Members of a group of international experts who work for an organisation testing hundreds of new vehicles each year have recently picked the features they wouldn’t do without in their next car.

Technology moves fast, and even if your vehicle is only a few years old, chances are there are new features your car doesn’t have – some you possibly don’t even know exist. The result is that safety, comfort and connectivity improves constantly year on year, which is of huge benefit for everyone.

So, what are these must-have features, what do they do, and which cars have them?

Some of these must-have features are what you’d expect, but some are things you wouldn’t necessarily have picked. What really caught our eye was the number of new cars we sell that tick the experts’ boxes.

The five must-have features identified by the car testing experts are:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • LED Headlights
  • Hands-free Tailgate

Here are some vehicles that have all these must-haves:

Adaptive Cruise Control

While regular cruise control has been around for a long time and is of benefit on the open road, Adaptive Cruise Control is great in slower-moving or rush hour traffic, helping to reduce driver fatigue and therefore sharpening your concentration.

Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give you safe and easy ways of using your phone while you drive. Make calls, listen to music and get directions all via the screen on your dashboard. You can even send texts by voice command.

While most new cars have some ‘infotainment’ system, the beauty of these two is they are easy to set up and are consistent to use across different makes and models. However, it’s surprising the large manufacturers in NZ who don’t offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s a common feature among our vehicle range.

Blind Spot Monitoring

No explanation needed here as to what this does or why it’s so useful… (Who hasn’t pulled out to a toot and a screech of brakes, having missed seeing something in their blind spot?) Up there with sliced bread in terms of inventions, Blind Spot Monitoring will give you a display in your wing mirror and/or an audible alert if you put your indicator on with something hiding where you can’t see it.

LED Headlights

Many, many accidents happen around dawn and dusk, and LED headlights help enormously with illuminating the road ahead with a brighter, sharper and more natural light. They use less energy too. LED headlights are becoming more common as a standard safety feature.

Hands-free Tailgate

If you’ve ever approached your car with bags of shopping or holding hands with some potential run-away children, you’ll appreciate how wonderful it is for the boot to open at the simple wave of your foot or simpler still, just because you’re there with the keys in your pocket. While it may not have been in our top five must-have features, it sure feels like magic for the car to read your mind (or foot!).

What would be in your top 5 must-have features?

Having asked around at Brendan Foot Supersite, some of the other features that would make our top five include a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, forward collision alert and autonomous emergency braking. Makes sense to have as many features as possible to prevent you hitting things, doesn’t it?

A coffee maker that produced a nice hot flat white at the flick of a switch was mooted but didn’t get enough votes in the end. Happily we’ll make do with cup holders, which are an oldy but a goody feature on all our vehicles…

For the full article, click here.