By on August 7, 2013

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OK, folks: time for one last question of the day (for now, anyway). As you know, we’ve covered the best automotive details and the worst automotive details, both of which garnered well over 200 comments. Interestingly, the “worst” thread got about 100 more comments than the “best” thread, proving that we TTACers are a “glass is half empty” kind of crowd.

With that knowledge in mind, I’ve decided to ask one more pressing question: what automotive details are you missing? In other words: you’re driving down the road and you think to yourself: Why the hell doesn’t it have that? And then you get even more upset when someone tells you that the latest subcompact General Motors vehicle does have that, and it’s standard.

These can be from your own car, a friend’s car, or the industry as whole. And with that in mind, let’s get started:

Convertible Top Open/Close With Key Fob

At Porsche, I discovered that all European convertible models have a feature that allows the convertible top to open and close with the press of a key fob button. Hold down the unlock button in your 911 Cabriolet, for example, and the windows and top all go down. Seems brilliant, right?

Except that feature isn’t offered in the States, presumably for liability reasons. You know: because an American will place a baby on the roof of a convertible, press the button, then sue the automaker for $25 million, which will turn into $95 million once the jurors start crying.

Sliding Doors

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If you’ve been to Europe, chances are you’ve seen the Peugeot 1007, which was recently voted the coolest car ever in a scientific poll taken on the Peugeot 1007 Facebook group.

I love the 1007 because it’s unique in one very important way: it features sliding doors, and it isn’t a minivan. The doors aren’t for the rear passengers, you see, but for the front seats. This allows you to park virtually anywhere and get out of your car, making it the exact opposite of the Ford GT.

Swiveling Headlights

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I know, I know, a few luxury cars have this. And that means in about 10 years, all cars will have it. But to me, that moment couldn’t come soon enough. I think swiveling headlights are one of the greatest things currently offered: they save your neck in dark corners, and they seem to shine exactly where you want them to.

Rear-Facing Third-Row Seats

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I used to own a car with rear-facing third-row seats, which qualifies me as to be an expert on the hotly contested issue of: Should cars have rear-facing third row seats?

The answer is, of course: yes they should. Because let’s be honest: rear-facing third-row seats pretty much always lead to a happy childhood. Also, for those who believe they aren’t safe, here’s a thought: in a rear-end collision, wouldn’t you rather have your legs get hit than the back of your head? I thought so.

Hands-Free Texting

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If you’re like me, you view texting as a necessary evil with which we, as a society, are forced to cope. And if you’re like me, you probably send the occasional text message at a traffic light. Well, guess what? Most people are not like me. Most people are texting at all hours of the day and night, including while driving down the street, the highway, the alley, and, occasionally, the sidewalk.

I recently read a study on texting that said around 60 percent of 13-to-25-year-olds consider it the preferred method of communication. And since texting is so easy to distract us from driving, this is something that automakers will need to integrate better in the coming years. Voice controls? Mind controls? I don’t know. But something.

So, TTAC, what details are you missing? And don’t worry: I promise we’ll have “answers of the day” posts coming soon.

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars and the operator of PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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287 Comments on “QOTD: What Automotive Details Are You Missing?...”


  • avatar
    Summicron

    Roof mounted chain guns.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I was thinking some type of device on the rear that sprays tailgaters with food coloring or something similar. Talk about lawsuits!

      In all seriousness though, I agree on the swiveling headlights. I didn’t really think much of them until getting a vehicle with them. It’s great being that I live in the country and frequently drive dark and curvy roads at night.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      A directed EMP would have the desired effect as well.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      I would settle for some kind of dart gun where the darts could only be removed at the DMV when you renew your license. Pull a bonehead maneuver and you get popped with a dart. Collect enough darts and the police give you a ticket. Crowd sourcing the task of weeding out bad/negligent drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark MacInnis

        Cribbing from Gallagher? He had the idea 10 years ago…

      • 0 avatar
        grein002

        I saw this as part of a comedy routine many years ago (I want to say it was Gallagher before he went all-watermelon-smashing all the time). The gist was a suction cup dart gun you could shoot at a driver’s car whenever they did something stupid. The darts had a flag on them that said “moron”, “idiot”, or similar. The punchline was “after someone gets 5 or 6 of these on their car, the police officer can pull them over and cite them for general stupidity!”

        • 0 avatar
          Brunsworks

          That sounds more Carlinesque. He had a bit where he asserted that he feels like everyone who drives slower than him is an idiot, and everyone who drives faster is a maniac. Then he followed with, “With all these idiots and maniacs on the road, it’s a wonder we get anywhere.”

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        To stop ninnies from throwing darts at someone else for going 1 km/h over the speed limit, you only have 5 darts available to throw.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        My dad would have loved this, its to bad he would have needed a tractor trailer to hall around enough darts to satisfy the ammo for his gatling dart gun.

        The guy seriously wanted to donate his time to the local police department and just sit all day long citing people.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      Vent windows.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Don’t forget a roof rack mounted TOW launcher.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I want an evil purple minion that I can launch at the slow moving Prius in front of me and delight as it eats it in three gulps, yells, “DDDAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH,” and jumps back into its holding pen.

      Oh, and I want a trunk monkey.

  • avatar

    Faraday Cage
    Stick Shift (many cars here are not available with one)

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Headlights that automatically turn off a few minutes (maybe 10) after the car is shut down so dead batteries due to forgetfulness will be banished forever.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Hell, our ’08 Rio5 has that.
      ??

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’ve heard that many cop cars have “battery saver switches” that if an officer forgets to turn off something that sucks electrical power. The switch trips leaving just enough juice in the battery to start the car.

      That would be a wonderful feature.

      • 0 avatar
        ktm

        My 2006 Subaru WRX wagon had a feature that when you turned the car off, the headlights turned off as well.

        • 0 avatar
          wagonsonly

          All Subarus imported to North America since 1983 have had that feature. There’s an interesting bit in Harvey Lamm’s biography/management book about why – seems that stevedores loading the cars at port in Japan consistently left the lights on, and Subaru of America had dozens of fully-discharged and un-revivable batteries to deal with every time they received a shipment of cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      That’s a good one, and I would extend it to every light in the car like dome lights, trunk lights, etc for something like 30 minutes.

      The one time in a million where somebody has to use those light for really long periods of time, they could simply reset it by reopening the trunk, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      My last three GM products have had this.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      My 2013 Fiat Abarth turns the headlights off when the ignition is off. I have no idea why this never became standard operating procedure on every car.

      GM cars with auto headlights always have a delay (sometimes adjustable) but when I was a valet at a fancy restaurant the Cadillacs always drove me nuts because I always felt the need to sit around and wait to make sure the lights turned off. Never understood the unnecessary complexity in that design.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    1. Chrome bumpers, or at least some bright trim to set off the front end.

    2. Dual headlights.

    3. Full-width grilles.

    4. Three taillights each side in the case of Impalas! Sorry, I just HAD to add that! My compliments to PrincipalDan.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Duel headlights, I like. As to the rest, if you hand wash your car, as I like to do, they are a bitch to clean.

    • 0 avatar

      Definitely the 3 taillights each side for Impalas.

      A bigger greenhouse–windows that you can really see out of.

      More headroom (I’d get the FR-S if it had enough headroom. I’m only 5’10.5″, but I have a long torso.

      And, most of all, stick shift.

      But–negative details:

      no infotainment, and something to block communication while the car is moving.

  • avatar
    ant

    How about comfortable seats, and armrests. And a good sounding sound system. And oh yeah, a manual transmission.

    Id also like the car to have intermittent wipers, and cruise control.

    Im fussy, I know.

    • 0 avatar
      thirty-three

      +1 on comfortable seats and armrests. My 20 year old Civic has nice seats but no armrests. Most new cars I’ve looked at (ones that I can afford) have hard uncomfortable seats.

      And I’d also like cruise control, but it’s not mandatory.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    One of my biggest pet peeves is, using my Alero for example:

    My Alero coupe has express down driver window, and express open sunroof. Why on Earth is the passenger side window not express down, and why are non of them express up/close?

    (PS, I know, it is a cost issue)

    • 0 avatar
      BunkerMan

      My Hyundai is slightly better, but not much. The drivers side window is express up and down, the passenger side is express down only, and the sunroof is express open only.

      Why in hell isn’t the passenger side express up as well?

    • 0 avatar
      SteelyMoose

      What cost? It’s just software. My guess is that was a feature designed by lawyers.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Not just software — it does require two-stage switches. But the cost on those is so minor that I’d think the benefit would be worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          More than two stage switches. Classic power windows are simple switches that directly connect power feed to the window motor. Auto-down is easy, just a specific switch that holds power and clicks off due to the change in power draw when the motor hits the down stops.

          Auto-up windows…well Subaru tried the above style auto-up windows and got sued over it. There is nothing to stop the window from crushing your child’s neck when closing.

          So to appease the liability concerns all auto-up equipped windows use what is called a “data” switch style, the window switch requests to a window module, which operates the motor, which feeds back a square wave signal denoting window progress to the module, and if that progress stops before the window hits the limit, it will stop and back the window off.

