The Mercedes-Benz A-Class: What can we say other than what a truly amazing piece of automotive engineering.
We know that looking for a new car can be a confusing time, especially if you’re relying on online services and not viewing the model in person, which is why we think it’s important to have a list of your must-haves. Some of these will be individual to you, such as the colour or a specific model, but some are more general features you should look for in your brand-new car. We’ve rounded up our top five features that we think are essential for drivers today.
1. Smartphone Connectivity
You might assume that all new vehicles come with smartphone connectivity, but this isn’t always the case and there are varying degrees of connectivity.
Some models will be able to connect wirelessly and offer you a fully integrated system that can play music, send messages and make calls while wirelessly charging and others might only be able to connect via a cable to play music.
There may also be a difference between the connectivity available between different spec levels of a model, as some will provide more connectivity features on premium models.
We recommend thinking about how important being contactable whilst driving is for you and then making sure the cars you are looking at have an appropriate option for you.
If the car doesn’t include integrated connectivity then you can fit a Bluetooth system yourself, however this can be costly and if you are leasing your new car then you need to be able to remove the system without there being any damage left by it.
The next modern must have is an integrated satnav system! You might not think this is as important, with the ability to use an app on your map or portable device to navigate, but for drivers who rely on their satnav to get them where they need to go a built-in unit is the best choice.
This will save you from using all your mobile data on a map app, being stranded because you forgot a portable satnav or running out of power because you don’t have a charger.
Additionally, mobile devices will usually leave marks where fixed to the dash / windscreen and would-be thieves will usually target vehicles where they believe there are valuable items such as a satnav inside, so a built-in unit will not carry this risk.
3. Electric / Hybrid Powertrain
The third must-have we’ve included is an electric motor! The car market is shifting towards fully electric vehicles (EVs) but there are still many hybrid options available to help ease drivers into the transition to an EV. With the ban on the sale of new vehicles that produce emissions coming in 2030 we think that where possible all drivers should be looking to an electric model, even if it’s a hybrid, to get themselves used to driving an EV, make any lifestyle adjustments if needed and take advantage of government grants while they’re still available.
4. Driver Assistance Systems
Modern vehicles can offer you a range of different driver assistance systems that are designed to make driving easier for you and reduce the risk of accidents.
Some of the most common systems include parking assistance, blind-spot detection, emergency braking, and speed limit detection. The systems available, and the names of them, vary between manufacturers but you’ll find that they are generally fairly similar systems but with unique technology powering them.
We’ve not chosen a specific driver assistance system as we know what each driver would find helpful varies, but we do think that where the technology is available it can be helpful to take advantage of it. We’d advise thinking about what systems you think would be the most useful for you and what models offer them.
5. LED Headlights
Our final pick is LED headlights. For drivers who do a lot of travelling early in the morning or later in the day when there are darker skies LEDs are a must-have.
They’re brighter bulbs, giving you a better view of the road ahead and making you more visible to other drivers and they use less power so don’t drain your battery as much as traditional bulbs.
They’re becoming more popular on the roads and so more new models are coming with them as standard, but we’ve not yet reached the point where they are universally standard across all models so it’s worth checking the spec to see if the car you’re interested in has them.
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