In the ever-evolving landscape of automotive design, the concept of a dream car has taken on new dimensions. As we look back at the humble beginnings of car interiors, where power steering was a luxury, we find ourselves in an era where luxury details are not reserved for the elite few.
Today you may find many of the best dream car features are widely available across many car interiors. These enhancements contribute to a better driving experience and safer commute for all passengers, young, wise, and four-legged alike.
Thanks to technology and manufacturing advancements, luxury is becoming more and more accessible all the time. We asked a few car enthusiasts and purely utilitarian drivers what their most loved car features are, and here’s what they had to share. Can you guess how many of the listed features your car has?
Automatic Keyless Entry
When your hands are full, reaching the key fob without dropping is a skill that is rarely appreciated and may never be with automatic keyless entry. No more standing around in the rain, and you fumble for your keys. Just a touch and the chirp of your car door sensing your presence unlocks like magic.
Dual Heated & Cooled Seats
With leather seats being a popular car interior choice, dual heated and cooled seats are the ultimate cherry on top. No more peeling your legs off the leather upholstery in summer or feeling the icy chill in winter. With climate-controlled seats to keep you comfortable, driving is all the more enjoyable in any weather.
Heated Steering Wheel
When it’s cold outside, you tuck your hands into your pockets or anywhere other than straight out in front of you, except when you’re behind the wheel. Having a heated steering wheel is one of my personal favorite car features. It is immensely more satisfying than I thought it would be. All it took was driving a car on a cold day with the feature, and I was hooked. You may live in a warm climate and think it frivolous, but even on a chilly, damp day, the cold can sink deep into our digits. Turning the heated feature on even for a few minutes is so nice.
Heated Side Mirrors
Turning the side mirror heater on in the ice and snow or just the pesky dew is a helpful way to maintain visibility while driving. This is another one of those underrated features that really comes in handy when you need it.
Automatic door lock
Shut the door and walk away to the sweet chirp of your car locking itself. No fumbling keys, reaching across the passenger seat to manually flip the door lock, or paranoid thoughts when you are away from your vehicle that you left it unlocked with valuable items inside. It would be fascinating to know how much this simple feature has cut down on petty theft in street-parked cars.
Water-sensing Windshield Wipers
I can remember the first time I experienced riding in my grandparent’s Cadillac as a kid when the slightest bit of rain started to fall, and the windshield wipers instantly sprang to life without my grandfather lifting a finger. It may not seem like a big deal now, but the experience left an impression that cemented this feature in my mind as an instant luxury.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 60 percent of all trips are less than 6 miles. The average U.S. driver only covers about 37 miles per day. Considering all the little errands one might run daily, it sounds pretty reasonable. That’s a lot of getting in and out of the car. Not having to unplug and replug your phone every time is a small but much-appreciated bit of added efficiency. Especially if you’ve ever started to get halfway out of the car only to realize your phone is about to be jerked from your hand because it’s still tethered to the console.
This next car feature is a hotly debated topic, depending on what side of the road you’re on. I’ll admit moving to the city and rarely needing the use of my high beams has gotten me terribly out of practice at using them when I visit family in more rural areas. I may have been the jerk who forgot to turn their high beams off while passing an approaching vehicle. That was until I owned a car with automatic high beams! However, I would argue that the LED bulbs are to blame, not the high-beam technology.
Power Adjustable Seating
First, it was just the driver’s seat, then it was the front passenger seat, and now even rear bucket-style seats may have their own power adjustable settings. I don’t think any of us have grown out of that childhood phase of loving all the buttons. However, if you have a long commute or enjoy taking road trips the extra adjustability that comes with power setting is incredible for comfort. The functionality is great, from lumbar support to added cushioning behind the knee. You may not think it’s so special, but the moment you sit in a non-power adjustable seat, you will realize just how much you took this feature for granted.
In a perfect world, we would just design cars with perfect visibility, but unfortunately, there is a litany of complications that prevent that from happening. So, the next best alternative is having an indicator that lets you know when a vehicle is present and it is unsafe to switch lanes or back up. Though the features are not always mutually exclusive, having cross-traffic alerts is very helpful in crowded parking lots filled with vehicles, buggies, and pedestrians.
Push Button Rear Seat Folding
If you owned, rode in, or knew someone with a minivan or SUV in the early 2000s, you know it was a production to fold the rear seats down. Anytime you wanted to haul something larger than a couple of grocery bags, you had to spend a while clearing out the van, messing with the headrests, and climbing in and out of the vehicle before you could get them to fold down. Even then, It wasn’t until Chrysler came out with the stow-and-go system that you had flat, usable storage space. Now, one of the coolest recent features becoming more widely available in car interiors is a button near the car’s tailgate that automatically folds the seats for you. So long as there are no obstructions, any time you find yourself loading the trunk and realize you need more space, just hit the button, and you’re done. Talk about convenience.
Power Window Locks
Maybe not everyone considers safety a luxury, per se but perhaps they should. For example, when your dog steps on the power window button, it’s great to be able to stop the window before it opens dangerously wide, in a rainstorm, or when it’s snowing out. They may not mind the cold and wet, but you probably will. The same is true for tots who love buttons. Having the ability to put the lock on ensures no one is messing with the windows who shouldn’t be.
Automatic Side Mirrors
Another ultra-modern feature is seeing a car turn its side mirrors in automatically upon powering off. This is such a logical and cool thing for a car to do. How many times have you accidentally bashed your shoulder on a side mirror while walking between parking spaces or struggled to get closer to the parking garage ticket booth for fear of hitting your mirror? Being able to temporarily turn them in is a helpful feature in dozens of situations. Not to mention this functionality allows you to easily adjust them to your seating position for optimal blindspot visibility.
Marly is a lifestyle writer and creator of simplylivinghappy.com, a site dedicated to helping readers improve their health, wealth, mindset, and overall happiness. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her listening to audiobooks while gardening, visiting with family, or traveling.