Whether you’re traveling for business or on a road trip with the family, staying connected while on the go is increasingly important. A Wi-Fi enabled vehicle allows multiple devices to access the Internet through a single high-speed connection. General Motors is leading the way with Wi-Fi hotspot availability and other manufacturers are jumping on the trend. Older vehicles can be quickly and easily retrofitted with Wi-Fi technology, as well. Ford’s new SmartLink module adds 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi access to model year 2010-2016 vehicles. AT&T currently offers ZTE Mobley and Audiovox Wi-Fi dongles. These devices plug into the onboard diagnostic (OBDII) port underneath the dashboard and are designed to work with vehicles manufactured after 1996.
10 Top Cars with a Wi-Fi Hotspot
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu delivers a high level of efficiency and distinctive style along with its 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The Malibu uses a GM OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, with connectivity provided by AT&T. The system is designed to connect as many as seven devices. A monthly OnStar subscription is required, along with a data plan. Expect to spend a minimum of $29.99 per month, with 1GB of data. The 7-inch MyLink infotainment system provides support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch touchscreen and 9-speaker Bose audio system are optional. The Malibu Hybrid is EPA rated at 49 city/43 highway MPG.
Photo Credit: Jaguar
2017 Jaguar XE
The 2017 Jaguar XE shakes up the entry level luxury sedan class with stunning looks, a stellar suspension, and an innovative infotainment system. Jaguar’s InControl Wi-Fi hotspot uses the AT&T network. It allows up to eight devices to be connected to the Internet. A roof-mounted antenna provides a more reliable connection than typical smartphone connections. A 3-month/3GB subscription is provided. Data plans must be purchased through AT&T and can be connected to an existing AT&T Mobile Share Value or Advantage Plan. The XE’s standard InControl infotainment system uses an 8-inch touchscreen. The optional InControl Touch Pro system features a gorgeous 10.2-inch wide touchscreen with a satellite view navigation system.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Buick LaCrosse
The ultra-comfy 2017 Buick LaCrosse is a splendid alternative to more expensive luxury sedans, with a starting MSRP of $32,065. The cavernous interior is library quiet and the suite of technology is extensive. An AT&T/GM OnStar 4G LTE hotspot enables Wi-Fi in the LaCrosse, with up to seven devices supported. GM’s OnStar Protection plan is priced at $19.99 per month or $199.90 per year. The least expensive monthly data plan is $10.00 for 1GB of data. A 250MB one-day data pass is offered for $5.00 per day. The 8-inch IntelliLink infotainment system includes support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 310HP 3.6-liter V6 and available all-wheel drive deliver grunt and grip.
Photo Credit: Chrysler
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica takes the minivan to the next level with a bevy of creature comforts, extreme versatility, and a technology-packed cabin. Uconnect Access provides Internet connectivity on demand. 3G Wi-Fi hotspot subscriptions are offered at $9.99 per day, $19.99 per week, and $49.99 per month directly through the Uconnect Store. A free Uconnect Access trial is included with new Pacifica purchases and leases. The Pacifica has been warmly received by the automotive press, having rolled up an impressive array of accolades, including the coveted North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety singled out the Pacifica as the only minivan named a Top Safety Pick+ for 2017. A plug-in hybrid model is available, as well.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Cadillac CT6
The 2017 Cadillac CT6 battles it out with the new Lincoln Continental for the crown of most luxurious Wi-Fi-equipped American sedan. Internet connectivity is provided by AT&T, with a GM OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. An OnStar subscription is required. Daily, monthly, or yearly data plans are offered. The CT6’s generously sized 10.2-inch touchscreen features the CUE infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In the market for a mobile office? The top-of-the-line CT6 Platinum can be equipped with extended comfort rear seats that provide recline with tilting cushions, adjustable lumbar support, and 15 massage settings, along with seat heating and ventilation for the ultimate in executive transport. All-wheel-drive and a 404-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine deliver stunning performance.
Photo Credit: Dodge
2017 Dodge Challenger GT
The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT isn't just the world’s only all-wheel drive 2-door muscle car, it offers a Wi-Fi hotspot, to boot. A 310-horsepower Pentastar V6 engine sends torque to all four wheels through an 8-speed transmission and an innovative drivetrain, while Internet connectivity is provided via Uconnect Access. The Uconnect Store offers 3G Wi-Fi hotspot subscriptions straight from the 8.4-inch touchscreen for $9.99 per day, $19.99 per week, or $49.99 per month. The Uconnect Access smartphone app can be used for remote engine starting, as well as locking and unlocking. You can even upload your best times to the Internet with the Performance Pages Plus+ add-on. Unlike the Mustang or Camaro, the Challenger's back seat is remarkably roomy and can accomocate up to three passengers. More room + AWD & Wi-Fi = winter fun for the whole family.
Photo Credit: Ford
2017 Ford Escape
The 2017 Ford Escape is one of the best-selling small SUVs offered with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, but there’s a hitch. You’ll have to use a USB broadband stick for Internet connectivity. While SYNC Connect uses a 4G LTE modem, with Internet connectivity provided by AT&T, it’s not intended for connecting devices like iPads and notebook computers. The FordPass smartphone app works with SYNC Connect and allows you to locate your vehicle, check the fuel level, start the engine, and set the climate controls remotely. FordPass is provided free of charge for five years. SYNC Connect is standard in the top-of-the-line Escape Platinum and optional in the Escape SE. A full array of safety technology is offered, including adaptive cruise control, active lane keep, and parking assist.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz offers an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot across their range of vehicles. To outfit a 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan with Wi-Fi, you’ll need to select an option package with the mbrace infotainment system. The mbrace Wi-Fi hotspot uses a 3G connection and can support up to four devices. Internet connection fees are billed on a monthly basis ($18 per month). The mbrace Entertain option package also supports TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio for a wide selection of podcasts and radio stations. The Mercedes me smartphone app connects through mbrace and provides locking and unlocking, remote start, vehicle monitoring, and Send2Benz.
Photo Credit: Audi
2017 Audi A3
The crisply designed 2017 Audi A3 is equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE connectivity provided by AT&T. Up to eight devices are supported by the Audi connect system’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Technology in the A3’s cutting-edge infotainment system is top shelf, with Google Earth 3D satellite navigation, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Conventional 4-door sedan and 5-door plug-in hybrid Sportback e-tron models are offered, with the buyer's choice of front- or all-wheel drive on all three sedan trim levels. The Sportback e-tron is only offered with front-wheel drive. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the A3 a Top Safety Pick+.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is the only electric vehicle on our list of cars with Wi-Fi hotspots. The massive 10.2-inch infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AT&T’s 4G LTE network connects the Wi-Fi hotspot to the Internet for music and video streaming, email, and web browsing, with support for up to seven devices. The Bolt has an EPA-estimated 238-mile range when the 60 kWh battery pack is fully charged. 120-volt, 240-volt, and DC Fast Charging are supported. The spunky 5-door hatchback has been widely acclaimed by the automotive press and most recently won the coveted 2017 North American Car of the Year award.