What's The Most Useless New Car Option?

Illustration for article titled What's The Most Useless New Car Option?

Maybe it's just because I'm cheap, but I'm consistently amazed at how expensive new cars can get. Especially the ones us auto writers get to test, because they tend to be loaded. I mean, $70,000 for an Audi S5 Cabriolet? Good gravy.


However, you — the savvy consumer — can avoid all that buy not buying a bunch of crappy options you don't really need and probably will never use.

That's our question of the day: What's the most useless new car option?

You know I'm not fan of the sport mode or eco mode buttons, although in some cases those come standard with new cars. I don't like these settings because they're gimmicky and because they make the car feel unbalanced.

I think the only time I've ever used the eco mode on a car was in Los Angeles when we were cruising around in that BMW 228i, and it was about to be super, super, super out of gas because we're all a bunch of lazy irresponsible assholes. I just barely reached a gas station in some shady part of town, A/C off and eco mode in full effect, with like a mile left in the tank, only to pay like $5 a gallon or some similar obscene California price.

Did eco mode do anything? Who knows. I think it had more to do with my own careful shifting than anything else.

Anyway, modes are useless. Your turn, what other options should you pass on when you're buying a new car?


David E. Davis

The paddle shifters on my wife's Crosstrek CVT.