10 New Cars Under $50,000 With Adaptive Cruise Control
The continuing democratization of tech means you can find adaptive cruise control on more vehicles than ever.
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Once a feature exclusive to high-end luxury models, adaptive cruise control has trickled down into a wide assortment of vehicles and has become a must-have feature for many car shoppers. Like regular cruise control, it will keep the vehicle at a set speed; unlike regular cruise control, adaptive cruise control will tell the vehicle to brake as it comes up behind another and will correspondingly follow at a safe distance. Moreover, should you find yourself facing an open lane again, the system will tell the car to accelerate back up to the desired speed without your involvement.
All adaptive cruise control systems work at highway speeds, but many examples are capable of low-speed operation, with some even able to manage acceleration and braking through stop-and-go traffic. The best of the lot provide steering assistance as well.
Here, we look at 10 models in the sub-$50,000 price range that offer some kind of adaptive cruise control.
2023 Hyundai Sonata
The 2023 Hyundai Sonata is a versatile model, offering several powertrain options to suit different needs, including a 290-hp turbo four in the $36,000 N-Line trim and a 192-hp hybrid setup for as little as $29,000. Hyundai is generous with its safety tech on this midsize sedan, providing every trim level with not only stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, but also blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beams, driver-attention warning, lane keeping and centering, and collision-avoidance assistance.
2024 Audi A4
Buyers of the 2024 Audi A4 get adaptive cruise control as standard equipment on the automaker's compact sedan. The entry-level 2024 Audi A4 costs about $42,000 with 201 horsepower in 40 TFSI spec and $44,000 with the 261-hp 45 TFSI. Alternatively, you could choose a mid-level Premium Plus model — with an impressive Bang & Olufsen sound system and 360-degree camera as standard — and remain just under budget.
2023 Acura Integra
The 2023 Acura Integra is a reboot of the brand's classic sports car, but now with a 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and, on the $38,000 A-Spec with Technology model, an available six-speed manual transmission. All trim levels come with an impressive array of driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, but as you might imagine, the manual transmission car can't manage the stop-and-go operation of the CVT-equipped Integras. Instead, its adaptive cruise control system disengages when the speed drops below 22 mph.
2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
The 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback, starting at $24,000, offers all the value, reliability, and quality of its venerable compact sedan sibling plus a bit more cargo space. The entire Corolla lineup — even the performance-oriented, manual-transmission-equipped, 300-hp GR model — comes with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. That comprehensive tech suite includes adaptive cruise, lane keeping, collision-prevention tech, lane-departure alert with steering assistance, road-sign detection, and automatic high-beams. Unfortunately, Toyota's base adaptive cruise control system doesn't work at low speed.
2023 Subaru Forester
The 2023 Subaru Forester provides everything drivers expect from the brand: all-wheel drive (AWD), trail-friendly ground clearance, and ample cargo space. It also includes Subaru's EyeSight driver-assistance suite with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. It's reasonably priced, too, with 2023 Subaru Forester models starting around $28,000 and topping out around $38,000.
2023 Mazda CX-30
Mazda provides stop-and-go adaptive cruise control as standard equipment on its subcompact crossover. The cost of entry is about $24,000, but if you want your 2023 Mazda CX-30 to provide lane-centering assistance while adaptive cruise control is active, you'll need to choose the range-topping $37,000 CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus model, as it's the only one with traffic-jam assist.
2024 Kia Carnival
Is it an SUV? A minivan? A multipurpose vehicle, as Kia likes to call it? Categorize it however you want; the 2024 Kia Carnival is an attractive option for families. The entry-level trims come with a litany of driver-assistance tech, but adaptive cruise is included as standard equipment starting at the mid-level $40,000 EX trim and up. Kia's adaptive cruise control system works in stop-and-go traffic as well as at highway speed.
2023 Honda Ridgeline
The 2023 Honda Ridgeline may not have the towing capacity or off-road credentials of some midsize pickup trucks, but its unibody construction, spacious cabin, and dual-action tailgate make it a great option for those who want to split the difference between an SUV and a truck. All Ridgeline trims include adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow as part of the Honda Sensing driver-assistance suite. Model pricing for the 2023 Honda Ridgeline starts around $40,000 and goes up to around $48,000 for the Black Edition.
2024 BMW 2 Series
BMW's smallest car is available in sporty two-door Coupe or four-door Gran Coupe form. No matter how many doors your 2024 BMW 2 Series has, adaptive cruise control is available for about $500 as a standalone option. Though not as capable as the system available on the more expensive 3 Series — that system supports stop-and-go with partial steering — the 2 Series' Active Cruise Control supports what BMW calls limited-force automated braking.
The adaptive cruise control available on the BMW 2 Series is designed to handle the more gradual changes in traffic flow found on many highways, but not the stop-and-go slog found on some commutes. No matter the form, either 2 Series with adaptive cruise control comes in well below the price cap, with Coupes starting around $40,000 and four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe models starting around $42,000.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4
The IQ.Drive suite of driver-assistance technologies is included as standard equipment on every 2023 Volkswagen ID.4. That means the electric crossover gets not only adaptive cruise control, but also blind-spot monitoring and forward- as well as rear-collision prevention with automatic emergency braking. The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro, which includes AWD and the longer-range battery, starts around $49,000.
All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.