Once owners experience certain cars features, there's no going back. Anyone who becomes comfortable with something is not going to want to let it go. Cars are no different.
In an attempt to appeal to buyers today, automakers have upped the ante when it comes to luxury car features. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Porsche—these are all automakers that excel in pampering drivers. These owners tend to feel like kings and queens when they get behind the wheel.
As U.S. News reports, buyers can expect to pay at least $60,000 for a high-end luxury car. That means only a limited niche of the market will ever experience the best features cars have to offer. Even within luxury cars, however, automakers offer even more deluxe—and arguably ridiculous—features reserved for only the richest.
What motivates these buyers to pick up extravagant cars may have to do with the desire to be different and own something most don't have. Then as time moves on, they find themselves dependent on those features. Suddenly they become attached to those leather air vents they once found superfluous. In time, they can’t drive a car that doesn’t come equipped with such high-class features.
Then there are essential features every car should have. It’s a crime, one could argue, that classic cars used to come without seatbelts in the back. Many could argue there’re several features many cars made today don’t have when in reality, they should come standard. More than half of the following article details high-end features owners won't drive without—once they've experienced it firsthand—along with features all cars should have.
25 Posh: Floor Mats Made Of Lambs’ Wool
As a friendly and obvious reminder, floor mats are for drivers’ feet. To drivers, they're perhaps the most insignificant part of the car, though they provide a necessary function. If cars didn’t have them, all the dirt one tracks in from their shoes would get all over the flooring.
There is such a thing, according to Autoblog, as floor mats made of lambs’ wool that are available in some Rolls-Royce vehicles. Since it looks nice and has quality material, it would be hard for owners to see these gone.
24 Posh: WiFi
The internet hasn’t really been around all that long in the grand scheme of things. Today it’s common for people to have an internet bill for their home WiFi. Now, it has got to the point where people pay for WiFi built-in to their cars.
Road and Track even posit that a WiFi hotspot on someone’s phone would be more practical than a built-in version. Nevertheless, when an owner experiences the joys of their car's mobile going with them wherever they go, it'll be hard for them to let go of it.
23 Posh: Massage Seats
There are some luxury features that elevate the driving experience. Then there are others that turn the car into something it’s not. Massage seats are an example of turning one’s car into a day spa, or something.
Road and Track note that one of the benefits of having one could be during long road trips. Owners will recognize this and certainly take advantage but find it hard to take trips without them. This is one of those chic features that appeal to the rich and mystify the rest.
22 Posh: Orchestral Sounds
Those who drive a Lincoln Aviator SUV may feel like an orchestra is the soundtrack to their life. According to Autoblog, Lincoln recorded actual sounds supplied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for its vehicle.
These sounds make up the alert sounds the car issues. For example, when a car’s fuel door is still open, one might hear the strings of a violin sound as a warning. It’s a lavish feature Aviator drivers are lucky to have, and probably wouldn’t like switching back to the ticks and beeps of conventional cars.
21 Posh: Refrigerator
It says something that this next feature is something one is likely to see in a James Bond film. Those gadgets and tools Bond uses are often for comedic purposes; they’re meant to elicit laughter and smiles in audience members.
Now, automakers are actually implementing these features into cars. According to Road and Track, even less-expensive cars have fridges in them to store a bottle of champagne. Many owners will find this appealing and hard to go back to refrigerator-less cars.
20 Posh: Auto Seatbelt Extender
It may seem like a simple design feature, but seatbelt extenders can improve one’s driving experience. As Autoblog points out, these are often found in BMW cars. Here's how they work: they automatically push the seatbelt ban towards the front, thus preventing the driver—or passenger—from reaching back for it.
It’s not a required feature for every car, but it’s one of those simple touches that luxury drivers will miss if they ever have to downgrade and go without it.
19 Posh: Starlight Headliner
Some luxury cars have the option of having a starlight headliner. According to The Source Weekly, the Rolls Royce Phantom is one car that offers this feature, which puts 1,600 LEDs in the headliner. Owners will find the effect magical, while everyone else will think it too expensive.
