• Dec 20, 2006

In case you somehow hadn't noticed(?!), it's not only deer and turkey season, it's also automotive award season. And here's yet another trophy for those keeping track of all of them. CNET.com wants you to help decide their 2006 Tech Car of the Year Award winner. They've done the hard work and weeded out the really big turkeys to give you a list of some real dears.

In early voting, the Lexus LS460 L, with its 19-speaker sound system, live traffic GPS and self-parking system is leading the other nine contenders. So what's it gonna be for you? Acura's RDX with voice commands? Audi's adaptive-suspension-equipped Q7? BMW's 335i with its adaptive cruise control and iDrive? Or are you more a Cadillac guy, voting for the Escalade with OnStar?

See the other five contestants after the jump.

[Source: CNET]

CNET's other five choices for 2006 Tech Car of the Year are:

6. Jaguar XK Coupe with 525-watt Alpine stereo and adaptive cruise control

7. Lexus GS450h motivated by an advanced hybrid power train.

8. Mercedes S550 gets into big money with options like an infrared night vision and radar-assisted cruise control.

9. Camry Hybrid brags about something Toyota calls a plasmacluster air purifier.

10. Nissan G35 Coupe's voice-command system and Bluetooth phone integration got it an invitation to this party.

Here are the criteria the contenders must have met before CNET put them in their top 10:

Cabin electronics (including dashboard technology: stereo, GPS or other navigation, Bluetooth cell phone integration): Does the car have a full array, with no major component missing? Are the electronics easy to operate and intuitive? Do they contribute to or distract from the overall utility of the car?

Performance (including power train and road-holding technologies): Does the engine use something more advanced than simple cam-controlled valves? Is it a hybrid? ABS should be present, but does the car also have traction control or more advanced anti-wheel slip technology? Do all these components make it pleasurable to drive?

Safety (including crash prevention technology, such as road-holding, and post-crash protection technology): Does the car have a full array of airbags? Does it have a vehicle stability program, traction control, and all-wheel drive? Are there advanced systems such as lane departure warnings?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it will become a rule that when computer geeks like a car, I will run the other way.

      I like my cars simple. No nav, no I-drive, none of that computer crap.

      My computer is the least relaiable device in my life; why would I want to add more of them to the car? I can handle the invisable electronics, but to have a what amounts to a PC in the car is just expensive and annoying.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the Lexus LS460l is the best, because it has many luxury standards like parking system DVD system. Hmmm, sounds more luxurious than a Mercedes roadster!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wait...no mention of the Honda Odyssey Touring? I challenge you to name one other vehicle in the sub $38k group that has the following:

      > Intelligent Variable valve timing (i-VTEC), ULEV-2 SOHC multi-valve V6 designed to run on regular gas
      > 5-speed electronic transmission
      > DVD entertainment, in-dash 6-CD changer, XM-Radio, subwoofer equipped, 7-speaker stereo
      > Satellite-Linked Navigation System
      > Traction control, Vehicle stability assist (VSA), 4-wheel antilocking brakes (ABS), Electronic brake distribution (EBD) with brake assist
      > 3-zone, electronically controlled climate control
      > Programmable Multi-Information Display/computer which calculates fuel economy, avg. mph, run-time, numerical tire pressure,etc.
      > Michelin® PAX® System run-flat technology
      > Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with location and pressure indicators
      > Voice recognition computer allowing control of HVAC, radio, etc.
      > Heated driver's/passenger's seats
      > Autolocking/unlocking doors
      > Dual power sliding doors with powered tailgate
      > Active noise cancelling (ANC) feature to eliminate engine harmonics while operting in 3-cylinder mode
      > Electronic engine mounts which counter act engine vibrations
      > Drive-by-wire throttle control
      > Front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
      > Three-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
      > Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) which allows engine to run on three cylinders
      > Body-colored heated power side mirrors
      > HomeLink®** remote system
      > Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
      > Ambient console lighting
      > Driver's seat with 8-way power adjustment with two-position memory
      > Automatic day/night rearview mirror
      > Multi-reflector halogen headlights with auto-on/off
      > Body-colored parking sensors (front/rear) with rearview camera
      > Tilt and telescopic steering column
      > Power adjustable pedals

      Let's compare apples to apples CNET. I would expect a $70k car like the Lexus to come with bells and whistles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with CNET voters on the Lexus LS460L. This mega-saloon is a tech wonder. Hats off to Lexus for this amazing machine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Don't get me wrong, SOME of the technology is really useful and efficient (EFI, auxillary audio jacks, etc), but not everyone who doesn't need a nav system or tire pressure sensors is a hick."

      I'll 2nd that - especially with regard to tire pressure sensors.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow legrand, classy. I understand and can easily use the majority of technology in my life (i've serviced and built many computers for example) but that doesnt mean i would automatically like my car to have a nav system that i personally would rarely/never need, for example. And it was nice changing my own 72 nova's fuel pump compared to paying $600 for a dealer to do the same on our newer caravan for example. Don't get me wrong, SOME of the technology is really useful and efficient (EFI, auxillary audio jacks, etc), but not everyone who doesn't need a nav system or tire pressure sensors is a hick.
      • 8 Years Ago
      CNET needs to be taken out back and shot for the egregious error or lacking the 997 Turbo on their list. I guess the Jaguar XK, with it's LCD interface, 525 watt stereo, and six speed sequential automatic transmission deserved a shot.
      • 8 Years Ago
      CNET, leave the automotive awards to the, well, car guys. You don't see Autoblog presenting a Gadget of the Year award. Well, not yet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lighten up Wyce. Cars have become technological devices. You are a tad over sensitive on this subject so I think you should step back from the computer and get a life.
      • 8 Years Ago
      With the technology offerings of everyone else, I had to sigh with amazement thinking what would they come up with next.

      With the "technology" offering of the Cadillac, I had to laugh thinking what the hell are they doing in the company of innovators.
      • 8 Years Ago

      tech car of the year? Porsche 911 Turbo 997
      variable turbine geometry = does anybody like hp!?


      http://www.autoblog.com/2005/11/27/next-911-turbo-to-feature-variable-turbine-geometry/