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Readers Want Heated/Cooled Front Seats, Rearview Camera, Bluetooth In Their Next Car

February 3, 2016 Transportation 3 Comments

Next week we’ll be at the Chicago Auto Show — seeing the latest from auto makers. After last year’s show my husband and I thought we’d buy a 2015 Hyundai Sonata — used in 2019. We liked that it had both 2-position memory for the driver’s seat & side mirrors. At least as part of an option package on the top trim level. Plus Apple’s CarPlay, panoramic sunroof, and other features we liked. They didn’t deliver on the CarPlay so we’ve decided on a 2013 Honda Accord EX-L in late 2017.

The 2013 Accord EX-L (and higher trim levels) has 2-position memory driver’s seat — but not side mirrors. Why is this so important? We share a car, currently a 2007 Honda Civic EX. My husband puts most of the miles on the car for work but when we go out together I drive. He’s quite a bit taller so I need to adjust the seat and mirrors. He has to readjust them when he goes to drive again.

I personally prefer the size of the Civic over the larger Accord — but we at least want the seat to automatically adjust for us. For now, that means a larger car — Accord, Sonata.  Upper trim levels of newer Civics have a power driver’s seat but since my left arm/hand barely work I couldn’t adjust the seat while seated. Our current Civic has a manual seat — usually I just need to slide it forward. Sometimes I have to get out and adjust the backrest incline. I know, first world problems. I was happy without a car — but helping to buy a shared means I want to get what works for me.

Hyundai’s Elantra is their Civic-sized sedan. Optional on the 2017 Elantra is a memory driver’s seat — one position. This is good if say a valet or mechanic adjusted the seat. Not good for two drivers. The 2017 Elantra can also be equipped with a heated rear seat. I’ve had numerous cars that had heated front seats — rarely used it. I can’t imagine ever wanting a heated rear seat — our rear seat is usually empty.

Before 2000 I thought the remote to lock/unlock doors was silly — but then I got a car with remote locks. Now I can’t imagine having to put the key into the lock and turning it. Many new cars now have the proximity feature — the car unlocks for you. Inside just press the button to start the ignition! This would take getting used to — but I had two Saabs with the ignition in the center console rather than the dash. I’ll adjust.

All but three of my 12 cars have had factory sunroofs — glass pop-up (1), sliding steel (3), and glass moonroof (5). I like the idea of a panoramic sunroof — after my cataracts gets bad enough to have surgery.

New safety features are nice too. The vanity plate I had on my Volvo in the 90s was BCKLUP — short for buckle-up. It didn’t have a ABS or a single airbag. Now cars have back-up cameras, blind-spot warnings, emergency braking, etc. Not sure which of these I’d appreciate most — probably the back-up camera.

One feature I just don’t understand is the wifi hot spot. I’ve seen the commercials.

Three kids each watching a movie in the backseat  — you’d burn through your car’s data plan so quickly. This is a very expensive way to buy data!

I do like the idea of Bluetooth to connect our iPhones to the car. We’ve rented a few cars with this feature, very handy. Even with Apple’s CarPlay I don’t think I could safely dictate & send a hands-feee text message while driving.


Anyway, here are the results from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Many automotive features are becoming more affordable, which would you like your next vehicle to have? (Pick up to 10)

  1. Heated/cooled front seats 14 [8.7%]
  2. Rearview camera 13 [8.07%]
  3. Bluetooth 11 [6.83%]
  4. TIE 10 [6.21%]
    1. Proximity key entry
    2. Blind-spot warning
    3. LED headlights
    4. LED taillights
  5. TIE 8 [4.97%]
    1. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
    2. Auto up/down windows
  6. TIE 7 [4.35%]
    1. Push button start
    2. 2-position memory driver’s seat/mirrors
  7. TIE  6 [3.73%]
    1. Wifi hotspot
    2. Lane departure warning
    3. LED daytime running lights
  8. TIE 5 [3.11%]
    1. Rear cross-traffic alert
    2. Navigation
  9. TIE 4 [2.48%]
    1. Heated rear seats
    2. Panoramic sunroof
    3. Self parking
    4. Satellite radio
  10. TIE 3 [1.86%]
    1. Engine stop/start
    2. Hands-free trunk/lift gate
  11. TIE 2 [1.24%]
    1. Automatic emergency braking
    2. Other:

This poll is non-scientific so take the results with a grain of salt.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    The big advantage of Apple Car Play or Android Auto is that it allows your smart phone to become the brains for the media center, instead of attempting to replicate everything the phone can do now in the dashboard unit. We have built-in navigation in our ’13 Altima, and it costs around $100 to upgrade the database every year or two. I’d much rather have one of the always-updated nav apps on the phone linking up to a bigger, “dumb” screen on the dashboard; the same goes for music options – Sirrius XM costs money every year, as well, for both traffic info and streaming music. Finally, whether it’s thru these apps or directly from your phone, having texts “read” to you while driving sure beats “glaning down” to read ’em!

  2. RyleyinSTL says:

    The 2015 Sonata has received a (free) software update which enables Car Play/Android Auto.

    • “The automaker will finally make Cupertino’s in-car system available during the first quarter of 2016. What’s more, it won’t be a free upgrade. Hyundai says that Sonata owners will need to purchase an SD card in order to employ CarPlay inside their vehicles. Originally, the company said the software would be available for free in 2015 and 2015 Sonata models outfitted the requisite infotainment setup. ”


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