The same source notes that it costs $12,000 to add this feature. Once owners experience it firsthand, they’ll wonder why every car doesn’t have it, indicating they needed it more than they realized.
18 Posh: Seat Coolers
Ask an average car driver whether they’d like to have seat coolers in their car and chances are they’ll look confused. Many may not realize it’s even a feature in luxury cars. According to Autoblog, Infiniti and Nissan are just some of the automakers implementing this feature into their vehicles.
The same source even notes that they work better than air conditioning. If that’s the case, it’s going to be hard for luxury car drivers to kiss this feature goodbye.
17 Posh: Automatic Emergency Braking
When a forward-collision warning isn’t enough, cars will even stop on their own if they detect a potential hazard. That’s how Consumer Reports describes the automatic emergency braking feature, which brakes automatically without the driver interfering.
Since cars only just started getting this feature, it’s still expensive. Once owners get used to driving around with this feature, they may become comfortable and dependent upon it. That could make the transition back down to a car without it potentially hazardous if they don’t brake when they need to.
16 Posh: Voice Control System
Voice control makes it easier for drivers to make cars do what they want without lifting a finger. By saying a simple phrase, they can make their car show them directions or make a phone call. According to Consumer Reports, this not only makes driving more convenient but improves safety.
Drivers used to voice control will find it impossible switching back to a regular car without it. Touching the car’s radio dials or manually tapping through a navigation software would feel prehistoric for them.
15 Posh: Automatic Climate Control
Automatic climate control is a luxury feature fit for a king. It has been around for a while though, so many who are used to it may not see it as posh. That just further cements their reliance on it as a feature though.
As The Truth About Cars notes, when a car allows the driver to set their own temperature, and the front passenger another, it's called "dual-zone.” The rest of the world may be content rolling down a window or turning on the heater, but not luxury car owners.
14 Posh: Bluetooth
Many drivers are content with having just radios in their cars. There was a time where people could plug in their mp3 players to an auxiliary in order to play music. Today, the best way of doing this is wirelessly through Bluetooth.
Although more and more cars come standard with it, it’s still a swanky feature many have become accustomed to. They’ll be sorely disappointed getting behind the wheel of a classic car only to find that there’s no Bluetooth capability.
13 Posh: Hands-Free Liftgate
When the commercials first came out showing this feature, it was easy to get impressed. With just a wave of one’s foot underneath the back of the car, the entire trunk would lift up on its own. Average drivers have become accustomed to setting their stuff down, putting the key in, turning it and popping the trunk open.
A luxury driver who’s used to the hands-free version though won’t find it very easy to part from such a lavish—albeit, unnecessary feature.
12 Posh: Proximity Key Fob
It’s common for some of the swankier cars to come with keyless entry. Instead of carrying around an extra key around, one needs only have a proximity key, which looks like a fob.
It would feel foreign for drivers with a proximity key to revert back to a car without it though. Despite the ease it brings owners, it’ll be hard for them to go back to turning keys again. It is just so easy without it, so why go back?
11 Posh: Forward-Collision Warning
As tech advances, so do cars. They’re starting to get some of the latest and greatest tech that is changing the way people drive forever. An example of this is a forward-collision warning. As Consumer Reports notes, with the use of lasers, radars or cameras, a car will notify drivers when they’re close to hitting something else.
It’s a feature owners will find attractive, but find it hard to drive without, especially after they’ve racked up several thousand miles using it.
10 Essential: Child Lock
There’s a helpful switch that’s often included in the doors of vehicles meant for those with child passengers. According to Car Dekho, it’s a switch that, when activated, keeps kids from opening the door on their own. It may not be an attractive feature, but it plays an important part in keeping kids safe.
Vehicles should all come with this feature built-in as the likelihood a kid will go for a ride in it is high, unless of course, it’s a supercar.
