These Are The Best Factory Options Ever Offered, According To Readers

Screenshot: Stellantis
Screenshot: Stellantis

When you buy a new car, there are all sorts of regular options you can add. Whether you want a bigger infotainment screen, nicer leather, a better sound system or carbon fiber trim, automakers are more than happy to sell you some extra equipment as long as you’re willing to pay for it. Those options may make your car feel nicer, but they also don’t usually add much in terms of wow factor.

What about the options that actually did stand out when they were offered, though? On Tuesday, we asked you what you considered the best options were, and we got a wide range of responses. From the insignificant-but-fun to legitimately useful, let’s take a look at some of the most popular responses.

Dodge Chill Zone

The Dodge Caliber was by many accounts a questionably built mid-aughts Chrysler product. It did, however, have one really cool feature (dad pun intended): the air-conditioned “Chill Zone” glove compartment. It only worked when the A/C was on, but it was perfect for keeping your Mtn Dew, Surge, or Red Bull cool on those hot summer road trips. I know other (and ritzier) cars have done this, but it’s such an interesting feature on an otherwise unremarkable car, I think it deserves a mention.


Suggested by: paradescar

Nissan Shag Carpet

Gotta be the little disk of Shag Carpet on the dash that my Nissan Cube came with.

Did it change my life? Nah, not at all. But it made me giggle a little bit every time I looked at it.

Never underestimate the power of something that just makes you smile.

Suggested by: H4llelujah

Ferrari Roll Cage

The 550 Maranello had a leather-wrapped roll cage.

Nothing screams “self-indulgent wiener with too much BLOODY MONEY” more than this car, but you might as well give it an extra dash of class.

Suggested by: Lil Xanos

GM Heated Washer Fluid

I’d say GM’s “HotShot” heated windshield washer fluid system. Because when it work in chilly climes, the ice/snow/frost came off in a jiffy. There was that nagging problem of fires that led to a recall of 1.5M of the units, but it was great to not have to scrape the entire windshield of a big Escalade or H2 when they were so equipped on the lot.

The recall ulitmately led to the systems being disabled, which is a shame, but for a glorious 2 years, we saw the future.

Suggested by: PotbellyJoe and 42 others

Sport Seats

Always get the sport seat upgrade. My BMW e91 came with the “comfort” seats, which aren’t all that comfortable. I recently upgraded to the sport seats from a junkyard car and it’s a world of difference. My back is happy every time I get in it that I did.

Suggested by: Wagon Guy drives a Boostang

Power Steering

Power Steering! I’m old enough to remember (and have experienced) the Armstrong days of manual, unassisted everything, including steering, brakes, transmissions, windows, seats, doors, HVAC, and chokes.

Suggested by: JimmyZZZZZZZ

Heated Steering Wheels

Heated steering wheel, I can’t go back to a cold wheel.

Suggested by: heavysquad

Chrysler Record Player

The Chrysler 1956 optional Record Player.

Sure, it was terrible, and would skip if the car was in motion. However, it was the beginning of being able to take the music you loved with you on the road, and gave you far more entertainment than the basic AM Radio could offer.

Within the next decades, 8-Track, Cassette, and CD players became standard equipment in even the cheapest of cars.

And, it all started with this silly idea.

Suggested by: Knyte

The Elephant

The Mopar 426 Hemi—the Elephant:

An engine so powerful, the cars that got this motor had torque boxes welded to the unibody to help prevent frame twist. An option so costly, it bumped the car’s total price up by 25%. (And your insurance premium zoomed.) And since Dodge and Plymouth knew owners would flog their muscle cars without mercy if they popped for the Hemi, your 5-year warranty became a 1-year warranty when Hemi-equipped.

Now half a century later, numbers-matching Hemi Dodges and Plymouths rule the auction houses—the motor’s cachet can double, triple, or even quadruple a car’s value compared to a 440 car. Money in the bank—except you can drive it if you dare.

Suggested by: the1969DodgeChargerFan

Head-Up Displays

I think a HUD is awesome. Should be available on EVERY car.

Suggested by: Chris Furlough

Soft-Close Doors

my 550 has soft close doors. Which I didnt think was a big deal but it is nice not having to slam a car door shut or worry about your grandmother or mother being able to close the door fully. just pull it close and it closes itself. if you dont have enough space to open and close the door it isnt a big deal, the doors always close, it is a nice feature.

A close second that I have never experienced but would love to would be the Wool interior of the old Toyota century’s

Suggested by: ikaiyoo

Centerlock Wheels

Moving up the 911 GTS in the Porsche hierarchy blesses you with the choice of central locking wheels. I don’t even know if it is a benefit performance-wise but I’d make that jump just for the look:

McLaren has the option of free horsepower!

Power from the current year V-6 hybrid McLaren Artura is up from 671hp to 690hp. Owners of earlier Arturas are offered the software update to bring their cars to 690 horses free of charge.

Suggested by: 900turbo


Pre-conditioning. Not sure if it’s really considered an ‘option’ as it’s standard fit on basically every EV, but coming out the house on a cold morning to a warm, already defrosted, car is just lovely.

Especially as a recent software update for my Polestar has now tied in the heated steering wheel to the pre-conditioning.

TBH, the heated steering wheel is a pretty damn great option. This is the first car I’ve had with heated seats or a heated steering wheel, and I love them both.

Suggested by: vc-10

Funky Mode

Funky mode in the Toyota Sera. I don’t even know what it does to the stereo, but the fact it’s a labeled option tells you all you need to know

Suggested by: BigRed91


Honda City had a damn minibike in the trunk

Suggested by: sid_vicious

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