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Cooley On Cars
Car Tech Top 5: Cheap high-tech carsNot every high tech car costs six figures. Here are five cars that prove it.
Now these cars have to come in 25 grand-ish or so. Equipped CNET style with the smart tech, not stripped, and we're gonna rank them by CNET score. Here we go. Number 5 is the Scion FR-S, 258 CNET Style. In arguably, the coolest car when you're on a budget. The brand new FR-S comes in all low swung and handles just like it looks. All the modern media sources are in there, and for less than 900 bucks, you can option in navigation on the main screen and get the upgraded audio as well. The downside is, all kinds of guys and their Honda Civics and SUVs are gonna wanna race you, and you don't wanna do that unless it's downhill because this first year model is notably torqueless. The smart money waits for a power bump in the 2014. Let's hope. Number 4, the Scion iQ. This is our cheap skate today, 17434 CNET style. I know, it looks like one of those Nike shoes for a baby, but it's actually a cool car as long as you never driver pass the store front and see a reflection of yourself in it. Instead, keep your eyes on the new head unit with integrated Pandora and the nav and premium audio cost you a mere 850 bucks and you're gonna get Real World MPG in the mid 30's though from an engine it sounds like a coffee grinder at times. Number 3, Hyundai Veloster. The 2012 at 22225 CNET style. Anytime you can get a cheap car that has style, you're ahead of the game and Veloster definitely has style. Now, I didn't say take. It has two doors on one side, one door on the other side, and looks like a [unk] from either end. The direct injection engine is cutting edge, though not really powerful in this application, Hyundai has about the most responsive touch screen in the business, though the interface can get a little busy, and there are ten 100 powertrain warranty that is a huge benny at this price. Plus, [unk] go to improve the Veloster can double, has a decent monitor and speakers for your Xbox 360. Number two, the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium, 25935 on CNET Style. The Titanium just makes the cut price wise partly because we spec the hatch, not the sad looking but cheaper Sedan. It has a direct injection engine that delivers Real World MPG into the 30's. My Ford touches one of the most ambitious, if not over ambitious interfaces in any car. It's got a really good voice command and you could even option self-parking tech and stay inside our price point. I would recommend you at least consider the manual gear box as the dual clutch automated manual can be a bit of a carnival ride. Okay, CNET's best rated tech savvy car when you're on a budget, that's the Prius C. The little Prius, 22280 CNET style. Now, once you and your therapist work through, you'll be coming a Prius driver, go get one of these in the level three trim. That's the point at which Toyota's industry leading and tune access system gets in there, along with GPS navigation and all the modern media options. While you fiddle with all that, you'll be getting Real World MPG around 50, and a car that looks way less like you hate cars, than the original Prius. Nobody else can touch this package of modern driving for this price, but it's the only car in today's list that gets a CNET Editor's Choice.