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The best remote car starters for 2020

If you live in a part of the country where cold weather, snow, and ice is common, a remote car starter is one of the best gifts you can give to a loved one or yourself. A remote car starter starts your car from a distance, meaning you never have to enter a cold car again.

The best remote car starters have long ranges, replaceable batteries, and other handy features — but how do you know which is the best for you? We’ve compiled a list of the best car starters, in a range of prices and different features. Keep in mind that while you can install some yourself, some will require a professional to install.

Directed Electronics Python 4806P

Best car remote starters
  • Range: 1 mile
  • Paging: Two-way communication
  • Price: $160

The Python 4806P is a top-shelf remote car starter with a number of segment-leading features, but it remains well within the realm of affordability. Highlights include two-way communication, a full mile of starter range, and four auxiliary outputs for add-on devices. To use the SmartStart smartphone app, you can equip Python’s DSM200 or DSM250 modules.

A mile of range may sound like complete overkill, but as a general rule, a remote starter with a longer range also means one with strong transmitter power. If you want to start your car from within a building or through a wall, you’ll need a high-powered unit. Choosing a starter with a tiny range, by comparison, probably means you’ll need a clear shot at your vehicle to start it.

Amazon

Clifford 470.6X

Best car remote starters
  • Range: 1 mile
  • Paging: Two-way communication
  • Price: $169

Clifford’s 470.6X remote starter adds a few nifty features to the Python’s robust list. A major highlight of the Clifford unit is its SuperCode security encryption aimed at thwarting would-be hackers. This is a common concern for remote starter shoppers, and one that’s usually only addressed by the more expensive units.

Other key features include an LCD screen that shows vehicle status and confirm commands, two-way communication, a mile of range, the SmartStart smartphone app, four auxiliary channels, valet mode, panic mode, and vehicle temperature monitoring. If there’s one thing the Clifford system lacks, it’s a proper car alarm. Fortunately, this is something you can add with compatible modules.

Amazon

Avital 4103LX

Best car remote starters
  • Range: 1,200 feet
  • Paging: One-way communication
  • Price: $41

If you’re keen on a remote car starter, but the $100 or $200 range of products is too rich for your blood, check out the Avital 4103LX. Supremely affordable yet rich in features, the Avital system boasts two remotes, keyless entry, a dedicated trunk release, 1,200 feet of range, and a single auxiliary hookup. Think of this more as a replacement for your standard remote entry system, but with an upgrade for remote ignition.

At this price point, you’ll have to make do without a smartphone app, an LCD, or vehicle monitoring systems, but sometimes functional is better than fancy.

Amazon

Viper 5706V

Viper 5706V
  • Range: 1 mile
  • Paging: Two-way communication
  • Price: $260

Viper has become the default aftermarket system for those looking to upgrade a car’s security or remote-activated functions. The company’s esteemed reputation means you’ll have to fork over a chunk of change for its latest remote starter system, but it also means original equipment manufacturer-quality form and function.

The LC3 is Viper’s third-generation transmitter. It includes a mile of range, two-way communication, a large LED display, a rechargeable remote, valet mode, in-car vehicle temperature display, the SmartStart app, and dual car integration (you can use one remote for two cars). We like the in-vehicle temperature display, because you can tell how hot or cold the cabin is before you get in, and extend your car’s runtime to warm up or cool down the cabin.

Amazon

Audiovox APS57Z

Audiovox APS57Z
  • Range: 1,500 feet
  • Paging: One-way communication
  • Price: $58

You’ll notice that this Audiovox is one of the more budget-friendly options around. It has a range of 1,500 feet, and its three-button remotes only offer one-way communication, but it’s a good choice for motorists seeking a basic remote without the extra bells and whistles.

Of course, just because it fits into your budget doesn’t mean that it’s low-quality or too basic to get the job done. Audiovox’s system starts your engine and keeps it on for a predetermined amount of time ranging from five minutes to an hour. Another perk that sets it apart from some of the competition is that it’s also compatible with hybrid vehicles. It also lets you lock and unlock the car from a distance, and pop the trunk open, all within a range of 1,500 feet. If you’re interested in connecting your smartphone, this starter does have CarLink capabilities.

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