Cars sure aren't the same as they used to be. In 2014, consumers have a wide choice of vehicles that go faster, get better gas mileage, and are safer in accidents while weighing less. Even the cheapest new car you can get has more computing power in it than the Apollo mission that put a man on the moon.
And drivers have a wider choice of new technology gadgets in cars than ever before, too. We're talking way beyond the important old choice of automatic vs. manual. Or whether you needed to spend a bit more to get those anti-lock brakes. Those kind of things are par for the course and expected to be available by consumers.
What we wanted to talk about here were some of the little things that have begun to appear on new car models over the last few years. Car experts, the ones who spend their working days breaking down and reviewing every new car model to hits the marketplace, they see a lot of options. And they all agree that if you're in the market for a new car, these are some of the small-but-really-nice options you can now get.
Consumers now expect things like USB ports where they can plug in their phones, iPods and other electrical gadgets. New cars are now coming with USB inputs that enable you to plug in your iPod and play the music through the car stereo. For a society that's moving steadily towards universal connectivity, that's a really nice perk to have. And one that will be probably become standard among consumer expectations for new cars in the next few years.
We're not sure when they started appearing in higher-end SUVs. Probably about 5-7 years ago. The industry is moving toward the point of making them standard. Backup cameras are a wonderful safety feature to have. Especially the ones that comes with guide marker lineups that depict the car's backup path. More and more automakers will be offering these as stand-alone options, allowing consumers to get them withou having to buy into an expensive navigation system for the vehicle.
Smart Cup Holders
Fast food places are offering bigger drinks than ever before, creating the market for cup holders that adjust to even the largest soda and coffee offerings. Not something you go to the dealership and demand to have, but once you have them in your new car, you realize that they're great to have. Score another point for creature comforts.
More specifically, we mean "more than two" latch connectors. We're talking about those areas that you can hook a child-safety seat to. Many SUVs have three rows of seating, but only provide two sets of latch connectors. If you have a larger family of small children, it's really nice to have the extra set of connectors to work with. Again, not something you into the dealership thinking about, but something that's really nice to have once you do have them. Or something you wish you had when you're struggling with not enough connectors and a bunch of screaming young kids in the parking lot.
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Image Credit: Car and Driver
This post was published on October 23, 2014 and was updated on October 23, 2014.