The Best Car Gadgets for Connected Motoring (2024)

Whilesmart home applianceshave grown immensely popular in the past few years, electronic additions befitting your car have been around for decades. That said, the progression in this field is ceaseless, as countless manufacturers aim to provide the smoothest on-road experience for all drivers. While some may be more versatile than others, there is no shortage of car gadgets to tack on to your vehicle (or keys) nowadays.

In an attempt to tailor your vehicle to your liking and make sure it’s being maintained along the way, you can make use of any car gadget from a small-scale vacuum cleaner to a solar-powered tire monitoring system. However, when it comes to this nicheworld of accessories, there are a ton of low-end budget options that don’t perform anywhere near as well as the market’s finest and that you’re better off avoiding. With that in mind, buckle your seatbelts and gear up to take a look at our picks for the best car gadgets to pick up before your next trip.

The Best Car Gadgets

How We Chose Our Best Car Gadgets

Though once largely limited to radar detectors and oversized car phones, the automotive gadget space has absolutely exploded in recent years, becoming increasingly inundated with offerings as smartphones and other mobile devices play ever-more pivotal roles in our day to day lives. In an attempt to shine a light on the latest and greatest items in this segment, we first set out to generate a list of essential car gadgets, such as mobile air compressors, portable jump starters, TPMS units, smartphone holders, Bluetooth transmitters, and so on. Each of this sub categories was chosen for its ability to bolster or enhance safety, convenience, practicality, comfort, communication, connectivity, or a combination of any of these aforementioned areas.

Once this shortlist of essentials was compiled, we then began researching to select what we considered to be the top three items from each sub-segment before finally narrowing down each trip of picks to a single best-of selection for each essential category. These ultimate picks were also made based on a combination of reading reviews, looking at specs, considering the reputation and typical quality of each manufacturer, and our own personal hands-on experience.

Octeso Bluetooth FM Transmitter

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A Bluetooth transmitter & charger combo that can transmit audio from a mobile device or USB flash drive.

Best Bluetooth Transmitter: Kicking this off is a must for any old-school in-dash cigarette lighter. The Octeso Bluetooth FM Transmitter is capable of charging your phone up to four times faster than your average charger. In addition to that, it provides crystal clear audio quality for streaming your favorite songs on the road. Plus, thanks to its seamless compatibility with Siri andGoogle Assistant, the voltage-detecting adapter also keeps things hands-free to leave your driving undeterred.

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Voice Control Compatibility: Yes
Sources: Smartphone Or Tablet (Via Bluetooth) or USB Port

LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A waterproof, car-specific app-pairing GPS tracker w/ alert notifications, geo-fencing, & location history.

Best GPS Tracker: While you need to know where your keys are at all times, the same applies to your car itself. LandAirSea’s 54 GPS Tracker is capable of being attached to any vehicle and tracking it in real-time, courtesy of Google Maps. Whether you’re a concerned parent looking for your household’s newly-licensed driver, a warehouse manager tirelessly anticipating the next delivery, or stranded in a parking lot in search of your own vehicle, this discrete, plug-and-play device has your back.

Mounting: Built-In Magnet
Subscription Required: Yes
Waterproof: Yes

Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A premium lightweight MagSafe car vent mount with a balljoint base & integrated cable management system.

Best iPhone Mount: Charging your phone on the go is a necessity as it is, but leaving it plugged in on the side can be a pain when in need of directions or a quick song change, and this is where Belkin comes into play. By utilizing Apple’s ever-so-popularMagSafe technology, this accessory brings effortless wireless charging capabilities into the driver seat. Equipped with a vent-clip and a sturdy base to assure your phone’s safety, this is the sole car mount that is MagSafe compatible, deeming it a must for all Genius Bar regulars. Sure, we may be a ways away from receiving news about the Apple Car, but this is about as close as we can get for now.

Base: Ball-Joint
Max Vent Thickness: 3mm

Amazon Echo Auto 2nd Gen

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A second-generation auto-specific smart assistant w/ voice control capabilities & the ability to stream Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, & more.

