Tech cars that appeal to women (photos)

It's not just men who like gadgets--auto manufacturers are using a range of automotive technology features to attract female car buyers.

Liane Yvkoff
Liane Yvkoff is a freelance writer who blogs about cars for CNET Car Tech. E-mail Liane.
Liane Yvkoff
1 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco (exterior)

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco is the compact car for the woman who wants a small car, but doesn't want to compromise on features. Women make up a large portion of the compact car buyers, and to satisfy their demands for the latest tech and safety features in a small package, GM outfitted the Chevy Cruze with all the gadgets you'd normally find in larger, more expensive vehicles, including as Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, satellite radio, and in-dash navigation.
2 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco (interior)

Women are also interested in fuel economy, according to GM. The Cruze Eco uses aerodynamic features and low-rolling resistance tires to boost its fuel economy 4.5 mpg above the the standard Cruze, to achieve a 26 mpg in the city and 37 automatic mpg on the highway (28/42 in a manual). Safety features include 10 standard airbags and the optional OnStar Safe and Sound package. The Cruze offers several stylish interior options, and rounding out the vehicle is best-in-class storage that rivals some crossovers.
3 of 22 Chrysler

2011 Chrysler Town and Country (exterior)

Minivans may have a bad rap as the ride of soccer moms, but the Chrysler Town and Country is probably one of the most tech-packed vehicles on the streets. Engineers have automated everything in the minivan, including sliding doors, liftgates, and folding third-row seats. The optional dual rear-entertainment systems means occupants can be engrossed in entirely different movies, SIRIUS Satellite Television stations or gaming systems at the same time (think: less fighting).
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2011 Chrsyler Town and Country (interior)

And if it's storage you're after, Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seats mean you will never have to deal with removing seats and finding a place to store them just to get extra floor space. The third-row seats automatically fold out of the way and second-row captain's chairs slide and fold into the minivan's floor. Safety features have also been upgraded in the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country, including rear headrests that meet new crash test standards. The new headrests fold out of way when not in use, which improves rear visibility. Although the rear backup camera is there to help out drivers in a pinch.
5 of 22 Chrysler

2011 Dodge Journey (exterior)

Technically a crossover, the 2011 Dodge Journey is like a starter minivan without the sliding doors and soccer mom label. It seats 5 to 7 and has a few touches of its distant cousin, the Chrysler Town and Country, such as an automatic liftgate, a 115-volt outlet, and clever seating and storage. Second-row seats tilt and slide to fold flat and offer optional built-in child booster seats that pop up when you need them and stow away when you don't.
6 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 Dodge Journey (interior)

Working moms can store laptops and other electronics in the storage compartment under the front-seat cushion. A rear entertainment system won't be available until the 2012 model, but it features Chrysler's new uConnect system with a large touch-screen navigation system and rear backup camera. The infotainment system offers all the latest travel features for commuting and carpooling, including the ability to looking up traffic, search for gas stations by price, and locate near by movie showtimes and listings.
7 of 22 Jessica Germiller

2011 GMC Acadia Denali (exterior)

The rich interior and styling of the Acadia Denali appeals to women who want to run the carpool in style. Available in seven- or eight-seat configurations, the Acadia Denial offers a Dual SkyScape sunroof that lets lots of light into the car. To keep children entertained, the Acadia Denali offers an optional rear-seat entertainment system, 115-volt outlet, and Rear Seat Audio controls for gaming stations.
8 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 GMC Acadia Denali (interior)

Rear-seat occupants also have the option of listening to their own audio selections using the wireless headsets. Family-focused touches are found throughout the crossover, including cup holders placed within arm's reach of toddlers in car seats and standard Smart Slide feature of second-row seats. The second row captains chairs were designed so that a 5-year-old could fold and slide them out of the way to gain access to the third row, and a trizone automatic climate control lets each row of passengers control their own climate preferences.
9 of 22 Jessica Germiller

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (exterior)

The new looks and improved vehicle technology should help the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid appeal to female buyers. The new model uses a more powerful lithium ion battery and a slightly bigger engine to achieve 44 mpg in the city and on the highway, an improvement over the 40/43 city/highway fuel economy of the 2011 Civic Hybrid. A spokesperson said that the combination of high fuel efficiency, modern styling, and reliability will appeal to female buyers who are interest in saving money and the environment.
10 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (interior)

The new i-MID Eco Guide display and Eco Assist offers lots of feedback to help educate drivers on fuel efficient driving, but it doesn't go overboard on tech. The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid offers an optional Satellite-Linked Navigation System (no map DVD to update) that lets you uses personal photos as the screen wallpaper. Bluetooth is a standard feature on the new hybrid, and Bluetooth audio streaming makes it possible to play tunes wireless from compatible devices.
11 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 Hyundai Tucson (exterior)

Style is just one of the many features that draw women to the Hyundai Tucson. In addition to attractive packaging, there's lots of tech features that make the crossover a favorite among women, including automatic liftgate, available heated seats, and navigation with rearview camera, and automatic headlights.
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2011 Hyundai Tucson (interior)

