8 super-techie cars for summer fun

These new cars are just hitting dealers. They offer the latest in tech advancements beyond simple smartphone syncing.

2015 Lexus NX

Keeping up with the latest car tech advances is not easy. Here are eight recent models with new features for those who appreciate a few enhancements beyond a simple Bluetooth connection or a blind-spot monitoring system. They’ve debuted just in time for summer.

1. 2016 Nissan Maxima XL ($32,410)

A brand-new design for this sporty sedan makes it lower, longer and more stylish. For tech lovers, it has an 8-inch touchscreen that works more like an iPad with pinch-to-zoom and flicks to browse through screens. The front seats are also innovative. Inspired by NASA designs, they seem to hold you in space without as much of a jarring sensation.

2. 2016 Lincoln MKC ($33,100)

The MKC is one of first vehicles to use Sync 3, a voice-activation and touchscreen system with a brand-new design. It responds to more voice commands, especially when asking about driving directions, and works more like an iPad, with swipes and gestures. You can see nav, entertainment, and phone functions all at once on the touchscreen.

3. 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 ($30,089)

Jeep went all out on this SUV, using tech you’d usually find on a luxury sedan. There’s an automated system that moves the vehicle for you for both parallel and perpendicular parking (all you do is brake). The adaptive cruise control adjusts speed automatically for the car in front of you, even all the way down to a full stop at an intersection.

4. Mazda MX-5 MIata Club ($26,905)

This totally redesigned model has a few interesting tech perks. One is that the Bose speaker system adjusts itself automatically depending on the road noise, whether you have the top up or down, and even if there is excessive wind noise. There’s a speaker in both of the headrests as well, engineered to sound the best even from that close range.

5. Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T AWD ($24,900)

This people hauler has an improved automated braking system. The SUV senses the weight distribution in the vehicle and adjusts the brakes front to back for the best results (for example, if there’s more weight in the cargo area). The system also boosts braking pressure if you are applying brakes harder than normal in an emergency.

6. Lexus NX 200t F Sport AWD ($35,880)

A sporty SUV with a turbocharged engine, the NX has a touchpad you use between the seats for controlling features like audio playback and navigation. It helps you keep your eyes on the road and use the touchscreen without looking down. A charging pad works with many Google Nexus and Samsung models using Qi inductive charging.

7. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited ($26,000)

A few features stand out as unique on this business sedan. The trunk opens automatically as you approach, sensing the keyfob. There’s a battery for the hybrid power (hitting 44 MPG on the highway), and it has a lifetime warranty. The gauges show how the power is distributed when you brake and accelerate.

8. 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S ($129,900)

Other than the fact that this brand new sports car is hand-built, accelerates to 60 in less than four seconds, and has a V8 engine, Mercedes-AMG outfitted it with several high-tech features, including the ability to stop automatically if the car detects an imminent collision, and will stay in the lane by itself as you drive.  

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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