It is true that a vehicle’s exterior design plays a major role in creating a first impression and is certainly one of the major things people look for when buying a new rolling chassis. Sure the engine power, handling and fuel economy also come into play, they would all go to waste if the vehicle’s interiors aren’t as eye catching as the outside. Any vehicle designer can create a great looking car with a powerful drivetrain, but the interior comfort and luxury creates all the difference between a premium brand and a regular one.
The rise in automobile sales and technological advancements have certainly increased customer expectations. Long gone are the days when basic features such as electric steering and air conditioning was only made available with top end variants or could only be seen in premium brands and luxury vehicles. Regardless of the vehicle size, the customers now demand the interiors to be highly appealing and comforting. Features such as dual tone interiors, automatic climate control, navigation, touch-screen infotainment along with ergonomic seats are seen commonly across mass market car models along with advanced safety features. This can also be seen through the high sales of mass market models such as Suzuki Swift that has sold nearly 5 million units worldwide and contains all the top notch interior features and luxury elements that are found in more expensive models.
While it is hard to find top-notch interior comfort and luxury with every second vehicle in the market, there are various essential things that one should look for when buying a new car. If you’re still unsure about what to look for in your vehicle’s interiors when making the choice, here are some essential pointers that’ll make things easier for you.
Even if your vehicle looks like a spaceship on wheels from the outside, the same design aesthetic should be carried over with the dashboard. There was a time when nicely carved dash designs were only featured on premium models, while mass market vehicles looked similar to plastic containers with seats. But thankfully, several manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi have raised the bar by providing some marvellously designed front cockpits. Multifunction Electric Steering is offered as a standard accessory in even the base models that improves the vehicle’s handling and driving comfort by a major degree. Several models also offer adjustable steering column that can be moved up or down according to the driver’s convenience. Several multifunction wheels are also equipped with bluetooth controls for hands free phone conversations while driving.
Let’s not be too demanding, but every car should be equipped with a basic audio system that can atleast play radio and common media formats such as MP3. Several models such as the Mitsubishi Mirage and Toyota Wigo offer a highly interactive touch-screen console that can play a variety of media along with open support for navigation. It is not uncommon to buy base models without an infotainment console and prefer to install the music system of their choice. However, if you want to skip all the hassle it is much better that you choose a vehicle with a pre-installed audio system. The best choice would always be to go for 4-speakers instead of just 2, to ensure that all the passengers can enjoy their favorite tunes while driving.
Remember the time when manual air conditioning in vehicles was considered a luxury feature? The automotive world has surely moved way beyond those primitive standards and nearly all vehicles are equipped with air conditioning as standard. While rear seat AC vents are still only available with large body vehicles, automatic climate control is the next thing that will soon become a standard feature across all cars. The climate control not only cools the vehicle more efficiently than a manual AC unit, but also maintains high levels of interior comfort by automatically adjusting, according to the outside temperature.
While purists still consider rolling window mechanism to be the best, we all know that technology has seen its course of time. Front power windows are quite a common feature across most vehicles, but the thing that would really be problematic is the presence of manual windows in the rear. Power windows are not only more convenient than manual ones, but are also less prone to malfunction unlike the manual ones that are certainly a big pain in the neck. Auto-down function is also offered in several vehicles and allows the user to roll down windows with a single touch of a button.
The arrival of central locking not only made the vehicles more secure against unauthorised entry and theft, but the presence of a key based security system surely sounds primitive as hell. One can always visit a local accessory shop to get a 3rd party security system with remote entry in their vehicle, but it is always more convenient to get these essential features pre-installed by the manufacturer. The vehicle can be locked or unlocked through a simple press of a button and totally eliminates the use of a key, which has been limited for emergency purposes only or when the remote battery runs out. Several premium models now feature an entirely keyless operation system that utilizes various sensors on the door handle to lock/unlock the vehicle.
Keyless operation is not only limited to opening and closing of the vehicle’s doors, but have also changed the way you turn the engine on. The Start/Stop button featured on mass market cars such as the abovementioned Swift turned to be one of the major USPs for the model. The convenient feature not only makes your vehicle much easier to operate, but also minimizes the chances of engine breakdown when starting the car. While most people consider the start/stop button to be a fancy gimmick, it certainly does a great job of providing an extra luxury quotient for the driver.
Although boot space, legroom and headroom are all dependant on the model that you’ve chosen to purchase, making sure that the above things are present in your vehicle will certainly make your new vehicle more satisfying and enjoyable. There is surely no end to human wants and one can always find much better features for every extra penny spent. The above list contains some essential elements that are pretty much mandatory for a comfortable drive and should be a major priority when choosing a new vehicle for yourself.