- Modern automobiles are being packed with more and more tech features these days.
- As a result, the selection models for the technophobes among us is thinning.
- However, there are still a few decidedly low tech models to be had.
- They range from rugged off-roaders to economy car that provides no-frills daily transportation to lightweight sports cars.
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The signs are all there. The tech and automotive industries are becoming increasingly intertwined. Brands such as Tesla are as much tech firm as they are a car company. It’s not just Tesla. Mainstream mass-market brands are also fully on board with the tech revolution.
Semi-autonomous drivers assistance tech such as adaptive cruise control are now commonplace on everything from $US150,000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans to entry-level Subaru Crosstrek crossovers. And there’s the connectivity. For example, General Motors has made Wi-fi hotspot capability available across its entire lineup products from the Cadillac Escalade to the Chevrolet Corvette.
As a result, it far easier to find a new car that’s packed to the hilt with tech than it is to find one that’s without tech. But there are a few new cars out there for the technophobes among us.
Low tech offerings these days run the gamut from economy cars that provide basic no-frills daily transportation to bare-bones speed machines designed for lightweight performance.
Here’s a closer look at 10 cars for people who don’t like tech.
The Nissan Frontier is like a time capsule from the 2000s. The current generation Frontier has been around since 2005 with only minor changes over the years.
As a result of age, the mid-size pickup is also a bit rough around the edges. The pick up isn’t particularly fun to drive and the ride is harsh compared to its rivals from General Motors. However, it’s one of the toughest pickups around and its optional VQ Series V6 engine is one of the best in the business. It’s also a great option for those looking for a simple and low tech ride, especially in the base “S” trim. In it’s most basic guise, the Frontier comes with an old-school five-speed manual transmission and a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine.
The Jeep Wrangler is an automotive icon. It’s the spiritual descendant of the original Willys Jeep that helped power the Allies to victory in World World II. These days, the new JL generation Wrangler has the benefit of features like a touchscreen infotainment system and USB charging ports. However, at its very core, the Wrangler is a still rugged, go-anywhere off-roader with removable body panels.
If the Wrangler is the spiritual descendant of the Willys Jeep, the Mahindra Roxor is about a close the original as you can get these days. India’s Mahindra has been building Willys Jeep’s under licence for seven decades. The current Mahindra Roxor is made in Auburn Hills, Michigan and is powered by a 62 horsepower, 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine. Unfortunately, the Roxor is not yet road legal in the US and is more of an off-road toy.
The sub-compact Accent is the entry-point into Hyundai’s lineup of passenger cars. It’s basic transportation, especially in base SE trim that still comes standard with a traditional manual transmission. The 2019 Accent starts at just $US14,995 in the US and comes with some basic convenience features like a backup camera.
The Duster is an affordable, compact crossover SUV from Renault’s Romanian subsidiary, Dacia. With the starting price just under £10,000, the Dacia Duster offers buyers a good, well-designed crossover not a whole lot of high-tech frivolities.
The Dodge Caravan was the best selling minivan in the US last year. However, the current generation Caravan has been around since 2008, which means it’s a bit long in the tooth. Apart from some basic infotainment features, the base Caravan is pretty thin on tech.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best selling two-seat convertible sports car of all time. It’s lightweight, perfectly balanced handling, and peppy four-cylinder makes the Miata one of the all-time greats.
Alfa Romeo 4C
The Alfa Romeo 4C is all-about pure Italian motoring. As a result, it’s devoid of most convenience features. Instead of an infotainment system, there’s just a basic radio. It doesn’t even have power steering. What it doesn’t have is a high-priced carbon fibre tub, fancy twin-clutching transmission, and a screaming 1.7-litre turbocharged engine.
Porsche 911 Carrera T
The Porsche 911 isn’t really low tech from an engineering perspective. It’s actually one of the most technologically advanced sports cars on the market. However, the 911 Carrera T is a lightweight stripped down, back-to-basics version of the Porsche.
As a result, the 911T gets lightweight glass, less sound insulation, a piece of rope instead of actual door handles, and a no-cost option to forgo the PCM infotainment system/radio.
The Ariel Atom is the epitome minimalist motoring. The British sports car features a metal exoskeleton, racing seats, and a mid-rear-mounted engine. It’s also blisteringly fast. According to Evo, the V8-powered Atom can make the run of 0-60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.
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