There are certain car features that one night not consider “essential,” but if it were to not work– it would severely impact the driving experience. Call it #firstworldproblems, but if particular creature comforts were not on a vehicle, many people would not even consider buying it.
We’re not talking about the radio and A/C here. With the modernization of the automotive marketplace, such car features are so basic, that their absence seems unfathomable. Here are five modern features that must be present on a new car to justify its price.
Smart Remote Start
How great is it to hit the starter button from your office, in either the dead of winter or the sweltering heat of summer, and arrive to your car at a nice, predetermined temperature? In the winter, wiping snow off the car is a breeze, because the defroster has been going at it for a solid 20 minutes. In the summer, that sticky leather driver’s seat, is nice and chilled thanks to the A/C running for an hour. Clubbing several seals may be better for the environment, but who cares?! It’s nice and chilly inside the car. That is until something as simple as the battery failing in the key fob renders the remote start useless, and you are left running the car with the A/C on and the windows down for the first several miles. It’s unconscionable.
In this itemized diatribe, heated seats are a given. Hell, you can get heated front seats in a Chevy Spark! Let it be known, from herafter, heated seats are understood as required, and it’s only strange if you don’t have them. Ventilated seats, on the other hand, are a gift from the car gods. No longer will you have to endure sticking to leather seats in the summer (see: gripe #1), as your derriere is chilled by an extra vent, running off the A/C and fed through a perforated cushion. It instantly makes any car that has it 47.5% better. That’s science. Our particular favorites that offer this “must have” feature are Audi A8 and Infiniti M.
Backup Camera/Rear Sensors
Face it, in a new car, if the backup camera, or those little proximity beepers were to shut down, you would be the most useless car-parker of all time. Especially now with location-based beeps, that use the car’s stereo to expel an alert sound from the stereo closest to the side of the car where you are about to run over your prized Puggle. The sightlines on new cars are so horrendous, that it’s physically impossible to park a car or maneuver it in tight spaces without these systems- unless you are me, at which point the car god’s have graced you with the innate skill to operate any vehicle in any scenerio. Period. Since you are not me, maybe you could use Infiniti’s Around View Monitor which let’s you see a 360 degree overhead view of your surroundings, especially helpful in the full-sized 2013 Infiniti QX50 (previously known as JX).
Listen, I know some of you are going to say “well my car doesn’t have a Nav system.” That may be true, but how many of you have a Garmin or other portable navigation system. More importantly, how many of you have a smartphone with Google Maps or some other navigation App. No matter how old the car is, if you pull your phone out to check for directions, you are using that technology. Take it away… and I’d like to see you use a Rand McNally atlas, or use a sextant to navigate using the sun and stars. OK, even I can’t do that.
There are a couple car features here that are linked together. This crosses over both the operation of your cell phone, in-car, and access to your either capacious iTunes library, or your streaming Spotify playlist. (The latter, for those that live under a rock, is the greatest music app of all time and makes Pandora obsolete.) Once you have given up on regular radio and rely on your smartphone or portable music device for tunes (like you can in the Buick LaCrosse above), there is no going back.
This is only made more simple by pairing a phone via Bluetooth. What was once the provence of dorky businessmen with their earpieces, is now a way to leave your phone in your pocket and access all of your music through the car. Take that away after using it for a year, and I’d like to see how long before you are lying in the corner, crying in the fetal position. I rest my case.
Photo Credits: TeamHiFi.com, About.com