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Must-Have Car Features, and Those You Can Skip - Consumer Reports ;;;
tags: must have features in a new car van minivan ;;;
apple CarPlay
trailer hitch (adapter for bike rack)
back up camera (standard since May 2016? or 2018?)
blueTooth (standard since May 2016? or 2018?)
remote start
Blind-spot monitoring
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Automatic high beams
Spare tire
Keyless entry
Driver Easy Speak (Toyota)
360 Degree Bird Eye View
110V outlet
USB Ports
Sound outlets for EarBuds or EarPhones
ceiling mounted Blu Ray dvd player; preferably with HDMI inputs somewhere low by the driver seat.

Forward-collision warning (FCW) uses laser, radar, or cameras to assess surrounding conditions, as well as the speed of your approach to a potential impact with a vehicle ahead of you. The system alerts you with visual and/or audible signals to a potential crash, allowing you time to react. Some systems also sense and alert you to the potential for a collision with pedestrians. We want to see forward-collision warning standard in every car.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) adds to the benefits of forward-collision warning. AEB will sense a potential collision, and if you don’t react in time, the car will initiate braking for you. Auto-braking is another technology we would like to see standard in every car.

A backup camera is like having eyes in the back of your head, reducing the risk of reversing over or into something that might otherwise be unseen behind the vehicle. It’s both a safety feature and a convenience for parking.

Rear cross-traffic alert takes seeing behind you to the next level by warning you when other traffic is approaching from the side as you back out.

Blind-spot monitoring signals when there’s a car in the blind spot beside you on the road. The best systems illuminate little lights in the side mirrors where you should be looking anyway. They emit a chime if you signal a move toward a car next to you. We’ve found these systems to be very effective.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto bring the features and usability of your smartphone to the car’s dashboard. The appeal is being able to use interfaces you are familiar with to the larger screen of your car’s infotainment system. The systems allow you to use a selection of car-friendly apps, and make voice-activated texting simple.

Bluetooth connectivity lets you answer a cell-phone call hands-free, without fumbling with the phone or risking a law violation. In addition, Internet-sourced audio can typically be streamed to the car wirelessly, provided you took the time to pair the phone to the car.

360-degree surround-view camera systems help drivers park more easily, and check for obstructions, through a bird’s-eye view from above the vehicle. Multiple cameras positioned around the car show parking lines relative to the vehicle, making maneuvering in tight situations a snap.

Head-up displays share redundant information such as current speed, navigation information and audio selections on the windshield directly in front of the driver. This reduces the need for the driver to move their eyes from the road to the dashboard or central display screen, although it may take some getting used to.

A USB port can be used to charge a device and play music through the stereo.

Voice controls can keep you from fumbling either with your phone or the car’s controls when looking for the perfect song or trying to phone home. They’re also handy for entering a destination in the navigation system, even under way.

Heated seats and steering wheel can be much appreciated during a cold winter. Trust us, once you try these, you’ll never want to live without them.

Dual-zone automatic climate control allows the driver and front passenger to fine-tune temperature settings. Set and forget—the system will make adjustments as needed to keep everyone comfortable. It also has a safety benefit – in Auto mode, you’ll be fumbling less.

Automatic high beams take the stress out of driving on back roads at night by automatically turning off the high beams for oncoming traffic, and then turning them back up once the cars have passed. We’ve found some systems work much better than others, however.

Spare tire. Lots of cars come without them these days, so check before you buy. In many cases, a spare tire can be added for a fee.

Keyless entry makes a huge difference when you’re trying to open the car and you have your hands full of bags, babies, or a briefcase. Just walk up and open the doors—sometimes by touching a sensor on the handle. Almost all cars with keyless entry also have pushbutton start. But even if they don’t, it’s easier to fish for the key once your hands are free.
must  have  features  in  a  new  car  van  minivan  ConsumerReports 
december 2018 by neerajsinghvns

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