2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia - Interior - Dash and Instrument Cluster ・ Photo by Alfa Romeo
The proper driving position is a crucial but oft-overlooked factor when it comes to automotive safety, meaning that cars with telescoping steering wheels—which allow you to adjust the wheel so it’s closer or further to the dashboard—should be right at the top of customer consideration lists. Luckily, most kinds of vehicles offer that handy ergonomic feature nowadays, including the ones we’ve chosen for our list. The functionality on these particular telescoping steering wheels stand out as examples of excellent engineering.
Leveraging the Italian side of the Fiat-Chrysler partnership, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a new entry for the premium mid-size sedan segment, and it's expected to launch later this year with a sporty Quadrifoglio edition. Now, that may be a mouthful for U.S. drivers, but anyone who's fluent in the language of performance will appreciate the new Alfa dog among sport sedans. Consider: Per the brand, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is the fastest four-door production car to ever lap the Nürburgring, while 0-60 acceleration takes place in just 3.8 seconds. A 505-horsepower bi-turbo engine backs up those numbers, with some assistance from Alfa's cutting-edge DNA Pro multi-mode driver system, an active aero front splitter and an enthusiast-approved six-speed manual transmission. Of course, the Giulia will be available in more restrained configurations as well, although it will still out-style many of today’s other cars with telescoping steering wheels.
Photo by Fiat Chrylser Automobiles
The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is brand-new this summer, from the front of its red-white-and-blue Tri-shield insignia to its standard LED tail lamps. The redesigned LaCrosse is lighter, for improved driving dynamics, and the full-size premium sedan further caters to drivers with an available HiPer Strut front suspension, an Electronic Precision Shift gear selector, and an especially sophisticated electric power steering system; it automatically compensates for cross-wind situations, crowned road surfaces and similar conditions. Engineers even developed a new dual-clutch all-wheel-drive setup for the 2017 LaCrosse. Lux levels of infotainment technology return as well, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a 4G mobile Wi-Fi hotspot—all supported by available wireless charging. Finally, unlike basic cars with telescoping steering wheels, the LaCrosse supplies a power-adjustable version, with a heated wheel and power tilting, too.
Photo by General Motors
If you're to take full advantage of an athletically oriented sedan like the 2016 Dodge Charger, it's vital that you can position the steering wheel exactly where you want it for optimum vehicle control. That's one of the reasons why all Chargers are cars with telescoping steering wheels. In fact, a power-adjustable unit, with heat and memory functions, is available on every trim except the starter SE edition. Moreover, it’s standard for the range-topping SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat Chargers, which additionally showcase standard SRT-designed, flat-bottomed steering wheels. Complementing that racing-style tiller for 2016: an enhanced cabin environment highlighted by "ultra-premium" Laguna leather surfaces, Dodge's Uconnect infotainment system with an 8-inch screen and navigation, and a five-year, complimentary subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic services. If you want to pay less for more performance, Dodge meets your needs with a new-for-2016 Super Track Pack for the V6-powered Charger SXT.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Offered in sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, the 2016 Ford Focus is among the popular compact cars with telescoping steering wheels. But the Focus has a lot more than that on tap for its customers. For 2016, Ford provides owners with the latest SYNC 3 infotainment technology, complete with a capacitive touchscreen, natural voice recognition, and a Sony sound system. That latter setup serves up 390 watts of power and 10 speakers that include a rear-mounted subwoofer. Also new is a six-speed automatic transmission for the car's optional 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Previously sold only with a six-speed manual—and achieving EPA grades of 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway/35 mpg combined—the three-cylinder unit reaches 28/40/32 with its new gearbox. The Blue Oval has three other premium powertrains for the Focus: two higher-powered EcoBoost engines for the ST and RS editions, and an all-electric system for the Focus EV.
