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New cars come with the latest and greatest features, right? Well, perhaps not. Here are six features on new cars that we'd much rather do without.

21 Sep 2022


Just because something is new, doesn't mean it's good. COVID-19 is pretty damn new, and I think it's safe to say that's it's most certainly not good. 

Similarly, just because something exists doesn't mean that it should. Did you know that a wearable sleeping bag is an actual, real thing? Like seriously, a sleeping bag that you wear like a puffy onesie. There's literally a brand that has dedicated itself to the whole damn endeavour. Madness. 

When it comes to cars, there are also instances where certain features should have probably been left on the cutting room floor. Here is our list of the six worst features on new cars. 

1. Gesture control 

The imprecise nature of gesture control means that you can accidentally turn the volume up to 11
If sci-fi movies are anything to go by, gesture control seems like the coolest yet most practical means of operating futuristic IT systems. 

The reality, of course, is that we're still quite some way from that sci-fi future. Gesture control in cars are typically imprecise, and less usable then touchscreens, scroll wheels and even voice control. Worse still, it can sometimes turn the volume right up when you are having an animated conversation with your passenger. 

2. Paddle shifters on CVT cars

Paddle shifters seem unnecessary when the car doesn't even technically have actual gears
Paddle shifters are great if you're driving a performance car like a Ferrari or Porsche or whatsoever. It has the feel of a racing car, and actually allows you to quickly swap cogs when you need to. 

In a family crossover, though? Already somewhat unnecessary. How many of us are still manually shifting gears in an automatic car on a regular basis? Worse still, some cars with CVTs also come with paddle shifters. Why? There aren't even any actual gears to shift! 

3. Virtual wing mirrors

The screen's inevitable placement is below the typical eye line of where the traditional wing mirror would be
This is an obvious example of a solution to a problem that does not exist. Wing mirrors work perfectly well. Yes, there may be qualms about the size or positioning of them on various cars, but fundamentally they work. They get the (rather simple) job done.  

Virtual wing mirrors may look cool and have tangential aerodynamic (and I suppose marketing) benefits, but the day-to-day reality is that it is actually quite awkward to look at the screen because it's not located along the eye line.  

4. Buttons instead of door handles

Buttons? Give me a normal door handle any day of the week
Yet another solution to a non-problem. What's wrong with normal door handles? I can still get behind the pull tabs on weight-saving performance cars like a 911 GT3 RS, but buttons just seem functionally superfluous. 

The buttons are often awkwardly located, and for people who have never been in the car before, it can be incredibly confounding to try to open the door. Disastrous when trying to quickly alight at a bus stop. And, it is yet another electrical component that could potentially fail. 

5. Touchscreen air vent direction controls 

Touchscreen air vent controls are just a case of digitisation gone overboard
It started with the second generation Porsche Panamera, but other brands have adopted this digital solution as well, housing the air con controls within the touchscreen. Some are relatively accessible, but others can be up to two menu presses away. 

While digitisation may be well and good, this extra level of complication feels a step too far. More than just being a hassle to adjust the air-con vent direction, but I would argue it's more dangerous when driving as well. 

6. 'Dynamic' rear parking camera

On full lock, the lens distortion can warp your sense of perspective
I love rear parking cameras. On new cars, I almost never need to use the wing mirrors when parking. I'm not sure there's technically a name for this feature, but it is basically when the rear parking camera's displayed image swivels left or right according to your steering angle. 

While I can sort of understand the idea behind it (offering you greater field of vision), in reality I find it a nuisance and unnecessary (most new cars already offer some level of 360-degree camera view). Firstly, the moving image warps your sense of perspective, and secondly in some instances at full lock, you get very stark lens distortion.

Here are some other interesting stories to check out: 

Car features that are super useful in Singapore and (some that are just plain lame)

Singapore's forgotten EVs, Part 2: The Vanda Dendrobium, our first hypercar

These are some of the upcoming cars we cannot wait to get our hands on

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