• Dec 12, 2008
About this time last year, Cadillac's CTS added CNET's Tech Car of the Year to its increasingly crowded trophy case. Its entertainment system's recording capability was one of the things that impressed us, and, presumably, the voters. This year, CNET asks its readers to choose between three imports and two domestics, none of which are Cadillacs.

BMW's M3 Convertible DCT gets a spot on the ballot with its dual-clutch transmission. We wonder if the car's recent recall for transmission problems will affect its standing. The Nissan GT-R shows up again, as you might expect with its cabin full of g-whiz electronics, from the in-dash performance computer to the quick-loading navigation. Lincoln makes the list for its THX-equipped MKS and Infiniti's EX35 Journey gets recognized for its lane-departure warning system and park-assist cameras.

The biggest surprise, though, is the Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie. The pachyderm-sized pickup impressed the CNET judges with its UConnect multimedia system which includes a 30GB hard drive, Bluetooth hands-free system, SIRIUS TV and rear seat DVD player.

The winner will be announced the second week of January to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

[Source: CNET]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is no more techy car than the Mercedes Benz s-class.
      Here you have:

      -a cruise control that slows itself based on who'se behind or in front of you and can even slow itself to a stop - if the next driver stops
      - digital television built in
      - MASSAGE CHAIRS for the driver and passenger
      - Heated/cooled and ventilated seats (backseat is a optional package)
      - Navigation standard
      - multifunction LED screen instead of a regular speedometer.
      -night vision through either the LED speedometer or the Nav system
      - brakes that periodicaly aply themselves to dry moisture
      - multicontour seats which inflate/deflate to cushion you on sharp turns.
      - the most powerful naturaly aspirated V8's on the market.


      Even if you'd like to argue for the Lexus LS460, the most advanced feature it has is automatic assisted parking - which does NOT work well. However, they actually have S-class ROBOTS which have driven the car at speeds over 100 miles per hour without a driver actually driving it.


      Now in fairness, $100,000 is a bit much to spend on a car. Therefore, I recommend either the V8 Hyundai Genesis with technology package or, the Lincoln MKS with Ultimate Package. Either car is below $50,000.

      I currently own an S550 and my fiance has a Chrysler 300.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm a fan of the S and CL classes but others have caught up with them. The new 750 from BWM will blow it away. First, distronic does not have full stop capabilities. Blind spot assist is useful but no lane departure warnings. Infiniti has benz outdone here for 1/3rd the price or so.

        Night assist needs to provide more focus on actual objects. It's also not as useful as it could be in fog. And it would be nice if it worked in the daytime when there is dense fog.

        The multifunction driver display is a nice touch. Dynamic seats are also nice. But can this stuff really compete with the GT-R's computer assisted driving?

        I'm sure the next gen S and CL will leapfrog the competition. But with the GT-r, infiniti, and the upcoming 750, it's fallen behind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        PRestor

        First of all, I own an S550.

        Distronic brings the car to an absolute stop BY ITSELF. If you were to simply get up and out of the car, the car auto locks the parking brake. This car is close to being completely robotic.

        As for the multimedia, I agree with you. a PCMCIA card is ridiculous but, newer cars have full ipod integration. All of them have MP3/CD reading as well as a MP3 storage hard drive partition.

        I'll agree with you that the new 750 looks fantastic, but, the S550 will be remade and will be even better. As it stands, my car is fantastic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I haven't even mentioned how pathetic Benz is with multimedia. Command + works well (compared to idrive) but as for music? Ipod integration is okay, but how come there's no hard drive or built in USB?

        The damn cars come with empty PCMCIA slots so you stick in your own SD card reader. Ford's with Sync are better! BMW at least redesigned their inputs to include regular USB.

        Phone integration? The bluetooth has great quality but is a pain in the ass to set up.

      • 6 Years Ago
      ....I fkin love my car.

      And no, It will never be repoed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No contest. The GT-R is the most geeky car out there. It's got digital gauges from Gran Turismo, who can compete with that ;P
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who reads or listens to CNET any more?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If any Dual Clutch box deserves a tech award it's the Porsche's... they were the ones who made those transmissions possible!!! And from what I read it's the smoothest, quickest and sturdiest one so far.

      But as for the tech stuff, the Ram seems really cool. However, that sync system in the MKS is very well integrated. I got a chance to play with it for a little bit and it was very well designed and has all the features people would use most (and I'm not crazy about Microsoft).
      • 6 Years Ago
      ....I fkin love my car.

      And no, It will never be repoed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      if you are looking at the 2008 dodge ram 1500 laramie you had better look at car complaints.com first. they may be nice looking but have severe problems with the 4x4 engagment system. in fact i cannot use my 4x4 if this is an example of tech car of the year run real fast the other way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the imports were selected on the merit of being cars that deploy technology - transmission, on board-diagnostics and electronic car set-up management, line departure warning.

      Dodge and Lincoln, on the other hand, got selected for having entertainment gadgets on board that have no effect whatsover on how the car drives and operates.

      End we still wonder why people declare US manufacturers as not competitive and falling down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love CNETs Brian Cooley, he does great reviews. I have to say that when he reviewed that RAM i was taken aback by how good RAMs interior is. It's a shame that Chrysler realized it too late, had they done this with Seabring they would have made a TON of money and saved a whole lot more by not RE-doing the whole interior.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Why does Flashpoint keep mentioning in his comments that he has an S550?
        • 6 Years Ago
        hey, man loves his car D:
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