From GPS gadgets that give directions to discreet dongles that improve fuel economy, we've got the hottest gift ideas for the car lover in your life.
Automatic Labs Automatic
Our top pick for in-car gadgets, Automatic Labs' Automatic "smart driving assistant" plugs into a car's diagnostics port and monitors your fuel efficiency and driving habits. That's not exactly new technology, but Automatic separates itself from the crowd by interfacing seamlessly with a slick iOS app that automatically generates driving reports, makes suggestions to improve your economy, and provides automatic emergency crash response in the event of an accident.
Specialized Bicycle Components Turbo electric bike
When I was a kid, a shiny new bike was the best gift that I could hope for. As an adult, it sort of still is. The Turbo's electric assistance motor boosts the bike to an estimated top speed of 27 mph. The rider still needs to crank the pedals to get the Turbo rolling, so there's some health benefit versus driving, but with the bike helping along, you won't arrive at your destination drenched in sweat or out of breath.
Garmin's Head-Up Display adds a cool, transparent HUD to your car's dashboard. Users of Garmin's smartphone navigation apps can now get their turn-by-turn directions while keeping their eyes on the road and off of their phones.
For those who would prefer their GPS navigation in a discrete device, Garmin's flagship Nuvi 3597 is second to none. It's slim and pocketable, and boasts a big, bright screen that's as sharp as its knife-edged design.
This 7-inch touch-screen receiver is the perfect dashboard upgrade for drivers who want safe access to smartphone navigation, audio, and driver aid apps. The AppRadio 3 boasts compatibility with Apple devices and a wide range of popular Android handsets.
For drivers who just want to add Bluetooth without major modifications to their car, there's this tiny dongle by Kinivo. It's capable of sending hands-free call audio and wirelessly streamed stereo music through a car's speakers via the auxiliary input present on most modern car stereos.
This iOttie mount goes out of its way to make mounting a smartphone easy. Its suction cup base is made of a semiadhesive material that sticks to dashboards as firmly as most mounts do to glass. Plus, its One Touch cradle grips most phones firmly and automatically, yet releases with a single tap.
The humble extension cord goes high-tech with the arrival of the RoboReel in a garage near you. Not only can this motorized reel automatically collect loose cable, it features sophisticated safety features to protect the user in the event of a surge or if the cable is severed while you're working with power tools.