Top 10 Affordable Cars With Adaptive Cruise Control

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Adaptive cruise control is common on many high-end cars, but did you know that a massive monthly payment isn’t necessary to access the technology?

Cars with adaptive cruise control will slow down and speed up according to the vehicle ahead, making highway commuting much easier. Some systems will even stop the car completely and then resume when traffic gets going again.

Once you experience a well-executed system, you won’t want to go without. Here’s a list of the most affordable cars that can be equipped with adaptive cruise control.

The family-friendly Mazda6 is good-looking and efficient, with top-of-the-line models also coming with Mazda’s radar cruise control. When activated, it can sense a car ahead and slow down accordingly.

The system can also maintain a consistent distance from cars, and will accelerate up to your set speed when there’s no traffic ahead. It’s a great addition to a car that will likely get a ton daily-driving duty. At $32,770, it’s not too much to spend for such a convenience. However, there are more affordable options in this list than the Mazda6, including another Mazda.

Ford has been offering high-tech features in many of its cars lately and the Fusion is no different. Buyers can get the $995 adaptive cruise control feature on Titanium trim models of the Fusion. This option is only available on 2.0-liter Eco Boost engines, but can be equipped on both front wheel and all-wheel drive Fusions.

2015 Honda CR-V.

Announced earlier today, the 2015 Honda CR-V Touring is a new trim level for the CR-V and one that comes with a long list of high-tech features. Packing adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and the Honda Lane Watch system, the 2015 refresh of the CR-V goes a long way towards making the CR-V a very well equipped vehicle, and one that will likely remain on top of the compact crossover segment.

The 2015 Toyota Camry may have the same engine and transmission as it’s had for the past few years, but the sheet metal and technology is all new. Opt to get a fully loaded Camry XLE and you’ll get adaptive cruise control. This option is available no matter which engine you choose to get in your Camry, so pick the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine if you want to save some money and fuel, or grab the 3.5-liter V6 if you’re looking for a powerful motor.

Is it still really a Jeep if it only powers the front wheels comes with loads of high-tech features? Absolutely! The Jeep Cherokee Limited offers adaptive cruise control in the Technology package adding up to $31,245.

The second generation Chrysler 200 showed up on the scene a little less than a year ago, using the same platform as the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart. It had a distinct coupe-like look and aspirational design cues like the available 19-inch wheels and chrome trim pieces. But the ace in 200’s sleeve is its technology offerings.

Choose a Chrysler 200C with the Safety Package and you’ll be happy to know that combination adds adaptive cruise control. Though it’s not a class-exclusive option, it’s nice to see the American automaker keeping up with the competition, rather than lagging behind.

The Outback is the first Subaru to make this list. The Outback, with its 2.5-liter boxer engine and 175 hp is a capable family car, but also turns into a high-tech cruiser once you get the Premium model with the Eyesight package.

This combination gives the Outback features like lane keep warning and forward collision warning, but of course the most useful addition is the adaptive cruise control. And all of this costs just under $30,000, making the Outback one of the most advanced and affordable cars on the market.

The 2014 Mazda3 won the 2014 Car of Year award because it completely shattered the compact-car segment. With gorgeous styling, a well-appointed interior and high tech features, it really delivered something that was beyond our expectations for a compact car. One under-exposed feature of the Mazda3 is the technology package that’s available for the Grand Touring model.

Sure a lot of hoopla has been made about the i-ELOOP start-stop system that can save you a few MPGs, but one of the other additions to the car with the technology package is the radar cruise control. While it won’t bring the car to a complete stop, the adaptive cruise control in the Mazda3 will still slow the car down and accelerate according to the traffic in front of the vehicle. It’s a feature that is exclusive to the segment, once again showing how Mazda is trying to stay relevant in a tough field.

Spoiler Alert: This isn’t the last Subaru on this list. The Japanese company found an affordable alternative for cruise control and is putting it in all of their mainstream models. Called Subaru Eyesight, this setup uses two cameras mounted to the windshield that can detect other cars and objects in front of the car.

The Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium gets this system when equipped with the Eyesight package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and forward collision warning. Remember, the Forester finished second in our 2013-2014 compact crossover comparison, so not only are you getting high-tech features for under $30,000, but you’re also getting a very capable and fuel efficient vehicle too.

As you may have noticed with this list, almost all of Subaru’s offerings can be equipped with the EyeSight package, which includes adaptive cruise control. The Legacy 2.5i Premium with the EyeSight package costs just $25,785, making it the most affordable new car available with adaptive cruise control.

Like the other Subaru’s on this list, EyeSight uses a pair of cameras mounted on the windshield that can detect objects and obstacles in front of the car. Although this is unlike many other adaptive cruise control setup (which use radars instead of cameras) the Subaru system is still very effective and doubles as a lane-keep assist and forward collision warning. Although, the Legacy’s #1 spot on this list will likely be challenged once pricing for the 2015 Subaru Impreza is announced, which will also be available with EyeSight.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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