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IF YOU are looking for cool upgrades to add to your car, then you'll want to look at car gadgets. The best car gadgets are useful, fun to use, and affordable, thus providing the perfect amalgamation when it comes to making a strategic improvement to your set of wheels.
The tech and car enthusiasts at Men's Health put together some of our favorite car gadgets to buy here in 2023. There are, of course, a few of those viral car accessories we've come to love that cost less than $25; but there are also many under-the-radar car gadgets you might not have known existed. For example, did you know there are devices out there to help download Apple CarPlay to your touchscreen display? Or how about a deployable tent to protect your car from the sun and rain?
What to Consider When Buying Car Gadgets
Before you spend your hard-earned cash on any type of car gadget or accessory, make sure you rationalize the need for owning said product first. You don't want to buy a bunch of random gizmos to then discover they (1) don't work and (2) add clutter to your car. Second, think about buying car gadgets based on specific areas of your car. Do you want to add something to your driver's display like a dash cam or an extended rear-view mirror? How about a style choice to make your car more tech-y; like color-changing floor lights or a windshield HUD display?
As you can see, the possibilities of using car gadgets to upgrade your car are endless. Keep scrolling to see our full list of the best car gadgets in 2023.
Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter
In the same way, you need supplies for tire emergencies, you also need jumper cables for engine emergencies. The Noco is a portable jump starter that neatly stores your cables for easy packing. When you need a jump, all you have to do is hit the power button, connect the cables, and start turning your engine over. The Noco also has a tactical-grade flashlight on the end and a USB port for charging devices—like your phone.
R2-4K Dash Cam Built in WiFi GPS
Dash cams can easily reach over $300, but the beauty of the Rove is it packs all the essentials you need in a dash cam for under $125. It records in 4K Ultra HD and features several recording settings. Plus, you can connect the Rove to get footage directly to your smartphone via the Rove app.
CarPlay Wireless Adapter 2023 Upgrade Plug & Play
Apple CarPlay is one damn good software to have. It allows for easy mapping for navigation and for queuing up music on the fly. CarPlay is even compatible with Siri, making for some excellent voice assistance. If your car doesn't have CarPlay, you're in luck. This wireless adapter will plug into a USB port and then make it possible to access CarPlay for your car's touchscreen display. You're welcome.
The Original Patented Car Seat Gap Filler
A seat gap filler is the ultimate hack to making sure you never have to deal with your valuables falling through that dreaded crevice ever again. The Drop Stop, which was first seen on Shark Tank, is our favorite seat gap filler pick.
Tire Inflator Air Compressor 12V DC Portable
Tire problems are the worst. This portable air compressor draws power by connecting to your car's 12-volt port. Once on, the compressor can inflate from 29 PSI to 36 PSI in about a single minute. Then, once finished, all of its contents can be stored in the body for easy packing.
Car Tent Fully Automatic 189 inch Large Size
This deployable car tent extends well over most sedans, SUVs, and even trucks, making it ideal for shielding your car from rain and hail but also the sun. The tent is made of a strong Oxford cloth so even with small falling objects, you have enough toughness to protect your car from getting dinged.
5.5-inch Windshield HUD Head Up Display
A windshield HUD (Head Up Display) is one of the more futuristic additions you can make to your car without having to do hardly any heavy lifting. All you have to do is plug the device into your car's OBD-II—usually under the dashboard to the left of your steering wheel—and then place the display facing upward on your dash. Ultimate Blade Runner energy here.
Car LED Lights, Smart Interior Lights with App Control
Interior lights can turn out pretty awesome. This top-rated kit has over 50,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is well under $20. You get four light strips that connect to a Bluetooth receiver, which then pairs to your phone so you can control the light settings.
Car Cleaning Gel Kit, Universal Detailing Cleaner
You've probably seen something like this on Instagram or TikTok. We're here to tell you this car cleaning gel works, and the fact it will help clean out pesky crumbs and bits of dirt for under $10 is well worth adding to your cart.
Moki Car Door Step for Car Roof Access
Another product that has been featured on Shark Tank, the Moki Car Door Step is an awesome gadget for those who are constantly strapping and securing items to the top of their car roof. The hitch design fits nearly all car door latches and it features a rubber stopper to help eliminate scraping your paint.
Magnetic Wireless Car Charger Mount
A wireless charging mount that actually stays put on your air vent is a hard find. Luckily, we've seen this mount from ESR in action; and it thoroughly impressed us in testing.
9-Inch Touchscreen Wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto
This Carpuride 9-inch touchscreen display is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bringing display software (and a physical display too) to your fingertips. The display connects to your 12-volt port and can be positioned up on your dash. From there, you can run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as access a number of other apps to help you on your drive.
Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android
Approach your car like a mechanic would with this plug-in scanner. It goes in your car's OBD-II port, where the device then helps troubleshoot problems while also providing live data like vehicle speed, engine RPM, and fuel pressure. Oh, and did we mention the Bluetooth Pro relays everything to your phone?
USB C Car Charger, 40W 2-Port Power
With Apple switching over to USB-C, this USB-C car charging is about to be 10 times more useful. What's nice is it has two ports for rapid charging.
GO Heated Coffee Mug, 13.5 OZ. Smart Mug Battery Powered
Smart mugs are expensive, and a lot of them are also only available in your traditional mug form. The GO from SmrtMugg is a travel mug that powers on and powers off by simply holding its button for two 2 seconds. When on, just adjust the dial to the heat you want and watch as it warms to the set temperature. The best part is the fact it's well under $100.
2 in 1 Car Steering Wheel Desk and Tray
A steering wheel tray is a great accessory to add. This top-selling model from EcoNour is large enough to pop out a laptop on for work. It's also large enough to lay out your food if you want to pull over and enjoy your meal from the driver's seat.
The Mandalorian Star Wars Push to Start Button Cover
If you have a push-start engine, then a button cover is a clever way to show some fandom without going too overboard. This Mandalorian cover is sharp and easy to apply, but there are also tons of different other designs you can choose from—including ones from Batman, Marvel, and more.
Inflatable Air Mattress for Car Camping
There are a zillion different types of inflatable mattresses you can buy for your car. This 4-inch thick mattress from HeyTrip is a Goldilocks pick for us: it's more comfortable than a cheaper mattress, but more valuable than an expensive mattress.
Car Cup Coaster, 4PCS Universal Non-Slip Cup Holders
These non-slip cup holder coasters are flexible and cut with grooves to ensure a better grip on beverages. They come in a universal fit, and when you have a spill you can pop them out and clean them in a jiffy. Best of all they come in a variety of colors.
Car Storage Organizer, Collapsible Multi Compartment
For those who like to keep a lot of stuff in their car, a car organizer is a smart buy to keep your interior looking like it got hit by a tornado. This collapsible multi-compartment bin has plenty of space and is cut with a durable polyester material.
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