Five most pointless features ever offered in modern cars

In order to sell their products, automotive manufacturers will try and offer anything and hype it up with the ‘segment-first’ tagline. Some are genuinely useful, while some are downright mind-bogglingly useless. Here are five most pointless features ever fitted to a car.

By: | Published: May 21, 2019 4:34 PM

The advancements in technology in the automotive industry since the birth of the first motorcar over a century ago has been of massive proportions. We have cars that have seats that can massage you, some can monitor multiple parameters of the driver to see if they are awake and driving healthily, and even some that can drive themselves. However, over the years, some advancements haven’t necessarily been thought through and made it to production cars. Whether they are derived from racing, or just ‘cunning ideas’ from the sales and marketing department who will try and tell you that its the best thing since sliced bread. Here are five not thoroughly thought through features that have made production.

Paddle Shift

Paddle shifters were first introduced in Formula 1 to help reduce weight and allow the driver to easily change gears while driving in a race to go faster. While it is a no brainer that it makes sense to have such tech on a fast race car, and some performance and supercars that an owner may decide to use on a race track. But, it makes absolutely no sense on an automatic version of a regular city car which will spend its entire life driving around town. It takes an immense understanding of what gear you’re in at any given time to understand how you should be shifting using them even on a supercar when you shift in a linear manner up and down the cogs regularly on a racetrack. Yet, it is a feature that consumers usually covet, and shell out extra cash for, however, they never get used in daily life.

Social Media Integration

The last thing we need in a car is more distraction. One doesn’t need to be tweeting their latest achievement or require to be aware of such an extent to require access to social media while driving. I’m actually quite happy that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto do not allow for social media notification and responses.

Voice Command and Activation

Voice activated commands have been around over two decades now with luxury cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the pioneers of the system. While over the years, the technology has improved, the voice command and recognition has always worked similarly as it always has… with total disobedience! The ability for an algorithm to decipher individual pronunciations, dialects and accents it unimaginable. However, if you do use the virtual assistants from Apple or Google, provided your car is equipped with a good microphone system, decent sound deadening and good data network, preferably 4G connectivity for it to work smoothly.

Rear-Seat Passenger Entertainment

Some modern premium cars are offered with options for entertainment screens for the rear passengers. There is aftermarket equipment which is also available for retrofitting into cars. However, in the modern world of smartphones and iPads, rear-seat entertainment screens are unnecessary added costs unless they can seamlessly integrate with your device. But most car manufacturers try and maintain their proprietary software, rendering them as pointless expenditures that one should avoid. 

Third-Row Seating

In a country with a huge population with regular families being usually larger than 5 people, you would thing adding more seats to your car is the best solution. However, contrary to popular belief, the third-row seats are extremely cramped, uncomfortable and sometimes even nauseating and claustrophobic. While they may be fine for short journeys, they make no sense for long distance as they also negate the boot space of the car. So imagine how much fun a family holiday would be if you could carry none of your luggage with you?

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