Amazon Echo Auto | Review

Amazon Echo Auto | Review

Alexa leaves the house to get into our cars thanks to Echo Auto. Just like classic voice assistants, once positioned and powered, it will allow us to access Alexa's features while driving. Let's find out how it is made, how it works and what it allows us to do.

How it is made

Small, light and thin, with a rectangular shape with rounded edges, Echo Auto is a small box to place in front of the car's ventilation openings. A support, supplied as standard, allows you to position it without difficulty. In fact, you can put it where you want, using the magnetic bottom or anchoring it with a double-sided tape. The important thing is that it is put in a position to listen to your voice, so don't think you can close it in a storage compartment.

The upper side is marked by two buttons, one to manually activate Alexa and the other to disable the microphones, the latter easily identifiable by the eight upper holes. An LED lighting, all along the front, acts like the luminous ring of the other Echoes to give us visual information on the status of Alexa.

On the right edge there is an audio jack connector and a port Micro USB. The latter must be connected, through the special cable supplied as standard, to a power outlet. You can choose a car USB port, in case you have it, or the classic cigarette lighter. In fact, a cigarette lighter adapter with double USB port completes the range of accessories.

Echo Auto also has rubber feet, in case you want to place it on a surface. The air vent support is well made and adequately covered with a soft sponge to preserve the surfaces of the car.


The installation involves the positioning drive, the connection of the USB cable to the power supply and then connect, via bluetooth , to the infotainment system of the car. In the case where it is not available the bluetooth, you can use the jack connector to connect it to an incoming AUX (auxiliary car).

in case you do not have neither Bluetooth nor headphone jack 3.5 mm for interface Echo Drive with your car speakers, you can't use it.

the rest of The configuration is done via application Alexa for smartphones, not differently from what happens with another Amazon Echo.

What to do

With Echo Drive, everything you will do with Alexa in the house, will it also drive. From asking for the weather, set a reminder, send messages to other devices, Echo, play music or ask for any kind of information.

user Experience

During the installation procedure Echo Drive shall interface with the system of the car, via bluetooth or cable, and will be viewed essentially as an accessory. Not unlike a bluetooth headset connected to your smartphone, with the peculiarity that, as the speakers will use those in the car.

The start-up phase of the Echo Drive is much faster than that of the Echo. After having turned on the car, we noticed different times than those of connecting your smartphone directly to the bluetooth of the car, which in fact is what is going to happen. You should see Echo Drive as an accessory for your smartphone, rather than as an addition to the plant of the car. Its purpose is to put you in the vehicle of the microphones that will listen to you and will send your input to the smartphone, which, in turn, will respond by using the speakers of the car.

This approach makes the operation simple and eliminates potential compatibility problems, at least with the majority of smartphones and cars. Amazon does know that in some cases, in spite of the requirements are met Bluetooth connectivity in the car and/or the presence of the audio jack connector, the infotainment system of the car is not compatible. The official page reachable at this address you can see the list of smartphones and cars are not compatible.

In our case, tried it on a BMW of 2015, we have not encountered any problem of operation.

The microphones work well. Even with the window lowered or the music playing, the commands are listened and executed. The only moments in which Alexa did not respond were those that lacked the connectivity, maybe for the transition from one data cell to another.

Echo Drive, wherever you want to place it, you will still find close enough to you, well that could happen with a Echo placed in the house. The proximity eliminates the possible problems of environmental noise, or even music at high volume. In any case, the activation button will always be at your fingertips.

We have detected an issue during the operation in the case of cars with start & stop. When the car is started after a stop, a temporary absence of power or a power surge, Echo port Drive to reboot (shuts down for lack of power), making it unusable for a few seconds, the time of starting, and connecting to your smartphone. However, changing the power supply through the cigarette lighter socket to USB, the problem does not occur. In any case, the disruption is minimal, since this does not impact on the reproduction of music, for example, but only on the availability of the narrator. In short, it depends on the car, but this behavior is difficult predictable a priori.

The installation is perhaps the weakest point of this device, especially if like me you don't like to have wires loose or no bells hung here, and the inside of the car. Since the support of Echo Drive is magnetic , and allows you to easily orient it in one of two possible positions, you will have the flexibility to have the cable connection on the right or on the left, so as to exploit the features of the dashboard to hide the cables. Of course, much depends on the car and your preference. In my case I preferred to install it on the nozzle of ventilation and to the left of the steering wheel, so as to hide the cable around the steering column and get to the cigarette lighter socket.

Verdict: who should buy and why

Echo Cars cost 59.99 euro, works well, is useful if you like to interact with screen readers, but it is not a product for everyone.

you will Not be interested in Echo Drive if:

do You have a modern car which already integrates Google or Siri (or Alexa, even if it is not widespread). You do not like or do not want to interact with screen readers you already Use the voice assistant built into smartphones to interact while you're driving, and you are satisfied with the functioning You are interested in Echo Drive if:

do You have a car that integrates the infotainment system and the advanced based on Android Auto or Apple Carplay You usually use a voice assistant in the house, and you want the same convenience in your car you Want to avoid pulling out every time the smartphone and put it in listening mode during the guide to interact with you don't have the blueetooth in car but only a jack connector; in this case you will get the maximum benefits. I personally use Alexa while they are in the house, especially for reminders and music playback. In the car, usually listening to audiobooks. Have the ability to interface with Alexa in the car (that integrates perfectly with the Audible), and you can use it without extracting it each time the smartphone, as well as be able to add to my long list of tasks, reminder, quick, is certainly comfortable.

>Amazon Echo Drive Amazon Echo Drive is a device that allows you to bring Alexa into the cars. Arrives in Italy at 59,90 euro.


Verdict Echo Drive lets you carry with ease the voice assistant Alexa in our cars. Convenient especially for those who do not have a car with infotainment system advanced. Does not offer a particular skill, additional to the guide, but you can interact with all the features of Alexa.


+ the Supplied accessories complete

+ The microphones work well even with loud music or background noise

+ Yield surround with the film

+ Allows you to bring the advanced features on cars not equipped with advanced systems of infotainment


– Not compatible with all cars or smartphone

– There are skills that make the difference in car

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