The Worst New-Car Features Of 2013

September 4, 2013
For better or worse, automakers and suppliers are getting inventive, pushing some innovative features into new vehicles. Some of them hit the mark, making our time in vehicles easier, safer, or more efficient, while other features leave us asking, “Seriously, why?”

Today, convenience items like air conditioning and power windows are almost a given in the market—even on the most inexpensive models. Even in the miserly 2014 Mirage DE, which costs $13,790, Mitsubishi plans to offer automatic climate control.

While singling out features as the 'worst' might be a semantic stretch, it serves to point out that not every feature is a positive, in our opinion. Some are frustrating, distracting, or redundant—and what we’ve done here is merely separate out five features that at least some of our editors think have missed the mark for usefulness.

We’ve tried to include a mix of general and specific features, and as you click through our list—or are out on a test drive—ask yourself this: If a feature feels more like a novelty, you have trouble understanding its net benefit, or it doesn’t necessarily make your driving experience simpler, easier, or better, why bother? [Hint: Yes, we have trouble saying that capacitive 'buttons' are any better than the real thing.]

These are just a few. And of course, let us know which new-car feature you’d rank at the bottom in your comments below.

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