5 features to look for in new cars this year

January 18, 2020 5:36 am | Peter Warren

Much like the larger trends of the automotive industry, the specific features that buyers expect in the latest vehicles seems to change every year. Just recently it seemed like digital keys (or any form of keyless entry) was a "special feature" of sorts – but now, it's basically standard-issue! 

Meanwhile, other features that are often talked up in the news, like digital heads-up displays, are still quite far off into the future. So the question remains: Right now, what are some of the critical features that a car buyer should be looking for?

1) The latest in comfort and design

We've far past the days when a heated seat was something to get excited about in a new car. And on that note, how's this for a new development: In many of the latest models, as some of those manufactured by companies including Hyundai and Volvo, you'll find a heated steering wheel as well! 

But when talking about the design upgrades seen in most new vehicles, it's more than just a matter of heat. You'll also find positive developments in the design and function of most seats and headrests, especially for the driver. Most new vehicles now include "power driver's seats," complete with height-adjustable functionality.

"Manually adjustable seats and those that lack lumbar support can accelerate driver fatigue, even during short trips," explained Gabe Shenhar, associate director of the auto test program at Consumer Reports, for one of the publication's articles. "With power adjustments, and particularly four-way lumbar support, drivers can fine-tune an optimal seating position and make adjustments on the fly."

2) Wi-Fi and display screens

For the higher-end models, buyers will even begin to see in-car Wi-Fi, as well as multiple display screens spread around the vehicle, all of which are internet-capable – a feature that can prove very helpful for those often driving with their children! 

3) Evasive steering and braking technology

Also crucial for new car buyers are the latest evasive steering and brake technologies. Helping to watch for passerby or any other animals or objects that might come up in the vehicle's current path, evasive steering and braking technologies can literally save lives, taking light control to ensure the vehicle avoids all possible collisions or accidents. 

"The driver assist system is able to detect pedestrians by their shape, their size, their radar reflectivity, and most importantly the movement of their legs," explained literature from Mercedes-Benz describing some of their latest automobiles. "Both the radar and the camera can detect the moving legs of a pedestrian's body and therefore distinguish that it's a relevant object to be avoided. The complete [assistance] package helps the driver avoid collisions by means of both a radar and a camera, helping to keep both passengers and pedestrians safe inside and out."

Self-driving cars may still be a long way off, but with the latest evasive steering and breaking technologies, you can get a car that will truly work with you to prevent accidents and injuries.

4) Fast-charging power outlets (and more ways to connect your devices)

What good would in-car Wi-Fi do if your phone still ends up dying after a single charge? Knowing just how necessary our smartphones have become in our day-to-day lives, most manufacturers are now outfitting their vehicles with fast-charging USB power outlets to help ensure that you're never left on the road without your phone to assist you.

Additionally, manufacturers are now also working to ensure their latest vehicles are outfitted with all the latest connective applications and devices, so that drivers and passengers alike will be able to take full advantage of whatever they're carrying with them. So whether you're looking for a car with a Bluetooth connection for your phone, a charger for your tablet or an outlet that allows your children to play their gaming system in the back seat – or something else entirely – you can bet that the latest models will be able to make it happen!

5) Climate options that go far beyond A/C

Not only are there heated seats and steering wheels in many of the latest vehicles, but there are also new climate options that allow every single passenger to better control their own space. And perhaps even more importantly, voice commands and other new features often allow the driver to alter the climate system within the car – without having to ever take their eyes off the road.

"Any time you force drivers to avert their eyes from the road, it's an invitation for trouble," Shawn Sinclair, another auto expert, explained to Consumer Reports. "The best systems let drivers make adjustments without having to verify those choices visually."

Are you interested in checking out some of the latest automobiles to hit the market, and see all these new features they have to offer? Whether you're looking to buy new or used, be sure to contact Peter Warren Automotive today