What are the worst features installed on new vehicles?

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Having grown up on a gravel road in the country, where old-fashion bias-ply tires went flat almost weekly, I think the installation of modern radial tires have been among the best features added to the automobile in recent decades.

I’m also old enough to remember when cars didn’t come with seat belts, let alone retracting shoulder restraints or airbags. 

And as I get older, I have come to appreciate the rearview camera, and especially those with cross-traffic warning alerts to help you avoid making contact as you back your sporty car out of a tight parking space between mammoth SUVs in a crowded parking lot.

Those are just a few of the best features that have been installed on our cars, trucks and vans in relatively recent years. On the other hand, the folks at Goodwood Road & Racing on the other side of “the pond” have cast a different sort of eye at automotive features, publishing a list of what it considers to be “The 15 worst car features.”

“What frustrates you in a car?” asks writer Sean Ward. “What really gets on your nerves? Chances are, as much as we love our cars, there’s something we aren’t too keen on.”

That having been said, he lists the 15 worst:

  • Fake exhausts and exhaust trims
  • Hatch windows (you know, those that only open a wee bit)
  • Voice recognition (at least that which does not accurately recognize your voice)
  • Gesture controls
  • Screens that aren’t touch sensitive
  • Low-res reversing cameras
  • Social media integration (displayed anywhere on the dashboard)
  • Tiny cup and bottle holders
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Haptic controls replacing buttons
  • Square steering wheels
  • CVT gearboxes
  • Bluetooth lockout (which prevent you from connecting while the car is moving)
  • Run-flat tires
  • Fake vents

Of his list, I’d rate the worst of the worst as being lane-keep assist. I know how to drive, and if I want to clip an apex, or ignore my turn signal to change lanes when I’m in the only car within sight, I don’t want a buzzer or vibrating steering wheel acting like an angry, correcting nanny. 

Having said that, we invite you to use the Comments section below to share what you feel are the worst (or best) features installed on vehicles in recent years.