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Combat Distracted Driving: 7 Cars With Standard Forward-Collision Warning

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2016

April is distracted driving awareness month -- so we've rounded up seven new cars that will ensure you always stay alert on the roads. Each model on our list comes standard with forward-collision alert, a feature that provides a visible (or audible) warning if the car detects an impending collision. Some of these models even feature standard forward-collision braking, which slows down the car if the driver doesn't react in time. While forward-collision warning is fairly common on options lists, it's rare to see it standard -- and we salute these models for offering forward-collision warning at no extra charge.

Acura RLX

With a base-level RLX starting somewhere around $55,000, the RLX is one of the least expensive cars on the market today with standard forward-collision warning. It's even more impressive when you consider than the RLX also comes standard with a backup camera, traction control, side-curtain airbags and lane-departure warning -- all wrapped in a luxurious package that includes a navigation system, a power sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery with heated front seats and a muscular 3.5-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower.

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Audi A4

The fully redesigned 2017 Audi A4 now features standard forward-collision warning within its base price of $38,300 with shipping. This is big news for the A4, as none of its rivals -- from the less expensive Acura TLX and Infiniti Q50 to the pricey BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class -- come standard with this feature. More importantly, the A4 doesn't just offer standard forward-collision warning; it also offers a standard automatic braking system that will stop the car in the event of an impending collision at speeds of up to 52 miles per hour. When you combine that with sleek new styling, a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, available all-wheel drive and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the new A4 looks to be a big winner.

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Hyundai Equus

It's no surprise that the Equus features standard forward-collision warning, as it offers a wide range of standard safety features -- including a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, a backup camera and lane-departure warning. It also comes standard with an impressive level of luxury, touting leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, a 9.2-inch center touchscreen, a 17-speaker stereo, a power sunroof, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and one of our personal favorite touches: a smooth, brawny 429-hp V8. As you might imagine, though, the Equus isn't cheap: It starts at around $62,500 with shipping, while the Ultimate model -- with a surround-view camera system and a rear entertainment screen -- comes in at a pricey $69,700 with destination.

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Not surprisingly, Mercedes' flagship S-Class luxury sedan comes standard with forward-collision warning. Also not surprisingly, it includes a lot more than just forward-collision warning, adding a full automatic braking system, side-curtain airbags, a backup camera, automatic wipers, LED headlights with automatic high beams and dual-zone automatic climate control that includes a cabin fragrance system. Interested? Right now, you can choose between several models, ranging from the 449-hp S550 -- which has a base price of $96,700, including destination -- to the 621-hp S65 AMG -- which starts at an eye-popping $225,600 with shipping.

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Scion iA

The Scion iA is a compact sedan that starts at just $16,700 with shipping -- a figure that makes it by far the cheapest car on the market to come standard with forward-collision warning. Better yet, the iA doesn't just offer forward-collision warning; it also comes standard with full forward-collision braking -- though it's worth noting that the system is primarily designed for bumper-to-bumper traffic, parking lots and similar situations, as it's only active for up to 15 mph. Still, we're impressed to see such an advanced system come standard on such an affordable car.

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Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser (along with its pricier upscale mechanical twin, the Lexus LX 570) is one of few modern SUVs to come standard with forward-collision warning; it just added the feature for the 2016 model year. And it isn't just forward-collision warning that's standard. The wide range of safety features includes front and rear parking sensors, low-speed automatic braking, a backup camera, side-curtain airbags, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning. Naturally, the Land Cruiser also touts a wide array of standard luxury features that ranges from four-zone automatic climate control to a 9-in center screen for the infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, wireless cell phone charging and leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats. Then again, there's no surprise that the Land Cruiser comes standard with all this lavish equipment, considering its base price is around $84,200 with destination.

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Volvo XC60

The compact Volvo XC60 luxury crossover was among the first vehicles ever to offer standard forward-collision warning and automatic braking through Volvo's excellent City Safety system. Unfortunately, the system doesn't provide full automatic braking; it only works under 20 mph or when there's a small speed difference between the XC60 and the car in front. Still, it's nice to see the feature standard -- especially on a relatively affordable model such as the XC60, which starts at around $37,600 with shipping. Of course, that figure also buys you a few other desirable standard features, including automatic wipers, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control a 7-in center screen and more.

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Combat Distracted Driving: 7 Cars With Standard Forward-Collision Warning - Autotrader