New car shopping is hard! With so many models and option packages to choose from, it’s no longer a matter of finding the right color. Navigating the maze of available technology and packages can feel even more cumbersome than deciding which vehicle you want. Does anyone really need all that stuff? After all, we’ve made it this far without it.
Yes and no.
Today’s safety and technology features can make driving safer and more convenient. Features like backup cameras and Bluetooth are now ubiquitous, and creature comforts like heated and cooled seats can be had on models as inexpensive as a Kia Forte.
At Cartelligent, we help thousands of new car buyers each year decide which features make the most sense in their new car. For this piece, we’ve broken down the list of available technology into safety and convenience features.
What safety features are available?
Safety features are typically bundled together, and there are two specific types: active and passive. Passive features are systems that simply warn you with beeps, tones, lights, or vibrations. They are not capable of preventing a collision, but may give you enough warning for you to avoid hazards on your own. Passive features include:
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Lane Departure Warning
- Forward Collision Warning
- Cross Traffic Alert
- Head Up Display
Active features are always more expensive and have the capability of physically intervening to mitigate a possible collision. Not all manufacturers offer these features and they are typically found on more upmarket and luxury vehicles. Each manufacturer bestows its own abbreviated moniker onto these systems, but the result is typically the same. Active safety features include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Keep Assist
- Frontal Collision Mitigation
- Backup Collision Intervention
- Rest Alert/Drowsy Alerts
- Active Park Assist
What convenience features are available?
Convenience technology includes features like in-car WiFi and smart phone connectivity. Some manufacturers like Audi and GM supply WiFi hotspots with nearly all their models. Other features are only available on select vehicles. Popular options include:
- Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto
- Wireless Internet (WiFi) Hotspot
- Wireless Smartphone Charging
- Remote Start / Smartphone Start
- Touch-screen display
Your Cartelligent agent can discuss all of these options with you and help you make an informed decision about which will benefit your lifestyle and budget.