Let’s face it, it takes quite a bit of time for any car model to take on a new and exciting form. Most of the time, they would look quite similar year after year. Hence, what really sets a car model apart is what it’s got on the inside.
For a lot of gearheads, what matters most is always what’s under the hood. Typically, a new year model for a car comes with substantial engine upgrades which translates to better overall performance on the road. That means you get more horses, more torque and possibly, a better 0 to 60 time. These are things that true car enthusiasts look for when deciding on whether to make another car purchase.
On the other hand, other factors also come into play for a lot of prospective car buyers. One of the most crucial ones would be the features. Car features can be classified in a number of ways. For starters, there are features which are specifically developed to enhance a car’s safety. That means preventing collisions and in worst cases, minimizing crash impact to the car and its occupants.
Aside from this, there are also features that work on making enhancing convenience in the car. These include storage features and systems that make access to the trunk easier. Meanwhile, there are also features that concern the comfort of all the occupants. And finally, there are also car features that work to improve the car’s connectivity and entertainment systems.
As you might have guessed, car manufacturers always strive to come up with the most impressive car features to go with their newest models. And in fact, we’ve listed down 20 of the best features that you should look for in 2019:
20 360-Degree Camera System
In the past, the only camera system available in the car is the rearview camera. Such a feature has been particularly helpful when parking a car or pulling out of a parking lot. However, today, some car companies have taken things one step further by also introducing a 360-degree camera system.
According to Consumer Reports, “These use cameras located around the car (in the grille, often below the side mirrors, and the rearview camera). The systems give drivers a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle as if from above; help them check for children and objects around the car, particularly when backing up; and make parking easier.”
19 Evasive Steering
Sometimes, no matter how focused you are on the road, you suddenly come upon the unexpected. It can be a vehicle in front of you that slowed down without warning. It could also be a vehicle or object that just came out of nowhere. If your reflexes are not quick enough, you and your car can end up in a serious collision.
To prevent this, car companies like Ford and Lincoln have introduced an evasive steering assist technology. According to Ford, “If the distance to the vehicle ahead of you isn’t too short and a collision can’t be avoided by braking alone, Evasive Steering Assist can help you maneuver around the vehicle by providing additional steering support when the effort you’re applying is not sufficient.”
18 Pre-Safe Nudging
Without a doubt, today’s carmakers are determined to take a more proactive role when it comes to vehicle safety.
For luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz, that means taking extra steps in protecting the driver and other occupants from a possible side collision. Hence, the company introduced a Pre-Safe Impulse Side system. According to the carmaker, “If an imminent side collision is detected, it moves the occupant as far away as possible from the acute danger zone before impact.” Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz explained, “To increase the size of this zone, the new PRE-SAFE® impulse side function moves the occupant in the danger zone away from the door and towards the center of the vehicle just before an imminent side impact.”
17 Launch Gear
For a lot of prospective car buyers, finding a car that can combine great performance with impressive fuel efficiency is quite important. After all, you want a car that’s got a lot of power without costing you so much in fuel.
To make this possible, Toyota has recently decided to include a launch gear in their cars. According to the carmaker, “By adopting launch gears, it is possible to improve belt efficiency and increase ratio spread by 15% without performance deterioration.” Meanwhile, according to a report from Forbes, this launch gear is active when the car is traveling up to a speed of 25 miles per hour. Beyond that, the transmission would switch to the belt-and-pulley system.
16 Sound Enhancement
For most gearheads, it’s simply not enough to just drive a fast car. You need to be able to feel the speed and excitement. And as much as possible, you want to be able to hear your car’s engine. Unfortunately, a number of cars now are designed to be rather quiet, favoring a peaceful fast drive over a throttle thrilling one. These especially include electric vehicles.
To strike somewhat of a compromise, certain carmakers such as Toyota and Jaguar now provide a simulated performance experience to some of their car models. This way, you can hear an engine roar even if your car is determined to stay silent the entire way.
