The concept of the car itself has been around for nearly two centuries, and its evolution has made human life easier and more convenient. The last several decades have witnessed a drastic change and improvement in vehicle technology, though not all of it has made life convenient. So below is a top 10 list of annoying car features in no particular order.
10: Low resolution reversing cameras
We’ve now got access to HD and 4k resolution cameras and TVs. Yet, for some reason, many car manufacturers persist in using old low-resolution cameras that look like an old YouTube video playing at 240p. Ideally, when reversing, you want to have a clear resolution as possible, but I can honestly moan about this for hours, if not days.
9: Tiny cup and bottle holders
One thing I don’t understand, you spend a fortune in research and development to create a bespoke car that meets specific requirements, safety standards and emissions. Only to be let down by an appalling universal feature, the cup holders; over the years, I’ve noticed that they are getting smaller, shallower and more inconvenient. Yes, it’s a creature comfort, but I also don’t particularly want to spill my drink all over myself when driving on the road or have a bottle catapulting across the interior either. It’s such a simple feature that it could be so easily rectified.
8: Voice recognition
It is probably the most useless feature on this list; when voice recognition came out all those years ago, it wasn’t perfect; truth be told, it still isn’t any good. If anything, it’s become even more complex, as, over the years, we’ve become more multicultural, accents and pronunciations have also expanded. It’s a great gimmick, but it can become quite hard to understand if you don’t have a generic accent.
One of the funniest elements would be VW’s text to speech when driving; this was also shown on an episode of Top Gear some years ago with Jeremy Clarkson and James May. This feature would make you pull your hair out; in my opinion, ignore it.
7: Constant dashboard and warning sounds
American cars and, once again, VW is a primary culprit; everything nowadays has modules and sensors. It is computer-controlled, so anytime you are near the ignition, some tune, chime or warning would pop up. It’s not like these warnings are necessary; some are just plain ridiculous; you open the door, a warning sounds, you close the door a warning sounds, you start the ignition an alarm sounds, you start the ignition an alert sounds etc. The moral of the story is enough of the damn bongs.
6: Overpaying on options that come standard on entry-level cars.
This is one thing that feels like a scam at times; how does a basic model Toyota have adaptive cruise control as standard. Yet a £100,000 Mercedes, Audi or BMW requires you to pay several thousand for the same technology. If anything, it makes more sense to put this technology on the high-end luxury cars that are spacious, large and would add additional safety features to vehicles of this size by controlling their blind spots.
Though this isn’t just limited to adaptive cruise control, various optional extras come standard on most cars. On luxury cars, these have to be paid for; even spare wheels are considered an optional extra for vehicles like Rolls Royce, 7 Series BMW and Audi A8s.
5: Small spare wheel
Speaking of spare wheels, whatever happened to the days of good old full-size spare wheels? That came with an additional, original rim and tyre equipped on your current car. My 2010 Audi A8 still has its full-size spare wheel, yet the newer models only have a space saver, which looks ridiculous if you ask me. Some cars don’t even have that; some only have a puncture repair kit, which isn’t very useful if your tyre is ripped to shreds.
4: Haptic controls instead of buttons
For this one, I understand why manufacturers have gone down this route. On paper, it sounds excellent, modern and high tech. In reality, it’s more of an inconvenience and distraction; call me old, but I prefer physical buttons, to rotate a knob to adjust the temperature, buttons for heated seats and buttons for other features. It’s less distracting and has more minor fingerprint stains to clean away.
3: Run-flat tyres
Run-flat tyres are a great design feature; they offer enhanced safety, protection and can last for a considerable time even after enduring a puncture. But the downside to them is that they are expensive, noisy and often ruin the ride and comfort of the car that the engineers worked so hard on to develop. This isn’t much of a rant, more of a statement of annoyance that they bring to the car world.
2: Fake vents
Now, this is my pet peeve, seeing fake vents that could aid the car in aerodynamics or, better yet, not being put in there in the first place. It makes certain cars look tacky and cheap, as though they went through a cheap automotive parts store and ran across it with a magnet.
1: Fake exhausts
To round it all off with, the worst thing that’s become a modern trend is fake exhausts. I have never seen the point of putting fake exhausts on cars, and the biggest culprit was Audi with their range. They’ve developed a pretty awful habit at doing this, and I genuinely have no idea why? Fair to say, fake exhausts are the Bane to the automotive world. Though what are your thoughts?