Options and equipment: the must-haves to have on your new car

Options and equipment: the must-haves to have on your new car

Options and equipment

If you are looking for a car, whether new or used, you will surely have come across a long list of options that are often unknown without really understanding their usefulness. Many manufacturers define the same equipment with often twisted names and acronyms certainly not favoring understanding; in recent years, moreover, thanks to a continuous and correct (we would like to say) search for maximum safety, even more intricate options have appeared. As if that were not enough, when choosing a new car it is not uncommon to come across fittings, or accessories, which require you to buy more elements, often not directly connected, in a sort of "pre-established scheme" implemented only to make you spend more. .

Let's say things as they are: choosing from all the possible features is not a simple action, the add-ons and options are so many, sometimes too many. The decision is difficult, some are indispensable while others may be pleasant to have or even not buy.

During our car tests we came across a series of endless options, often also of controversial utility, such as Audi's digital mirrors. We recognize that it is probably just a matter of habit, however we believe that spending over 2,000 euros for a pair of mirrors is a choice to be weighed carefully. Believe us when we tell you that we have had the opportunity to try out numerous options from the most disparate manufacturers, only last year we had over 70 cars “on hand” and at the moment, in 2022, we are already at 58. From the economy of the Dacia house, up to the super luxurious Mercedes S-Class, we have tried practically all of them; but what options can we consider as a must-have in cars?| ); }

What is compulsory as standard

Let's make a small premise: starting from a few years there are some safety technologies that are compulsory in new cars. The long list was updated recently, last July, and each newly approved model must therefore be equipped with a long series of active and passive safety systems. Technologies that, from 2024, will become mandatory for every car on sale, whether it is a model or an older one still on the market.

Intelligent speed limiter: also known as ISA, here the dedicated in-depth analysis, it is a system that automatically adapts the travel speed according to the limits (signs) present on the road; Lane Keeping Assistant (LKA): the name leaves little doubt, it is a system that controls and corrects the trajectory of the vehicle in relation to the driving lane; Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB): it is an automatic braking system that serves to avoid the impact of pedestrians and cyclists; Driver loss of attention and drowsiness detection: detects the driver's loss of attention and the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel; Driver distraction detection: very similar to the previous one, verifies that the driver is not using a smartphone; Starting block with breathalyser: a sort of check on the driver's status in order to avoid unpleasant problems. Volvo already offers it on some models; Accident recording system (black box): as for aircraft, this is a system capable of recording all the data of the car involved in an accident; Flashing emergency stop lights: high-speed emergency lights, 4 Hz, capable of activating in case of danger; Reversing camera or warning systems: in order to improve the safety of weak road users, the camera will become mandatory; Improvement of seat belts: use is not yet as high as one would expect, so we aim to insert new controls to be activated before starting the engine.

What the market surveys say

Last year, a study conducted by the Future Attribute Demand Study (FADS) and AutoPacific, based on the opinions of nearly 90,000 buyers, highlighted the preferences to be considered during the buying a new car. Key requirements included:

Heated seats: 66% Blind spot monitoring: 60% Front and rear parking sensors: 55% Four-wheel drive or four-wheel drive: 54% Lane departure warning: 54 % Apple CarPlay and / or Android Auto: 53% Electric front passenger seat: 52% LED accent lights: 52% Ventilated or refrigerated seats: 50% Driver's seat in memory: 49%

if ( jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_motorlabs_d_mh4_1").
Adaptive cruise control: we all know what cruise control is, well the adaptive version is an improved and embellished variant that allows you to follow the behavior more actively of the car in front of us. Comfort is indisputable especially if you travel along high-speed roads; High beam assistance: Safety is never enough and using the right lighting system can be a wise choice. “Adaptive” headlights can make a difference, offering a truly different field of vision. Each manufacturer has its own technology but, in principle, they all offer almost overlapping solutions; Tire pressure warning: it is not uncommon to find stranded motorists on the roadside changing a punctured tire. Knowing before you have a loss could save you from unpleasant situations; Blind spot warning: a real and valuable aid to use on the motorway but also in the city. Once you try it, you won't do without it anymore; Smart key or keyless access: it may seem trivial, but turning on your car without removing the key is very convenient. The function is almost always standard and does not have an exorbitant cost; Smartphone integration (Apple Car Play / Android Auto): the smartphone accompanies us everywhere and being able to use it, or integrate it into your car is an important aspect. Make sure there is a compatible system and check, if necessary, that it is Wireless; Wireless charging: often sold in combination with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, it allows you to recharge your smartphone without necessarily having to use the cable. Here the compatibility is exclusively linked to the smartphone model; Assisted driving: although there are different levels of assisted and autonomous driving systems on the market, here is our in-depth analysis, it is advisable to have a car that is able to perform at least the basic operations in order to avoid unpleasant inconveniences; Parking sensors: cars are getting bigger, every year they grow by a few centimeters whether in length or width. Having front and rear parking sensors can definitely change your life. Automatic gearbox: the manufacturers, thanks to the introduction of more or less electrified solutions, have now changed drastically on automatic gearboxes of any kind. Even if it can sometimes require a considerable outlay, the automatic gearbox will change your driving habits making life much easier; Steering wheel controls: to avoid distractions and have everything just a click away, the steering wheel controls are really important; Bonus, off the list. Automatic wipers: although this is now an "almost standard" function, it is a practical, convenient and often inexpensive addition. With a gesture you will forget to adjust the speed of the windshield wipers.

Excluded options

In our opinion there are elements that could be avoided, although we recognize that, in most cases, this is a subjective preference:

Head-up display: available for several years now, we believe this is a technology that has never caught on. It is comfortable? Yes, but not essential; Cooled and heated seats: this option is mostly linked to the type of car and to what altitude you live. On a convertible or luxury car, it makes sense that they are present. We have some doubts about all the others; Electronically controlled seats: here we could open a big debate but we will limit ourselves to saying that the seat you will rarely find yourself reconfiguring it frequently. Thanks to the semiconductor crisis, finding a car with electric seats has become really complicated. Even the recently tested Cooper S did not have it, and we are talking about a 40 thousand euro car; Gestural controls: a technology that has never gotten into gear thanks to the difficulty of learning and the slowness in carrying out operations; Electro implemented trunk: it is a convenience but not a fundamental aspect; Paddles on the steering wheel: to be considered in conjunction with the automatic gearbox, the paddles on the steering wheel can be useful if you have a spirited driving and a sporty car; Fully autonomous driving: while we believe that it is an incredibly science fiction element, at the moment it is not easy to understand when it will be possible to use it on our roads thanks to a difficult bureaucracy.

Semiconductors and order delays

As anticipated in a previous article, the semiconductor crisis has led some manufacturers to remove certain options from their equipment; an example of all is given by the digital dashboard which, on some models, seems to have completely disappeared. Be careful when ordering, even one option "too many" could delay the arrival of your car by several weeks.



We have shared our thoughts but we are equally curious to know the preferences of our wide audience; if you are interested in explaining your opinion in more detail, please leave us a comment below the article or vote in the poll that you can find below, we will take all ideas into consideration!

Poll update: a few weeks after the opening of the voting we can finally decree the most important accessories for our readers, at least for the voters. At the top we find the parking sensors (76%), followed by an infotainment compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (71%) and blind spot warning (65%).

Off the podium, however, tire pressure (60%), Adaptive Cruise Control (55%), automatic transmission (46%), high beam assistance (44%), automatic wipers (41%), smart key (32%), assisted driving (30%), wireless charging (23%), heated seats (18%), voice controls (16%), cooled seats (16%), autonomous driving (13%), paddles on the steering wheel (9%).

To close the group, electronically controlled seats (7%, unexpected!) and gesture controls (2%).

Powered by Blogger.