Connected cars are not only cool to drive, but they also make family road trips bearable. No longer do you have to worry about getting lost, pulling out your crinkled map and trying to navigate your way back to society. Now, your cars can help you do everything from mapping your destination to keeping you entertained. So, if you want to see some of coolest connected car features available, here are three of the top vehicles to enhance your road trip experience.
2015 Jaguar Land Rover
The Jaguar Land Rover and its patented InControl Apps technology was the biggest attention grabber at the Los Angeles Auto Show this past November. The in-car 3G hotspot allows up to eight devices to be connected at once, so everyone can get work done, play games or update their social media accounts on road trips. Your smartphone connects directly to the InControl Apps platform via USB and will support most applications.
The JustDrive app is by far one of the most useful road tripping apps available, particularly when navigating unfamiliar streets. The telephone system allows you to text message anyone with voice commands and will read all replies aloud. The navigation system also is voice-activated and interactive. Parkopedia is another InControl app that helps you find both free and paid parking spots in over 6,000 cities.
2015 Audi A3
The first and most attractive feature of the A3 is its 4G connectivity. This allows you to stream Pandora music and Netflix movies while driving. The best part of having a 4G connection is being able to stream live video. The combination of the Livestream app and a smartphone like the Xperia Z3 with a 20.7 megapixel camera can produce fascinating dash cam video as you drive through the mountains, up the Pacific coast or even through a city for the first time.
Furthermore, the A3 will read your Facebook timeline and tweets aloud so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. It also responds to various voice commands from turning on the radio to zooming in and out on virtual maps. The forward collision warning system comes in handy when driving on dark roads frequented by deer and other animals that could suddenly jump in front of you.
The only real knock against the A3 for road tripping is its limited trunk space. But, a true road trip means you’re traveling light anyway.
2015 Nissan Juke NISMO
The futuristic look of the Juke NISMO will be the first thing that draws you to it. Once inside, the Nissan Connect telematics system helps you pass the time on long boring stretches of road and get you to your desired destination quickly and efficiently.
New Juke NISMOs come with a SiriusXM subscription, which includes the navigation app, Sirius Traffic, and the cheap gas finder, Sirius Fuel Prices. Smartphones can connect to the vehicle either by USB or Bluetooth. The torque vectoring all-wheel drive system is particularly useful on windy roads and for those unmarked sharp curves on highways.
Although gas is currently less expensive, the 34 mpg highway rating for the Juke NISMO solidifies it as a prime road tripping vehicle.