New cars are great and offer you more than just the new car smell that we all love, but there are some things we really wish we would find some design issues taken care of. Every car has its positives and negatives in order to make you think about what you plan to buy, but there are features we want to see changed one way or another to give us the benefit of the features that will be perfect for use and our driving. Let’s look at some issues we find in cars that we could really enjoy seeing changed.
Center Console Storage – Even with cars that now offer are few extra cubbies, the center console is where we want to put our phone, wallet or keys. This is especially a problem with the proximity keys that can either stay in your pocket or in the car somewhere, you now have one more item to deal with. What we need is the storage space that allows the cupholders to be used for actual cups so we can put these items in a secure location until we park the car again.
Infotainment System Cautiousness – An infotainment system is meant to be useful at all times, but the caution some of these systems show when the car is in motion is ridiculous. It makes sense to keep the driver from using them while in motion, but there is no reason the passenger cannot act as the copilot and add information and make use of this system while the car is in motion. The voice recognition software needs to be updated as well to become a more accurate system to be used more readily. There has to be a way to make these systems better for all to use effectively.
Backup Cameras – Is that a child or an animal in your backup camera? Can you actually see what is behind the vehicle. In this day of digital photography and video there seems to be no reason we can’t have backup cameras that show us clearly what is behind the vehicle. Even though there are guidance lines on many of these camera feeds now there is still a lot of room for error and the ability to misjudge the distance between your car and the one behind you which then requires you to turn around and see if you can figure it out for yourself.
Steering Wheels – With the advancements we have made in vehicle features and technology why would there be any vehicle on the market that does not have a telescoping steering wheel? Every car should be fitted with this feature to have a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes to ensure every driver can fit well and find their way in the car to be in the right positon to drive. This is not a new feature, Ford started offering it in the 1950s so why is it not standard yet on every car on the road?
Dead Zones – Your brake pedals probably have a dead zone and there is no reason for this. You don’t put your foot onto the brake pedal for the fun of it you want the car to slow down or stop altogether when you press the pedal, not when you have pushed the pedal down a few inches. Most sports cars come with brakes that engage right away but if Honda can put this feature on the new Civic why can’t it also be standard across the market to have brake pedals that immediately engage the brakes instead of waiting for you to push the pedal halfway down?
Gear Shifters – With more automatic transmissions on the market there are more that are controlled simply by pushing a button rather than moving a selector. This takes a lot of getting used to and is a change from the norm that will be confusing for most of us to use. In order to put a car with this push button controlled automatic transmissions in park you have to push a button on top of the selector, something many forget to do until the system won’t engage as expected.
Hidden USB Ports – Where are the USB ports on your new car? Are they trapped in the bottom of the center console where you want to be able to store items? If so you have a dual complaint because this doesn’t make it easy for you to use the USB port and it certainly limits your storage ability in this area which should be left to make a great rolling file area for those of us who need to work on the road. These ports should be out in the open to be useful and placed where you can find and make the most use of them.
Auto Start-Stop System – A smooth start/stop system will help you save fuel and be barely noticeable, which is exactly what you want, but many of these systems are not that smooth. The shuddering and shaking of these system makes a lot of noise and often leads to drivers turning them off for the inconvenience of listening to the car make a great deal of noise at every stop along the way. What makes this worse is you have to turn this system off every time you get in the car if you don’t want to listen to it because the vehicle was made to meet regulations with the system on.
Driver Assistance Alerts – These systems are fantastic for giving you alerts to your need to be alert to a driver in your blind spot or warn you that you are drifting into the next lane, but when these alert systems show up on your display screen or start to make noises at you the can be distracting. It’s better to have a light that comes on or a vibration in the seat than to take over the attention of the driver that is better placed on the road ahead than being directed at the gauge screen.
Sensitive Auto Braking – With this system you might just want to live with the intrusion because it may save you from running over a child on their small bike that rides behind you. When a vehicle comes into the range of the sensor, even when you are barely moving the system brakes quickly and suddenly to keep you from a collision that you were aware to avoid anyway. This system would be better if it gauged the likelihood of a collision rather than engaging whenever anything was in the range, but this is one of the ten features I can certainly live with.