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10 Must-Have Features In Every Car

Modified On Aug 03, 2018 11:23 PM By Dhruv

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Irrespective of the car you buy, there are some features that have become absolutely essential in today’s day and age. We list them out

Since long, entry-level cars in India have been under-equipped. Not only do these cars miss out on basic convenience features, they also skimp on safety equipment as well. Times have changed, though, and it’s heartening to see even entry-level cars up the ante with a longer list of features. Keeping up with the current trend, we list down some basic features that we feel every modern car must have regardless of its price.

1. Dual Front Airbags - Safety Feature

Airbags are a life-saving feature in the event of an accident. They act as a cushion for the driver and the passenger in case of a frontal impact. Since autonomous cars are yet to become mainstream and most entry-level cars are still driven by owners themselves, we think it’s a feature that every car, irrespective of its segment or price, should have as standard. Entry-level hatchbacks which max out around the Rs 5 lakh-mark like the Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon, Renault Kwid & the Datsun redi-GO don’t get dual front airbags even in their top variant. However, they do get a driver-side airbag, which is good if you’re the sole occupant/driver of the car.

2. Anti-lock Braking System - Safety Feature

Aftermarket price - Retrofitment is not recommended

ABS (anti-lock braking system) is an active safety feature. An active safety feature is one that helps avoid accidents. ABS modulates the pressure on brakes to prevent them from locking up in a panic braking situation. Since it doesn’t allow wheels to lock up, the vehicle can be steered under hard braking. In cars without ABS, the wheels could skid and won’t steer in the desired direction if they lock up. ABS also helps reduce the braking distance. Entry-level hatchbacks, especially their lower variants, still miss out on ABS. It’s a must-have feature.

3. ISOFIX Mounts - Safety feature

Aftermarket price - NA

If you are a parent, this is a must-have. Most cars these days are equipped with Isofix mounts on the second row to fix child safety seats. For cars with front airbags, it’s advised not to seat children on the front seat as it can be dangerous in case the airbag deploys in the event of a crash. A child seat can be fixed on these Isofix mounts safely in the second row and that might save the child’s life in an unfortunate case of a crash. Some affordable hatchbacks like the Swift and Ignis come fitted with Isofix seat mounts.

4. Rear Defogger - Safety feature / Convenience feature

Aftermarket price - Retrofitment is not recommended unless carried out by a workshop authorised by the manufacturer

Water condensation on the car’s front windshield can be fixed by using the blower and turning the AC on. But that’s not the case with the rear windshield. And for that reason we require a rear defogger. During the monsoon, or even in winters, the rear windshield tends to fog up, which hinders visibility of the traffic or the surroundings behind. A defogger clears the mist and helps improve rear visibility.

5. Rear Parking Sensor - Safety / Convenience feature

Offered as an after-sales accessory by almost all carmakers. Price starts from around Rs 2,000.

Parking sensors warn you of any obstacle at the rear while reversing the car. Many entry-level car manufacturers skimp on this feature to keep a competitive starting price tag. However, it is a must-have feature even for hatchbacks, especially if you drive in urban areas with tight parking spaces. Carmakers like Honda (in the Amaze) have now started offering parking sensors as standard.

6. Manual Day/Night IRVM - Safety / Convenience feature

Aftermarket price: around Rs 1,000

A day/night IRVM (inside rear view mirror) is a feature which requires low investment but makes a world of difference to your nighttime driving comfort. This feature aids the driver by reducing the harsh glare from headlamp beams of vehicles at the rear. Some entry-level cars miss out on this feature but you can get it fitted from the company’s authorised service centre for around Rs 1,000.

7. Electrically Adjustable ORVM - Convenience feature

Aftermarket price - starts from Rs 1,500 each

Carmakers offer manually adjustable ORVMs (outside rearview mirrors) in lower variants of various cars. While adjusting the driver-side ORVM manually is not an issue, doing so for the passenger side is usually a pain. If you’re the only one driving your car, you might not feel the need to regularly adjust the ORVM unless when you’re reversing into a tight spot or parking close to a wall. If the car is driven by more than one person, the ORVMs may require more frequent adjustment to suit each driver. Since electrically adjustable ORVMs are not very expensive, car manufacturers should consider offering them as standard. You can also get electrically foldable ORVMs retrofitted but that doubles the cost of fitment.

8. Central Locking - Convenience feature

Offered as an after-sales accessory by almost all carmakers. Price starts from around Rs 2,500

A central locking system can be yours from several trusted vendors in the aftermarket such as iCAT and Autocop. Central locking makes it easy for the driver to lock/unlock the car without having to stretch out to lock/unlock each door.

9. All Four Power Windows - Convenience Feature

Offered as an after-sales accessory by almost all carmakers. Price starts from around Rs 4,000.

Purely for the sake of modernity, it is necessary to have all four power windows in a car. The convenience and functionality from these little switches will improve your long-term car ownership experience. All carmakers offer power windows as an after-sales fitment. Some carmakers that offer vehicles with powered windows at the front also offer rear power windows separately.

10. Basic 2-DIN Audio System - Entertainment

Offered as an after-sales accessory by almost all carmakers. Price starts from around Rs 5,000.

What’s driving without some music to keep you relaxed in traffic or alert on a long road trip? An audio system is sometimes missing in the base variants of premium hatchbacks or a sub-4m compact sedan. Although most owners generally get one fitted from the aftermarket post purchase, we think it’s high time carmakers start offering them as standard equipment.

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