Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Review: Upgraded Alexa For Your Car

The Echo Auto (2nd Gen) is Amazon’s Echo revamped for cars, but it is still a niche product and won’t appeal to anyone with a modern car. The new design, improved mic, and roadside assistance are cool additions, but they might not be convincing enough to those who own the previous version to make them update.

This article is updated for the Australian market regularly to include price changes and product updates.

Echo Auto (2nd Gen): $29 at →

Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Review
Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Review

Introduction header

The all-new Echo Auto just made Alexa for your car better. This compact USB powered device adds Amazon’s Alexa to any vehicle for hands-free calling, messaging, navigation and more.
Echo Auto (2nd Gen) also comes with additional mounting options, a redesigned microphone for better hearing, and a car charger that features fast charge via a USB-C.

Our Echo Auto (2nd Gen) review will help you determine whether adding Alexa to your car is worth it or not. Moreover, if you already own the previous version, it will help you decide if you should consider upgrading.

PRO: Redefined design and more mounting options

  • The Echo Auto (2nd gen) is much more compact and sleeker looking than the original, offering users an alternative mounting method. Instead of a horizontal layout, Amazon went with a vertical layout, placing the Alexa enable button at the top and the mute button at the bottom. The light bar above these two buttons is also considerably smaller.
  • Unlike the original Echo Auto, this new version comes with an adhesive car mount for greater mounting flexibility. The mic is just over 5 cm long, just under 2.5 cm wide, and 1.2 cm high when laid on its side.

PRO: Improved microphones and roadhouse assistance

  • The Echo Auto (2nd Gen) comes with fewer microphones than the previous model (8 vs. 5). Although, they are more effective, especially when there is music, wind, or street noise in the background.
  • Along with the new device, Amazon also introduced Amazon Roadside Assistance. The new feature will allow drivers to talk to Alexa about road problems, such as a flat tire or an empty gas tank. It enables you to ask for help and is a pay-as-you-go system which means you only pay for the roadside assistance you need.

CON: Limited compatibility

  • Alexa can’t respond to or send from third-party message apps natively.
Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Review
Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Review

CON: Non-removable cable

  • Amazon’s engineers moved the audio jack and other components into the speaker module along with the USB cable, allowing the microphone, light bar and buttons to fit into a more compact body. Unfortunately, the Echo Auto’s cable is no longer detachable. This means you cannot use short cables. However, both the adhesive mount and the optional vented mount have extra space behind the mic where you can wrap the cable.

Where to buy the Echo Auto (2nd Gen) in Australia

Your cars’ age will be a key factor of whether you should add Alexa to your car or not. If you’re driving an old car which has no infotainment system or Bluetooth connectivity, the Echo Auto is probably a good choice. However, if your car supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you don’t necessarily need Echo Auto.

Owners of the original Echo Auto may find it worth upgrading to the newer model, depending on whether they prefer the slimmer, more compact design and the new improved mounting system. Roadside assistance is also a plus. Moreover, with the new Fast Auto Charge, you can keep your Echo Auto (2nd Gen) powered while charging your phone with Quick Charge 3.0.


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Posted by Nicholas Webb

Nicholas Webb is a Queensland-based Consumer Technology Editor at Techbest focused on connected home and streaming products.