March 12, 2018 5:54 AM  |  Posted By: Marcus
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Related Categories: Car dealers

Until recently, features like power steering, GPS navigation and rain sensors used to be optional extras. However, rapid technological advances made such luxuries more affordable, so that now even the ‘baseline’ trims are equipped with a whopping array of luxuries. However, even in the same model range, individual cars can vary greatly. Although you’d be pressed hard to find an affordable car with all the conveniences available today, when buying a new speeder, make sure you tick these four boxes.


Five-star safety

Many latest models boast their five-star safety rating, but there is a fine writing to it that you need to know. Like, while some makers provide only the bare minimum of four airbags to earn their ratings, others go to the full length and throw in six or more. Make sure your new car has the two in the front, two on the sides and two that drop from the ceiling. The two most authoritative crash-test rankings are the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) and Australasian NCAP. The European program has a stricter scoring system when it comes to pedestrian protection, but ANCAP is more exclusive for occupant safety. This is why some cars have five stars in Europe and four stars down here, and vice versa.

Bluetooth and USB connectivity

Already a standard in many $15,000 hatchbacks such as Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Nissan Micra, Hyundai i20 and Holden Barina, the lack of wireless phone connectivity on larger cars is unforgiving. First of all, make sure the Bluetooth system is fitted by the car maker, since many dealers resort to aftermarket ones to sweeten the deals. The aftermarket ones are not covered by the maker’s warranty and sometimes fail to integrate seamlessly into the car’s audio system. Also, check if the Bluetooth system supports audio streaming, which allows you to play music stored on your phone, or sync the navigation software. The USB port, however, lets you connect almost any portable music player or use it to charge your phone.  

Reversing camera and sensors

In an effort to create more economic cars with minimum drag, manufacturers rely on streamlined designs which are attractive and sleek, but miss one important aspect – outward visibility. This handicap is easily overridden through reversing cams and sensors. Even though sensors can send false beeps for shrubbery, dirt or rain, a rear camera helps identify the real obstacle or threat from a false alarm. Some cameras use the central multimedia display of the audio system, while others use a display screen in the modified rear mirror. These cameras are constantly evolving, so if you are having doubts which technology to buy, ask people who buy and sell cars, since many of them also offer certified aftermarket upgrade kits and accessories.

Spare tyre

The latest trend of super-spacious hatchbacks thrives on cutting back the boot space. But not until you are stuck on the roadside with a flat tyre and no spare, you ask for the reason. While many manufacturers justify replacing a spare tyre with a less bulky inflator kit or better fuel economy, in reality 20 kilograms makes no real difference in the real world. Car dealers are not required to tell you if there’s a spare tyre on-board, but the reputable ones will mention it.  Check out these four incredible small cars with full size spares and five-star ANCAP rating.

While the newest generations already include many ‘luxury’ features even in their basic trim configurations, in such an abundance of options it’s easy to forget the features that really matter. For an average motorist, most of those extras are nothing more than bells and whistles, but a spare tyre, rear cam, Bluetooth hands-free and five-star safety should be in everyone’s setup.


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