Be it for economy, performance, safety, convenience, or connectivity, lots of new cars can scratch your geek itch. And some of the least expensive offer tech that until recently was premium-brand stuff. Of course, if you have the means, there are plenty of high-end cars brimming with bleeding-edge features. Finding useful technology along the entire spectrum is what our 11 Best Cars for Tech Lovers is about.
These are 2014 models unless noted and they’re listed least expensive to most expensive. Base prices include manufacturer destination fees, which average around $900.
11. Chevrolet Spark 1LT and 2LT – Don’t Need No Stinkin’ CDs
Base price: $14,765 – $16,115
Fuel-economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 34 mpg
Compact discs are so 1999. Chevrolet knows the young urbanites most likely to consider its smallest car carry their music in their smartphones So the Spark 1LT and 2LT models eliminate a CD player in favor of the brand’s MyLink infotainment system. It’s standard and includes Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. You interface with your phone through Spark’s dashboard touchscreen. To bring onboard navigation to this entry-level car, the Spark can incorporate the BringGo app. A $60 download to your smartphone, BringGo furnishes turn-by-turn navigation, 3D landmarks, and more, all displayed on the dash screen. Sixty bucks is a lot for one app, but it’s cheaper than the $500-$2,500 other automakers charge for built-in navigation systems. Taking Spark tech to the max, California and Oregon residents can purchase the Spark EV, an all-electric version of this subcompact hatchback. It’s available with all the conventional Spark’s features but is emissions-free and travels up to 82 miles on a single charge. The EV’s base price is a steep $27,495, but federal, state, and local tax incentives mitigate the cost.