Q: How do I decide which features to look for in a new car, and which to skip?
A: Shopping for a car doesn’t have to be complicated. To help you out, we’ve created a list of key features to consider in your new car, and a list of features you can skip.
Must-have safety features
- 360-degree camera: This camera gives drivers a bird’s-eye view of the area around the car.
- Evasive steering: This feature provides additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle, and your own steering efforts are insufficient.
- Forward collision warning: Drivers get a visual and/or audible alert when their vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
- Blind spot alert: This feature alerts the driver when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of their blind spot.
- Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.
- Automatic key-less entry: This feature automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
- Power tailgate: This feature for pickup trucks and SUVs lets you lower and raise your tailgate with the push of a button.
- Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
- Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up with this super-speedy USB port.
- Heated steering wheel and driver’s seat: This one is for those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm fast enough.
- Wireless charging pad: Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up.
- Home assist device connectivity: Some new cars allow you to use remote voice control with home assist technologies, like Alexa, for your car.
- Rear entertainment systems: This feature gives the rear seat of your car a completely separate entertainment system.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: These features sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system for easier phone control.
Features you can skip
- Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The ride will be less comfortable and your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes.
- Built-in navigation systems: You know you’re going to use Waze or another Maps app on your phone most of the time anyway. Also, most built-in navigation systems require constant updates.
- Lane keeping assist: This feature automatically steers or brakes your car when you cross a lane marking without turning on a blinker. In real life, though, it can be annoying as you’ll often need to cross a lane marker for good reason, like moving over for an emergency vehicle.
Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by Mutual Credit Union to hear all about our new auto loans.
Your Turn: Did you buy a new car recently? Tell us about the features you chose in the comments below.