OT: Talking Cars Tuesday - Best Feature

Submitted by JeepinBen on August 8th, 2017 at 9:38 AM

I read an interesting theory on why cars today have 8,000 USB ports and are offering wifi. Basically, car companies think they're the new cupholders, which were the new ashtrays. If you get in a car from the 1980s, you'll see that there were ashtrays everywhere. I think the late 80's suburbans had 7. There were ashtrays in doors, in consoles, all over. Then, move to the late 90's early 00's and it was all about cupholders. It was a big deal when Porsche added them. WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRINKING IN A PORSCHE?!?! But they had to. Everyone needed 600 cup holders. Today it's keeping people charged and plugged in with USBs.

That said, what's the best feature(s) in your car that you can't live without for your next one? Big sunroof? Did you recently get heated seats and now you can't understand how you survived winter without one? Android Auto/Apple Car play? What's your must-have in your next car?



August 8th, 2017 at 1:58 PM ^

I maintain that my 1991 Jeep Wrangler was the perfect first car (I was 16 in 2003).

It was slow (2.5L 5 speed), but felt fast! It was a convertible, but had 4x4 for snow! It was cheap/easy to fix and learn how to fix. None of my friends wanted to borrow it (including my older sister, who once hit the brake instead of the clutch and was done with it). It had a tiny back seat (which I'll appreciate more as a parent than I did at 16) It got 20mpg no matter what!


August 8th, 2017 at 1:59 PM ^

now that automatics are so efficent in both acceleration and gas mileage. I do love to drive my stick though.

I also just did a work trip to the Czech Republic and Poland.  I'm not sure if there is a speed limit or not, but some guys were easily going well over 100. I had a little 4 banger with a 5-speed transmition and actually had a fun time driving as I had to play with gears a lot to get into the left lane to pass. My mazdaspeed 3 has plenty of power available in 6th gear to accelerate quickly from 80 to 90 without issue, so I don't downshift that much. So even though this wasn't a car with much power, it was actually a fun change of pace and made the driving pretty fun. 



August 8th, 2017 at 9:43 AM ^

Two things that seem very small, and that I never would have paid extra for by themselves, but hate missing every time I have a rental car: proximity keys and auto wipers. Both came as part of a package on the GTI (I have the mid level SE, got it for leather and a sunroof) and I have to say driving through constantly changing rain and playing with the wiper stalk seems so annoying.  The wipers are always going too fast or not fast enough no matter where I set them.

I never would have paid extra for proximity keys, but the fact that it never leaves my pocket is so convenient. That little pocket in jeans? Perfect car key size. Rental cars have two, giant keys lashed together that just take up room and are a pain. Proximity key and push button start are wonderful.

As a former Jeep owner I feel shame as to how coddled I am now by technology.

UM Fan from Sydney

August 8th, 2017 at 9:45 AM ^

In my current car, my most important feature is the premium sound system (followed by moon roof). In my next car, I need to have bluetooth and an even better sound system. I plan to purchase a Nissan 370, but don't know when. It was going to be next spring, but that might be delayed until 2019.


August 8th, 2017 at 9:46 AM ^

Heated seats and heated steering wheels are a must for me living in Michigan.

I do like JeepinBen's auto wipers too.  I only have them on one vehicles and forget how much I like them until it rains intermittently.


August 8th, 2017 at 10:00 AM ^

Gotta have Bluetooth, but if you want my best "to be" feature is a repeater screen for my iPhone.  That way I don't need a map function in the car, i can use the phone and just get a bigger display on the car's screen.  


August 8th, 2017 at 10:25 AM ^

You would think so. However, my wife hits crap backing up all the time. And she has had a rear camera for at least 7-8 years. Anytime she has to back up it's an adventure! She even has the damn sensors that beep like crazy. it's amazes me!


August 8th, 2017 at 9:54 AM ^

I like the SiriusXM radio on my Fusion because no more commercials and talkity DJs.  Shut the fuck up and play music!  I like the Bluetooth functionality, but it's poorly implemented.  BT sound quality is awful when using the phone.  And when it's turned on it interfere's with app voices (I use Waze a lot).  It's such a PITA, that I turned it off.

What can't I live without?  Cruise control, remote mirrors, power seats...  The standard stuff.


August 8th, 2017 at 9:59 AM ^

I once had a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville with a heads up display for speed, turn signal indicators, high/low beam indication. I'd like to see that feature make it's way back into the norm, maybe with simple navigation displayed as well.


August 8th, 2017 at 9:59 AM ^

My daily driver is a 2000 Honda Civic (manual), and for giggles/towing I'm reviving a 1998 Toyota 4Runner... But the first change I made on either was an aftermarket stereo with bluetooth, so I could get Google Music and wife could use Spotify.  I cannot stand commercials.



August 8th, 2017 at 10:14 AM ^

On my new Fusion Hybrid one option stands out to me. 

The adaptive cruise control/semi-autonomous mode. 


It makes my morning commute 10,000x easier. It's hard to explain but I arrive less stressed. All I have to do steer and change lanes. Car does the rest including stopping and resuming speed again in heavy traffic. Makes highway cruising so much easier too. Cannot wait for more autonomous vehicle tech.

The added bonus of collison avoidance tech w/ the semi-autonomous mode is wicked cool too. It reminds you how slow human reactions are. Especially the first time the car slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision before I could even move my foot off the gas pedal. Freaky, but awesome.