33 Modern Car Features That Are Worthless: The Extras You Can Skip

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

As you navigate the latest showroom of shiny new vehicles, you’ll notice modern cars are packed with an array of features. Some enhance comfort or safety, while others simply turn heads with their novelty.

However, amidst this technological avalanche, automakers have introduced features that, surprisingly, you could easily do without. These are often the bells and whistles that promise a lot but deliver little practical value, and they can sometimes lead to more frustration than function.

Electronic Parking Brakes

Electronic Parking Brakes
©Photo Credit: Unlimphotos

Your car’s electronic parking brake (EPB) is a modern touch, replacing the traditional lever or pedal. While it’s convenient, offering more cabin space and a sleeker design, consider the possible battery issues. If your battery dies, you might find yourself unable to release the EPB, posing a potential hassle.

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Excessive Infotainment Options

Options
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

In your car, infotainment systems have transformed dashboards into high-tech control centers. While some features enhance the driving experience, too many options can be overwhelming, turning simple tasks into complex ones and potentially distracting you from the road. Here’s a quick look:

  • Touchscreens: Comparable to an iPad, they often lack instinctive usability.
  • Customizations: Custom options sometimes complicate rather than simplify.
  • Features: An excess of apps and services that you may never use.

Paddle Shifters in Automatic Cars

Paddle Shifters
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

While you might appreciate the sporty feel that paddle shifters add, they’re often underused. Paddle shifters let you manually select gears in an automatic transmission. Yet, in daily driving, the automatic mode is commonly preferred for its simplicity and ease.

Gesture Control Systems

Gesture Control Systems
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Gesture control systems in your car may seem futuristic. You can adjust volume or answer calls with a hand wave. But they can be imprecise and often misinterpret your intended action. These systems tend to complicate rather than simplify interactions, making physical buttons a more reliable choice.

Electronic Gadgetry

Gadgets
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car’s dashboard may look like a spaceship’s control panel with its myriad of electronic gadgets.

  • Touchscreens
  • Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Gesture controls

They seem high-tech, but do they add real value to your driving experience? Many of these features can be more distracting than useful, pulling your attention away from the road. Plus, with the ubiquity of smartphones, many of your car’s electronic features can be redundant.

Rear-Seat Entertainment Systems

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

In the age of tablets and smartphones, rear-seat entertainment systems have lost their appeal. You might find they’re a pricey redundancy for keeping passengers engaged. Consider this: your devices already play movies and games, and with no installation cost. Opt for mounts instead!

Overabundance of Media Options

Car media
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car boasts endless media options. Satellite radio, music streaming, podcasts, audiobooks—the list goes on. But do you really need them all? While variety is great, having too many choices can be overwhelming and unnecessary when driving. Simplify your ride.

Smartphone Integration

Smartphone
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might think having your smartphone fully integrated into your car’s system is cutting-edge. Yet, this feature can often be more distracting than helpful. Touchscreens and app notifications pull your attention away from driving. Stay safe and keep your focus on the road!

Social Media Access in Cars

Social
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Despite social media integration being touted as convenient, having access in your car is largely unnecessary. Sure, staying connected is great, but while driving, it’s potentially distracting. Besides, your smartphone already does the job well outside the dashboard.

Heated Seats Beyond Front Row

Car Heated Seats
©Photo Credit: Unlimphotos

Your love for comfort might lead you to consider heated seats for your backseat passengers. But think about this: how often would those seats get used? In many climates, or if you’re predominantly solo or front-seat driving, rear heated seats might rarely serve a purpose. Save your cash – your wallet will thank you!

Customizable Ambient Lighting

Customizable Ambient Lighting
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Have you noticed cars with ambient lighting recently? While these colorful interiors might look cool, they’re not always practical. Imagine trying to find the perfect hue while driving—quite the distraction, right? Plus, does it truly enhance your ride’s performance or safety? Think about it.

Voice Recognition Systems That Don’t Work Well

Voice Recognition Systems
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You’ve likely experienced voice recognition systems in modern cars that just don’t understand you. Whether it’s to play music or set a destination, misinterpretations are common, leading to frustration and distracted driving.

Automatic Headlights That Can’t Be Turned Off

Automatic Headlights
©Photo Credit: Unlimphotos.

Your car’s automatic headlights are there for convenience, but what if you can’t switch them off? They illuminate at dusk or in tunnels, sure, yet lack manual override in some models.

It might seem minor, but it takes away your control to decide when they should be used, which can be unnecessary during early evening or in well-lit areas. Plus, in scenarios where you want to keep a low profile, say at a drive-in theater, they could be quite the nuisance.

Motorized Seat Belts

Motorized Seat Belts
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might find your car’s motorized seat belts more gimmicky than useful. They were intended for safety, yet they often add complexity without much benefit. Despite their initial appeal, these belts can be prone to malfunctions, potentially leading to costly repairs.

Suicide Doors

Suicide Doors
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

While suicide doors add a unique charm to cars like the Mazda RX-8, they’re not essential. They offer no real advantage for your daily drive and can actually complicate parking in tight spaces.

Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)

Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Despite the intent to increase road safety, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) may not significantly impact your driving experience. In broad daylight, the visibility effect can be negligible. Plus, DRLs could lead to unnecessary energy consumption which may slightly affect fuel efficiency.