Photo by Ford
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was engineered to set a "new performance benchmark" for the Bowtie brand, and it does so as one of today's most fun-to-drive cars with telescoping steering wheels. Of course, "benchmarks" might have been the better word, because the all-new Camaro can be ordered with three engines, each available with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, and each serving up its own flavor of driving excitement: There's a standard 335-horsepower V6 with direct injection and active fuel management, a 455-horsepower V8 for the most powerful Camaro SS ever sold by the brand, and even a turbo. With that sophisticated powerplant, drivers can enjoy fuel economy grades as high as 31 mpg highway and 0-60 times of "well under 6 seconds," according to Chevy. Another Bowtie brand benefit: The Camaro furnishes a standard mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE connectivity.
Photo by General Motors
There are many midsize cars with telescoping steering wheels, but Autobytel experts—along with many U.S. families—continue to be drawn to the 2016 Honda Accord. Certainly helping matters is the fact that Honda continues to update the roster, with the current lineup being a case in point. The brand rolled out a major refresh for the Accord this year, restyling the exterior and interior with a sportier flair, and also revising the body and chassis for a matching upgrade in handling dynamics. Honda has expanded the Accord's technology offerings as well. From the infotainment department, smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay debut, while the automaker's Honda Sensing technologies are now available for all Accords. That bundle of driver-assistance measures brings together features like a collision-mitigation braking system, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping. Also worth keeping in mind is the next-gen, 49-mpg Accord hybrid that’s on the way this summer.
Photo by Honda
Shoppers also should remember that in some segments, cars with telescoping steering wheels aren’t necessarily available from all brands, and sometimes they’re optional. For instance, a telescopic steering-wheel column is optional for the the 2016 Hyundai Accent entry model. The Accent SE sedan, priced from $14,745, does make up for that with standard content such as air conditioning, power amenities and a six-speaker, 172-watt audio system, however. Meanwhile, the Accent five-door hatchback has a noticeable versatility benefit when customers need it most: Hyundai's hatch has 21.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. It stands out as a 28 percent advantage compared to even the Honda Fit.
Photo by Hyundai
VW's compact was the North American Car of the Year just last year, so the 2016 Volkswagen Golf, which builds on that success with more new features, remains a top choice among cars with telescoping steering wheels today. Owners also will appreciate that it's a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS and earned a 5-Star Overall Safety Score from NHTSA. As for the Golf's new goodies, the brand's MIB II infotainment system is a clear highlight. The technology supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the independent MirrorLink smartphone-integration services, along with VW's own Car-Net App-Connect for another easy way to access mobile apps. Joining the Golf club can be great for enthusiasts, too, as they can choose from hot hatches like the GTI and Golf R. Indeed, a new Golf GTI Clubsport recently became the fastest front-drive production car to ever lap the Nürburgring racetrack.
Photo by Volkswagen
Cars with telescoping steering wheels are some of the country's best sellers, including the one that's literally the best-selling car in the United States: the 2016 Toyota Camry. Actually, the Camry's been the No. 1 car in this country for 14 straight years, and that's a streak that's not likely to end anytime soon. After all, Toyota claims the 2016 Camry is the sportiest, yet most comfortable version so far, plus the company has added extra content once again for the new selling season. The newly available "Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App" is particularly welcome, since it provides a less expensive alternative to an integrated navigation system—although the Camry can supply that, too, along with a distinct Special Edition model. Also available, to supply superior fuel efficiency, is the Camry Hybrid that can achieve EPA ratings of 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway/41 mpg combined.
Photo by Toyota
The 2017 Audi A4 marks the start of the ninth generation of the best-selling vehicle in the history of the four-rings brand. Needless to say, it also delivers historically high levels of performance and luxury, thanks to standard equipment such as a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine that makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. As a result, drivers see brisk 0-60 acceleration of less than 6 seconds in models equipped with quattro all-wheel drive. Other signature technologies on board the A4 range include Audi "connect" infotainment with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system with 755 watts of power, and the Audi "virtual cockpit." This high-tech instrumentation setup relies on a 12.3-inch display that can render data at a rate of 60 times per second.
Photo by Audi