With modern cars these days getting all different gadgets & technologies – some of which are potentially life saving and others just purely to satisfy us drivers while travelling, it can sometimes become way too much for any ones personal needs to the point it can get quite distracting & also slightly annoying which begs the question, when is enough enough and what should really be important in a car and what should take a step back?
It’s no surprise that us petrol heads like our cars to drive as pure as possible with as little driving aids as possible, however, we still love our gadgets and can’t live without the likes of a premium stereo system and the likes of electric windows and of course the good old air conditioning for those really hot days.
I know for a fact I’m one of those people and I know I’m not alone in this situation, me personally, I can’t live without cupholders for a start and I certainly can’t live without the likes of electric windows, leather seats & a cracking stereo system.
For example, with the equipment on my C70, I love the parking sensors fitted to mine as it makes it so much more liveable to park what is still a fairly big car, I also adore the leather seats and find them quite frankly fantastic to the point it’d be weird to be without them, not just are they unbelievably comfortable but because they were designed by an orthopaedic doctor, I know that they are helping out my back which is a god send, especially when my back goes which it sometimes does.
However on the flip side of that, there’s a good few things on my car which I hardly even think about and these include the heated mirrors for a start off, now sure they help clearing the frost & ice & water off the glass quite quickly, however unlike the seats they’re not really that much of a god send and even go unnoticed even by myself.
Other things which get unnoticed by myself are the DRL’s, now sure just like the mirrors they also serve a purpose & every Volvo ever since and even before the C70 have had them fitted but they serve such little purpose apart from a safety point of view that they’re easily forgotten about and can easily get unnoticed however good & safe they might be.
Now, this is where it gets a tad confusing but work with me on this, while with my car there is things I can & can’t live without, with the likes of the Seat it can easily be considered bare bones in comparison, for example, it has one cup holder between 5 people which is just crazy, it doesn’t have electric mirrors or even electric windows in the rear which was something I’d expect from a car built & using parts from the VAG parts bin, however with such little equipment apart from the bare essentials it kind of works in that situation due to the fact there is less to go wrong if there is less fitted to it in the first place.
Even with the Seat though, even though it is quite archaic compared to both the Volvo & even the Lexus which I’ll get onto in a little bit, there is even things in that which is in some respects unliveable even by todays standards, one of which is the 6 CD changer in the glovebox, now sure it takes up a good 80% of the glovebox space which isn’t that good, however, it’s such a good add-on that it’d be weird to live without.
Now, this is where the real point of this article comes into play and this can easily be explained by the RX400h we have, now, Lexus have always been known to add in tons of equipment even in standard trim into all of their cars regardless of price or car class and to some it’s fantastic, however, while our Lexus has tons of equipment we can’t live without, even to us it’s overkill with the amount of stuff it has – for a start off it has adaptive auto lights which swivel when you turn the wheel & rain sensing wipers, it has sat-nav, cruise control, Dual zone climate control & an electric tailgate to name a few.
Now most of those stuff in that car we’ve never had before so it’s all new to us and does take getting used to I’ll admit however even with the Lexus more than anything else there is tons of stuff in that we’ll never even consider using or living with and with some even there just for owner satisfaction it comes across as overkill which certainly begs the question, why is it there if it’s hardly ever gonna get used?, it just makes no sense!
Now, the RX certainly isn’t the worst, with new cars coming nearly every few months, the equipment & gadgets coming out on them are indeed great but on the other hand can be way too much for anyone to live with, what happened to the days of actually speccing the likes of an optional sports exhaust instead of it being controlled by a switch, also, whatever happened to paying a little bit extra for the likes of a “Sports Chassis” instead of going through in some cases a miss-match of options & driving modes just to get the perfect driving set-up, before all this came in, if you wanted a proper drivers car you’d always have to wind up going for the performance model but today it seems that every car has the option to sharpen something up with the change of a setting through the cars entertainment system.
Also, while on the subject of settings & entertainment systems, how is it possible for the likes of older people who are used to older tech to set up the car they want, now don’t get me wrong, I’m quite tech savvy so that doesn’t affect me in any shape or form whatsoever but there a lot of people out their who just aren’t tech savvy or haven’t gotten with the times just yet which makes all this tech & gadgetry quite frankly null & void however fancy or clever it is.
Another issue to be raised is some owners relying on the cars systems & gadgets to guide it down the road, considering that a good amount of drivers these days have the potential to do that, it makes drivers lazy & also prone to massive accidents all down to lack of due care & attention which makes motoring even worse for us petrol-heads who cherish our cars and don’t want them dinged up in any way shape or form.
Now am I just being old, senile and being generally stubborn to move on or am I right in what I’m saying?, I’d like to hear what you guys have to say and while on the subject, why don’t you let me know what you wish your car had or didn’t have, I’d really like to see what everyones view is on this.
Hope You Enjoy
By Alex Jebson