Best New Car Features

Mia Bevacqua
2018 Audi SQ5
2018 Audi SQ5

In recent years, there have been all sorts of technological advancements in the automotive industry, so now the stuff of science fiction movies now comes standard on many modern cars. The Jetsons would be jealous.

10 Best Car Features on the Market Today

These are just some of the latest innovations for this year. Who knows what the future will hold?

Powertrain Advancements

From powerful steering options to super engines and more, these new car features make what was once the car of the future, a reality.

Dynamic Steering

You need more steering force crawling through the parking lot than carving up a racetrack. That's where dynamic steering comes in. This system employs a variable ratio steering gear that changes the amount of effort needed to steer the wheel. The amount of effort is calculated based on input from various sensors. Dynamic steering made the best new features list on Thrillist and will be available next year on the 2018 Audi SQ5. The system provides steering characteristics that are better than any prior design.

Variable Compression Turbo Engine

Many innovative new engine control systems are finding their way onto the market. One of the most impressive is a variable compression (VC) engine set to debut in 2018. The VC engine is produced by Nissan/Infiniti and features a multi-link system attached to the pistons. The designs vary the engine's volume as needed for both improved power and fuel economy. According to Infiniti, the engine is the first-ever production variable compression engine.

Ten-Speed Automatic Transmissions

Some manufacturers have switched to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) which employ pulleys and belts for an infinite gear ratio. Others, however, are producing traditional automatic transmissions with many gear ratios. General Motors and Ford have teamed up to build an all-new ten-speed automatic transmission. According to Car and Driver, the high-tech slushbox will be available in various Camaros and F-150 models. The new transmission is an engineering marvel that provides improved performance and fuel economy.

General Motors Small Diesel Engine

General Motors has released a 1.6L turbo-diesel engine. According to Motor Trend, the little oil-burner will be available in the Cruze,Equinox and Terrain. It is highly anticipated and will likely develop a cult following because it should provide exemplary fuel economy and torque. The diesel engine will likely cost $4,000 to $5,000 more than the gasoline engine.

Safety Features That Save Lives

These unique safety features put people first making your drive the safest thing you do all day.

Rear Seat Reminder

If you've ever been afraid you might forget a child in your car, General Motors has you covered. Noted by The Washington Post as one of the best features of 2017, GM is rolling out a dedicated rear seat reminder, which sounds a chime and displays a message on the dash if a child is left in the back. This system is the first of its kind and may save lives.

Active Lane Change Assist

Sometimes it's difficult to spot that Mini-Cooper in your side mirror. That's why Mercedes-Benz has created a new lane change assist system. When the driver engages the turn signal, the system will automatically find and steer itself into an opening in the adjacent lane. According to The Car Connection, the system will be available on the 2017 E-Class. The cost will likely be built into the price of a general safety package. Active lane change assist should help save lives everywhere.

Gesture Control

New Yorkers are well-known for communicating with vibrant hand gestures. This means they should get along well with the new BMW 7-Series since it comes equipped with gesture control. According to USA Today, the system allows you to control the infotainment system without pushing a single button or knob. This system is the first of its kind in a production vehicle. The cost of gesture control is built into the $129,245 price tag of the 7-Series.

High-Tech Toys

These technologically sound advancements make your car something truly from the future. Thanks to some of these tech marvels you can stay connected even if you're on the go. The price tag on these is usually built into the cost of the car's infotainment system.

Android Auto

Luke Skywalker had an android for a co-pilot and so can you. Android Auto allows your phone and car to sync, providing hands-free features such as voice control. You'll never have to take your eyes off the road again. For 2017, more than 100 cars offer Android Auto. This is more than double the previous year, according to Cars.com. In most cases, the cost of Android Auto is built into the car's infotainment system. Android Auto seamlessly blends your car and phone like never before.

Apple CarPlay

Like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay allows your phone and vehicle to link. The phone's display is then presented via the car's infotainment screen. This provides easy access to music, navigation and hands-free calling. According to Cars.com, more than 100 new cars are offered with Apple Car play. In most cases, the cost of Apple CarPlay is built into the car's infotainment system. Now your car and iPhone can live as one.

In-Car Wi-Fi

There's no need to go to Starbucks to pilfer Wi-Fi. Now your car can be a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. That means you don't have to stress over data usage when you're streaming Breaking Bad on your mobile device. Wi-Fi can be found in vehicles built by a number of manufacturers including General Motors, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. In-car Wi-Fi is subscription based and can range in price from $5 a month to $50 a month, according to Extremetech.com. Technophiles have been waiting for in-car Wi-Fi years, and now it's a reality.

A Computer on Wheels

Next time you go shopping for a new car, remember, you're not just looking for transportation. You're looking for a highly-engineered computer on wheels.

Best New Car Features