Cars have so many features these days, keeping up is almost impossible. They all have weird acronyms and other quirky titles inviting you to marvel at them. But what do you really need in a car? Car Click – used cars for sale in Adelaide classified site explains some of the best features to look for in a car.
1. Active Cruise Control
An intelligent variation on cruise control – setting a speed and letting an on-board computer control the acceleration and braking – active cruise control can take your car from parking to its desired speed and adjust based on what’s in front of you. It uses a radar-style technique to detect cars in front and eases on the speed if you get too close. It can be expensive, but it might save you hundreds of dollars in fines.
2. Airbags – the more the better
If your car doesn’t at least have airbags, don’t even buy it. Look for cars with curtain airbags as well as airbags fitted in the rear.
3. Satellite navigation and infotainment centres
Satellite navigation is becoming more and more common these days and often forms part of an in-dash infotainment system that connects to satellite radio, your smartphone via Bluetooth and other accessories. These are great because it guides you to a destination hands-free, whereas fiddling with your smartphone might get you into trouble with the law. Downsides are that you might have to upgrade the maps every year or two, which could run you hundreds of dollars.
4. Electronic stability control
ESC (also styled as ESP for program or Dynamic Stability Control) saves lives. In fact, all new cars have to have it in Australia. It detects loss of traction and counteracts any potential loss of control from the elements. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates one-third of accidents could be prevented by this technology, if fitted.
5. Parking assistance
Hands up who hates parking? There are so many parking assistance options available now you don’t really have a gripe when it comes to the old reverse parking. You can choose from the basic rear parking sensors that beep when nearing an object, reverse parking cameras and all the way up to automatic parking assistance, which helps you guide your car into an open bay almost if by magic. (It’s not really magic – it’s all done by computers.)
6. Lane keep assist
The brainchild of the boffins at Honda, this system keeps you in your lane by recognising the white lane markings on the road. It will keep you inside the lane if you start to drift off them. Less complicated systems simply sound an alarm if you’re going off course. They could help save lives if you’re fatigued – but if that’s the case, you shouldn’t be driving anyway.
7. Tow hitch
Do you like going on holidays with a caravan? You’re going to need a tow hitch.
8. Blind spot detection
This sweeps the lanes behind you when you indicate to tell you if you’re about to hit something you couldn’t quite see. Head checks aren’t 100% foolproof, but blind spot detection gets you a little bit closer.