It’s fun to think about all the cool features carmakers add to make their vehicles more appealing, even if they are a bit ridiculous. Like Bentley’s infotainment package that builds computer tablets into the headrests, or their retractable tailgate bench, Jaguar’s retracting gear shifting knob, or Audi’s pop-up tweeter.
Like any new gadget, it’s only a matter of time before the novelty of these features wears off. How many times can you watch a gear selector rise and fall before it becomes old? It seems like one more thing that will eventually need to be repaired at an exorbitant cost.
The ridiculous features that don’t serve a purpose are mostly found in high-end luxury cars — the cars that cost $200,000+. These cars already come equipped with all the standard options and more, so they capture people’s interest by adding more conveniences and novelties.
Not every luxury carmaker goes out of their way to build interesting, yet useless features into their vehicles. In fact, many of the less expensive luxury brands are constantly equipping vehicles with the technology that supports the busy lifestyles of successful business owners and entrepreneurs, like Bluetooth.
Yesterday’s luxury is today’s standard feature
In the past, if you wanted a car that came equipped with Bluetooth technology, so you could avoid having to drive with an earpiece or an external speaker, you had to buy an expensive car like a BMW or a Lexus. The same goes for keyless entry, rear cameras, automatic doors, and a remote start engine. Today, these features are standard in cars that aren’t even considered luxury vehicles, like the Honda Civic EX.
The 2018 Honda Civic EX comes standard with Bluetooth, a multi-angle rearview camera, and an engine that starts remotely. The EX-L model adds a navigation system, an automatic dimming rearview mirror, and automatic headlights.
All this wireless technology becoming standard leaves few reasons to spend tens of thousands of dollars more for a luxury car. Unless you absolutely need Bentley’s retractable tailgate seat for parties because sitting in a chair is out of the question.
Of course, there are reasons people love their high-end luxury cars. There’s no denying that some of the features are pretty cool, even if they are useless.
Here are just a few of the most popular luxury cars and why they’re loved:
- Bentley. Owned by Volkswagen, these are true luxury cars and the company knows how to sell them. The Bentley Bentayga, for example, is a luxury SUV that costs $250k and comes with options that nobody needs but everyone wants.For $32,000, you can get a picnic hamper that comes with champagne flutes and fine flatware; for $7,500, you can get rear tablets built into the car; for another fee you can get a quilted leather bench called an “event seat” that retracts from the tailgate. The Bentayga also boasts legitimate off-roading capabilities.
- Maserati. These cars are like laid-back Ferraris. They’re luxurious, fast, and expensive but the company doesn’t need to boast about their cars’ capabilities. They’re beautiful, although not as functional as Ferrari. That doesn’t stop people from buying them. In fact, most people who have plenty of money are expected to buy a Ferrari, so the Maserati is a symbol of defying expectations.
- Tesla. These cars are luxurious for different reasons than the rest. You won’t find a retractable “event seat” in a Tesla, but you will find between 235-691hp electric motors, AWD, and a fuel economy rating of more than 90mpg. As an electric luxury car, the Model S is fast, comfortable, and technologically advanced.
What will the next wireless feature be?
At some point, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth spending a small fortune just to be entertained by what your car can do, or if you can be content with current technology that was considered luxury not long ago.
At one point in time, everyone was amazed that BMW and Lexus added Bluetooth technology into their cars. As wireless technology evolves, there will always be one more feature that seems important to have in the car. That same feature will become mainstream, and the next feature will take its place as the most sought-after technology.
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