          So its more than “software”, though I have no idea what the cost difference is at OEM level, I just know the automakers seem awfully stingy with them, cars were heading toward all-auto and now many models are going back to front only or even driver’s only.

          The biggest benefit of the auto windows is the possibility of remote operation since the computer can send the “data” request as easy as a switch can. Of course you are only allowed to close them unless you are in Europe. I think VW and others disable that for Americans. I rigged my old Lexus up to open and close them like some fancy new cars, from the key fob, with $20 worth of electronics. I use it all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Not lawyers, all the BMWs I have owned (nothing newer than 2003) have been express open and close on every piece of glass controlled by a switch.

        I can’t imagine it would cost much either. So…laziness? no attention to detail? Kia is offering ventilated seats in their C-segment cars, you would think express windows in both directions would be more common.

    • 0 avatar
      tdavis1338

      My 2007 Altima had express down AND express up on the driver and passenger side front windows. It was part of the convenience package for the 2.5S.

  • avatar

    How about ala-carte options & not having to buy a $3k option pack just to get one feature you want?

    And related: Something above base trim for stick shift, assuming stick shift even exists….

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Dang Robstar, I agree again.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Oh, I totally agree. If you’re willing to put a downpayment down and order it – with todays manufacturing technology – you’d think they’d be able to build what you want.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        + a million to this. Honda might be the best at this, since there aren’t many “packages” on their vehicles, many options are dealer installed. The worst ones are Chrysler and Nissan, plus the German marques.

        • 0 avatar
          carr1on

          Totally agree. Why do I have to pay the $3000 for a package when all I really want is the friggin’ Fog Lights and Auto Head Lights!!!!

          Damn you Nissan!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Weird, I see it the other way. The Germans tend to offer a bit more customization, where Honda only has trim levels of factory installed options.

          How is Honda’s trim level scheme different than forcing customers to take items they don’t want in exchange for one desirable item? I admit they do a good job with the trim levels and most everything in the package makes sense to where I would put my priorities, but they certainly aren’t offering ala-carte options.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Honda used to pre-wire Accords for stuff such as a HomeLink garage-door opener, which came standard in the upper trims, but which could be fitted at the dealer or as a DIY.

            A couple generations ago, Honda stopped this practice; an Ohio dealer now rigs an OEM HomeLink unit with a regular lithium battery.

            The stereo in the new Accords is one of the few things which needs improvement; why some Acura-spec audio bits couldn’t plug-n’-play is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Some manufacturers go the other way and offer stick shift only on the top trim levels. ILX and Verano Turbo are examples.

      • 0 avatar

        And some offer no automatic at all (WRX, STi)…

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I think you mean TL, not ILX. No tech package on the ILX. You can get more gadgetry with the Civic SI than the 6-speed ILX… and put 5 or 6 grand in the bank.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          My confusion was at ILX launch, the manual was the only way to get the 2.4L engine. It looks like Acura has since dropped the 2.0L and added an automatic to the 2.4L, so nevermind on ILX.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Really? As recently as March the weak 150 bhp/140lb-ft 2.0L was the only engine available outside of the manual. My exact words to the salesman were “that’s retarded” and I suspect then he realized no sale was possible.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I’m confused and might be back to square one. kvndoom made me think something changed with the way the ILX is sold, so I checked and actually found a TTAC article about Acura dropping the 2.0 and adding an automatic to the 2.4 – http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/acura-drops-2-0l-engine-for-ilx-as-sales-lag/

            Yet I just looked at Acura’s website, and as far as I can tell, the only way to get the 2.4L is still to take the manual.

            Maybe they haven’t certified the 2.4L/auto combo yet? Maybe Acura changed their mind? Maybe TTAC dropped the ball and it was never true?

            Why don’t they yank both powertrains and replace them with the “earth dreams” powertrains in the 2013 4-cylinder Accord? This gets a strong engine with either an auto(cvt) or manual, with no additional needed certification. Or does each engine/transmission combo have to be tested and certified in every chassis? Hmm…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          There actually was something they called a tech package on ILX when I looked in March.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Also, I think all traction control systems should be fully defeatable. (I am looking at you, GTI/GLI) Sometimes, in winter conditions, you just need to spin your tires and let your winter rubber dig. Traction controls are not helpful here.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      But I assume you want the electronic diff lock to stay ingaged?

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Depends.

        If you are referring to an electronically actuated mechanical locking differential, and I have activated it, then yes of course.

        If you are referring to the ABS programming that pulses the brakes on the spinning (low traction) side of an open differential, I would like to be able to defeat these systems at the press of a button. (so called eLSD or similar). These systems work ok in slippery conditions, but in deeper snow, momentum is king, and so I would like to be able to defeat it.

        My personal desire would be just for a car with a straight up mechanical LSD and no traction aids.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “If you are referring to the ABS programming that pulses the brakes on the spinning (low traction) side of an open differential, I would like to be able to defeat these systems at the press of a button.”

          How is your momemtum helped when all the power is being directed to the wheel with the least traction?

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Drive in snow you’ll figure it out.

            I have to do the same thing with my rwd pickup here in New England. Just gain a bunch of speed and roll it up the hill.

            See if you use the gas you’ll spin the tires if you roll your not putting any torque to the wheels from the engine. So you wont slip.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          It would be helpful if a traction control allowed the “brake diff” action without the throttle limiting, then you could get the best of it when trying to power up a grade or get unstuck. But it is almost always coupled with progress killing throttle control. My Lexus is the worst at this.

          Some cars do have a truly useful brake trac system that maximizes traction rather than administer throttle control. The Toyota FJ with the a-trac and the new Forester X-Mode come to mind. If you understand the limitations of a limited-slip differential you would realize how hugely useful a brake operated traction system can be. Check out some Youtube videos the Toyota A-trac is very impressive. Too bad we can’t get something like that in a simple FWD car for snow driving.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      100% on this, especially on FWD vehicles. It’s even worse with my Altima and its CVT.

    • 0 avatar
      vwbias

      The funny thing is that this ONLY effects US cars, my Canadian GTI has fully defeatable stability control:

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Roll down back glass in hatches/SUVs. My 4Runner has this and when combined with an open moonroof, I get a nice breeze through the vehicle that is nice and symmetric. You also get rid of that buffeting condition that blasted my GTI with 4 windows down because the air doesn’t have to stack up in that space above the cargo area. Also lets you load the back of the vehicle through the window without opening the cargo door (this is handy when you have bikes on the hitch mount rack).

    Allowance for a hitch receiver. My GTI had no allowance, so I had to run a roof rack for my bikes. Our MINI doesn’t. The 4Runner has a 2″ receiver so I get to use my hitch mounted rack that is far superior. I even added a 2″ receiver to our Prius for the same hitch. Love it.

    Screw in tow hooks on the front bumper that can double as canoe tiedowns keeping the rope off your paint.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Uhaul will bolt a hitch receiver on pretty much any car. Even my Civic hatchback.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Mini has a center exit exhaust. No hitch available. My GTI with the really low rear skirt did not have room for a hitch either. Will the current WRX/STI hatches allow for a hitch? I don’t think so with the single canister, quad tip exhaust. It seems like anything sporty means that they remove the ability for a hitch.

        • 0 avatar
          aerojammin

          MINI has a factory bike rack setup for the rear of all there cars and a company called MINI FINI enables you to have a hitch as well (even with the center exhaust).

          Link for the MINI FINI site: http://www.minifini.com/Default.aspx

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            While neat, the Sport Link I, the attachment base, and the 2″ receiver comes out to $698!!! Maybe if the MINI was my only car, I could see that being some reasonable investment…

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            There’s cheaper hitches for MINI, I had one on mine. Only the turbos have the center exhaust, but I don’t think that made it especially hard to put a hitch on.

          • 0 avatar
            aerojammin

            Finally remembered the cheaper hitch solition: MINI do more, which CURT copied the design of. I think the MINI do more hitch was around $250. Here is thread discussing the 3 types.

            http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/interior-exterior/204972-towing-mini-fini-vs-mini-do-more-curt.html

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          There are a number of hitches for the WRX/STI

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            For the hatch? I see them for the sedan, but not the hatch. Drawtite’s website specifically excludes WRX and STI models with the quad exhaust. I would think that the transverse mounted canister would make it difficult.

            What I’d love to see is it done like tow hooks are done on a lot of the sporty cars. Most have a little panel and you can screw the tow hook into it. My idea is that you have a cover over the bumper skin that can be removed giving you access to an area where you can attach a receiver of your choice in size. It would give every car instant ability to accept one of those platforms or a hitch mounted bike rack. It would also look clean and be easy to swap back and forth. Some of those Drawtite hitches are precariously low, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      I love the roll down windows of the 4Runner and old Blazers and Broncos. I would imagine one of the biggest issues today is that the rear end of most SUVs (and by that I mean crossovers) are not straight, they are rounded

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      You’re right about the rear windows on a GTI. Roll the back ones down a little bit and it’ll feel like someones trying to rip your eardrums out. The VW fanboys think its because of the superior aerodynamics of the car. I think its really stupid and I work in the aviation biz.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        All cars do that not just the GTI. Every car I have ever owned has that booming thing going on. Some are worse than others though. 4 door sedans are the worst, in my experience.

