Your car is packed with features. Are you using any? Study reveals big details

  • New car prices are going north consistently and a big factor for this is the plethora of new-age tech-based features these machines boast of.
File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.

Modern-day cars are not just about turning the ignition, pressing the pedal and getting from one place to another. The drive is not a task but an experience, and that is largely thanks to the plethora of features that these vehicles boast of now. Feature list has emerged as one of the deciding factors which either convinces prospective buyers to sign the dotted line or move away to another model or even brand. Little wonder then that car makers of today are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their respective offerings offer as many new-age technologies as is possible within a specific price bracket. Question, however, is when you buy a car for its features, how many of these features do you actually end up using on a daily basis.

A recent J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, covering responses from 110,827 owners of new 2021 models, attempts to give an insight into the feature-rich world of passenger vehicles and finds that many new-car customers admit they only use a limited number of advanced tech features their vehicles offer. Gesture control, for instance, is a common feature in many modern-day cars but the study reports that most respondents pointed to poor performance and would still rather use touch functionality. Then there is inter-car communication systems too which may not be utilized by many at present.

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But not all advanced tech-based features are ignored. The same study found that camera rear-view mirror and ground view camera are very popular among US buyers with most suggesting they would need these in their next new car. Also important to note here is that preference for a certain set of advanced in-car features may differ from country to country. The study says that many factors, including how well a dealership employee is able to explain, affects usability of in-car tech.

But should you pay for what you don't or won't use? “New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content," said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power. “This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners."

First Published Date: 08 Oct 2021, 10:19 AM IST

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