The latest Auto Car India has an article on features that manufacturers provide which are not useful in India. Reading that lead me thinking about good features that manufacturers should copy and introduce on all vehicles (since they are anyway copying from each other). This list is primarily from vehicles under 15 lakhs (mostly can be found on vehicles less than 8 lakhs in price).
- Flat dashboard with non reflective surface and anti skid surface allowing small items to be placed there without sliding around
- A/C vents that can be fully closed
- Coin holders with soft inside lining that doesn’t rattle
- Sunglasses holder
- Cell phone holder on central console/dashboard
- Glove box big enough to hold more than just a few papers with soft lining to prevent rattling
- Cooled Glove box
- Central console/dashboard space big enough to hold Cd’s
- Front passenger under seat storage. Has to be reasonably sized – otherwise don’t bother. If it is lockable even better.
- Storage space for 1 litre bottles in door pockets.
- Netting in boot for luggage/straps
- Clutch foot rest
- Clutch lock that requires clutch to be pressed before cranking engine
- Follow home lighting and theatre style dimming of cabin lights.
- Lighted ignition key slot on the dashboard and easy to see rather than on the steering column (I know the photo does not have it on the dashboard).
- Keys that have remote lock/unlock built in.
- Valet keys that do not open the boot or lockable glove box. You can give these to the valet without worry of your valuables.
- 60:40 split rear seats with adjustable tilt
- Double/flat folding rear seats for storage
- Fully flat reclining front seats – dangerous since they do not secure the passenger in case of an accident or sudden stop, but good for pulling over to the side of the road and catching some Zs.
- Adjustable seat belt height
- Height adjustable headrests front and rear
- Steering mounted audio controls that can work with all stereos !
- Power windows and remote central locking
- Lighted power window and other switches
- Auto up/down power windows
- Power windows that close automatically when the vehicle is locked
- Anti -pinch power windows
- Stain proof fabric for seats.
- Height adjust for driver seat
- Pedal reach adjust – helpful for short drivers
- Arm rest for drivers seat and for rear passengers. Armrests with storage space are useful to stow small items.
- Access to boot through rear seat armrest/console
- Rear seat/Boot hooks for shopping bags
- Power adapter in luggage bay/ in reach of rear passenger
- Middle row tray tables for SUVs/MUVs
- Sliding middle row seats that move back for more legroom in SUVs & MUVs.
- Flat folding 3rd row seats for SUVs/MUVs
- Anti glare rear view mirrors
- Blind spot convex mirrors.
- Parking sensors front and rear. I wish there were side sensors too (rear camera optional).
- Roof Rails: Contrary to what ACI says I think Roof Rails for luggage are needed more for hatchbacks than for sedans or SUVS since they have minimal boot space. Well integrated good looking roof rails like the ones on the Chevy Spark but with additional rails to make it functional would make hatchbacks a really practical option for people on a budget not wanting to spend an extra lakh or so for boot space that is used a few times a year.
- Under body rust proofing & cavity rust proofing from manufacturer included in warranty. Why nag us with it later for every service
- Well integrated rubber “rubbing” strips around. Body color or close to it would be best.
- Grab type exterior door handles
Tilt steering wheel
- Lighted engine bay and luggage areas
- Rear defogger and wash and wipe
- Outside rear view mirrors on the driver and passenger side should be made mandatory
- Distance to empty indicator and rpm and speed ranges for maximum mileage. (“Green” driving performance indicators may be too much to ask for but would be good to have.)
- Tachometers for all trim levels. Teach people to drive for mileage and performance.
- Automatic time based switch off of roof lamps and headlamps if engine is off unless a specific override like keeping doors open is present.
- Micro hybrid technology for all cars. Retrofit kits for existing cars if possible
- Hands free in-car blue tooth kits.
- Have ABS standardized on all trims. Lowered cost if it is mass produced.
- Speedometer linked audio systems (automatically reduces volume at lower speeds by a little bit)
- Speed sensitive steering
- Radio antenna integrated into rear windshield glass
- Cruise control for highways. (ACI believe it or not, 0n some of the highways in India we can actually use cruise control.)
- Central locking which lets you open the doors and hatch/trunk without requiring you to stop the car and give the key to someone, especially for security checks at offices and hotels.
- Tire pressure monitoring systems
- Make tubeless tires standard.
Can you identify the cars whose features I have listed ? (At least the ones in the pictures I have used.)
Any good features you have come across that I have missed ?
Source of images: Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra, Skoda & Ford product websites.