Preferred Equipment Necessary For Comfort
If not already standard, most of these features are usually combined in a "preferred equipment" group. Since it's the equipment that most people prefer, and improves safety in the ways I describe, why don't manufacturers make it standard to begin with?
- An important feature, standard on most vehicles, is air conditioning. If it isn't, be prepared to pay over $1000 to have it installed. When the time comes to sell, a vehicle without air conditioning will have much lower resale value, and be harder to dispose of. Air conditioning helps clear fogged up windows during inclement weather, in addition to providing comfort to a driver on long trips.
- Look for cup-holders located away from important vehicle controls (heat, vents, AC, radio). Make sure that they're sturdy, and can securely hold a beverage in the event of a sudden stop or accident avoidance maneuver (some of them won't).
- Tilt or adjustable steering wheels are another item usually found as standard equipment. They enable different-sized drivers to reposition the steering wheel for comfort and safety, allowing the instrument panel to be visible at all times.
- If you do any expressway driving, cruise control is essential. Cruise control eliminates driver fatigue on long journeys, in addition to keeping your insurance rates low (helps you avoid speeding tickets).
- A manual or power adjustable driver's seat is another device that should be standard on every vehicle. Look for a driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support as well. On long trips, the comfort of the driver is an oft-forgotten safety consideration. Combined with an adjustable steering column and remote control mirrors, adjustable seating offers good visibility (a major safety concern) to any sized driver.
- Remote control/power adjustable left and right side mirrors enable different drivers to see the traffic around them, no matter what their driving position.
- Central-locking and remote keyless entry systems allow the driver to lock and unlock all the doors from one location, improving safety as well as adding convenience.
- Power windows may be necessary for toll highway users or if you use parking lots or garages requiring a card or code for entry.