In with the New, Out with the Old
THE STARTER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - October 22, 2018 - 12:00am

Automobile Manufacturers are continually developing features to improve the vehicles of today. These can be technological breakthroughs, such as the active brake assist and the engine start-stop system that are increasingly becoming standard on the latest premium cars. Some are changes brought about by competition like GPS systems and back-up cameras.

Almost all the innovations that we see today are products of the data from the recent past. But some come from the world of gadgetry. The standard Bluetooth feature in our OEM Stereo used to be an add-on.   In less than 5 years, it has become a basic feature simultaneous with music streaming.

Although these features relay the “call of the times,” there are some that I am not really a fan of.  Here are some major features in new cars today.

1. Turbocharged engines

Turbos were once only added on to Sports cars as turbochargers let automakers downsize an engine, making it light, while making it more powerful and fuel-efficient.   In just less than a decade, these  are now standard on almost 100% of Diesel SUVs and Pickup Trucks.  Almost every car manufacturer offers a turbo variant for each model.

2. Halogen, HID and now, LED

It was not long ago when High Intensity Discharge light(HID) made a stir in the automotive world.  It was brighter and lasted longer than those traditional halogen bulbs, plus it was only consuming a little of the battery’s charging system as it had low wattage.

LED lights do even better in brightness and longevity than HIDs. The real selling point for carmakers is that LED lights consume further less power than HIDs and can be configured in more unique shapes.

Halogen Bulbs were dominant for decades, but they're busting out.  Even old headlamps can be replaced with aftermarket LED bulbs.

3. No more Hand Brakes

Sorry drifters.   Say goodbye to our favorite hand lever or the classic foot pedal.   The new cars have a servo driven “button type” handbrake. It's in the latest Honda CRV, the BMW 5-Series and many other vehicles.  The absence of a lever or foot pedal gives Automakers a modern “push button” approach while giving them more space to fit more features.

4. Digital instrument panels

There was a time in the 80’s when digital panels were the “in-thing.”  But it was short lived as it was not durable.  Now, the digital gauges are back.  Inspired by the racing world,  car makers are installing these on the latest cars and can configure them to display more information.  This can be found in the latest BMWs, Mercedes, Fords and Hondas.

Analog gauges take up too much space for their single-purpose use.

5. Keyless start

This “not so new” feature allows drivers to start their cars while keeping the ID key in their pockets or purses. It's often paired with a keyless access system that allows entry into the car without pushing any button  on the key fob. It’s all automatic.

Keyless start systems may pose a danger if you're not careful.   Either you forget to turn of the engine or unwillingly open all the doors, risking security. Newer systems do have programmable modes to tailor to one’s need.

If you're determined to hang onto an outgoing feature, such as a “must need” key to switch on/off the engine, then make it part of your must-have list when buying a car. But sooner or later, you will need to forget these favorite features as the automotive world is rapidly changing.   It's better to let go of the old and embrace the new features.

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