15 Home Assist Device Connectivity
For quite some time now, it has been possible to get your device connected to the rest of your home. Because of this, you are able to turn on the lights, lock your front door and more before you even get inside the house. Moreover, electronic home assist technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa also allows you to improve your home’s security and even turn on certain home appliances.
In new cars like the Genesis G70, Alexa makes it possible to control some features of the car using remote voice control. According to a report from Forbes, this includes locking and unlocking doors as well as setting the interior to a certain temperature.
14 Smart Trailer Features
Especially when you have a powerful pickup truck or an SUV, you can’t help but be tempted to tow something. It can be the trailer that you want to take along on your camping trip or a pair of jet skis or ATVs.
However, before you tow anything, be warned that things are not as easy as they seem. That is unless you have an advanced trailering system. According to Forbes, this feature is now available in the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Using a smartphone app, you can do a pre-departure checklist as well as trailer electrical diagnostics, trailer tire-pressure monitoring, and trailer light test.
13 Track Pace
For those who enjoy owning and driving seriously fast cars, there’s nothing better than being able to view your performance on track anytime you want. After all, you want to make sure that you are getting better, and numbers help motivate a driver big time.
Well, with a feature like Mercedes-AMG’s track pace, you will get more than just raw data. Instead, you get a thorough analysis of your drive. As Mercedes-AMG explained, “You get precise information about lap and sector times you have posted on established tracks or on ones you have configured for yourself. Further information such as lateral and longitudinal acceleration, accelerator and brake pedal movements as well as steering angles assist in logging and continuously improving your performance.”
12 Smart Suspension
You may not realize it, but your car’s suspension plays a critical role in keeping your drive smooth and comfortable despite any bumps you encounter on the road ahead. To improve things further, new cars such as 2019 Audi A8 now comes with a smart suspension feature that allows for a smoother ride despite any road condition.
Furthermore, according to Audi, “The Audi AI active suspension is a fully active, electromechanically operated suspension system. It can increase or reduce the load on each wheel individually to adjust to the road as needed. The system therefore actively controls the position of the body in every driving situation.”
11 Head-up Display
Now, here’s a feature a lot of car owners would certainly appreciate. With a heads-up display, gone are the days when you would have to look down just to see vital information during your drive. This may include your fuel level, speed, navigation and more. Moreover, other systems also allow drivers to control their audio selection on the head-up display, reducing the need to access the entertainment system directly.
According to Consumer Reports, “The more sophisticated ones let drivers change their display using steering-wheel buttons, which helps keep their focus on the road.” And as you may know, having more focus and fewer distractions leads to increased road safety.
10 Keyless Entry
Here’s a question for you. When was the last time that you had to enter your car using your keys? If your answer is recently, then perhaps, it’s time to go with the times and get a car that comes with keyless entry.
Today, a lot of car models now come with this particular feature. With the help of a remote or even FOB technology, you can readily open your car’s doors with just a push of a button. Even better, some car remote controls also allow you to open your car trunk as you are walking towards your car. That means you can easily load up your groceries or other stuff as you get closer.
9 Power Tailgate
Today, the sales of pickup trucks and SUVs continue to be strong compared to other types of vehicles. Perhaps, the main reason for this is practicality. After all, you end up with a car that is bigger, more capable and therefore, more convenient. In addition, pickup trucks also readily come with a cargo bed which allows you to transport any item that is too big or bulky.
That said, one of the features to look for among trucks right now is the power tailgate. According to a report from Forbes, this feature allows for the tailgate to be lowered and raised with just a touch of a button.
8 Fast USB Charging Outlets
At a time where we all hit the road with several gadgets (phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) at once, it’s a good idea to make sure that your car has more than enough USB charging outlets to go around. This way, you can plug in all your devices at once and have them ready for use by the time you reach your destination.
Unfortunately, not all USB outlets are fast charging. As Consumer Reports explains, “The typical USB outlet in a car charges at 0.5 amperage, which charges a phone slowly. If an app is being used, the phone may lose charge even when plugged in.” Fortunately, a lot of new cars today now offer fast-charging USB outlets.
