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High-tech drives

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Shopping for a new car proves a real challenge for the modern consumer, given all the choices available in the market. Cars are evolving at such a fast pace that every new model from each brand feels like a huge leap from the last. Indeed, outfitted with cutting-edge technology from semi-autonomous features and navigation tech to improved safety mechanisms and infotainment options, cars of today are a far cry from the automobiles of yesteryear.

To narrow down the list of worthy cars to buy, here’s a roundup of some of the best high-tech cars available in the market.

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

The new Mitsubishi Mirage is designed to give hybrid-like fuel efficiency without the hybrid pricing. In addition to the car’s Electronic Brake-force Distribution with Brake Assist, the Mirage also comes equipped with Hill Start Assist technology that helps give more control when accelerating from a standstill on a steep incline. Active Stability Control and Traction Control Logic contributes to give the driver an easier time maneuvering on the road.

The Mirage also boasts of a convenient and easy-to-use cruise control system, standard on SE and GT trims. Smart touchscreen technology is installed on a 6.5” display, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone functionality. It also features Bluetooth wireless technology and a rearview camera.

Suzuki Swift 

The Suzuki Swift comes with a slew of advanced safety features for secure and comfortable driving. The Dual Sensor Brake Support collision-mitigating system features a monocular camera and laser sensor to detect oncoming pedestrians and vehicles.

A 7-inch touchscreen display enables intuitive operation of multimedia features including audio, hands-free phone, navigation system and smartphone integration. The Smartphone Linkage Display Audio works with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, allowing smartphone functionality such as phone calls, access to music libraries, and navigation, all controlled by voice command or a tap on the audio display.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Hyundai’s compact 2017 Ioniq Hybrid is marketed not only as a better alternative-energy vehicle, but also a better car. Not content with the remarkable fuel efficiency of being a hybrid, the innovative design and engineering sets it apart from other hatchbacks in the market. It is fully equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, allowing access to smartphone features like maps and navigation seamlessly and safely while driving using the car’s touchscreen or voice recognition. The Ioniq also comes with a built-in wireless charging dock for smartphones.

The car also comes with support for the Blue Link smartphone or smartwatch app and Amazon Echo, which offers functionality such as remote locking and unlocking, monthly vehicle health reports, and automatic collision notification. Lastly, the Ioniq Hybrid features innovative and popular safety functions, such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, a standard rearview camera and 7 airbags including a driver’s knee airbag.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The 2017 Mercedes E-Class Sedan takes intelligent cruise control in a new direction. The latest E-Class model ‘Drive Pilot’ and ‘Steering Pilot’ functions that allow the car to drive itself even when lane markings are not completely visible. New “Car-to-X” technology connects the car to a central information resource, sending in-car updates about driving conditions on the road.

The E-Class also comes with an array of new PRE-SAFE features that automatically detects and prepares for collisions to minimize damage. The 12.3-inch screen of the E-Class’s cabin serves as the navigation and entertainment interface.

Equipped with a 2.0-liter, four cylinder gas engine with 241 hp, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and comes standard with nine-speed automatic transmission.

2017 Subaru Impreza

Coming with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine offering 152 hp, the Subaru’s 2017 Impreza compact sedan offers a range of semi-autonomous features for safe and comfortable driving. With the EyeSight driver assist technology, paired with blind-spot detection via radar sensors and rear cross traffic alert, the Impreza can alert drivers of oncoming traffic when going in reverse in addition to assist capabilities to prevent drift. Available High Beam Assist works in conjunction with EyeSight to automatically switch the headlights between the high and low settings when an oncoming vehicle is detected, enhancing safety for both the driver and other drivers on the road. The car is also equipped with with pre-collision braking and adaptive cruise control.

Subaru’s STARLINK technology brings a lineup of safety and infotainment features, from automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, regular vehicle health reports, to a stolen vehicle recovery service. The 6.5-inch console supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for smartphone connectivity and convenience. The Impreza’s LED Steering Responsive Headlights, which actively tracks the direction of a turn to enhance visibility.

2017 BMW 5-Series

Packed with innovation like the new iDrive 6.0 among other intuitive technologies, BMW’s new 5-Series offers more ways to interact with the vehicle than before. The iDrive 6.0 features a customizable touchscreen interface that displays informative content about the drive, like speed and oncoming potential hazards. Intelligent Voice Control pairs with the 10.25 inch display, which can also be controlled using hand gestures.

The 5-Series’ Adaptive Mode, available with Dynamic Damper Control, automatically adjusts the electric power steering and automatic transmission according to driving style and road conditions, allowing the vehicle to anticipate curves, crossroads, and street type in real time through navigation data. The car’s driver assist features offer dynamic cruise control to ensure the vehicle does not drift, using camera sensors to detect lane markings. The car also comes equipped with a Surround View System with 3D View,  four cameras working together to create three-dimensional perspective views of the area surrounding the vehicle, assisting the driver with spotting all obstacles, including curbs, other vehicles and pedestrians.

2017 Audi A4

The technological power of Audi’s A4 is something to be reckoned with, offering a slew of features and innovations not available anywhere else. Set in a digital 12.3-inch instrument display, Audi’s virtual cockpit offers customizable information such as audio and available navigation, as well as access to Google Earth. The available head-up display can project relevant information regarding the car’s speed and navigation directly onto the windscreen. The high-mount 8.3-inch center multimedia interface display features infotainment and touch functionality with handwriting-recognition technology. Drivers can “write” their entry rather than selecting letters or numbers and more easily navigate maps by moving a finger across the touchpad.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support gives the A4 access to compatible smartphone features, and can be controlled through the car interface, voice control or steering wheel controls. Also included is Audi side assist technology with Audi pre sense rear, a feature which uses rear sensors to help scan the area behind the vehicle and sides. A rear view camera helps provide additional visibility when backing up, like reversing out of a perpendicular parking space. Along with dynamic cruise control features, the A4 is also equipped with emergency systems, including a warning tone and brake jolt to minimize further damage. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran

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