tech-savvy features, including power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, sliding and reclining rear sears, a rearview camera, OnStar emergency communications, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, and a touchscreen interface. Optional features for tech include premium audio, lane-departure warning system, and a navigation system (the latter two available beginning in 2012).
2012-2013 – First introduced in 2010, by the 2012 model year the funky, unique Kia Soul added a number of new technology options, including a navigation system. For those looking for affordable tech, even base Soul models feature Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and USB connections for audio.
New for 2013 were power-folding side mirrors, standard Bluetooth wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and cruise control. Also in 2013, the Soul offers Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology as part of the Eco Package.
2013 – A major overhaul in 2013 provided the Lincoln MKS (mechanically related to the ) with a much-needed boost in desirability as a luxury sedan. Included in the refresh were engine upgrades, enhancements to the suspension, a more luxurious cabin and new technology.
Standard on the MKS are adaptive suspension, power-adjustable steering wheel, mobile WiFi capability and heated and ventilated seats. These are features that are options on many competitive luxury sedans. Tech features optional on the 2013 Lincoln MKS include a rearview camera, heated rear seats, a lane-departure warning system, an automatic parallel-parking system, and a 16-speaker audio system.
2010-2013 – The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class debuted for the 2010 model year. At that time, only the gasoline-powered five-passenger sedan and four-passenger coupe were available. In 2011, the seven-passenger wagon, four-passenger convertible (Cabriolet) and E350 BlueTEC arrived. Long synonymous with the latest in advanced technology, no matter which Mercedes-Benz model you choose you’re going to be surrounded with tech-savvy features.
E350 and E350 BlueTEC sedans have standard LED running lights, automatic wipers, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, interior accent lighting, auto-dimming inside and driver-side mirrors, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth connectivity and an 8-speaker audio system. Various packages offer navigation system, a rearview camera, satellite radio, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, power trunk lid, a blind-spot warning system and a lane departure warning/keeping system and adaptive cruise control.
2013 – For a small SUV, the 2013 Ford Escape has a lot going for it in terms of tech-savvy features. Best of all, shopping for a used Escape won’t set you back big bucks for such cool and family-friendly tech.
One of the neatest features is the hands-free powered liftgate that can be opened by waving a foot under the rear bumper. The Escape also features customized driver and front passenger climate controls. With available Ford SYNC, you can listen to your favorite radio stations, set navigation and more. Active park assist is a truly neat tech feature that makes it so much easier to parallel park in tight spaces. Keyless entry is another must-have technology feature available on the Escape.
2013 Cadillac ATS – An all-new model, the 2013 Cadillac ATS brings small-car luxury home to Cadillac. Smaller and less expensive than the , the ATS is aimed squarely at German sport sedans like the and BMW 3-Series.
Even the Standard ATS is nicely equipped with OnStar, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, heated mirrors and dual-zone climate control. Moving up to Luxury adds navigation, keyless entry/ignition, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rearview camera, HD radio, CUE infotainment interface and more.
2013 – For a family sedan, it doesn’t get much better than the 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, that is, if you’re looking for loads of affordable technology. Included are three color TFT screens in the cabin, capacitative touch-sensitive buttons, and blind spot and cross-traffic monitoring.
There are built-in Sirius XM apps (which require a Sirius XM subscription), and Toyota’s Entune apps. Entune is the Japanese automaker’s multimedia system that works in conjunction with your smartphone. Turn-by-turn navigation, NavTraffic for real-time traffic alerts are also handy tech you can use. Another neat tech feature is the eBin, a lift-up compartment with two 12-volt power outlets, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port for wired charging. The eBin’s non-slip surface provides wireless charging – the first car to offer this built-in.