7 WiFi Hotspot
Nowadays, you can readily browse online on your phone by activating your data. However, that tends to come with hefty charges. And so, the most cost-efficient way to do a mobile browse is by connecting to WiFi. Typically, free WiFi connections are available in most public places, especially malls. However, did you know that some of today’s cars also come with WiFi hotspots of their own?
As Consumer Reports has explained, “They provide WiFi in the vehicle, allowing passengers to use mobile devices without eating up their cellular data plans. Often, a hotspot service is free for an introductory period, then owners must pay a monthly fee.”
6 Rear Entertainment Systems
Especially when you’re traveling with children, you’re constantly thinking of ways to keep them engaged and entertained. This way, you won’t have to deal with unexpected hissy fits and plain bad mood.
Hence, for any parent, having a car that already features rear entertainment systems can be an incredibly helpful and practical solution. According to Consumer Reports, rear entertainment systems can come in the form of tablets that allow a child to access books, movies, and even games. Even better, it can be easily charged using the available rear USB outlets. With a feature like this, parents can certainly look forward to more peaceful road trips.
5 Auto-Dimming Mirrors
You may not realize it, but one of the most serious challenges that drivers face on the road is glare. At night, drivers come face to face with the glare coming from an oncoming vehicle’s headlights. At the same time, you also have to deal with the glare on your rearview mirror, due to the headlights from the car behind you. This can be quite blinding and seriously unsafe. Furthermore, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Glare reduces seeing distance because it causes light scatter in the eyes, which in turn reduces the contrast of roadway objects.”
Thankfully, some new car models now come with auto dimming rear view mirrors that reduce glare and help you maintain good visibility at night.
4 Multizone Climate System
In recent times, a lot of car model featured a dual climate system. This simply meant that the driver and front-seat passenger can enjoy different cabin temperatures at any given time during a drive.
Today, however, it seems that car manufacturers recognized the need for temperature control throughout the entire car. Hence, some have decided to introduce a multizone climate system. That means everyone inside the vehicle can be as comfortable as possible the entire time. And as Consumer Reports has explained, “In some models, even rear-seat passengers can get their own climate controls. We’ve found that this can really help to take some stress out of family travel.”
3 Heated Steering Wheel
Especially during the winter months, it causes quite discomfort to enter a car and deal with a cold driver’s seat and an equally cold steering wheel. Because of this, you can’t seem to sit well and managing the wheel can be rather challenging. To make things worse, because you’re distracted from the cold, you also tend to be distracted from driving safely.
Fortunately, today’s cars now come with both heated seats and heated steering wheel. With this system, the car’s interior can be warmed much more quickly. You can forget about any winter discomfort and simply focus on the road ahead.
2 Power Driver’s Seat with Adjustable Lumbar Support
When you have your own car, it seems so easy to just pack up your stuff and go on a nice, long road trip. After all, it’s a good idea to drive through the countryside and see new sights. However, these long road trips can also cause some pain and stress. In fact, pretty soon, you may begin to feel some discomfort, particularly in the back.
Fortunately, with a power driver’s seat that comes with adjustable lumbar support, road discomfort like this can be minimized. As Consumer Reports has explained, “Those that adjust up and down as well as in and out provide even better back support. This makes long-distance driving easier, and it reduces fatigue.”
1 Blind Spot Alert
Often times, when we are backing out of a parking lot, it can be particularly hard to see everything around you. That means there is a chance that you can’t see if there is a pedestrian, object or another car on your blind spot. Because of this, there is a greater risk of hitting something, which can lead to damages to the car and/or something worse.
To prevent this from happening, a lot of newer car models already come with a blind spot alert system. Most of these systems would alert the drive through a visual and/or audible notification. This way, you can immediately break before hitting anything.
Sources - NHTSA, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Ford, Mercedes-Benz & Mercedes-AMG