Whether you’re upgrading your current model or looking into purchasing your very first vehicle, there are so many things to consider.
If you think back ten or so years ago when features such as power steering, air conditioning or even a CD player were expensive optional extras, you’ll realise just how far technology has progressed.
We spoke to Cars and Co to get the lowdown on what to look out for when considering technological features for your new car.
Bluetooth and USB
Having the option to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth now comes as standard in many models currently available on the market. However, not all Bluetooth systems are created equal.
Firstly, it’s important to check that the Bluetooth system was installed before arriving at your chosen dealership. If not, this could mean that the system may not have been integrated into the car’s controls or audio system correctly. Having Bluetooth systems installed by your dealer could also mean that the system is not covered by the car maker’s warranty.
You should also check to see if your vehicle’s Bluetooth system has been designed to wirelessly stream audio. Having this option will allow you to listen to music or radio stations via your phone or portable music device.
If your car does not have Bluetooth you can connect your smartphone or music device via USB ports. USB ports commonly come as standard, even in less expensive models.
Newer models are now rated by a five-star safety system.
When looking into safety ratings it’s important to know which organisation or authority has rated the vehicle you’re looking at. Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) are the two most commonly used organisations.
Although these organisations tend to share data, the two do have different scoring systems. For example, Australasian NCAP often gives their rating based on the safety of the occupant, whereas Euro NCAP tends to focus more on pedestrian protection. This is why it is common for some models to have a higher safety rating in Europe than they do here and vice versa.
When you take into consideration that some navigation systems can be purchased for as little as $100, it’s hard to think why some car manufacturers can charge over $5000 for the option of an in-built navigation system. Luckily some mid-priced hatchbacks now include this option as standard but again there are some things that need to be considered.
These include whether or not the system has a touch sensitive screen and if map upgrades are included in the price of installation. Updating maps on your navigation system can cost anywhere between $100 and $200, but some manufacturers will offer free map upgrades for a number of years.
Rear Seatbelt Warning
The seat belts are considered to be one of the main safety features in your car.
Yet, there is no way of knowing if your passengers have unbuckled themselves without a seatbelt warning light. This feature is great for those who have small children and want to ensure that their family is safe during car journeys.
The best versions of these warning signals show who is secured in each of the five seats within your car. Cheaper systems may only have one warning symbol of all 3 seats, which give you no indication of who has undone their seatbelt.
Hopefully, the above points have given you some indication of features to consider when buying your next car. Nowadays there are so many technological features and gadgets to be considered in order to make your new car suit your individual lifestyle and specific wants or needs.