The vehicle is equipped with Bluetooth streaming audio capability, which allows the driver to control the vehicle's navigation, audio, and paired phone using voice commands. A favorite feature is the easily accessible Random button on the touch screen when an iPod is connected to the entertainment system. Another perk that women can love is the CleanAir Ionizer that automatically kills germs within the system when the heater or air conditioner is running.
13 of 22 Jessica Germiller

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid (exterior)

Attractive styling combined with advanced hybrid technology will make the Kia Optima Hybrid a hit with eco-minded female buyers who don't want to sacrifice style for fuel economy. With a starting price of $26,500, it's the lowest entry point for a midsize hybrid, and is expected to achieve 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
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2011 Kia Optima Hybrid (interior)

But it's not just fuel economy that will make the hybrid a popular choice with female buyers--the hybrid offers a range creature comforts and conveniences that you'd expect to find in higher-end sedans, include heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, navigation system with rearview camera, steering-wheel-mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The hybrid will also be the first Kia available with the new UVO hands-free infotainment system. The new system lets the driver use voice commands to control all aspects of the infotainment system, including receiving and responding to text messages.
15 of 22 Jessica Germiller

2012 Mazda5 (exterior)

It won't win any awards for connectivity, but the low-tech offering of the Mazda5 is part of the mini minivan's appeal to women buyers. Built on a car platform, the Mazda5 offers six-seat capacity and lots of storage, but with the driving ease and maneuverability of a sedan or crossover. The Mazda5's relatively small footprint (it's about a foot shorter than the Odyssey and Town and Country) make it easy to drive, and more importantly, easy to park, which is a plus considering the Mazda5 doesn't offer navigation or rearview camera because of low take rates on the option.
16 of 22 Mazda

2012 Mazda5 (interior)

There are basic available tech conveniences that busy moms will appreciate, including remote engine start and Bluetooth connectivity, but where the minivan skimps on infotainment, it makes up in fuel economy and price. The Mazda5 achieves a wallet friendly 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway regardless if you go with the manual or automatic.
17 of 22 Jessica Germiller

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the no-compromise crossover for active women on a budget. With a lower entry-price than many crossover competitors, it offers a lot of the features found on the full-size Outlander SUV, such as on-demand 4WD and rear backup camera, with in a sportier package with a lower bottom line. With the Outlander Sport you get a lot of bang for your buck.
18 of 22 Mitsubishi

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (interior)

The crossover borrows DNA from the technically advanced Mitsubishi Lancer family to give the crossover stability and responsive handling, and optional packages improve the minimalist styling, such as a panoramic glass roof with adjustable LED mood lighting. An optional 40GB upgraded entertainment system, FUSE HandsFree Link System, and navigation system with backup camera comprise round out the Outlander Sport's tech offering and puts the tools women need to stay connected at their fingertips.
19 of 22 Liane Yvkoff

2011 Saab 9-5 (exterior)

"Born from jets" may not be the most obvious way to market to women, but the Saab 9-5 has lots of tech features that makes the luxury sedan attractive to a wide range of female car buyers. The midsize sedan is successful at balancing safety and performance, and packages its offering nicely with sleek, understated Scandinavian interior design. Drivers will appreciate the new heads-up display that projects digital information about the vehicle on the windshield, and features like adaptive cruise control put driving on autopilot. Leftover from its days under GM, the Saab 9-5 is available with OnStar telematics and safety packages, but it also offers navigation and Bluetooth connectivity without the additional monthly fee. While there's no rearview camera, the midluxury sedan offers dynamic parking assist that helps drivers park and beeps if people or pets dart behind the vehicle while its in reverse. It's one of the few sedans that offers six LATCH anchors in the rear seat, which enables families to place two car seats side by side if they choose.
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2011 Saab 9-5 (interior)

Another plus is the easily accessible placement of the three LATCH anchors on the top behind the rear headrests. And to keep little ones entertained on long drives, top-of-the-line model trims include a rear-seat entertainment unit is integrated in the back of the center console, and fold-out viewing screens are installed in the front seat backs.
21 of 22 Volvo

2011 Volvo C70 (exterior)

You don't have do much more than say its a convertible to explain the Volvo C70's appeal to women. The carmaker's solid safety reputation and the vehicles' sleek styling are two features that draw women to this four-seater. The Volvo C70 offers typical connectivity for a sporty convertible, including Bluetooth technology, iPod integration, USB ports, but its car tech leans on the side of purposeful safety and gadgetry than cutting edge infotainment. The convertible's three-piece steel roof retracts at the push of a button in 30 seconds, which doesn't break any records, but also doesn't risk breaking a fingernail.
22 of 22 Volvo

2011 Volvo C70 (interior)

Keeping safety in mind, the C70 is equipped with an inflatable airbag curtain that protects occupants in the event of a rollover. But to help drivers avoid accidents in the first place, the Volvo C70 offers an optional Blind Spot Information System, and the vehicle is available with parking sensors.

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