        • 0 avatar
          Topher

          If you crack the sunroof (tilt or slide), and crack the passenger rear window, you get a nice breeze on the driver’s neck.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          My GTI was a 4 door hatch. I never noticed it in my 1st gen Impreza sedans. It seems like 4 door hatch/wagon vehicles were by far the worst with both back windows down. I never put the windows down on my Prius because racecar… I mean, aerodynamics (and a great HVAC system). I don’t notice it on the MINI either.

  • avatar
    igve2shtz

    All gcars with electroluminescent gages (gages that are always lit) and daytime running lights MUST have Automatic Head Lights. I can’t believe how many times I nearly rearended a car on a dark highway because the driver thinks the headlights are on (awefully dim, huh?) but its just DRLs and there are no taillights.

    Speaking of DRL, I would enjoy a good DRL override button. GM does it right.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      While out and about on my motorcycle last night, I had to yell at someone in a Honda CRV for this. Idiot thought I was a road rager and wouldn’t roll the window down … eventually I yelled loud enough through the closed window for him to get the message, and he turned the headlight switch on, thus turning the taillights on. This happens regularly. I’m looking at you, Honda, Acura, Subaru, Toyota, Lexus, and Hyundai.

  • avatar
    Chris

    Gotta be the Car Periscope.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQRm1cg8T8I

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Black rubber strips on bumpers to…wait for it…protect from minor impacts!

    Side moldings on the lower level of the body to deflect road grime and spray from shiny door sides.

    Side moldings on the middle level of the body to protect from other cars’ doors.

    All of these used to exist but are gone in the name of fashion, for which the body shop industry is eternally greatful.

  • avatar

    How about tire rotation reminders? I can’t tell you how many worn-out-on-one-axle set of tires I’ve seen on the road.

    This could be combined with air pressure gauges & traction control systems to figure out if one tire/axle of tires are wearing prematurely or unevenly.

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    decent strong large areas under the car specifically
    designed to accept a floor jack.

    to hell with the little flimsy gutter ribs at the sides of the car.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    How about a venting system that lets in fresh, cool air, but not putting the incoming vent next to the engine (at the base of the windshield) that heats it up?

    I hate the fact that it will be something like 75 degrees outside, but I have to use my AC because the engine heats the incoming vent air to the point where it feels like a heater.

    If I could get actual 75 degree air coming in my car, like when my windshield is down, it would be perfect.

  • avatar
    meefer

    Split hatches for tailgating/sunset watching/food truck fooding/general shenanigree.

  • avatar
    drtwofish

    Rain gutters. Oh, how I miss rain gutters. Why must water pour into my interior whenever I open my door or crack my window? Why must I remember to roll up my windows if I want to give my windshield a quick wash?

    Also, vent windows. Why the ’67 Camaro will eternally be the best.

  • avatar
    ezeolla

    1. Auto up and down windows
    2. The feature where if you just tap the turn signal stalk (not enough to fully engage it), it just blinks 3 times. I don’t know what it’s officially called, but it is great for changing lanes on the highway

  • avatar
    lon888

    Built-in rearward-firing paintball guns. Useful for when that asshat that blocks the left lane at 55mph. Zip around him, put a couple of harmless paintballs on his windscreen and he’ll get over the next itme you flash your headlights at him.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    On cars with GPS, I would love an option where on the map screen it would tell you the posted speed limit. (but no other nanny actions beyond that)

    I had a $99 Garmin GPS that did this years ago, it was really helpful on long stretches of highway where signs were posted few and far. Sometimes 75mph freeways would go back down to 55mph. I could just set my cruise control accordingly.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Radar cruise control and head light washers.

    I have a 2008.5 GTI and for 6 months that year they didn’t include headlight washers. It still bothers me to this day.

    Radar cruise control? That’s just cool.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      If you live in cold weather climate that’s probably a blessing. In winter those headlight washers may not retract into the bumper properly (seen plenty of those). My 2007.5 GTI was the first batch to not come with them to save money.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Vent windows like on most 70s and 80s GM and Ford products. I know they were there because of the prevalence of smoking back in those days but they were nice for a little fresh air and tended to be less noisy than opening the whole dang window.

    Heck how about ventilation period, like the old GMs with “Flow Through Ventilation.”

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    On the subject of swiveling headlights, we are only just beginning to see automakers catch up with the 1960′s genius of the French as manifest in the Citroen DS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_DS#Directional_headlights

    As an interesting semi-factoid, Inespector Gadget was based upon the little know French character L’Inspecteur Gadget who initially drove a modified Citroen Traction Avant prior to the development of the still futuristic DS.

    Note that the US interpretation of the Inspectors car had the ability to raise itself up whilst in motion to avoid obstacles. This is clearly based on Citroen’s ground breaking self leveling suspension introduced in the DS.

    This leads me, circuitously, to feature I truly wish were present in any of my cars, namely the ability to raise the car up and drive over / around the person in front who is busy talking / texting and leaving space in front of them for the circus convoy in rush hour freeway traffic.

    Full disclosure – I just made up the French stuff about Inspector Gadget

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Flux Capacitor *with* the Mr. Fusion convertor

  • avatar
    cwallace

    To heck with swiveling headlights, let’s have oscillating vents like my old Mazda 929 had. They seemed to cool the car down faster.

    And will someone please tell Honda that ventilated seats aren’t a gimmick or a fad? They’re practically a safety feature down south.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      I loved oscillating vents on the Mazdas in the ’90s! I think the last gen 626 was the last to have them. I’ll always remember that little “Swing” button in the center of the dash.

      And big +1 on ventilated seats. I live in southern California, and my current car (’08 CTS) is my first with ventilated seats. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live without them again — they are a MUST on leather seats. In fact, the fact that the ATS doesn’t have them makes me wary about purchasing one (yes, seriously).

      It spoils you so much that I honestly have started wishing my leather couch at home was ventilated. *ducks*

      • 0 avatar
        lon888

        +2 on the ventilated seats. My wife just bought a new Kia Optima and it has them. Thet feel great on the back and even better on the private bits.

        • 0 avatar
          cpthaddock

          +3 on the ventilated seats, and again I’ll reference obscure automotive details from yesteryear in pointing out that Fiat introduced ventilated seats many decades ago in the Fiat Jolly

          https://www.google.com/search?q=fiat+jolly+seats&client=firefox-a&hs=YAW&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=nqgCUo7aCK3D4AOC44DQDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=692&bih=495

    • 0 avatar
      Topher

      I agree. Some engineering quote: “Make it as simple as you can, but no simpler.” I think swivel headlights are not in this category. My vw, though, has a neat feature where it has an additional diagonally-directed light on each side that comes on at slow speeds when turning or if you put a turn-signal on. Not quote the effect of swivel headlights, but 90% there with a much cheaper assembly (and presumably vw gremlins inside).

      • 0 avatar
        cwallace

        Yep, I had a Saab (with ventilated seats) that switched on the left or right fog lamp along with the turn signal. Not terribly useful, but it showed that someone sweated the details.

        And that’s what all these things are– they don’t change the game, but they show that somebody gave a damn when they did the job. With society’s threshhold for mediocrity constantly rising, this matters.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        The cornering lamps mounted low in front of the fender on many ’70s/’80s American cars did a pretty good job of this — I have been sorry to see them disappear. Ford had them on some cars well into the ’90s.

    • 0 avatar
      meefer

      A/C seats > ventilated. BIG difference. One is good, One is great. I have to do some creative cardboard cutting to redirect A/C air meant for the rear seat footwell ducted towards the bottom of each front seat.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    European cars (some of them anyway) only start the seat belt reminder “bong” after the car gets over about 3MPH. It is also initially nice and quiet for the first 30 seconds or so. I would appreciate this in extreme cold, hot or humid days when you want the engine running for AC and / or heat before reaching around and clipping in. I know, its a regulation thing, but, these systems are FAR better and have moved on. The regulations are behind the times.
    Rain sensing wind shield wipers are fantastic for intermittent rain areas to.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I will say, some of these features I don’t want because I’m a used car buyer.

    Swiveling headlights is one of those features, go price a new swiveling headlight assembly from something like a Mercedes S class.

    When you have something that’s constantly moving like that and it has to have NASA type quality (because of our litigious country where a bottom feeding lawyer could make an easy $100 million from one that failed at night) you’re talking about thousands of dollars, both tacked on to the price of the car and for replacements.

    If someone can get a billion from a floormat issue, imagine a swiveling headlight that got stuck at night.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “Swiveling headlights is one of those features, go price a new swiveling headlight assembly from something like a Mercedes S class.”

      What’s an S-Class if it’s not the test bed for the latest and greatets features? Thats’ what makes it an S-Class.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I’m fine with an S Class having it (and the owner with deep pockets) Flagship cars are supposed to have this type of cutting edge technology.

        If “swiveling headlights” though become a mandatory thing (because of safety) it’s probably going to mean the consumer has to pony up $3,000 every 5 years or so to replace those motors/actuators. About the price of a transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “) it’s probably going to mean the consumer has to pony up $3,000 every 5 years or so to replace those motors/actuators. About the price of a transmission.”

          They wouldn’t become standard until the price droped.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Do swiveling headlights cost $3k today?? They’ve been out for 5 years at least on many cars are they having to be replaced?

