Uconnect web

Our test vehicle also was equipped with the Internet - a uconnect web mobile router from Chrysler's Mopar accessory arm to be exact. It works on 3G and 2.5G cellular networks based on the CDMA standard, the same used by Verizon Wireless. Speeds on 3G networks are said to be 400-800 kbps down and 128-300 kbps up, comparable to DSL. On slower 2.5G networks found in more remote areas, speeds drop to 120-200 kbps down and 50-100 kbps up, roughly two to four times faster than dialup. Connecting to the router is simple. The process is similar to connecting to hotel wi-fi - connect to the network, start up the browser, click the login button and go.

Around Los Angeles, the Internet worked reliably and reasonably quickly, though noticeably slower than cable. There were no page load time-outs, but it was slower in hilly areas due to reduced reception. In well-connected areas, it is strong and consistent enough for streaming audio or YouTube.

However, don't watch too many clips of guys with bad haircuts falling off bicycles. Because it is on a cellular network, the service, provided by a company called Autonet Mobile, is data restricted. The base $29/month plan has a monthly allowance of 1 gigabyte, which can be burned through quite quickly by flash-intensive sites. Opting for the pricier $59/month service gives you a much more reasonable 5 gigabytes for the month. There's also $35 activation fee and Autonet requires at least a one-year contract, so there's no "activate it only for a road trip" option. On top of the service, the router itself costs $499 plus a dealer-dependent installation cost that, per Mopar, in the $35-50 range.