Best Smart Assistant: In the same vein that Apple’s MagSafe tech has taken the world by storm, Amazon has practically invited itself into countless homes byway of Alexa, providing no choice but to bring the virtual assistant to life on the road. Now on its more compact, second-generation design, the retail conglomerate’s Echo Auto device is equipped with five microphones, ensuring that it could catch your voice no matter how hard your A/C (or AC/DC) is blasting. Plus, it also allows you to stream directly from Apple Music or Spotify, as well as Amazon Music and Audible (of course). This is the perfect gadget for people who don’t want the voice-activated experience to end just because they’re leaving the house.

Size: 2.05” x 0.91”
Weight: 2.15oz
Microphones: 5
Voice Control Compatibility: Yes

Tymate Tire Pressure Monitoring System

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A compact mobile air compressor with an integrated OLED display and an output off up to 175psi.

Best TPMS Unit: A solar-charged pressure monitoring system will be a great pick-up to complement your tire inflator, and we hope you’ll find yourself having to make more use of the former. As a result, consider Tymate’s option, as it is the perfect accessory for any dashboard. It comes equipped with a handful of alarm modes, including a fast leak alarm, pressure alarm, and temperature alarm. In layman’s terms, this sun-powered gadget is an extremely accurate addition to any four-wheeler and will save you some stress when things aren’t feeling level.

Included TPMS Sensors: 4 (or 6)
Power Source: Solar (or CR1632 Battery)

Norshire Tire Inflator

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Why It Made The Cut
  • An LCD-equipped TPMS unit with built-in solar panels.

Best Mini Air Compressor: NORSHIRE touts itsportable tire inflatortouts as the smallest and lightest in the world, and with its measurements of just under 9” tall and barely over 2 pounds, we’d be out of our minds to even argue that. Plus, in case it ever dies on you in a jam, you can simply plug it into your cigarette lighter or USB port for direct power. Capable of inflating all kinds of tires, this will come in clutch whether you find yourself mountain biking or stuck on the side of the road with a flat.

Max Operating Pressure: 175PSI
Accuracy: +/- 0.1 PS
Housing Material: Metal Alloy

Spotify Car Thing

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Why It Made The Cut
  • An audio streaming device purpose-built for cars with a 4.0” touchscreen.

Best Streaming Device: For people who live and dieby Spotify, the worldwide music streaming service is here to guarantee that it always has its members covered on the go. The rudimentarily labeled Car Thing serves as a way of leaving your phone to the side whenever you want to switch a song or choose your playlist. Although it comes equipped with a touch screen, a dial, and preset buttons to make your selection, the sturdy, matte-textured accessory can also be operated by your voice, allowing you to switch your music with ease.

Display: 4.0” Touchscreen
Subscription Required: Yes

Baseus Car Vacuum Cleaner

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A small but potent wireless vacuum cleaner with up to 15,000pa of suction power.

Best Vacuum: Although it’s suitable for far more than just a car, this handy,cordless vacuumboasts up to 45 minutes of power and a powerful double filtration system. Its metal composition makes for a sleek look, as well, assuring you that this isn’t one of those many bulky, portable options crowding up space in your car. As far as we’re concerned, a well-kept vehicle is a happy vehicle, and doing away with crumbs is essential to keeping things in tip-top shape.

Battery Life: 45 Minutes
Max Suction Power: 15,000PA

BACtrack S80 Breathalyzer

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A DOT & NHTSA-approved pro-grade pocket breathalyzer with an ultra-precise sensor accuracy of +/- 0.005.

Best Breathalyzer: No matter what side of the country you’re on, this is bound to come in handy. BACtrack’s S80 Breathalyzer is approved across all 50 states, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering it’s the most accurate option you can find on the market. With lengthy battery life, an LCD screen, and entry-level operation, this handheld gadget will prove to be ideal for your next night on the town. Do yourself a favor and make the safer choice.

Sensor Accuracy: +/- 0.005
Blow/Response Times: 5/6 Seconds
Power Source: 2x AA Batteries

Handpresso Auto Capsule

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A Keurig-style mini brewer that fits in a cup holder, accepts Nespresso espresso pods, & offers a 2.5 minute brew time.

Best Coffee Maker: Handpresso’s unique, Nespresso-compatible brewing gizmo makes coffee on the way to work easier than one could have ever imagined. The Auto Capsule can whip up acup of espressoin less than three minutes and even has a digital monitor displaying just how much longer it will take until it’s ready. It sits comfortably in most cupholders and is sure to serve as an easy-to-reach staple for any cafephile.