          If you eventually own an old car with these lights you can get used parts. A new HID for my 2001 ES300 is $1600 retail. I can get one from a boneyard with all ballast and all for a couple Gs.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            If just a factory headlight that doesn’t swivel costs $1,600 today. I think it’s reasonable to expect two swiveling headlights will easily be over $3,000.

            The price of something at a junkyard doesn’t really apply to most consumers, usually that’s only for the DIY’er. Most repair shops won’t touch used parts.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Well Toyotas OEM prices do seem the most inflated. I think the Halogen headlight is something like $800 so its not like you get off cheap. The cost of storage, distribution, and hefty dealer profit is the bulk of the cost for an OEM part for a 12 year old car.

            I’m not convinced that the swiveling lights are failing every 5 years, and I am imagining this falls more on the “broken escalator” side vs “broken elevator” if it breaks, it is still a headlight as long as it does fail pointed straight ahead.

            So tell me do you buy cars without power windows. If those fail you are all done, and at OEM prices a window regulator is hunders of $$ typically…just seems like you have an impossible attitude, they don’t make cars for folks like you but maybe I am missing your point.

            At any rate cars are sold to the first owner, who likely doesn’t care about the subsequent owners problems with headlight replacement!

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I want voice warning to make a comeback.
    Back in the day, it sounded like a Speak N Spell, and was a joke. Now, I would like to have Jennifer Connelly softly inform me that the engine is “getting a little hot”, or perhaps Leonard Nimoy tell me my parking brake (which shall be a manual lever) has been left on. People are used to GPS, Iphone, etc talking to them. It’s time.

    I want chrome to come back, especially on stuff I cannot afford.

    I want engine-turned trim to come back.

    I want better paint options. Such as, bass boat flake, iridescent pearls, etc.

    I want a HUD suite that can rival that of a fighter plane.

    I want anything I touch, other than the steering wheel and shifter, to be constructed of metal. I don’t care if it cooks my hand in the summer. I bought something expensive, and don’t want it to feel like a cheap toy. Special emphasis on the door handles.

    I want some legal army to make the air bag notice on the visor disappear. Anybody who needs this label, needs a label to be informed how brakes and other basic systems of an automobile work. Make it stop now, or we will all be sorry.

    I want disappearing headlights in all forms to make a comeback.

    I want cars with names, and “Brougham” trim levels. I want the Brougham trim level to be so amazing, that stick-on Brougham badges sell out at Autozone.

    I want to see “Turbo” on the decklid again.

    I want colorful interiors to come back. Even blue can come back, although I despise it.

    I want any luxury model to weigh 300lbs more than it’s platform sibling. This weight shall come solely from the materials used in the interior. That means you’re doing it right.

    I want massage seat option on working-class vehicles.

    I basically want cars to have character again, instead of conforming to the wills of the minority who don’t like any of these suggestions.

    And last, but not least, VENT WINDOWS.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Some of the retro American cars (eg., Charger, Challenger) should have hubcaps instead of alloy wheels. And those hubcaps should be spring-tethered to the rim so that when the car goes around a corner above a certain speed one of the hubcaps comes flying off like in the old car chase scenes, but then they’d snap back on so you wouldn’t lose your hubcap.

    I’m pretty confident it’s only a matter of time until this feature is adopted.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      ++Another winner!

      Please, please bring back chrome dog dishes on heavily enameled, color matched steelies.

      • 0 avatar
        doublechili

        I had an ’80 Chevy Malibu (ex-ATF car!) in that light blue color half the GM products of that time seemed to be, and I had exactly what you describe along with fat raised white letter tires. Perhaps my all-time favorite car just because of how cool-looking it was. From all appearances it was a NASCAR racer sans the number and the advertising. It helped that stock cars looked more like actual “stock” cars in those days.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Was it metallic?

          Sounds like Innsbruck Blue, which GM did use on a ton of cars in the late 70s.

          • 0 avatar
            doublechili

            My recollection is that it was metallic. It was a really light blue – almost blue-silver. I did an image search for “innsbruck blue” and my car’s color came up, but also a darker blue so I’m not sure which is the correct one. If it helps, I’m sure the Nova came in this color.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The base Camaro and cop Charger still have steelies.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Then God bless ‘em.

        After 20 years of aesthetic eye-battering I despise spoked wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        But they’re missing the dog-dish hubcap. The partial chrome center-cap that they use on the cop-car wheels doesn’t cover the lug nuts.

        Actually, I’m okay with the steelies only being available on the trim level that the cops buy … it’s a visual cue to the rest of us.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Mr. Crabspirits just buried this in his post, but it cannot be shouted loud enough and deserves its own comment.

    “parking brake (which shall be a manual lever)”

    QFT, /thread

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      This is important for when the brake line rusts out. That way, I do not die.

      I guess it takes legal action to make that stupid switch go away.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Useful for manual transmission cars pulling away on hills… I would just not buy a car with out one, manual and parking brake lever between the seats that is.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Bill

        or the “Hill holder” feature like Studebaker pioneered back fifty plus years ago…

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        This is a serious question, so don’t flame me bros!

        On hills, I release the clutch (while holding the brakes) until I can feel the car start to grab, and then I just hold the car on the clutch until I need to move away. I have never once used the parking brake or anything similar on a hill. Is this just me?

        • 0 avatar

          From everything I’ve read this is absolutely terrible for the clutch.

          Hold in the brake+clutch when on a hill. When you need to get going you hold the brake and let out the clutch & give gas. It’s a quick movement & takes practice but is best for the clutch.

          Optional: Use parking brake on a hill (I don’t do this but I know people who do).

          You should partially engage the clutch as little as possible.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Logically what you are saying makes sense, but I have never had to replaced a clutch. Slave cylinder, differential “spider gears” yes, but never a clutch.

            But I will experiment with other techniques.

            Thanks for the serious answers guys!

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          The constant slipping of the clutch that you are causing will wear it out in no time flat if you do this regularly.

          The clutch pedal shall be either all the way in, or all the way out, except for the absolute minimum period of slippage that it takes to move away from a stop. Sitting at a traffic signal using the clutch to hold the car balanced WILL eventually burn it up. Use the brakes … the hand brake if necessary.

          I’ve gotten well over 400,000 km out of the original clutch on my last two cars.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      How can one do serious hoonage without a parking brake lever? Even Ken Block needs one.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Standardize which side of the car the blankety-blank fuel filler door is on!

    Standardize which side of the steering wheel hub is for audio controls, and which is for cruise (this is fun when you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road, and mistake “accel/decel for the volume control).

    Headlamps that automatically come on when the wipers are turned on.

    If automakers remain obsessed with automatics that include a manual mode, at least have the shift lever mimic a manual’s shift pattern when it’s used as such: In other words, flick the lever to the left from “Drive,” and have a double-H pattern where up and left is first, down and left is second, and so forth.

    Will probably never happen, but build the audio/nav systems to be upgradable, or modular, so an entirely new and compatible module can be swapped in (think single- and double-DIN head units).

    Similarly, make climate control systems standardized, such that an old or obsolete a/c unit can be slid out, and a new one slid into its place, much as I can do with a refrigerator or window a/c unit.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “Standardize which side of the car the blankety-blank fuel filler door is on!”

      Most cars today have a little arrow on the fuel gauge telling you what side the door is on. That seems to work fine.

      • 0 avatar
        BuzzDog

        That’s not the problem; I know how to figure out which side of the car the damn filler is on.

        The problem is that when you approach a gas station, there are often two vehicles “playing chicken,” because the direction in which you enter is dictated by which side the filler is on. This way, all vehicles could enter from the same direction.

        • 0 avatar
          Mr. Bill

          Amen to that and put it on the left side of the car where, to me, it makes sense. I have heard auto manufacturers place it on the right hand side for safety, but if I’m hit out on the side of the road on the Interstate while I am putting gas in the car from the left, then I’m just hit by a car while out on the side of the road on the Interstate while I am putting gas in the car from the left.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Put it BEHIND THE GODDAMN LICENSE PLATE IN THE CENTER!!!

          Sorry, I know your pain… it made sense in the 70′s, so why not today?

          • 0 avatar
            Brian P

            Not good for rear-impact situations. That location for the fuel filler is gone and will not be coming back. The location there also implies that the gas tank is not very far away, i.e. just ahead of that rear bumper … also not good for rear-impact situations. Most modern cars have the fuel tank ahead of the rear axle.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    heated steering wheel. Standard equipment.
    That is all

  • avatar
    redliner

    Some European cars automatically flash the hazard lights during full ABS braking. Helps to get peoples attention that you are slowing fast and that they might consider doing the same.

    Many people mention adaptive headlights that swivel… this is not confined to S-class type cars. The last generation Lincoln MKZ as well as some Buicks have this.

  • avatar
    carve

    Factory ethanol or methanol injection in the manifold so you can have a high-compression-ratio, high-boost engine that burns regular fuel and keeps the intake valves clean. I hate burning premium just cruising down the freeway for the few minutes per tank I actually need it.

