The automotive world has always been a competition of new technology and features to try to persuade of picking one brand over another. As technology improves and our needs as consumers change with the course of time, features integrated into our cars have come and gone.
Some essential features at the time of conception became unnecessary and have disappeared into the automotive history books. Others have withstood the test of time and are still present in our vehicles even after decades of existence.
But surprisingly some components stayed integrated even though they are pretty much useless, while some important ones have never been mainstreamed into our primary mode of transport. In the following list, we will go through some features from both sides of the coin.
15. Surprising: Useless Rear Seats
Why do most sports cars need rear seats? More isn't always better when the more is useless. More often than not the rear seats of a 2+2 sports car are only there to add weight. Looking at the picture above, no one with legs fits in the back of the BRZ. So why bother putting them in, if not just to charge us extra for a rear seat delete option.
14. Surprising: Visible Antennas
Cars used to have long metal antennas to capture radio signal, as technology got better most have moved on the "shark fin" antennas pictured above. But a smaller group of carmakers managed to into the back glass. But why haven't more manufacturers followed suit?
13. Surprising: Leather Interior
At some point in the past, someone decided that leather was the luxury material of choice when it came to car interior and ever since then you can find leather or mock leather in almost every car. But leather is hard to keep clean, harder to maintain, burning hot on a warm day and freezing cold in winter. A quality cloth is better than leather, so why are we still using it.
12. Surprising: CD Player
If you think the radio is outdated, the common CD player is even more out of place in a modern car. In a world when you have USB ports and music streaming, no one wants to be fumbling around trying to reach a CD in the glove compartment to listen to the same 12 songs on repeat.
11. Surprising: 12V Plug
As cigarette lighter got fazed out of cars, manufacturers simply left the 12V as an auxiliary power plug for accessories. The thing is that the 12V plug is terrible, bulky, and loose. With many alternatives available, it is still a wonder why they kept these features in the first place.
10. Surprising: Sirius Radio
Radio as general isn't a hit nowadays, with many alternatives available for listening to your music. But for those that care, leaving the radio on during your commute still provide a free entertainment to fill the silence with minimum effort. Sirius radio is another story, the monthly cost is phenomenal compared to other options and yet it comes installed on so many new cars.
9. Surprising: Run Flat Tires
We are looking at you BMW, the cons of having run-flat tires far outweigh the benefits, something as simple as carrying a spare tire negates the benefits of using run-flats. That's the reason why most manufacturers don't use them, and even BMW themselves doesn't equip them on their high-end cars.
8. Surprising: Fake Engine Sounds
As engines were getting downsized and turbocharged, carmakers realized that they don't sound as good as before. The way they tried to remedy it was to play artificial sounds through the car's speakers. Needless to say, nobody liked that idea. Why are they still doing this is beyond us.
7. Surprising: Sport Mode On Non-Sporty Cars
There is a reason behind the existence of a sport mode in cars with automatic transmissions. But there is no reason to put a sport button on everything with 4 wheels. Honda is the main culprit of this offense, the new Honda Odyssey has a sport mode. There is no good reason to have one, apart from making you feel better about driving a minivan.
6. Surprising: CVT Transmission
The CVT transmission was sold with the idea that it was always in the right ratio to keep optimum rpm and as a result you get better fuel economy. But the reality is that it was smaller and cheaper to make for manufacturers. Not to mention that people hated the sound they made so they introduced step ratio to the transmission so they mimic automatic transmission anyways.
5. Uncommon: Battery Level Meter
Unless you have some sort of EV, there is no way of easily know the charge left in your car battery. Although some companies have started showing low battery warnings on the dash, without the actual percentage this does nothing but incite panic in the average car owner. Since the battery is quite an important part of your vehicle, a proper way to monitor it should be more common.
4. Uncommon: Remote Starter
With the infinite amount of technology packed into cars these days and a good amount of them useless as mentioned above, it's surprising not more cars come with OEM remote starters. Some don't even offer aftermarket starter support, consumers can't install one without fear of voiding their warranty.
3. Uncommon: Car Locator
Pretty much all cars sold today have a GPS option, but even if they didn't it seems extremely unusual that the most expensive item you'll likely buy outside your house doesn't come better protected. Almost every option for car locating comes from aftermarket companies.
2. Uncommon: Accessible Child Door Lock
If you have young children in the back seat, rear door child locks are a necessity. Most of them are located inside the hidden part of the door, inaccessible unless the door is open. Terribly inconvenient if you want to check if they are engaged, or if you have an adult sitting in the back that can't even open their own doors anymore and you have to play chauffeur for them. Luckily some rare manufacturers have more common sense and put them on the driver door.
1. Uncommon: Rear Seat Vents
Most manufacturers make you pay extra to have the HVAC and vents for the rear seats, if this isn't a cash grab we don't know what is. Especially for family-oriented cars, where little kids sit in the back either freezing or dying of heat. Not to mention that the option is always packaged so that you have to get 5 other unnecessary features at 2000$ for the get the rear vents.