From connected dashboards to built-in auto pilot, today's cars are fitted with some of the most advanced tech we've seen. But not everyone can afford to splurge on a brand-new automobile, so we've listed our favorite gadgets and devices that can help turn your current clunker into a high-tech ride — as well as a few non-commuting related gifts that the car lover in your life is sure to appreciate.
It's not the most glamorous in-car tech, but when you're behind the steering wheel, nothing is handier than a sturdy cell phone holder. We like the Mpow cellphone holder because it mounts to your windshield and works with a number of devices, including the iPhone 8, Phone X, and Galaxy S9.
The Yi 2.7-inch dash cam is like a DVR for your car. It features a 165-degree, wide-angle camera that records up to three lanes of traffic directly in front of you. The 1080p dash cam can also provide real-time data, such as your speed and the distance between your car and the car in front of you. Meanwhile, the cam's night-vision feature ensures that it'll still be useful on the road at night.
Even the smartest rearview mirrors are limited by what they can show. Enter the Esky high-definition waterproof license plate rear camera. It attaches to the back of your car to offer an unobstructed view of what's behind your vehicle. However, be aware that you'll need to buy a display, which is sold separately, to see what the camera is recording.
The Autel AutoLink connects to your car's OBD-II port (onboard diagnostics II) to provide you with a ton of vehicle diagnostics and performance stats. The data can be used to identify and fix intermittent problems, such as whatever's causing your engine light to turn on. This is an invaluable tool for the DIY car mechanic who's looking to save money.
Commuters love to multitask whenever possible. And if you consider yourself a coffee lover, it's hard to imagine a better way to get more out of your morning drive than with Handpresso's Auto Hybrid espresso maker. This compact contraption sits in your cupholder and is powered by the electrical port in your car to brew a piping hot, fresh cup of espresso in minutes. It's convenient because you can use pods like those you see in the supermarket, or, better yet, up your game with some fresh ground coffee.
Looking for an inexpensive way to beam tunes from your smartphone to your car stereo? The $23 Etekcity wireless audio receiver gives your car's outdated sound system Bluetooth and near-field communication compatibility. It plugs into your stereo's 3.5mm jack and lets you connect smartphones and tablets to it wirelessly.
Double your car's charging capabilities with the Anker dual USB car charger. The device plugs into your vehicle's lighter port giving your car two, rather than one, USB charging ports.