The Ten Most Unexpectedly Useful Car Features

Once you drive with any one of these, you'll never want to go back.

10.) Back Up Camera


From reader Justin Hughes:

"Rear visibility is so bad on some cars that it's hard to tell where your car ends and the tree, wall, or motorcycle behind you begins. Backup cameras remove this blind spot, providing an unobstructed view directly behind you that even mirrors don't have."

Suggested By: Justin Hughes, Photo Credit: Ford

9.) Rain Sensing Wipers


Not having to constantly modulate the speed of windshield wipers is a godsend. One less silly thing to concentrate on while you're driving.

Suggested By: melikecars, Photo Credit: Bruno Nascimento

8.) Blind Spot Monitoring


With modern safety standards requiring increasingly large C-Pillars, and thus, reduced visibility, some form of blind spot monitoring is necessary. They make the road more safe for everyone.

Suggested By: Fragile_this_side_up, Photo Credit: Kia

7.) Cup Holders


You probably don't think much of the lowly cup holders in your car, but they are extraordinarily useful. Reader User1312 has written a beautiful tribute:

"The cup holder appears on no features list. It sits quietly at your side, holding whatever it is you need held. It doesn't have fancy technology (usually). It doesn't need it. It's been doing its job, and doing it well, since the beginning of time. It helps keep you warm in the cold, cool in the heat, awake on a long road trip. You don't miss it until you drive without it, which is a truly sad experience."


Suggested By: User1312, Photo Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns

6.) Auto Rev Match


You may think you're too much of a total badass to need this, until you're in traffic and the computer saves your car wear and tear. Let burglar can't heart click anything explain:

"Thought it was going to be a total gimmick. Really nice though. Puts the engine at the correct rpm for the gear as you're sliding it in. In day to day, removes any "lurch" as the clutch is let out from rev differences. On track / autocross, reduces shift-lock type shocks to the rear tires making the car stable to shift mid-turn if necessary. I'd bet it extends the life of the synchros in the transmission to boot.

Plus, if you're old school and like to do your own rev-matching, just push that S-mode button. Doesn't default to a particular setting at each startup, either.

All manual cars should have this."

Suggested By: burglar can't heart click anything, Photo Credit: Chevrolet

5.) Modern Stability/Traction Control


Whether it's a system that will let you perform ridiculous slides in a 458 Speciale, or will get your Jeep unstuck without having to use locking diffs, modern traction/stability control can be your friend.

Doesn't mean that it's not fun to turn off once in a while, of course.

Suggested By: sumfoo1, Photo Credit: Paul Williams

4.) Heads Up Display


HUDs are brilliant. They put the most pertinent information (speed, directions, shift lights, etc.) in the best possible spot, where you don't have to take your eyes off the road. I hope every car eventually has this standard.

Suggested By: Battery Tender Unnecessary, Photo Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns

3.) Proximity Key


Imagine a world where you don't have to fumble through your pockets for your keys. Sounds pretty great, huh? That's the magic of the proximity key.

Someone just needs to explain to me how to outfit my apartment with one.

Suggested By: Kate's Dirty Sister, Photo Credit: Porsche

2.) Bluetooth


Seamless integration of your phone calls and music? Sign me up, please.

Suggested By: Titan-E34, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

1.) Heated/Cooled Seats


They warm your buns in the winter, prevent swass in the summer, and relax your muscles on a long trip. Heated/cooled seats – is there anything they can't do?

Suggested By: alexb420, Photo Credit: Scion

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: BMW

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