Coffee Format: Nespresso Espresso Pods
Power Supply: 12/24V Socket
Pressure: 19 bar

Garmin Dash Cam 66W

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A super compact AI-backed dash cam with automatic incident detection, 1440p quality, & a 180° FOV.

Best Dash Cam: With no shortage of mapping apps to download on your smartphone, there’s not much of a need for a dash-mounted Garmin GPS anymore, so the renowned manufacturer’s top-notch dash cam will suffice. The 66W device cancapture television-quality1440p footage and can even take advantage of low-light situations thanks to the tech company’s patented Garmin Clarity HDR tech. In addition, this sleek dashcam offers a wildly wide 180-degree field of view, all the while remaining conveniently compact. Lastly, its Driver Alert feature lets you keep track of your surroundings for added precaution, be it whether you’re driving out of your lane or letting you know of a potential collision ahead.

Field-Of-View: 180°
Image Quality: HDR 1440p
Display: 2.0” LCD

NOCO Boost HD GB70 Jump Starter

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Why It Made The Cut
  • An IP65-rated mobile jump starter with an integrated LED light & enough amps to jumpstart gas engines as large as 8.0 liters.

Best Portable Jump Starter: NOCO’s premier multi-functioning tool can do anything from charge your iPad to jumpstart your car’s battery up to 40 times on a single charge, making it an incredibly versatile device to keep around. Most importantly, it keeps things extremely safe thanks to its spark-proof tech. All you have to do is merely connect it to any 12-volt car battery and let it go to work. It’s also an extremely rugged gadget, further bolstered by its IP65 water-resistant rating.

Weight: 4.18LBs
Weather Resistance: IP65
Peak Amps: 2,000
Average Jumps Per Charge: 40

Morec 32 Amp EV Charger

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A 240V, 32-amp, 25’ charger that’s compatible with most electric vehicles.

Best EV Charger: With gas prices likely soaring wherever you are, there is all the more reason to make the shift toelectric vehicles. While you may consider an EV in its entirety to be one of the best car gadgets, they lie in a pantheon of their own, but you’d be remiss to buy one for yourself without nabbing a portable charger along with it. Morec claims that its IP66-rated 32 Amp option can juice up your eco-friendly car up to six times as fast as any other EV chargers you’ve used, making it a great choice if you’re in a rush to get back on the road.

Connector Type: MagSafe
Input Voltage: 240 Volts
Amperage: 32 Amps
Wattage: 7.68 KW

Iceco JP30 Portable Fridge and Freezer

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A top-shelf, powered 32-quart cooler with room to house up to 44 cans.

Best Powered Cooler: Yournext road tripwill surely benefit from the JP30. ICECO’s portable, hybrid fridge and freezer offers adjustable temperatures between -7 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so all of your snacks and drinks are sure to be kept as cool as you like. It is operated by an eco-friendly, automated Danfoss compressor, so it even turns itself off whenever you’re not putting it to use. Lastly, seeing as this is intended for long rides, the JP30 is even capable of working normally at a tilt of 40 degrees, deeming it an impressively rugged piece of equipment built for the long haul.

Size: 32 Qt
Weight: 36.6LBs
Cooling Range: 0°F – 50°F

Valentine V1 Gen2

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Why It Made The Cut
  • A cutting-edge second-generation radar detector that now features Bluetooth connectivity for linking w/ mobile devices.

Best Radar Detector: Implementing a brand-new format to its world-renowned security unit, Valentine One continues to do what it knows best, and that’s crafting unrivaled radar detectors. Garnering inspiration from traditional, military-grade CHIRP radars, the V1 Gen2 is the first using K-Verifier tech, improving resistance to blind spot detection. If you consider yourself a speed demon or have been told by any buddies of yours to slow down at any point, then this will be a perfect pick-up for you.

Weight: 6.5oz
Power Cord Length: 8’
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

The Best Motorcycle Gadgets

Want to check out yet another selection of smart devices made specifically for motoring? Then be sure to cruise over to our guide to the best motorcycle gadgets for a handpicked list of class-leading, high-tech offerings.

The Best Car Gadgets for Connected Motoring (2024)


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