Cars With the Most High Tech Features for the Money (2019)
Advances in car technology continue to be brought to the market at a blistering pace, with features once only found on luxury models making their way onto the least expensive cars on the road. The new tech makes cars safer, more efficient, and more connected than they have ever been.
Of course, those advances come at a cost, whether they’re included in the base sticker price or added as options. Some cars, though, include more technology for the price than others, giving shoppers an excellent bang for their car-buying buck. We’ve included a dozen vehicles with the most high-tech features for the money on the following pages.
(Note that a vehicle’s score and ranking may change as our information is updated, so the scores in this article may be different than those you find on each vehicle’s individual review page.)
$18,500 | U.S. News Score 8.6/10
Hyundai redesigned their sporty Veloster for the 2019 model year, giving it a host of high-tech features at an affordable price. Every 2019 Hyundai Veloster includes a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, multiple USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The standard technology doesn’t stop there. The Veloster comes standard with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring. Options include rear cross traffic warning, blind spot monitoring, and a head-up display that projects driving information into the driver’s line of sight. A six-speaker audio system comes standard. It can be upgraded to an eight-speaker Infinity system.
Like the first generation of the car, the redesigned Veloster features one door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side, providing unencumbered access to the back seat. In our ranking of compact cars, the Veloster holds a spot near the top of the list.
2019 Honda Insight
$22,830 | U.S. News Score 8.2/10
The Insight name returned to the Honda lineup in 2019. This time, it’s attached to a compact four-door sedan with a peppy yet super-efficient hybrid powertrain. The 2019 Honda Insight is able to achieve an EPA-estimated 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway.
It comes standard with the Honda Sensing Suite of advanced safety and driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and road departure mitigation. Other standard safety features include driver drowsiness monitoring and traffic sign recognition.
The Insight also comes standard with a 5-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free smartphone support, and a USB port. Upper-trim models come with an 8-inch infotainment touch screen, plus support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
In ranking of compact cars, the Insight holds a spot in the middle of the pack. The trade-off for its excellent fuel economy is a powertrain that’s not as powerful as many segment rivals’.
2019 Tesla Model 3
$35,000 | U.S. News Score 8.9/10
When you think about high-tech cars, Tesla naturally comes to mind. With the base model of the 2019 Tesla Model 3 finally coming to market, the dream of an affordable Tesla has arrived. Even in base form, it can leap from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 5.6 seconds.
Inside the Model 3, you won’t find an instrument panel festooned with buttons and dials. Instead, you’ll see a massive touch screen that serves as both its control panel and instrument cluster.
The Model 3 comes standard with automatic emergency braking, side collision warning, and blind spot monitoring. The available Enhanced Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system can take some of the workload off the driver by controlling the car’s brakes, acceleration, and steering. In highway driving, it can change lanes as needed. An optional Full Self-Driving Capability package adds to the number of tasks the car can do without driver intervention. Additional functions are expected to be added later in the year.
What you won’t find in the Tesla Model 3 are advanced infotainment technologies. While you can stream media from your smartphone to the car using Bluetooth, the Model 3 does not include smartphone integration technologies such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
In ranking of luxury small cars, the Tesla Model 3 holds a spot near the top of the list.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
$32,500 | U.S. News Score 8.7/10
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a new model for the United States. It comes loaded with technology, including a new infotainment system called the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX. You can talk to the system in a conversational way like you do with Siri or Alexa.
MBUX is the first Mercedes infotainment system to employ a touch-screen interface, which can be used along with the voice command system and a console-mounted touchpad. It features a pair of 7-inch screens, with one acting as the instrument cluster and the other serving the infotainment system. They can be upgraded to a pair of 10.25-inch displays. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported by the system.
The A-Class comes standard with automatic emergency braking. It can be outfitted with an enhanced adaptive cruise control that uses navigation system data to slow the car for corners, roundabouts, and even upcoming toll booths. By using navigation data and detecting speed limit signs, the A-Class can automatically adjust to changing speed limits.
In our ranking of luxury small cars, the A-Class holds a spot in the top third of the list.