It’s an exciting time when you’re making a car purchase.
These days, there are plenty of features to choose from, and it can be bewildering to new car buyers.
Even longtime owners might be confused by the array of safety and entertainment systems if they haven’t been in the market for a while.
Here, we tell you the top five things you should include in your next car purchase.
1. Blind Spot Warning system
One of the important features to include in your next car purchase is a blind-spot warning system.
A sensor is normally mounted somewhere inside the rear of the car, sometimes integrated into the taillights.
It illuminates a lamp or sends a signal to the dashboard to warn the driver if it detects a car in the driver’s blind spot.
Sometimes, the system will both illuminate a lamp in the mirror and sound a warning beep if you try and cut into a busy lane.
For your next car purchase, definitely considering specifying such a system.
Not only does it make you a safer driver, but it could also prevent an entirely preventable accident.
Once you have it, you can’t do without it.
2. Active/Adaptive Cruise Control
Your next car should come with active cruise control if you commute often on the expressway.
Think of it as standard cruise control on steroids.
With adaptive cruise, the system detects the car in front and automatically adjusts your speed based on a set following distance.
You can adjust the following distance to the car in front using buttons on your steering wheel.
Some systems can even bring your car to a complete halt if it detects the car in front has stopped.
Others, like Subaru’s EyeSight, even prompt you when the car in front has moved off and reengages itself once you’ve tapped the accelerator.
It’s a great safety feature on your next car purchase that prevents you from having to jam on the brakes if a car suddenly cuts in front of you while cruise control is engaged.
3. Lane Keep Assist
As the name suggests, Lane Keep Assist keeps you in your own lane.
For your next car purchase, this is something you can choose to omit (if you’re a good driver!) but we recommend that you spec it.
Essentially, Lane Keep Assist uses cameras mounted below the wing mirrors to detect the white lane lines below.
If you’re within your lane, the system displays a green “all OK” graphic.
But if you stray out of your lane, especially without signalling, the system will gently nudge you back into the lane.
Some systems give you some leeway, gently easing you back in, while others give you a strong and adamant tug.
It depends on your level of comfort: some people choose to turn the system off entirely.
Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s a good system to have on long journeys, especially up North!
4. Digital Cockpit
When buying your next car, you’ll most likely be purchasing a new vehicle.
If so, it should come with a digital cockpit.
Automakers refer to it by different names – BMW, for instance, calls their BMW Live Cockpit.
But they all serve the same purpose, which is to put a digital display in front of the driver so that he or she doesn’t need to refer to the main touch display.
Furthermore, the screen can display numerous other things that analogue dials simply can’t.
For example, you can cycle through different dial designs, replace them entirely with a full-colour digital map or even change the radio.
Some brands, like Peugeot/Citroen, even have a “minimal” mode with just the speedometer displayed, so as not to distract you.
Style aside, safety is improved with such a system fitted as the driver doesn’t need to constantly look down and left to the main display.
5. Reversing camera
This one needs no explanation. If you don’t get any of the four features above, at least spec this one.
It’s because a reversing camera can save you from many a fender bender when you’re reversing.
Even if you’re not buying a new car, the plethora of aftermarket installations available means you can retrofit a system onto your existing car.
When you engage reverse, the camera will activate and display a set of lines on the video image.
Depending on your car/camera model, the guide lines will either turn or not based on your steering angle.
It’s a simple, effective solution that complements your car’s park distance sensors and gives you a greater sense of security.
What do you think of our five features that you should spec on your new car? Would you select others?