    Decent sight-lines; low beltlines, lots of glass, like on my XJ Cherokee.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    My personal pet peeve, is the option bundling of most brands. There is no reason why every car sold today should not have A) Fog lights, B) alloy rims of reasonable diameter, C) LED tail lights, D) in the case of minivans and SUV/CUV a removable roof rack. And what about body colored wing mirrors, door handles. These are all stupid little things that make EVERY car look better. But automakers bundle them into option packages that add thousands to the car. Just stupid and obvious way to fleece the customer. Base cars should have these low cost add ons. The manufacturers should be willing to make them standard so their product doesnt roam the streets embarrassing its owner and manufacturer when pulled next to a well optioned and possibly less expensive competitor.

    The best example today would be LED running lights. They are now easily had on Kias and other low budget offerings. They have jumped the shark and lost their exclusivity. Why anybody would pay thousands for an option package just to get them is beyond me.

    As one poster mentioned, I do really like an SUV with either flip up or rolling rear glass. Extremely useful feature, should be avialable on more cars.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      Ohhh, just thought of another one, Mercury Breezway. rear window that rolls down… on a car!

      http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1963-mercury-monterey-breezeway-the-cure-for-the-heatwave/

    • 0 avatar
      slow kills

      Screw the body colored nonsense. I love having black plastic that doesn’t have scratchable paint and I’ve gone through several side mirrors at ~$55 a pop and they matched everything because they were un-coated black plastic. Don’t make my cheap car expensive!

      Also, I’m totally cool with black painted steel wheels, but I’m a bit minimalist and unpretentious.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I think they use that equipment you mention as a “carrot” to get you to the higher end models. Gotta make you suffer with small wheels and incandescent lighting if you want the less profitable model.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      I’m not entirely sure there’s a reasonable justification for having any incandescent filament bulbs in cars today. Especially considering they’re nigh impossible to change nowadays.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    How about a modern car that has a switch to turn off the A/C compressor when you have the defogger/defroster turned on. I know some cars used to do this, but neither of my cars (2011 Ford and 2012 Hyundai) have this.

    I know why the A/C is turned on in this case (dry air), but come on give me the option. I’m tired of seeing that little wet patch in the centre of the outside of the windshield on a humid day! Also, I don’t need the damn thing running all the time in the winter, since it’s going to be warm air anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      I agree with you, but one advantage to this is that otherwise, my a/c wouldn’t run all winter unless I remember to turn it on (not very likely). This way, the lubricant in the system is more likely to circulate through the system every week or so.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      In cars I’ve owned going back to the 80s, the a/c compressors were thermostatically controlled to come on in defrost mode only when the outside temps were above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there were times when a cold rain (when temps were in the upper 30s) made me wish that I had the a/c kick on, so having a separate non-overridable switch might still be the best solution.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      In my ’95 Cherokee I’m forced to use the AC in defog mode, but my ’98 Accord and ’07 3-series have seperate buttons for AC. It’ll come on automatically in defog, but I have the option of turning it off.

      It is good to “exercise” the compressor during winter every now and then though.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        I was told by a Chrysler engineer, they program the car to run the A/C compressor occasionally, just a few seconds here and there, maybe every couple weeks, to make sure the lubricant gets around once in while, even if you never run the A/C or it is the dead of winter. This was in regards specifically to my 04 SRT-4 but I imagine others do this too.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Extra bright tail light switch for fog. Rear fog lights are perhaps even more useful (read safe) than front facing ones. They must have a decent indicator light clearly visible in the dash though for those more forgetful, inattentive souls.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Am I the first to request a gas pedal properly positioned for easy heel-and-toeing? This can only be due either to my own incompetence or everybody else’s total disinterest.

    Oh, and some lighter colored dashboards and interiors would be nice to fantasize about.

  • avatar

    On my car? I really wished for two simple things. That the internal light would come on when I open the passenger door. In the past, most of my cars had this, some did not, and I never really cared. Now, when my son is in my car, his seat goes in the back seat, behind the passenger. The car is a two door so it already takes some effort to get him in there and out of there. In the dark, the damn light not going on just adds to the “fun”.

    Another one, no internal button or lever or button on the alarm fob to open the back hatch. Again, in Brazil, cars can have or not this feature. Mine does not. It bothers me to no end, not to mention that it not having this means there’s a blank piece of plastic on the dashboard. Terrible.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Engine in the middle in an economy/commuter car.

    Come on, bring back the Fiero, MR-2, Fiat X1/9 and Porsche 914 (in concept, obviously Porsche is no longer interested in building affordable sports cars).

    You can use the same transverse engine, transmission and subframe as you do in your cheapest economy cars, just put it in the back. Like in the Fiero, MR-2 and Fiat X1/9.

    No driveshaft and much less parasitic loss in the drivetrain because of no 90 degree angles means less weight and greater fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      That’s why the Fiero was successful for a little while, it just used X car components with a fancy body shell. And it worked just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Once GM got it sorted it was a great car, even with the Iron Duke. So of course they killed it. Just like the 2nd generation, safe at any speed Corvair.

        But now that compact car I4 engines are making 200-300 horsepower in uprated trim there could be some amazing mid-engine cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Not sure if I like mid engined cars.

      They can sometimes have really squirrely handling because of all the weight in the center (and the light weight over the wheels), and doing even routine maintenance is a nightmare. On the Boxster, the car has to come off the engine to change the spark plugs. Then there’s other issues like the radiator and AC condenser needing air going through it, noise and heat from the engine and exhaust being basically in the cabin with you, etc.

      I feel like engineers have figured out how to make great handling cars with a front engine layout. Only a really bleeding edge sports car would it be worthwhile IMO.

  • avatar
    vettefan427

    I miss wing windows! My 1991 F150 has them and they’re great. They disappeared on cars long ago, and the new trucks take mount the mirror in the space where the wing window would be. I much prefer my old truck where the mirror is just bolted to the door. Come to think of it, that’s another feature I miss, trucks that were real trucks. My ’91 has a bench seat, spongy brakes, a slow but torquey engine and a rough ride with sloppy handling, but I love it all! It’s a truck, and I have no preconceptions about it being anything else, so with that in mind, I don’t feel bad when I scrape the paint or spill some coffee in the cab, I can use it for work (and play) and not have to baby it like it’s some fancy sports car.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Spot on about the trucks. I daily a 1990 f250. Some premise. I got rubber floors, vinyl bench. The brakes really are spongy but, when they really push them they work and have a solid feel. Most Newer cars seem to have artifically solid petals that are not backed up with acctually braking power. The 7.3 idi is pretty torquey. 380 lb / ft @ 1400rpm.

      I scratch mine everyday and trees and stuff, side swipped a pole in my yard ( scrapped a bunch of paint off ). Plus it has tons of dents from the previous owner.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Ditto on a truck-truck. My daily driver is an ’04 F-150, regular cab, 6cyl, A/C, rubber floor mats, cloth bench seat, manual trans and roll up windows. Totally trouble free since I bought it used in 2009.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Vent windows. I hate car windows they don’t let much air in and if they do its never in the right place. vent windows you can aim Some newer cars even make horrible sounds when you open the windows.

    Oh and working windows on cars where the back half doesn’t work. Like the old grand cherokees. If you sit in the back only half the windows rolls down, the other part is a dead solid window. Sure it looks great but usability wise it sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      thirty-three

      Vent windows went away because it was too easy to open them from the outside, reach in, and unlock the door.

      I also like a “flow” setting on the fan knob that doesn’t turn on the fan, but allows air to flow through. It’s a nice way to get outside air into the car without running the noisy fan.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        Yeah on my pickup with vent windows there is a vent setting. But, since the heater core flow isn’t shut off its gets hoter than the outside air. It only works good on cool days.

      • 0 avatar
        Windy

        Vent windows can be made just as secure as the car is with them removed from the design. And yes I miss them …. as well as crank open windshields for that bugs in the teeth experience our forefathers enjoyed in the decades before air conditioning

        But what I miss is failure to fill the extra compartments on many import cars and disabling things like one touch window close ( missed the most at toll booths in bad weather)
        The compartments are there for things like good standard first aid kits, mini tool kits, flash lights, large folding warning triangle and samples of touch up paint. These items are frequently included as part of the deal in Europe

        I was able to get these items for my 2004 MINI Cooper S on a trip to the UK as well as the retracting door mirrors and the under dash item shelf at that time none of these MINI parts were even available to be bought through a US MINI dealer Supply system unless he would go to the trouble of getting them via a UK DEALER himself for a customer.

        Some of he items like under dash shelf did later become available as accessories but the official first aid kit as supplied in Europe is of better quality than one of a size that will fit in the provided compartment bought at a US pharmacy

  • avatar
    Topher

    Apple just patented using a phone to store settings, i.e. seat, mirror, and steering wheel positions. I want that, but not controlled by a single vendor.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Don’t most cars with power seats have a memory function? Some BMWs also remember the last setting used with a particular key, so you don’t have to bother with the memory buttons.

  • avatar
    old fart

    Simple really , just a actual car in every lineup that will accommodate a tall, linebacker build . I couldn’t get into any of the Cadillac cars as I’m too tall in the torso and the roof is too low. Most cars I do fit into I have to re-bolt the seat back farther back, I’m only 6’2″

  • avatar
    slow kills

    My Opel GT had this awesome foot pedal behind the clutch pedal (oh yeah, many cars missing those too) that activated a windshield wiper pass. Hands-free wipers without relying on some corny sensor.
    The old Mazda 626 ‘Swing’ function where the center vent louvers swayed from side to side.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    The front quarter vent window.

