Consumer Reports recently ranked the top “Must-Have” features in new cars, putting CarPlay and Android Auto at the top of the list when it comes to convenience.
CarPlay and Android Auto won the top honor as they give users a familiar interface and “encourage drivers to put their phones down…”
Ranked second under “Must-Have Convenience Features” were physical knobs for audio and climate systems. Consumer Reports found touch screen controls for these functions “tedious and distracting.”
The report also stated which features consumers should avoid, including built-in navigation systems.
It suggested buyers of new cars skip built-in navigation because the systems are often expensive and require map updates. It advised drivers to use Android Auto and CarPlay instead.
It also recommended consumers skip rear seat entertainment units and use inexpensive tablets instead.
And it advocated waiving automatic lane keeping as there’s no data to show that it actually provides safety benefits.
Next, Consumer Reports ranked a number of features as “Nice-to-Have” (though not quite as necessary as Must Have). In the car convenience category, these were ranked as follows:
360 degree surround camera systems
Fast USB charging
Multizone climate systems
Heated seats and steering wheel
Power driver’s seat with height-adjustable lumbar
Wireless charging pad
Finally, in the “Must Have” category for driver safety, two products sold by the aftermarket ranked in the top three. Forward collision warning was ranked second and blind spot detection ranked third. (Number one was automatic emergency braking).