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2012 Audi A6 Premium Quattro
2012 Audi A6 Premium Quattro
    2012 BMW 328i
  • CNET rating: 4.0 out of 5
  • Price: $34,900
  • www.bmwusa.com
    2012 Ford Fiesta
  • CNET rating: 3.5 out of 5
  • Price: $17,500
  • www.ford.com

People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, then save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking and dinner reservations.

2012 Audi A6 Premium Quattro

The good: Navigation enhanced by Google, a touch-pad cabin tech interface, a supercharged direct-injection engine, an eight-speed transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive combine to make the 2012 Audi A6 one of the most cutting-edge cars on the road. The bad: Audi's routing algorithm does not do a very good job of avoiding traffic jams. Only the top trim level offers branded audio systems.

2012 BMW 328i

The good: The 2012 BMW 328i's new four-cylinder engine delivers an excellent combination of power and economy, and handling is superb. BMW's app integration brings in Pandora, MOG, Facebook and Twitter. Navigation shows rich maps and integrates Google local search. The bad: Just about every tech feature is an option, quickly raising the price of the car. The idle-stop feature causes an unpleasant shudder in the car when the engine kicks on. App integration is only available for the iPhone.

2012 Ford Fiesta

The good: Sync in the 2012 Ford Fiesta offers voice command over music and Bluetooth phones, along with smartphone app integration. The Fiesta's rigid suspension makes the car feel very maneuverable. The bad: The ride can feel a little harsh, and the engine makes a tortured whine at high rpms. Onboard navigation is not available.