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The Worst New-Car Features Of 2013 Page 4

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2013 Lincoln MKS

2013 Lincoln MKS

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Capacitive 'button' replacing buttons. Driven in part by the whims of designers, who want more cleanly styled interiors, automakers have been subbing in smooth capacitive 'buttons'—essentially special sensitized areas along the smooth surface of the instrument panel. Yet based on our experience with these types of controls, they’re simply too unreliable. They don't work in the cold; they get laggy at times; and they inexplicably work better with some people's fingers than with others. The ones in the Toyota Avalon are the best we've used so far, but why not rotary knobs? Likewise, capacitive sliders aren’t doing a great job yet in replacing dials and knobs. In the words of one of our other editors, “What's the point of losing buttons if you lose total control of the vehicle while trying to mute Mariah Carey?”

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Comments (7)
  1. Are you nut's the worst is a vacuum cleaner in the car.followed by a refrigerator in the glove box and the Aston Martins champagne holder.
     
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  2. I have to agree with Peter. These all seem really cool to me!

    --
    Dino Cajic
    First Choice Wheels and Tires
    800.290.1683
    http://firstchoicewheelsandtires.com
     
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  3. Agree totally on the issues with the capacitive buttons. I tried out Cadillac's version in the XTS at a car show, and I found it to be sluggish and frustrating, especially when trying to "slide" the temperature one direction or another. The computer needs about a full second to recognize that your finger is on the button, which is just enough delay to provide severe irritation, especially if it causes you to have to retry the button several times to get the action you want.
     
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  4. I believe every manufacturer (both import and domestic) are trying to out gizmo and gadget the other and come up with something they make sound great and show as so functional and time saving so people just gotta have it. When in most cases all they succeed in doing in making something less than effective, functional and worst yet makes driving more dangerous, distracting and the task of simple, mundane things (changing radio stations, heat, vent and A/C settings) a task where you need a degree in computer science or a 4" thick manual to digest and figure things out. Some ideas are good but the vast majority aren't.
     
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  5. No surprise that the Avalon tops the list. We released a dash kit for the first generation when it came out and I think we have sold less than five in total.
     
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  6. This is the sort of thing that kept me from buying a high-end BMW... the crazy i-Drive twirly knob from hell. Yes, I would be able to figure it out in a few weeks, but let my spouse borrow it or heaven forbid my elderly dad or mom?? No way. Nothing more ergonimic than the instantaneous feedback of a knob or switch or mechanical slider with a single function. Same reason military aircraft DON'T use capacitive buttons: safety and functionality. One has to use these buttons and knobs in the Winter, with gloves on. Anything that delays response degrades safety to some degree...and averaged over millions of cars, cause a few accidents (injury/death). Not good.
     
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  7. TOTALLY agree with the comment on the low rolling-resistance tires! I have Bridgestone Ecopias on my 2012 Nissan Leaf, and coupled with the torque of an electric vehicle, these tires skid in the rain and even around 90-degree corners and whatnot. It's a lease, so I'm not sure about switching them at this juncture, but if I end up keeping the car, I'm definitely changing.
     
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