Cars today come packed with all kinds of advanced technology. You can make calls through your speakers, play music from your phone and get directions on your dashboard. Some cars can even drive themselves. Click or tap to see where completely driverless cars are rolling out next.
With so much cool stuff to be found in new models, it’s no wonder those of us with older cars feel left out. Fortunately, a thriving ecosystem of car accessories has emerged to fill in the gaps. These features and options can pull older cars into the 21st century without breaking the bank.
If you’re ready to outfit your car with some fun, modern conveniences, here’s our top picks for the coolest gadgets you can buy. Get ready to start your engines!
1. Play your own music through the radio
In addition to the standard radio, modern cars are able to play music from your phone thanks to technology like Bluetooth. But you don’t need to upgrade your car just to connect with your phone.
This Anker ROAV SmartCharge adapter has a Bluetooth connection of its own that pairs with your phone. It can broadcast your device’s audio via FM radio signals. Just tune in and you’ll be singing along in no time. It can also charge your phone with its built-in USB port.
2. Put Alexa in the passenger’s seat
If playing your phone’s audio isn’t enough for you, why not upgrade to a smart car? No, not those tiny, two-seaters — we’re talking about a car with Alexa.
Amazon’s Alexa Auto is designed to bring the benefits of Alexa to your car in as small a package as possible. It connects to your car via auxiliary cable and has the full range of Alexa skills and options you can get from the in-home units.
3. Take your phone out of the cup holder
Now that you’ve outfitted your car with smart technology and charging ports, you’re probably wondering where you should store your phone. With navigation and voice control front-and-center, you’ll want to take your phone out of the cup holder and put it to good use.
That’s where this adhesive dash and windshield mount from iOttie comes in. It holds your phone securely during drives, and can be placed on either your windshield or dashboard so your phone is right within your field of vision.
4. …or put your phone in your center console
If the dashboard and windshield aren’t your speed, you can also choose to mount your phone right in the center console with this sturdy CD slot mount from iOttie.
Instead of sticking a holder to your dash or windshield, this mount plugs directly into any CD slot, which makes your device easier to see and safer use on the road.
5. Got a cassette player?
For the best quality sound from your device, you’ll want a direct connection like an auxiliary cable. But not every car features a slot or adapter for your device.
This cassette adapter from Insignia does away with the need for an AUX adapter, and uses your car’s cassette player to stream audio directly from your mobile device with crystal-clear sound quality.
6. Get all your devices in on the action
Your car’s battery can power a lot more than you think. That’s why the InVert 100W Power Inverter from Scoshe is able to power multiple devices like your laptop, mobile phone and tablet all at once.
With this adapter, you don’t have to worry about bringing extra plugs or power generators.