When you go to buy a car, it’s always spruiked on the biggest and best features.
The most underrated features aren’t always on the front page of the brochure, but are well worth looking for.
We found the three most underrated features in a new car, so you can be on the look out on the lot.
The days of getting into the car that you’ve locked your keys into with a coathanger should be gone by now, but some cars persist with using the same technology that has been used since the commandments were coming down the mountain.
Smart keys aren’t a particularly clever invention, until you’re stranded in a car park with your spare set at home. Not having to worry about whether you can get in and out of your car is always a relief, when you can just dump your keychain in your bag or slip it in your pocket and forget about it until you’re back home again. Cars equipped with smart keys are usually also standard with push-button start, meaning that you never have to touch any part of your keyring to get on the road.
That doesn’t mean that a thief can just jump in and start driving, smart keys work by proximity – so your car will work out that the key isn’t within a few metres and stop itself, or give an alert to you if you've left the keys on the table at home.
Back in the day, every car required driver input for every little thing from bringing the steering wheel back to centre to keeping yourself safe in the event of a crash. Thanks to power steering and seatbelts and airbags, drivers don’t have to break into a sweat every time they’re travelling.
Cruise control is another innovation that was invented to make drivers lives easier, but still didn’t become commonplace until the 1990s and even today; some budget cars exclude cruise control to keep costs down.
Now that used cars are starting to come onto the market with cruise control, it’s worth looking for as a feature – most new cars from light hatchbacks to luxury come with some form of cruise control from basic push-button operation to advanced radar-based systems that can monitor the speed of the car in front and adjust your speed.
Tinted windows are still a big seller for people looking to modify their cars look. Presumably it’s to darken the windows so that passers-by can’t see in, and stop excess glare.
Recently, car manufacturers have decided to install privacy glass onto their models as a standard feature, in order to protect from prying eyes – usually into the backseat and the boot.
Privacy glass is a deterrent to opportunistic thieves, not to mention achieving some of the same goals as tint without the cost, because it’s a standard feature.
The friendly sales teams at Motorama can take you through the features of seven new car brands as well as over 800 used cars, and test them on their knowledge to find out what might be most convenient feature that you haven’t thought about.