Which features should I look for in a new car?
By: Alive Credit Union
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 keyless 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 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.