Gadgets are finding their way into the sacred temple of the automotive cockpit, and while many of these advancements have been a significant help to drivers, many also become nothing more than expensive headaches. PC Magazine has put up a buyer's guide to built-in versus add-on accessories to help you avoid the pitfalls of automotive accessories. Obviously, the article centers around techno-gadgets, and most of the advice is pretty decent. We would argue that aftermarket GPS navigation systems, like the TomTom series, are a much more cost effective option. They're portable, so you can move the same $500-1000 system between vehicles as necessary. Sure the integration of navigation systems into vehicles is a nice thing, but the dark side of such integration is increased complexity in operation of the other systems in the car, like the radio or even the climate control. On the flipside, we highly recommend in-car Bluetooth and buying the upgraded radio option in most vehicles, something that PC Mag backs us up on. The one oddity is PC Mag's bit about wheels. Somehow the articles goes from Bluetooth, satellite radio, in-car video, to wheels. Still, ponying up for upgraded rims and rubber is always a good idea if you want to jazz up your new ride and can afford all that extra contact patch when it comes to replace your worn tires.
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