9 Essential: Rear Backup Camera
Ten or twenty years ago, the idea of automakers affixing a backup camera to their cars may have seemed ridiculous. Today, it became the norm. Many cars come with this feature already included. It’s fair to say all cars need this feature that can prevent accidents.
Consumer Reports also notes that it’s convenient for those who are less than thrilled about parallel parking. Although automakers are realizing the importance of this feature in cars, it’ll take time before this becomes standard.
8 Essential: 12V Socket and USB port
Many assume a car is going to come with a 12V socket and USB port, but it’s not yet standard. Some cars are even foregoing the 12V socket and only including a USB port, where both deserve inclusion.
A 12V socket commonly served as a cigarette lighter in classic cars. Today, people tend to use it, as Car Dekho notes, for charging phones or even as a port necessary for setting up a WiFi hotspot. A USB port can also serve as a charger for devices, making these essential features.
7 Essential: Adjustable Wing Mirrors
It’s not as exciting as a backup camera but having adjustable wing mirrors serves an important function. When cars have to park in tight spots, or risk neighboring cars closing in, they can use this trusty feature to rotate the mirrors without doing it from the outside.
In some cases, there may not be room to adjust the mirrors from the outside. As Car Dekho notes, it’s best if both mirrors on each side have a dedicated wing to toggle.
6 Essential: Power Door Locks
The power door lock serves several functions, even beyond playing practical jokes on friends or relatives. As Car Dekho reports, the ability to lock or unlock all the doors with one button is also necessary for safety. Although a car’s doors should remain locked while on the road, it can become necessary in dire situations to unlock them all at once.
Every passenger may not be quick to unlock the doors themselves, thus emphasizing the need for a driver to have this feature and a case for making it standard in all cars.
5 Essential: Spare Tire
We’ve all gone through it before, or in the least, seen it on a TV show or movie. When a car’s tire blows out, a driver usually digs up the spare tire and swaps out the bad one for it. In reality, though, newer cars won’t have this option, since they don’t come with spares.
The site Tires Les Schwab reports that some reasons contributing to this include cheaper costs for manufacturers and lacking the space to fit it in. It seems that every car, though, should have a spare tire.
4 Essential: Dual Airbags
It’s common for cars to come with airbags all throughout the front of the car. An airbag comes in the steering wheel and some vehicles offer them in the doors too. Not every car has the passenger side covered though. Car Dekho notes that Toyota and Volkswagen put dual airbags—for both the driver and passenger—in their vehicles.
One could make the case that all cars should come this way though. If a car doesn’t put the driver and passengers’ safety first, then prospective buyers ought to reconsider.
3 Essential: Pretensioners and Load Limiters
Automakers ought to go to great lengths to make drivers and passengers safe in their vehicles. One way to improve safety lies in the seatbelt mechanisms. Car Dekho makes the case that a three-point seatbelt with pretensioners and load limiters helps keep passengers in place with a tighter grip.
Where the load limiters come in is by preventing the tightening from actually injuring the passenger as a result. Even though it might cost automakers more to include these in their cars, it’s a necessary precaution.
2 Essential: Cozy Seats
Not every car is comfortable. While not every car needs to come with plush leather seats, a car needs to be comfortable enough. For all the hours one spends in a car, it’s a basic need.
Since there are cars out there that fall short of the comfort criteria, Consumer Reports recommends always taking cars for a test drive to see how the seating feels. They say it’s good to take 15-20 minutes sitting in the car to make a proper judgment.
1 Essential: Power Windows
When one thinks of much older vehicles, many of the functions required manual actions. A stick shift is just one example. Another includes manual windows. To open these windows, one had to rotate a crank in order to get it up or down.
As Car Dekho points out, power windows changed everything; with the push of a button, windows go up and down as long as pressure is lightly applied. Although it has become universal, it’s a feature all cars should come loaded with no questions asked.
Sources: U.S. News, Autoblog, Jalopnik, Road and Track