    Which opens on little hinges, top and bottom.

    That can be angled at varying degrees to allow the precise amount of fresh air to enter the cabin.

    That my father always cracked in order to allow his cigarette smoke to be sucked out of his truck cab.

    That don’t open at all in my old Porsche, but should, because it gets infernally hot in there even with the windows down.

    That nobody puts on any cars anywhere any more. Just immobile daylight opening fails.

    Why is that?

    Why is the front quarter vent window dead? Who thought that was a good idea to kill it?

    I want them back. On all cars. Now.

    EDIT: I see vent windows popping out inside other posts, so I’m not first, but best – I’m not alone. Dear OEMs, vent windows, make this so.

    EDIT EDIT: And more brown. Metal flake brown, light brown, dark brown, interior brown. Brown, the new beige. It’s better. Way.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      That could be swung past 90⁰ to funnel air right onto your head & upper torso. When summer served up that weather straight from Satan’s crotch, these made non-A/C cars endurable.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    “And then you get even more upset when someone tells you that the latest subcompact General Motors vehicle does have that, and it’s standard.”

    Speaking of things that the latest subcompact GM has standard, the motorcycle-like gauge pod in the Spark is nice. With miniturizaiton and digital displays cars to not need huge guage clusters behind the steering wheel.

  • avatar
    aerojammin

    Floor mounted High Beam switch like my ’76 Nova!

    • 0 avatar
      thats one fast cat

      Abso-freaking-lutely.

      I had one in an 80′s camaro and I had forgotten how awesome those were.

    • 0 avatar
      HiFlite999

      Located where God intended!!

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Bill

      Yes, yes, yes…

    • 0 avatar
      doublechili

      Yes, so that when you got mad at someone and wanted to give them the brights, you could put your whole body into it.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      NOOOOOoooooo!!!

      Our family had a couple of cars with high beam switches there. Go into the car with snow and salt covered boots a few times and all that crap gets into that switch and buggers it up. It either freezes on the carpet around the switch so that you can’t operate it any more, or the salt gets into the switch and corrodes everything inside so that it doesn’t work any more.

      Getting electrical components out of the floorboards and putting them on the switch stalk was a good move.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        My Dad’s first car with that feature was his 1980 Olds Cutlass, which was delivered with the brights “on.” I, being a ten-year-old car nut at the time, told him to try fiddling with the turn-signal switch (which I had remembered from the Olds brochure). The first evening he had the car, he was tromping at a couple of little things on the floor (relays, perhaps) which looked like they could have been a switch. Our family even drove home from a family friend’s house and down several miles of Detroit-area freeways with the brights on, pissing people off right and left! Of course, my Dad was “son, I know you know cars, but this is B.S.!”

        An hour after we got home, my Mom says to go out to the garage. My Dad’s sitting there with the “FM” in his hand, flicking the lever back-and-forth! “You were right!”

        I’ve never let him live it down! 8-D

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Swiveling headlights are nice, but I’d even take the simpler old-style “cornering lights” that activated with the turn signals. I had them on my ’89 SHO and loved them.

    I miss rich cloth upholstery. Since leather is now the only form of upholstery acceptable in midlevel and up cars, cloth has become cheap and terrible. I haven’t seen a cloth interior in years that felt as good as the cloth in my ’88 Accord LX. (And it’s not like the leather is all that great either. In my G8 it’s extremely thick and durable but has roughly the texture of dinosaur skin. In my Forester it feels like ’70s vinyl.)

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      + Cloth. C & D was favorably impressed w/ the “high-quality broadcloth” in the ’13 Accord Sport.
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-four-cylinder-manual-test-review-well-rounded-sedan-page-2

      Most “leather” today is actually plastic coated. Pleather.

  • avatar
    northshorerealtr

    Here’s a couple that immediately come to mind beyond those items mentioned (vent windows, standard front/rear fog lamps,colors in interiors, etc.):
    1) Door-mounted courtesy/warning lights. Some luxury cars have ‘em on all doors, some on only the front doors. Great to warn following cars of an open door, effectively lights the curb/ground, and provides interior floor lighting–which is where you’ve dropped most of the stuff you were trying to get out of the car.
    2) Cornering lights. Mounted in the fender, ahead of the front wheels, they’d shine forward and down to show the road/curb–and obstructions you might counter. When changing lanes at night, their activation with the turn signal makes your intentions VERY clear to other drivers.
    3) Luxury cloth seats. I love the leather in my car–but fabric now cleans easily, doesn’t hurt ya in summer or winter, and could be distinctive.
    4) Simple, sculptural dashes. I don’t need a bevy of buttons to prove my car has advanced technology, nor do I want a 30-inch touchscreen in HD. (Not against touchscreens–just don’t wanna give up all that dash space, or make the touch screen the design focus.) Isn’t it possible that functionality can be balanced with art without using chicklet-sized buttons for every function–or gigantic screens that requre wading through 7 menu levels to get to a basic function? We do look at our dash regularily, so make it look good.
    5) Ratcheting cup holders. Had a Chrysler minivan with this….the cupholder adjusted to fit the size drink. No sloshed drinks due to tipping of the cup in the holder.

  • avatar
    jaron

    Yep. My 91 and 94 SHO’s had simple turn-signal activated cornering lights. I loved them, particularly in dark, unlit rural areas. While I’m at it the SHO’s (I don’t know about the base Taurus) had dual sun visors so one could cover the top of the side window and still have a visor for the windshield. I miss that, too. And the seats were excellent!

    Ford stopped making the good SHO’s (I totaled mine hitting a police car. Oops.) I replaced it with a 2002 A8L. Does it have any of that stuff? No.

  • avatar
    Yeah_right

    A real, physical chick magnet.

    My 69 Vette convertible, the one that my friends all said “dude, THAT’S a chick magnet” turned out to have had an Old Guy Magnet (TM) installed instead.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Gee, Doug, I thought I had already suggested this topic on August 2nd!

    ref: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/qotd-what-are-the-worst-automotive-details/#more-497880

    “Doug – – –

    Good topic.

    As this large response list was beginning to unfold, it seems that we hit all of the possible “worst details”.

    So, here is a suggestion for perhaps the next “QOTD” on a related topic:
    “What new automotive details would you like to see enacted?”

    Here is one I was always curious about — as to why it hasn’t been done universally:
    1) Headlamps that turn with the steering wheel for better illumination when going around corners!
    This was originally done on the 1948 Tucker (“Tucker 48″), but why was it dropped after that? Shouldn’t be too difficult. ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Tucker_Sedan

    —————-”

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Auto-up/down window switches in every single socket.

    The cost savings from going to a single SKU for the switches, boards and related connectors would more than offset the pennies saved by going with a cheaper “dumb” switch for the other sockets.

    And paint to sample for any ordered vehicle. Even if one is limited to that manufacturer’s annual palette, let the customer decide which color their car will sport.

    • 0 avatar
      carr1on

      + 1,000,000

      All power windows should be auto up and down. All. Of. Them.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      This, and per the Porsche, hold down the remote unlock button and all windows roll down. My Mini had that feature, and it’s awesome on a hot day. Would cost hardly anything to implement.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        My 2006 Mazda 6 had this feature. Sunroof opened too.

        But like everything else half-ass that you guys have mentioned about auto makers in this thread, the only way to CLOSE everything was put the key in the door, double-turn it in LOCK position, and hold it there.

        …because it would be just too much to ask to push and hold the opposite button on the fob to perform the opposite function.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    How about a power-retractable sun-shade for the windshield? My C-class has one for the rear-window.

    Also, how about an on-board pneumatic self-jacking system. Tire failure on the interstate would be much less harrowing you could engage the parking brake, and push a button to jack up any wheel, THEN get out and remove the lug nuts and swap the tire. Jacking up a car sitting on the shoulder is a harrowing experience.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @doublechili: My 1987 Nova was in a similar color, so even if I can’t name it, I definitely get what you were thinking of.

    http://www.paintscratch.com/touch_up_paint/Chevrolet/1987-Chevrolet-Nova-Light-Teal-Blue-Metallic-Clearcoat-22U-WA8533.html

    Something like this?

    • 0 avatar
      doublechili

      Yeah, that sure looks like it. If it’s not exact, it’s very close. Probably not a “cool” color per se, but with the matching steel wheels pretty much any color was cool.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Damn right! I’ve always thought that sort of ketchup red Chevrolet had in the early 60s wasn’t a good color, but with matching steelies it worked great.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    +1 on the vent windows. I had a neighbor tell be in 1982 (who used to work at a GM window supplier in Trenton, NJ) that the vent windows went away after another round of UAW demands for higher pay and better benefits. GM responded by designing out the vent windows, and 220 people in Trenton were out of work after 1969.

    Cable-operated footwell vents for your feet. Worked every time, no extra load on the A/C system.

    AC vent directly below the steering column.

    BI-level AC that gave you warm air for your feet and cool air out of the dash. GM had that nailed.

