echo auto 2nd gen vs 1st gen

Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: Beep, Beep Alexa [2024]

In Echo & Alexa by Tim Brennan

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In this article, I’ll make a full comparison of the Amazon Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen devices that put Alexa in your passenger seat.

Is Echo Auto Worth Upgrading?

For the past six months, I’ve been road-tripping with the Echo Auto 2nd Gen as my faithful companion, and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer. Alexa, who had already been my co-pilot with the 1st Gen Echo Auto, now feels more like a fully-fledged partner on the road.

echo auto 2nd gen vs 1st genEvery journey is simplified, from navigating to my destination, playing my favorite tunes, and dialing into podcasts and audiobooks, to placing calls and even searching for the nearest gas station or taco stand. The power of Alexa has also extended beyond basic in-car assistance, with my road time efficiently transformed into a chance to curate shopping lists, plan calendars, and manage to-do lists and schedules — all from the comfort of my car.

In this blog post, I will break down the differences between my trusty 1st-Gen Echo Auto and my shiny new 2nd Gen model. I’ll compare them feature for feature, using all the latest data from Amazon, to highlight why I’m completely sold on the 2nd Gen Echo Auto.

So, stick around to discover how Amazon’s Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen has outdone its predecessor, and why I think it’s worth every penny of the upgrade.

Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Tech Specs Comparison

Here’s a tech specs comparison to help you understand the key differences between Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen.

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Echo Auto 2nd Gen Explained

The second-generation Echo Auto has a slimmer and more compact design with an adhesive base that supports flexible and stable positioning in your car.

Five microphones are included in the device to help you and passengers interact with Alexa regardless of outside traffic, air conditioning, or music being played. The adapter is certified (Quick Charge 3.0 certification) and can be used for fast-charging a phone.

You can also transform your smartphone display into a higher resolution driver-friendly display by using Auto Mode. This feature is available through the Alexa app.

Amazon now offers roadside assistance through Alexa, and this ability will also be available for both generations of Echo Auto. To connect to an agent for assistance, say, “Alexa! Call Roadside Assistance,” and you will be connected to an agent who can help with problems like running out of gas or a flat tire. A fee applies for this service.

My favorite feature is using the built-in microphones to ask Alexa to play music from my car speakers. I primarily use Amazon Music and Pandora, but it will work with Apple Music, iHeart Radio, and other services as well.


  • Hands-free navigation using Google Maps
  • Easy setup in the Alexa App
  • Play, pause, or stop your music, audiobooks, and other audio files using voice commands
  • Control your smart home products remotely. (heat, lights, garage doors, locks, etc.)
  • Manage calendars, to-do lists, and more while driving
  • Call contacts using your voice


  • Uses your phone’s data plans
  • May distract some drivers

Where Do You Get It?

Echo Auto 2nd Gen is available for purchase at Amazon.

Echo Auto 1st Gen Explained

echo auto 1st gen vs 2nd gen

The 1st generation Echo Auto, which is no longer available new but may be found refurbished at a discount, was designed to provide Alexa’s voice assistance using voice commands while on the move. This modest, nondescript device could be powered either from your car’s power outlet (with the adapter provided) or its USB port, depending on your vehicle.

It offered driving directions and all the familiar services of an Echo device within your home – news updates, shopping, to-do lists, music streaming, and more.

The 1st Generation Echo Auto had an action button at the top, a mute button, and eight microphone inputs. It featured a 3.5mm auxiliary port at one end and a USB port at the other.

When Alexa responded, the front light strip would glow in varying intensities of blue, providing a visual cue to its operation.

I’ll say it. When comparing Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen, the choice of upgrading is a no brainer due to the new features the newer model offers.


  • Easy to install
  • Reasonably priced
  • Multiple microphones
  • All Alexa functionalities available


  • Used your phone’s data plan
  • Driving directions unavailable in some languages
  • Air vent mount not very secure
  • The phone connection sometimes dropped out

Where Do You Get It?

The Echo Auto 1st Gen has been discontinued, but you might be able to pick one up at Amazon.

What’s in the Box?

Here is a quick overview of the box contents for the Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen.

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Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: Which Should You Buy?


As other tech pundits have noted, Echo Auto 2nd Gen is a significant upgrade to the previous model smart speaker.

Both devices will give you the ability to communicate with Alexa on the road, and both either require a connection via Bluetooth or the vehicle’s auxiliary ports.

The main improvements in the second-generation version include its smaller size, slicker style, fast charging, and a new adhesive mount that allows drivers to choose where they place the device. Alexa will also hear you better over road noise.

You may still be able to obtain the original Echo Auto 1st Gen at a significant discount. Still, I recommend buying the upgraded Echo Auto 2nd Gen.

What do you think of my comparison of Echo Auto 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen?  Please comment below and let me know.

For more information about some cool ways to use Alexa on the road, check out this Echo Auto review I wrote.

If you want to compare the first-gen Echo Auto to the competition, see Echo Auto vs Roav Viva.


Tim Brennan

Tim Brennan, a tech blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel, writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. He holds a Journalism degree from Northeastern University and has covered technology for three decades. He lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.

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