Modern cars are packed full of features. Automatic climate control, ABS, lane centering. It seems like any luxury you could ever want now exists atop four wheels, but that comes with a problem — with too many features, some will be forced to fly under the radar.
Today, we want to shine a light on these overlooked features. To give them credit where credit is most certainly due, and elevate them to the stature they deserve. New or old, luxury or safety, what’s the most underrated feature in the history of the automobile?
For my pick, I’m going with something that’s often ignored or denigrated — even reviled. A feature that people don’t just overlook, but actively dislike. The most underrated car feature, the one most deserving of reevaluation, is the sound of electric cars.
This covers everything from the pumped-in audio on a Kia EV6 to the banshee wail of a Formula E car at full tilt. With EVs lacking the traditional combustion sounds of an ICE engine, there’s a freedom to play around with audio — which can give incredible results.
With an FE car, you’re hearing the drivetrain — gear whine, motor noise, and tires hitting the pavement. It’s the sound of engineering, of straight-cut gears putting power down to wide, soft tires. With street EVs, the sound is composed — are you really going to say that Nicolaus Otto was a better sound designer than Hans Zimmer?
That’s my pick for most overlooked car feature, the sound of an electric vehicle at full tilt, but what’s yours? Do you think that heated seats are a gift from on high, or that ABS doesn’t get enough credit for its life-saving benefits to traction? Let us know below, and we’ll compile your best answers tomorrow.