Heads-Up Display (HUD) In City Cars

Heads-Up Display (HUD) In City Cars
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

When you’re navigating busy city streets, a HUD in your compact car may seem handy at first glance, displaying speed and navigation right on the windshield.

However, it can be distracting in the already attention-demanding city traffic. It’s one modern feature that’s not quite as useful as it sounds in urban environments. Keep your eyes on the road, not on unnecessary gadgets.

G-Force Indicators

G-Force Indicators
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might find G-Force indicators in your sports car claiming to add to your driving experience. They display the lateral and longitudinal acceleration during your drive. While they may seem appealing to performance enthusiasts, in everyday driving, they’re often overlooked and unused.

Sunroofs In Climates Where They Are Seldom Used

Sunroofs
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

In regions with frequent rain or cold weather, your car’s panoramic sunroof might not see much use. The benefits of natural light and an open-air feel are outweighed by practicality concerns, and considering the additional cost, you might prefer a solid roof that enhances insulation and reduces noise. Choose features that match your climate to get the most value out of your vehicle.

Wireless Charging Pads That Are Slow

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car’s wireless charging pad might not keep up with the pace of your lifestyle. Imagine needing a quick power boost before an appointment, only to find that your charging pad is crawling along.

The allure of cable-free charging loses its sparkle when the charge rate is sluggish, especially compared to the standard plug-in chargers. Some pads even struggle to charge through thicker phone cases.

If your charging pad isn’t delivering at least 10W of power, you might find yourself waiting longer than you’d like. Keep in mind, the latest options promise faster charging speeds, like those outlined at CellularNews.

Screen Mirroring

Screen Mirroring
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Screen mirroring in cars allows you to display your smartphone’s content on the vehicle’s infotainment system. While convenient for accessing your apps, navigation, and music playlist, it often duplicates features already available in your car’s system, making it a somewhat superfluous add-on.

Fake Engine Noise

Fake Engine Noise
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car’s roar might be a symphony, but sometimes what you hear is designed—it’s not purely mechanical. Many models from brands like BMW and Ford amplify or generate engine noise through speakers, giving the illusion of power without the actual performance.

In-car Fragrance Dispenser

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might find an in-car fragrance dispenser marketed as a luxury feature. While the idea of a personalized scent wafting through your vehicle sounds appealing, consider whether it’s practical.

The dispensers, like those found in a Mercedes-Benz, use proprietary cartridges that can be expensive to replace. Plus, they may not suit everyone’s tastes and could overpower your car if not carefully controlled.

Built-in Vacuum Cleaner

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car’s cleanliness matters, but a built-in vacuum cleaner might not be your best friend. Let’s face it:

  • High Cost: Added expense during your initial purchase.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and filter replacements.
  • Underpowered: Often lacks the suction power of standalone vacuums.

Lane-Departure Warning

Lane-Departure Warning
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might find the lane-departure warning feature a bit nagging. When you drift from your lane, it sounds an alert. While it promotes safety, sometimes it’s overly sensitive on windy roads, resulting in unnecessary beeping that could distract rather than assist.

360-Degree Cameras

360-Degree Cameras
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

In your car, 360-degree cameras offer a panoramic view of your surroundings. While helpful, not all drivers find them necessary. Some reasons include:

  • Cost: They can add a significant amount to your vehicle’s price.
  • Complexity: For some, the system’s multiple views escalate the learning curve.
  • Redundancy: Your standard backup camera and mirrors might suffice.

Remember, not all features suit every driver’s needs.

Touch-sensitive Controls

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Touch-sensitive controls in your car seem futuristic, but they can be tricky when driving. With no tactile feedback, finding the right spot to tap or swipe while keeping your eyes on the road is challenging. Buttons and knobs offer precision that touch-sensitive surfaces often lack.

Heated Steering Wheel

Heated Steering Wheel
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

While a heated steering wheel might sound luxurious, consider your actual need for it. If you live in a warm climate, it’s an unnecessary feature, adding cost without benefits. Remember, gloves could be a simpler solution for colder days.

Automatic Trunk Opener

Automatic Trunk Opener
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Your car may feature an automatic trunk opener, a button-activated convenience intended to make accessing the trunk easier. Yet, in practice, it may not always provide the expected utility or efficiency, especially when your hands are full.

Dynamic Cruise Control

Dynamic Cruise Control
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) sounds helpful, but it might disappoint you. In theory, it automatically adjusts your car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from traffic ahead. Yet, it may not work seamlessly in dense traffic or with sudden stops, which can be more annoying than useful.

Massage Seats

Massage Seats
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

You might find cars with massage seats luxurious, yet when it comes to practicality, they’re often seen as superfluous. Despite their comfort, they add cost without enhancing the vehicle’s performance or safety.

Panoramic Sunroof

Panoramic Sunroof
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

When considering a panoramic sunroof, they can introduce drawbacks:

  • Extra weight: Impacts fuel efficiency.
  • Glare: The sun may be bothersome.
  • Maintenance: Potential for costly repairs.
  • Reduced headroom: Which is less comfortable.

Built-in Navigation Systems

©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

With your smartphone in hand, built-in navigation systems can seem redundant. They often come with costly updates and lack the real-time accuracy of apps like Google Maps or Waze. Plus, integrating with your current digital ecosystem isn’t always seamless.

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