The Car Features People Love to Hate

Great car, but avoid the front defroster

Great car, but avoid the front defroster

Modern car features are practical, convenient, irritating and outright absurd.

Heated seats are a gift direct from the heavens, while heated windshields are the kind of irritation that will slowly drive you to insanity.

The number of available car options has grown exponentially since the days of optional air conditioning and power windows. I’m certainly not alone in my loathing of some features, as our friend Jil McIntosh recently posted a rant about the features in cars that are more infuriating than helpful. I have to say that she nailed a lot of them, but there are more.

Jil talks about the fine lines of Land Rover’s exceptionally irritating front windshield defroster, GM’s cooled seats (which blow jets of cold air into unmentionable regions of those wearing shorts), automatic stereo volume adjustment and push-button start.

Yup, yup and yup! But there are more car features that drive me crazy while doing nothing to make my life easier or more comfortable.

My Audi has a feature that limits the amount of time I can run the stereo when the engine is off. During a landscaping project this weekend, I had to routinely re-start my audio when the car decided it was time for silence. Not cool, Audi. Not cool.

I’ve also come to despise regular cruise control. I have a new mantra: Adaptive cruise or nothing! When I turn on cruise control, I should ride comfortably and know I won’t rear-end the slow car in front of me while I wait for my opportunity to safely pass.

There’s also a new trend where automakers are making climate control fully automatic. That’s a great theory, but there are times I want to fully control the air coming out of my dash, not just set a desired temperature. Sometimes I want to turn the air conditioning off and turn up the fan. Sometimes I want the AC on but blowing slowly. Sometimes I  want the AC on full blast. Sometimes I want the entire system off, which appears to be impossible in my current ride.

As wonderful as advances in car technology can be, there are plenty that provide more anger than satisfaction.

What car features do you love to hate?


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  1. Yes – some features are quite unnecessary. Although I have to admit the Meridian stereo systems found on a Land Rover Range Rover is something else – made smirk anytime someone mentioned Kenwood. Some items takes a whole lot of adjustment on a drivers side – such as the surround camera system (I feel it’s a whole lot safer and quicker to look at the rear and side mirrors). I believe they were put there to give us peripheral vision to the road.

  2. High beam on the floor! Yes sir. I’m also with you on CVTs. Ugh. Like driving a rubber band,

  3. Your audi has that as part of you batt charge protection system,
    I feature I’ve wished I had a times..

    Some more I that I dislike.

    Cameras in mirrors.
    Back up sensors on compact and sports cars .
    SMG and CVT transmissions
    Push button park
    Self / auto parking ( ever seen what happens to the car behind when you have a bike rack on and hit park? ) I have .
    Most OS interfaces

    But I’m biased to cars that have the high beam switch on the floor by foot.

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