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Cars With Cool In-Car Tech Under $25,000

At this point, in-car tech options like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are becoming household names. If you’re buying a new or lightly used car, these are must-have features. But there are many other in-car technology features worth considering. Today’s new car shopper can opt for in-car Wi-Fi, forward-collision warning, emergency braking, HD Radio, name-brand audio systems and even simple things like push-button start. Of course, many mid- to high-priced cars have these features — sometimes they’re standard equipment. But what if you’re looking to spend as little as possible? You might be surprised at some of the cool features you can get for a below-average price. With that in mind, here are 10 new cars that cost less than $25,000 but still have some pretty cool tech.

2018 Chevrolet Cruze LS

2018 Chevrolet Cruze LS

The base-level stick-shift-only Cruze L is $17,850 and comes standard with air conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, Bluetooth, a backup camera, power accessories, a Teen Driver feature, a 4-speaker stereo with Bluetooth, OnStar with a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 7-in center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The LS ($19,400) allows drivers to order the automatic transmission, which is $1,000 extra. Add it all up and the result is a car that’s roughly $21,000 and has lots of desirable tech. In fact, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on every Chevy model.

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2017 Ford Fiesta Titanium

2017 Ford Fiesta Titanium

There are less-expensive versions of the Fiesta, but the Titanium is priced just under $20,000, so you can add options if you want. Included are keyless entry/start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera with rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, an upgraded Sony 8-speaker audio system with HD Radio and specially designed 16-in alloy wheels. Sync 3 is standard on the Titanium Fiesta, and that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As subcompact cars go, the Fiesta is a good one. It’s fun to drive, has a reasonably nice interior and sips fuel.

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2017 Honda HR-V EX

2017 Honda HR-V EX

The HR-V is a fairly new, subcompact SUV from Honda with an interesting array of in-car tech. The base LX starts around $20,000 and features a rearview camera, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls, a 160-watt 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with a USB input, auto-off headlights and front and rear 12-volt power outlets. The EX bumps the price up to $23,000 and includes cool tech features like a 7-in touchscreen audio display, LaneWatch, a 180-watt 6-speaker stereo, Pandora radio compatibility, heated front seats, a power moonroof, Smart Entry with push-button start, auto on/off headlights, a multiangle rearview camera, a second USB jack, SMS text messaging and automatic climate control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on every Honda model.

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is a $22,000 car but comes nicely equipped — standard on every Elantra GT are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other standard goodies inside the GT include full power accessories, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with redundant audio controls, an audio system with satellite radio capability, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, seven airbags and remote keyless entry. Hill-start assist is also standard. For an extra $1,000, you can get the GT Sport, which adds features like lane-keep assist, LED headlights and taillights and heated leather seats up front.

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2017 Jeep Compass Sport

2017 Jeep Compass Sport

Yes, the Jeep Compass Sport is the base model, but it has some compelling features for about $21,000. Push-button start, cruise control, a USB port, an auxiliary audio input, a 6-speaker audio system, a 5-in touchscreen, hill-start assist, a rearview camera and trailer-sway control are all part of the package. We also like the Compass because it looks like a junior version of the larger, pricier Grand Cherokee. On the Compass Sport, the Uconnect system integrates a 5-in touchscreen display and voice command system with Bluetooth, which includes hands-free calling, voice text reply, voice commands for radio functions and Bluetooth® Streaming Audio. It’s not as seamless as Apple CarPlay, but it does work and is fairly straightforward to use.

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2018 Kia Niro

2018 Kia Niro

You’ll have to stick with the base model of the 2018 Kia Niro to keep the price under $25,000 but you’ll still get lots of cool tech. With just a few hundred dollars to spare, you can get Kia’s newest crossover, a car-based SUV with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7-in touchscreen and satellite radio.

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2017 Nissan Altima S

2017 Nissan Altima S

For a car that cost $24,000, we think the Altima should have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — it doesn’t. You can get it if you step up to the Altima SR Special Edition, but that car is just a little over the $25,000 price limit. However, with the base S model you still get forward-collision warning with emergency braking, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, push-button start and Nissan’s easy-fill tire system that honks the horn when you’ve reached the right level for tire pressure.

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2017 Subaru Impreza Sport

2017 Subaru Impreza Sport

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as all-wheel drive, are included. As far as in-car tech, Subaru’s Starlink with an 8-in touchscreen is standard, as well; it includes app integration for services like iHeartRadio and Pandora and is more user friendly than many other in-car interface systems. The real reason to pick this car is that, for the price (about $23,000), it’s one of the most fun-to-drive small sedans around. We also like the interior and the overall look of the car.

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2018 Toyota Camry L

2018 Toyota Camry L

The all-new Camry is another one of those cars we think should have Apple CarPlay, but it doesn’t. Still, you get a lot for your money even in the base L trim level. Cool tech features include automatic LED headlights, highway-speed adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and automatic braking, lane-departure warning, Bluetooth, one USB port, a 7-in Entune 3 touchscreen interface, a Scout GPS navigation smartphone app and a 6-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and a media player interface. That’s a lot of stuff for a car that comes in just under $25,000. We also like the Camry’s new look and driving dynamics, which are far better than any Camry before it.

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2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE

2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE

In addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Jetta SE has blind spot monitoring, push-button start, satellite radio and a 6.3-in touchscreen. The base model already has Bluetooth, a USB port, an aux jack and LED daytime running lights. The Jetta is a great-looking car with a sporty attitude. The top-of-the-line version with touchscreen navigation and dual-zone climate control is closer to $28,000, but the SE is in the $22,000 range.

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