When it comes to the latest technology, these are our favorite cars of 2019.
2019 saw automakers continue to push the boundaries of what we thought was possible in a car. We drove so many vehicles this year with advanced technology, narrowing down our candidates for this year's Tech Lover's Dream Car was no easy task. Some vehicles that just missed the cut include the Audi Q8, BMW Alpina B7, and Volvo XC90.
Our chosen three vehicles represent the cutting edge of automotive technology, which in today's cars include infotainment, safety features, phone connectivity, app integration, and any other fun features that's totally new to the market. If you love technology, these are the three cars you will want to look at.
How could we possibly exclude one of the most important cars of the year, the Tesla Model 3? This is the Tesla that was supposed to bring electric motoring to the masses, with a much more affordable starting price ($39,990) than the Model S or Model X. The Model 3 succeeds in making the electric car feel mainstream with attractive styling, an impressive range of up to 325 miles, and acceleration that would embarrass an AMG or M car.
As for technology, what doesn't the Model 3 have? Tesla's Autopilot system is among the best semi-autonomous driving systems on the market, the company has pioneered the 'phone as a key' trend, there are tons of video games and fun features housed on the infotainment screen, and the car has over-the-air updates so is constantly improving. You might wake up tomorrow to find your Model 3 can teach you how to speak a new language while you drive. By all accounts, the Model 3 is one of the most advanced cars on the market in 2019.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator is the American luxury automaker's latest attempt to capture the magic of the larger Navigator in a smaller, more affordable package. It starts at a reasonable $51,100 or $68,800 for the more powerful Grand Touring hybrid model. The standard model is powered by a potent 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque while the GT ups those figures to 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque while improving fuel economy and adding an 18-mile electric driving range. We've seen plug-in hybrid technology before but it is refreshing to see it marketed as the performance option.
Inside, Lincoln didn't hold back with the technology. Like Tesla, Lincoln will also let owners use their phones to lock and unlock the vehicle and check the status of their fuel and charge using the app. Optional equipment includes 30-way adjustable seats with heating, ventilation, and massage as well as a 28-speaker Revel Ultima 3D Audio System. Lincoln Co-Pilot360 comes standard but optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, reverse braking assist, and active park assist plus so the Aviator can park itself.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class looks rather unassuming on the outside but on the inside, it packs the most impressive modern technology we tested this year. The base GLE 350 with the four-cylinder engine starts at $53,700 but you really want the GLE 450 model we tested with the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six producing 362 hp, starting at $61,150.
Not only is the inline-six more potent, but it also features a 48-volt mild-hybrid system called EQ Boost, which provides additional power and runs the vehicle systems during stop/start. The EQ Boost also powers the GLE's party piece, an $8,100 option called the E-Active Body Control Package. This package includes electronically-adjustable air springs that can raise or lower and help control the vehicle's weight through a corner. The result is an SUV that exhibits almost no body roll and floats over bumps like they aren't there. It can also rapidly pump the suspension, causing the entire vehicle to bounce up and down to get it out of thick sand. We used the feature while pulling into a local car show and all eyes were on the GLE.
The GLE is one of the first Mercedes models to use the company's latest infotainment system, called MBUX. This new system replaces COMAND and has quickly shot to the top of our favorite infotainment systems list. It can be controlled via touch, a pad, controllers on the wheel, or simply by saying the phrase "Hey Mercedes." MBUX is housed on dual screens, one of which handles infotainment duties while the other displays a number of attractive gauges cluster themes. The gauge cluster screen is highly customizable and can even display a full-color map.
Mercedes has also introduced a cool feature called Augmented Video for Navigation, which uses the car's camera system to project navigation prompts over a live feed of the road. As you'd expect from a luxury SUV in this price range, other amazing tech features like massaging seats, in-cabin air purification and air fragrance system, 64-color ambient interior lighting, heated armrests, power sunshades, and soft-close doors are also available. Going wild with the options list can easily push a GLE into the six-figure range, but it is worth the money if you want the most advanced and luxurious vehicle on the road. The 2020 GLE is the definition of a Tech Lover's Dream.