    Heater cores that are easy to replace. My ’85 F-250′s core sits behind a kick panel. 6 screws and it’s ready to remove.

    2-way tailgates on station wagons.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Auto dimming rear view mirror. When I first got my 350Z I thought this option was a joke… but it works! And works well. No more being blinded by the headlights of a car behind you.

    Courtesy / puddle lights on the doors (or mirrors). My VW had these and its very helpful at night to see what you are about to step into.

    Someone else mentioned it but a “flow” or open vent setting for HVAC system. Something that allows fresh outside air in without routing thru the heater core. And on a similar note: a fan with a WIDE range of settings. On my Dodge its either rocks-you-like-a-hurricane or butterfly fart. Also agree with whoever mentioned being able to OFF the AC when the defrosters are on.

    Memory settings for side mirror positions. The wife’s Volvo has memory seats but it doesn’t adjust the mirrors? WTF? Its smart enough to adjust the seat based on the key FOB that used, so when I use “my” key I get “my” seat position.

    I’d ask for the classic DIN-sized radio openings to make a come back but that ship has sailed :(

    Now that all cars have TPS (tire pressure sensors) at least tell me WHICH tire is low, all it takes is two letters: FR, FL, RR, RL. Also tell me the pressure, once again its just two numbers so display them! My Z does this, in fact you can scroll thru and display even when the tires aren’t low.

    If you are going to have an auto-stick / manu-matic type transmission then make it work correctly: you pull BACK to shift UP and push forward to shift down!!!

    12V power outlets that don’t require the key to be in the ignition to work. Similar: every car should have built-in USB port. Because every cell phone made in the last FIVE years can be charged via USB.

  • avatar
    alex159569

    Regarding all the posts wanting auto up/down for all windows…

    I agree that there isn’t much reason to not have auto down across the board.

    However, I believe that the reason automakers avoid putting auto up on all the windows is because of the finger pinch protection required on glass that goes auto up. Usually there will be some differences in the motor assembly or the window switch signal gets routed through the computer which then has to monitor resistance etc and this costs more to add to each window.

  • avatar
    Brunsworks

    -Functional gorram cup holders. Even Japanese automakers, pioneers in the field, seem to have forgotten where to put them in the interior and how big they should be (hint: in the U.S.: big enough for a one-liter container–a half-liter isn’t enough for long trips!).

    -Windshields that allow for convenient viewing of traffic lights suspended at the near end of the intersection.

    -Factory speakers that don’t vibrate in place. Toyotas used to have these. (Hondas still do, but the Element had a marginally stiffer ride than the Scion xB, so….)

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Functional gorram cup holders would be shiny.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      My favorite cup holders were from the Japanese. I remember both Subaru and Toyota using them. They featured a pull-out tray with a spring loaded support that dropped down. The holder was sized for the common 12oz/355ml can, but also featured another spring-loaded tab which sized the hole for those smaller diameter drink cans which are popular in Asian markets, and which aligned with a small ridge in the bottom of the support arm to locate the smaller can. A gentle pull would extend the cup holder, which then enlarged the opening to handle oversize cans and drink cups.

      The only boo/hiss I gave the holders were their positioning; it seemed Toyota and Subaru occasionally set them in the dash to obscure either the climate controls or radio face when extended. The last time I personally remember them in action was in Subaru’s 1st gen Forester.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    - Optional full size spare wheels, don’t tell me that an expensive and quite heavy Mercedes doesn’t have a proper spare in order to “save weight”.

    - Real engine noisesexaust notes on more performance oriented cars.

    - Bumpers that do their job rather than simply holding grilles in place.

    - Windows that I can see out of, in my current car this feature has saved me from numerous incidents including a situation with a semi.

    - Dipsticks, sooner or later people won’t get the insult.

    - Tastefully styled hupcaps for cheaper models, no more cheap Wal-Mart looking stuff.

    - Center Consoles that don’t eat up a fair amount of space.

    - Optional interior colors, something more than beige, grey, or the rental special black.

    - Automatic shifters that don’t need to be wiggled like a jigsaw to shift around, I’d like to see someone pull off a “J-Turn” with one of these.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Actually, a feature I’d like would address a feature you’d like. I miss wheels sized for real tires, rather than the rubber-band-thickness “performance” tires they slap on everything today. I’d prefer for my car to be able to handle a few potholes without blowing out the tire and bending the rim, and I’d like to pay less than $500 per tire when they wear out. One collateral benefit of this is that a full-sized spare can be stored under the trunk floor and still leave you with room for more than a credit card. On a related note, don’t stagger the wheel sizes. I like to rotate my tires.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I wholeheartedly agree with that, “performance tireswheels” should be an option, and they’re great when you’re out on a track, but on the road they can be an expensive nuisance.

    • 0 avatar
      Brunsworks

      -Mandatory full-size spare wheels. But yes to everything else here.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    I would like a retractable deer guard that would flip up with the touch of a button.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    One touch, three flash turn signal is a must. I love that feature on the Encore and Verano.

    You guys in CUVs don’t know what your missing with Bose Active Noise Cancelation found on the Encore. It works well.

    I’m not sure of the back up cameras thee days as if you are backing up and turning you still have to watch 360 degrees and not forqard at the NAV screen.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Interiors that are Blue, Whorehouse Red, and something other than 50 shades of Grey.

    Carpet that’s actually carpet on affordable cars.

    Paint colors that are more than Grey, silver, or black

    Paint job quality that isn’t super thin and scratches like mad

  • avatar
    krayzie

    My GTI doesn’t even have rain gutters on the sides of the roof. Talk about missing some common sense details lol!

  • avatar
    krayzie

    Here’s another one: blind spot driver side mirror like you get in Europe. I see these fancy LED warning systems on new cars here in Canada that drivers rely on instead of seeing the actual car on the mirror lol!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Bring back trim around glass; that frameless look is cheap as hell. Bring back folding sideview mirrors, articulating trunk hinges, full folding trunk access seatbacks. What happened to gas door releases?

  • avatar
    Smaller-is-Better

    If you live in a snowy climate you will understand most of these:

    -Low washer fluid warning light
    -Heated washer fluid (but not the ones from Cadillac as they tend to burn a bit too hot)
    -Heated door mirrors and steering wheels
    -Heat coil at the base of the windshield (to free up the wipers)
    -Rear wiper on all vehicles with a rear window that has an incline steeper than 45 degrees
    -Alloys

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    I really like the red lighting for the switches and dials on the VW Golf. At night, the controls for the sunroof cast a faint red glow onto the shifter and center console. It’s really neat without being distracting. I wish more vehicles had red lighting for the switches, especially those mounted above the driver’s head.

  • avatar
    saab_audi

    Power rear view mirror with memory along with side view mirrors and seat and radio presets please.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    An AC vent under the steering wheel. Nice for the lads on a hot day.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Big + on “no-draft” vent windows.

    Not so much on ventilated seats since proper cloth seats not only grip better, they don’t need ventilation. Plastic coated leather seats are a bane in hot or cold weather and provide relatively poor adhesion, ventilated or not.

  • avatar
    Trev Limiter

    I hate rubber neckers. They’re sickeningly selfish, and most of them don’t even realize it. To cure them of their terrible habit, I propose a “rubber necker defeater” feature. Whenever the car determines that its driver is rubber necking (don’t ask me how), the driver’s headrest should deliver a swift slap to the back of his head. That ought to snap him out of it.

  • avatar
    thanh_n

    Why does my S2000 not have a clock?

  • avatar
    Commodore P

    Extensions that slide out of the sun visors to block that last 4-5 inches of sun coming through the side windows. I think my dad’s 1991 LeSabre had these, IIRC.

    A light that illuminates the engine bay when the hood is up, for working at dusk or at night if need be. Surely all cars have this but mine, right?

    You know the switch that the driver controls to allow the passengers permission to operate their own power windows? Well, separate the front seat passenger from the rear so my wife can control her window but the kids can’t fuss with theirs.

    Split folding rear seat on my 2008 Civic LX. I mean, why should I have to buy the EX to get this feature? Dumb.

    Two words: hood ornaments.

  • avatar

    I want my car to sound like this.

    youtube.com/watch?v=cvLVYcBRED8

    SUPERCHARGER COMING SOON:

  • avatar
    wreath and crest

    Split seat heater controls like GM puts on some of there trucks,nice heating pad for your back that can be used year round.

  • avatar
    its me Dave

    Headlights + taillights that turn on when windshield wipers are activated. (I think some cars have this, don’t they?)

    Also, I love the dome light logic of an old S10: dome light activates when ignition key is turned off, stays for about a minute after exiting the vehicle. On entry, dome light stays on after closing door, but turns off as soon as engine is started.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Oh, and while we’re at it, a full size pickup that doesn’t require a ladder to climb into, and that I can throw things (like bags of topsoil) into the bed without having to lower the tailgate.

    I’m just over 6′ tall; I can easily toss things into my ’93 F150 from the sides or over the tailgate. New trucks – even 2WD ones – are so hiked up that I have to hurl things above shoulder height to clear the bed rails. And for what reason? I can assure you, it’s not additional ground clearance…

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’ve got a 2wd F150 from the 1996 to 2003 generation. Getting in to the bed isn’t hard. New 1/2 ton 2wds tower over me.

