New car? 9 useless car features

Posted at 4:40 AM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 07:40:19-04

Automotive technology has motorists given us numerous great things in recent years such as gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, back-up cameras, blind spot monitoring systems and automatic emergency braking systems. But, it also has given drivers a variety of features that aren’t quite as valuable.

As an automotive resource, AAA Car Buying experts have identified nine automotive features that most drivers likely will find rather useless:

  1. Paddle Shifters. Most drivers enjoy the ease of an automatic transmission, but some still enjoy the ability to manually change gears from time to time. Paddle shifters seemed to be the perfect feature for these motorists, but unfortunately, the feature tends to deliver more frustration than satisfaction.
  2. GPS Navigation. In-car navigation systems were all the rage in the ’90s, but with smartphones equipped with a variety of navigation apps, like AAA Mobile, these systems are no longer a must-have feature.
  3. Sunroof (or Moonroof). These windows mounted to the rooftop of vehicles are ideal for stargazing and sightseeing, but in Arizona, we tend to keep them closed and covered up, especially during the summer months.
  4. CD Player. When is the last time you bought a CD, or better yet, played a CD in your car? Smartphones are to blame for the CD player’s demise, as it offers drivers the ability to use apps, make playlists or take their entire music collection with them on the road.
  5. Illuminated Door Sills. The feature may give your ride a few extra style points, but it’s a rather pointless feature to have as it lacks substance and functionality.
  6. Automatic Folding Mirrors. Automatic mirrors open and close outside mirrors when locking or starting a car. But unless you have a tight garage space, this feature doesn’t prove to be very useful, as drivers easily can fold their outside mirrors if they need to.
  7. Automatic or Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers. Rain-sensing wipers use an optical sensor to determine the speed and frequency of your windshield wipers, but drivers often complain that the sensors don’t work as they should. Plus, turning on your windshield wipers when it begins to rain isn’t that difficult.
  8. Touchscreens for Operating Controls. Touchscreens have replaced many vehicle controls, making vehicles seem very futuristic. But drivers frequently need to adjust controls while they’re driving, which isn’t easy, and even can be dangerous to do, on a touchscreen. Buttons and knobs are easier and safer to use on the road.
  9. Voice Recognition. Using this seemingly harmless feature can cause a driver’s mental distraction to persist up to 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text message, according to a 2015 AAA study. Motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles for nearly half a minute while their mind readjusts to the task of driving

Whether or not you agree with AAA Car Buying experts on this list of extraneous features, it’s important to choose a vehicle with features that you want and know how to use.

As an automotive resource, AAA recommends testing vehicle features and technologies before you invest in it. AAA Car Buying consultants can arrange a test drive so you can see if various vehicle features and technologies are right for you.

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