Bizarre Car Features You Probably Never Knew About
When choosing a car to buy, there are a number of factors that usually come into play. The main thing you would want to look for is durability and reliability. Simply put, you want to be sure that the car you buy will perform as expected, and at an optimal level, for at least the first 10 years. Maintenance can cost a lot too, so having a car that is reliable with easy access to replacement parts should be the preferred option.
Besides that, the most notable factor in buying a new car would be its features and technology. You probably want to get a car with the latest technology and added safety and comfort features. Nowadays, most new cars come with advanced safety features like adaptive headlights, automatic parking, automatic emergency braking and anti-collision warning systems. Other special elements that add to your driving comfort are things like Bluetooth connectivity, dual-clutch transmission, power steering, and a reverse drive camera.
All these features are important and beneficial to ensure your safety and convenience while driving. On top of that, legroom, storage space, and other amenities are also significant factors to consider when buying a car.
But while the list of available features in modern cars consists mostly of high-tech safety and infotainment kits, automotive history showcases several options that had unique personalities; Some are excessive, some are impractical, and some are outright bizarre!
Here’s a few weird car features that we came across that you probably never knew about:
Comfort while driving is necessary to ensure a smooth drive as it can impact the driver’s productivity and long-term health. But sometimes, it goes much further than just having nice seats. Besides sleek leather covers with sporty trims, did you know some cars actually come with a built-in massager? Yes, we’re talking about spa-like massage seats.
This may seem a little extreme, seeing that the driver should be in an alert state as opposed to a fully relaxed one while driving, but for those that can afford to splurge on the added luxury – without risking safety – why not right? This special feature is usually found in more expensive cars, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, and the Audi A8. But, you would be surprised that some common cars like the Ford F-150, and the Ford Explorer have optional seat massages as well.
If you thought that was over the top, have you heard of max recline or sleeper seats in cars? As the name suggests, it refers to car front seats that can recline all the way down, making the seats almost flat like an airline’s business class seat.
How is this necessary in cars? Well, it’s certainly not a feature you’d want to use while driving, but new generation trucks like the Ford F-150 have this feature for added comfort during long drives. Basically, it gives the driver the option to just sleep in the car at night (when not driving of course), during a roadtrip across cities.
This one probably has you puzzled. A feature called the “Gentleman Function” certainly sounds intriguing and somewhat regal. Apparently, it’s designed to make any man driving a BMW look like a real – as you might have guessed – gentleman.
The way this feature works is pretty simple. When accessed by clicking BMW’s iDrive controller, the driver can readily adjust the front passenger seat without stepping out of the car and doing it manually. This power seat button can give the front passenger more legroom in an instant. Now, that would certainly score points on a special date.
If you already own a car, you probably have an air freshener with your favourite scent fitted to your car’s air-con vent or hanging on your rear view mirror. But did you know that Mercedes-Benz went a step further with a built-in perfume dispenser? Mainly available in higher-end models, this little LED-backlit pod basically houses a perfume bottle that it atomizes and spreads throughout the cabin.
The fragrance dispenser comes with various intensity options and can be controlled by the driver. Mercedes offers various custom scents for easy refills as well, this includes the Fireside Mood, Sports Mood, Downtown Mood, and Nightlife Mood fragrances. Goes to show that a luxurious drive can certainly smell just as good.
This unusual feature is probably what most of us hope to have in our cars but it’s a luxury reserved for only a few. Remember the time when you rushed to your car in the pouring rain and then had to strategize closing your wet umbrella and chucking it on the floor of the back passenger seat without wetting the car seats? Yes, we’ve all been there.
This idea of a designated car umbrella holder came from Rolls-Royce. The holder is conveniently fitted inside the car’s door and of course they have their specially designed umbrellas, in various colours, that perfectly slide into the holder. What’s more amazing is that this holder not only houses the wet umbrella easily but it also has a system that helps dry it off within minutes. I guess if you had such an expensive car, you wouldn’t want to get your seats wet.
Yes, you read that right; An ice maker in a car. This falls under the impractical category of car features. This specific feature belongs to a Toyota model called the Van. Positioned as an ideal family vacation vehicle, an ice compartment as big as a shoebox was built into the front of the gearbox to ensure everyone gets a cold beverage while driving on a hot day.
It’s no surprise that this feature did not get adopted by modern cars as it would be highly unnecessary to store ice cubes in your car when you’re just driving to work and back. Stopping by Starbucks for an Iced Latte that can sit snugly in your cup holder is luxury enough, don’t you think?
And finally, one of the most absurd car features you may ever come across – an outside shower that hooks up to the car. This was a feature of the Honda CR-V in the 90s for families that like to go on camping trips. The powered shower attachment came with a water jug, hose, showerhead, small standing tub and a 12-volt pump that was powered by the car.
We can see how useful it would be on a camping trip but showering in the open just behind your car is still a weird idea. Sure, you can carry a curtain rack with you too, but then what about water that may splash into the car regardless? Seems a little cumbersome as compared to looking for a public shower area.
What’s Your Feature?
Does your car have any of these features? Or are there other bizarre features in cars that you know of? Leave us a comment below because we’d love to know!
Choosing car features – whether for safety or comfort – is an important part of the purchase process but it’s best to choose the add-ons that you will use frequently and are easy to maintain. You may be presented with a dizzying array of packaged features and built-in accessories to choose from, but costs can quickly add up to.
Yes, you could modify your vehicle after purchase but bear in mind that some added modifications may not be covered in your car insurance policy. DirectAsia honours all claims as long as the modifications are properly installed and approved by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore; Here’s a list of LTA-compliant car accessories that you can insure. If you would like to have these modified parts insured so you can make claims on them, DirectAsia has an optional My Accessories cover that will allow you to insure them against loss and damages.