Most 2016 Volkswagen cars can avoid crashes and talk to your phone

You normally have to spring for higher-end cars to get semi-autonomous features that could save your hide, but Volkswagen is aiming to make them relatively commonplace. The automaker has started shipping its 2016 model line, and most of it will at least make crash avoidance features an option, if not include it as a matter of course. The majority of Golf, Jetta and Touareg models will have the choice of smart cruise control and emergency braking technology that could keep you out of an accident even if you can't react in time; they're standard on Executive trim levels for the CC and Touareg. You'll also find a lane departure system on the CC, Golf, and Touareg, and parking assistance on the Golf.

The in-car infotainment systems are also getting the upgrades promised at the start of the year. If you get a ride with VW's new MIB II unit installed, you'll have support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connections -- if your phone can't talk to an equipped car, there's something wrong. There's also an optional Car-Net subscription service that brings remote control, security notifications and real-time data (such as fuel prices and weather). Most of VW's lineup won't get MIB II until later in 2015, but it'll probably be worth holding out if you want in-cabin tech that should be relevant for more than a hot minute.