The Texas Auto Writers Association is one of the premiere organizations when it comes to reviewing trucks, crossover utility vehicles, sport utility vehicles and vans. Every year, they invited their member journalists (which we are a member of) to Knibbe Ranch just outside of San Antonio, to put the latest vehicles through their paces. One category the vehicles are rated on is in-vehicle connectivity. At this year’s event, Chrysler’s Uconnect Access via Mobile system was declared the winner.
Uconnect allows the driver of a Chrysler product (in this case a Dodge, Ram, or Jeep) to access all of their cell phone data while driving. This includes accessing the phone, Bluetooth Audio, contacts and text messages. With the latest iOS update, the system will even show alert notifications from Apple iPhone devices (we discuss how to enable this feature here).
One new feature on Uconnect that impressed us is the smartphone app access. By downloading an app to a smartphone, the system will recognize services like Pandora and Aha for streaming content to the vehicle. In addition, most Uconnect systems are also linked to a 7″ TFT display in the instrument cluster for showing information.
We were invited to learn more about Chrysler’s Uconnect system in Michigan in the coming weeks, and you can expect to see a full in-depth analysis and review then. However, the Uconnect system is an impressive operation that really moves Chrysler into the 21st century in infotainment and technology.
Also from the Texas Truck Rodeo; the Ram 1500 (a Chrysler product) was declared the official Truck of Texas, beating out the Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, and Chevrolet Silverado primarily due to the available technology. Jeep also scored big with the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee for the off-road capability.
For more technology wins, the Acura MDX is the Luxury Crossover Vehicle of Texas. We had an opportunity to test some of the technology, and were really blown away by the smoothness of the available lane-keeping system. We’ve demonstrated lane keeping before, but the refinement of the Acura system is what really impressed.
Be sure to check out our sister publication, AutoGeeks.com for more about the 2013 vehicles of Texas!