The decade of the 2010s left us with plenty of features and options that came with both cars and SUVs. But we got some that were either unnecessary or just plain awful, while others made the experience of driving as enjoyable as a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. Some of these features also did not belong to the average person and can now be obtained by any manufacturer. A few of these options also became some of the most bought/added options or came standard with the car.
The features and options on this list were chosen for these very reasons. These are the top 5 of each category and follow those principles. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what made this list, starting with the worst. Please note that this is in no particular order.
10 Semi-autonomous driving mode (worst)
This should come as a surprise to some people, and not to others. Watching the news and articles posted about people taking advantage of this feature/option is one of the laziest ways people spend their day. People turn on their semi-autonomous driving mode, especially in Tesla vehicles (autopilot), and take a nap on the highway or otherwise get distracted to where they don’t have full control.
Could it be because people think it’s autonomous and completely ignore the “semi” part? Who knows? But it is a function/option that: caused many deaths and injuries, let alone insurance increases due to negligence. Sure, semi-autonomous driving has good intentions, but obviously someone didn’t think about those who would go out and take advantage of it.
9 Ventilated Seats (Best)
Ventilated seats are one of the biggest features highlighting the 2010s. Imagine someone who has worked a long, hard day in the heat and needs to cool down on the way home. Ventilated seats give that little bit of extra cooling to areas like the back that aren’t hit by the air conditioning.
Many vehicles had these ventilated seats as an option and there is no doubt that they were not bought. These are absolutely great on days when the weather is hot and the driver just wants to cool down and feel comfortable.
8 Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Capabilities (Worst)
These two capabilities were not necessary for vehicles. Another way to distract the driver is to fidget instead of driving the car. There is no need for drivers to listen to someone’s text, be read to or open “Google Maps” to get to a destination. In fact, it’s much easier to buy a windshield mount for your phone and use it as a GPS while still being connected to Bluetooth to chat with your best friend or colleague on it.
And what happened to using the GPS the car comes with? Yes, they could be more user-friendly, but still. They have improved since they first came out. Just wait for those emails/texts until you get to your destination. It’s not that hard. If not, stop and check.
7 Lane Keeping Aid (Best)
One of the best technologies of the past decade is lane assist in any form. Prevent drivers from crossing the lines into other lanes that could cause an accident resulting in injury or even death. This has saved countless lives and caused so many accidents avoided.
Manufacturers who have put these in their vehicles have gained respect from many. But please know that this piece technology has its flaws, especially in snow or lines that are very blurred. This feature has set a new standard in what cars should have in today’s world. As simple as it may seem, it really works.
6 Touch screen / Feel everything (worst)
In a few cars we see everything that changes the experience of driving to and from having a touchscreen or touch sensors to turn on the air conditioning, the volume, change the radio station or even turn on the heated seats. What happened to dials and buttons? Are they not good enough?
Can you imagine being driving and wanting to turn up the radio when your favorite song comes on, and you accidentally press the channel changer because both are side by side and the infotainment system sensed you wanted to change channels? One of the ways to do this is through the steering wheel controls, but still, having to feel the fan speed or temperature is another thing, or taking your eyes off the road.
5 Automatic Emergency Braking (Best)
A technology that came on the market in the last decade has saved not only the life of the driver, but also pedestrians. Automatic emergency braking has done its part in protecting those in a car and the people around it by helping a potentially distracted driver to stop the vehicle before causing an accident.
Sometimes the driver doesn’t even need to be distracted because the system calculates with sensors what is happening around it and will slow down or come to a stop to help the driver and the car crash. This should be a standard option for any car if it isn’t already, especially with the number of lives it could save.
4 Heated steering wheels in regular cars (worst)
Why should heated steering wheels be on this list? This is because the heated elements do not provide nearly the heat needed to actually heat a handlebar. Maybe “heated steering wheel” is a better name for it. But they’re really just a fake option on most cars to get your hands on warm temperatures.
This decade, since older cars came out with them, heated steering wheels became more abundant. Even Mazdas and Hondas have them instead of just luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac. The heated steering wheels for these cars are nothing but substandard and unnecessary for those who decide to take the option. Save your money and buy gloves. They are warmer and cheaper.
3 Wifi on board (best)
Some manufacturers have installed Wi-Fi in their vehicles to enable a mobile hotspot for devices. We’ve seen a lot of it in vehicles over the past decade. This is great for those who have to work as they can use Wi-Fi to connect to work meetings or send emails.
The Wi-Fi can be used for the tablets that parents give their kids to behave for a ride to any destination. In a way, it’s that little bit of luxury that makes a few things easier to get through the day, whether it’s for parents or an employee who has to go to a meeting. Not only that, but cars with wifi provide the latest traffic and weather updates.
2 Paddle-Shifters in Non-Performance Vehicles (Worst)
Paddle shifters first came to performance vehicles, starting with manufacturers like Ferrari and Aston Martin. But in the 2010s, we saw even the most boring, listless vehicles get the good old paddle shifter. Why? Not only are they cheaply made and small, but they don’t serve anyone who drives them.
Today, paddle shifters are far from sporty, as they are found in SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan and compact sedans like the Chrysler 200. Plus, most people with paddle shifters don’t even know what they’re doing or even use them to drive.
1 Blind spot monitoring (best)
Another technology feature that provides security and came out in the 2010s is: blind spot monitoring† Most, if not all, cars have this feature as standard, and it has done so much to provide safety for those who drive and want to change lanes. We all have blind spots when we drive, the monitoring takes care of it and allows us to check and see if we can change lanes when we want to or at least let us know someone is in our blind spot. The blind spot monitoring works, while we don’t even want to change lanes.
It updates constantly when a car enters the blind spot by using sensors to detect the vehicle, and a light comes on on that side when we look to potentially change a lane. How many potential accidents has this system saved and avoided for drivers? While we may never know, we can guess it’s a high number.
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