      The last useable 1/2 ton trucks were built in the 00s but designed in the 1990s. The last easy to get into/out of and load 3/2 tons were built in the 80s to early 90s.

  • avatar
    GST

    For anyone who gets this far down the list–seat ventilation.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Yes, some of us actually read all the comments. There’s seat warming and seat cooling available, and all you want is ventilation? If it’s because you like beans and hate the smell permeating the cushion, think about this: with ventilation the smell will be all over the cabin!

      I guess it’s just like the HVAC system, you don’t want heat or air conditioning, you just want fresh air? Well, in even moderate traffic a lot of that fresh air has exhaust in it. Are you sure you want to ventilate your seat cushions with it?

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    My desired luxury feature is very do-able: a column shifter. Shifting is a lot more convenient when it’s attached to the steering column, and I know they can do it because I’ve driven three and four speed manuals “on the tree”, as well as automatics. I’ll never forget the first time I went from a column shifter to the console; every time I tried to put the car in park, I’d turn on the windshield wiper. It was very embarrassing. Getting the shifter off the console makes room for more cup holders and you can even rig up a tray for holding your Big Mac and fries, plus you’ll never spill your Diet Pepsi down the shifter slots again. I can’t believe it’s not even an option anymore.

  • avatar

    Vented seats….. Now that you get Leather on any car with a decent option package they need to make them vented, Leather is just to sticky when it’s 90 degrees.

  • avatar
    DrSandman

    Heated CLOTH seats. Don’t trust my sticky kids with leather.

    Active noise cancellation for hiding 4-cylinder thrum in shame where it belongs.

    User-selectable dash light colors (I like Pontiac RED for my night vision!)

    DVD-ROM players that can read MP3s in the dash

    Cars with enough headroom for real Americans of N.European descent — i.e., 6’4″ and up.

    Wide-angle video cameras instead of side-view mirrors.

    Lighting & illumination: Auto-off/on headlights/taillights, rear-fog lights, blink to change lanes.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I thought leather was the easier to clean, preferred choice for parents? Either way, agreed on heated cloth seats. I think the GTI offers them. Heated seats in general should be more common. It’s a feature typically buried with expensive and undesirable options.

      Good call on user-selectable instrument lighting too. Didn’t Ford do this on some of the 05+ Mustangs?

  • avatar
    redseca2

    Like the 70′s and 80′s Jaguar XJ’s, a fuel tank filling cap on BOTH sides of the car, so wherever you pull in anywhere you are good to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      When I mentioned a fuel filler on the driver’s side, I was asked if I was serious. Most of the time you should be pulling to the right at the pump, and most new cars have the filler on the passenger side these days, screwing up the flow at the gas station. I figured it was a Euro thing.

      Your idea might have a glitch: vapor recovery. The fuel tank and tube is pressurized, and there would be a bit of expense with two vapor recovery systems, plus working the kinks out to make it work well. My ’63 Chrysler Newport had the fuel filler behind the rear license plate, solving one problem, but with the tank behind the rear axle, if I still had it, I’d ask Chrysler to retrofit it.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      THat wasn’t a feature. THey had two tanks. It was a design flaw.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Heating should come standard with leather seats.

    Also, an eyesight device linked to a missle launcher on the roof that fires at vehicles who don’t signal.

  • avatar
    Ryno98

    My 2007 BMW 335i (E93) CAN open and close the top with the key fob. Apparently in Europe, this can be done from a very useful 50 ft away. Here in America, it’s more like 5 ft. Which makes you look really stupid when your roof abruptly stops functioning halfway through because you shifted your weight slightly outside the “safe” zone.

  • avatar
    redoglambo

    I have a 2000 e46 convertible and when I first got it i scoured through the owners manual and discovered a feature where you hold the unlock button on the key fob and the top retracts remotely but I couldn’t get it to work. I then scoured the internet and discovered that shortly after the car’s release BMW recalled every single e46 convertible and deactivated that function. FOR GODS SAKE WHY!!!!!!!! such a fricking tease.

  • avatar
    Dan

    In no particular order, and the more people I’m duplicating the better since I can dream that means they’ll build a car for us some day.

    1. A full sized spare. In a compartment with enough space to wedge in a +1 if you air it down. The donut is most of the weight and cost of a real spare for something I’ll probably put 12 miles on, ever.

    2. A big gas tank that’ll run 6-7 hours on the highway. I don’t understand the reasoning that kept a 17-18 gallon tank standard through 1000 lbs and 125 hp of fat years biggening. Worse, now that the good times are over and mileage is creeping back up again the tanks are shrinking to cancel that out.

    3. Auto up and down windows with one switch for all four. This feature should cost like six dollars per car, unless the NHTSA gets their hands on it. As it is now most cars only do auto on the driver’s window. Manipulating all four of the child-safe switches at once is not ergonomic whatsoever.

    4. Reasonable ground clearance. Massive chin fascias with 4″ of clearance are a pain in the ass. The world is not a wind tunnel. It has potholes, speed bumps, and curbs.

    5. An extendable seat cushion and longer rails that let the seats go further back. Pretty much every car that’s not a truck is a cramped penalty box for tall guys and genuinely fixing that would make their 5’5 lady buyers feel like the midgets that they are. (Although to see how they took to Tahoes before gas got expensive, they seem to like that.) But more adjustable seats would help us a little. So would taking out the bundled sunroofs.

    6. Keypad locks like Ford’s securilock. I would love to be able to lock my keys in the car at the beach, gym, trailhead, etc.

  • avatar

    Opel in Germany offers a wonderful slide-into-the-bumper bicycle rack. No need to buy a trailer hitch and separate rack. Secure and attractive (and probably patented). Brilliant!

    You can see how it works here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zosp9srSrmA

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Easily removable shiny metal and, more likely, faux metal trim on the dashboard that you can pluck off and throw away.

  • avatar
    racingmaniac

    Pop-open rear quarter windows on coupe…I think outside of minivan/SUV, I’ve only seen this on E46 3 series. As a coupe with only front window that rolls down will tend to get a lot of buffeting at speed, having something that can be opened out back will help…I know I could use that in my 2 door Golf…

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    1) Rear-facing sign/signal of some sort with preset messages such as “You have your high-beams on” (too many clueless people have high-beams on; I notice mostly Civics and Camrys)

    2) Sensible cupholder designs for driver-oriented cars (my Celica and BRZ all have terrible cupholder placement that necessitate awkward contortionist rituals to get at my drinks – not everything fits the door-mounted bottleholders)

    3) Adjustable pedals

  • avatar
    wmba

    Proper flow through ventilation for ambient air to the face, while the heater can still supply heat to the footwells. Screw vent windows. It’s now 50 frickin years since the Ford Cortina came first with this feature in 1963. A few cars had this through the ’70s, but no American ones of course. Just great for spring and fall weather, and some nights. Now we have homogenous bad climate systems. My ’99 Impreza had cool A/C under the steering column pointed at the warm bits. Saves on the cost of A/C cooled seats.

    Roof gutters, check. Amber rear turn signal lights, check. Turn signals on mirrors, check. Lights on bottom of doors when opened, check. Extendable visors, check. Auto up/down power windows, check. Auto-dimming interior mirrors. Auto off headlights, any reasonable car has had this for decades anyway. Rear window wiper on fastback cars, nearly every blobbo car these days, just downright cheap and unsafe not to have them, my 90 Talon had one. Heated steering wheel, check. Power controls the same on the front passenger seat, same as the driver’s side, which just about every modern car does not have for cheapness sake to the detriment of passenger comfort. Narrower front sills so that getting in the car doesn’t require dexterity – all new GM cars fail this simple test for me. 55 section tires are as low as tires need to be for any street car. 6 inches of ground clearance, not 4 and a half.

    Instead of practicality, we get gee-whiz super cheapy electronics with touch screen and menus, exactly what discouraged my photography interest 15 years ago. Now the latest fad is chromey bits on the inside to reflect in the windshield. Car manufacturers never learn.

  • avatar
    stillhere

    1. Cold AC, I mean REALLY cold, freeze-you-out, R12-style cold.

    2. +1000 on the amber rear turn signals.

    3. Comfortable, Peugeot 505-style seats that fit 6 footers.

    4 Doors that sound better the harder you slam them, like the Mercedes 6.9 my dad had when I was a kid.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Satellite radio. Makes no sense to me to sell a car without the xm/sirius option.

    I can deal without in car gps, my cell phone is better with better up to date maps etc.

  • avatar
    Robert

    I was shocked that my 2008 boxster was so poorly equipped when compared with the 2006 corvette it replaced. I miss auto-headlights, auto-wipers, keyless ignition, and the heads up display. Oh yes, and while the Corvette didn’t have it either every 2004 BMW onward I have driven and owned has had Bluetooth. Porsche has no friggin’ Bluetooth until 2009.

    In every way the boxster is more fun to drive, excepting the massive thrust of the ‘vette. But I really miss some of the niceties of the corvette, if not their plasticy implementation.

  • avatar
    torrnado

    i’m a huge fan of one touch up/down on power windows, but i really love my car’s slight-touch, three-blink turn signals for changing lanes at highway speeds (versus holding it until the signal flashes three times).


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  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States