Here Are The Most Overrated Features In Modern Cars

Here Are The Most Overrated Features In Modern Cars

A manufacturer may tout a feature as a great benefit only for it to turn out to be useless or an annoyance.

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GM’s Teen Driver technology Report Card
GM’s Teen Driver technology Report Card
Image: Chevrolet

The number of features in modern cars is at levels never seen before. And not all the features are useful or needed. Some can be annoying for being intrusive. Others can start out useful but quickly outgrow their usefulness.

We asked readers what features in modern cars are the most overrated. These were their answers.

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Driver Assistance Technology

Driver Assistance Technology

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Image: Nissan

Any of the “driver assist” stuff. Lane departure, in particular, the version that grabs the wheel from you and tries to pull you into your lane. I’ve had multiple rentals try to pull me OUT of my lane because the system got confused by a construction zone or a merge lane. And…you have to go through multiple menus to disable it—it’s on and ready to steer for you without warning or provocation.

Suggested by: Thomas Michaels (Facebook)

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Push Button Shifters

Push Button Shifters

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Image: Hyundai

Push button shifters. Non-intuitive and they divert your attention from the windshield or reverse camera display. I believe there was a horrific incident in New York a few years back when a car lurched into the path of a train at a crossing. One theory was the driver panicked and couldn’t operate the “improved” shifting mechanism.

Suggested by: EvanderVan

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In-Dash Navigation Systems

In-Dash Navigation Systems

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Image: Audi

Navigation. Onboard nav usually sucks. The dealers charge through the teeth for upgrades. Just make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard.

Suggested by: Job Baker-McBride (Facebook)

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Screens

Screens

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Image: Mercedes Benz

Touchscreens, especially big ones. I’m driving so can we leave the TV off the instrument panel?

And bring back buttons, buttons that I can operate without looking at them. That was effective and reliable and didn’t distract me from all the other cars on the road with distracted drivers in them. Buttons are fine.

Suggested by: Elhigh

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Self Driving Technology

Self Driving Technology

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Image: Ford

“Self drive” features, be it autopilot or supercruise or whathaveyou. You still have to pay attention, watch the road, and in some cases, keep your hands on the wheel. What exactly is this system doing for you, other than causing you stress when it doesn’t do what you want? Maybe a good stepping stone for a better system, but in its current state, ridiculous.

Suggested by:Boo Boo

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Branded Auto Systems

Branded Auto Systems

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Image: Jeep

You don’t need an over-priced Bose or Bang & Olufsen or McIntosh system in your car to enjoy great sound. These systems are ALL revshare agreements where the audio maker gets some exposure (and maybe sell a home unit as a result) and the automaker gets to continue to control the audio in a car, making whatever markup they desire on the system.

It’s out of control. “Our system has 36 speakers!” Whooptydoo. Maybe there’s an audiophile out there that can tell the difference between a 36 speaker system and one with 6 speakers, but I know I can’t. It’s just a feature sheet item a sales guy can use when a potential buyer is cross shopping their car with the competition. “Don’t go with the Navigator, it only has 20 speakers.”

Suggested by: dolsh

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Fancy Truck Tailgates

Fancy Truck Tailgates

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Image: GMC

The exotic tailgates that flip out and become stairs. For the very few pickup buyers who actually use their truck to haul on a regular basis, they can probably get up into the bed when they need to. This is just added cost and complexity to an already violently overpriced vehicle.

Suggested by: Midlife Miata Driver

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Glass Roofs That Don’t Open

Glass Roofs That Don’t Open

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Image: Ford

Full glass roof or any glass on the roof that doesn’t at least open.

Every car I’ve owned has had a moonroof, but I’ve always used them more like a sunroof, meaning, I never just have a closed window overhead letting in light. It’s either wide open, letting in air, or it’s closed and shaded, letting in no light. I’d much prefer a body-colored panel on the roof that can be opened (I really like letting in air from the roof!), but I have no use for a stationary piece of glass that can never block out 100% of light!

Suggested by: Sergio526

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Stop/Start Systems

Stop/Start Systems

Auto stop/start. From what I can tell it really doesn’t impact overall fuel economy that much and just makes for jerky starts at stoplights and stop and go traffic. It’s an automatic motion for me now to turn it off when I start the car.

Suggested by: 4Motion

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Paddle Shifters

Paddle Shifters

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Image: Hyundai

In my ‘15 Durango, I’d say the least used function are the paddle shifters. I’ve used them in the mountains to better maintain cruising speeds, but for the majority of my driving in the Midwest they’re pointless.

Suggested by: delajalopnik

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