If you’ve never bought a car before, you might not know what features you want your new car to have. How do you determine what you really need in a car if you’ve never owned one before? When you visit
our Kia dealership (or our sister dealerships in Burlington and Allentown), you will find helpful salespeople that are just waiting to answer your questions and help you find the right car for you. Still, having a good idea of what you are looking for in a vehicle even before you come to our showrooms can be helpful. Here are some of the most important features for your new car:
1. Cruise control – Are there still vehicles on the market that do not come with cruise control? While every model will boast cruise control, some brands’ lower trim levels will not include it standard. They may offer you the ability to add it aftermarket, but, from our experience, this is never a good option. It will be buggy and neigh unto useless from the moment it is installed. Luckily, when you shop with Kia, you will be able to find cruise control even on the lower trims of all of our models. This is just a small bit of software that controls your electronic throttle to give you a little more speed or ease off the speed to keep you going a constant speed on the road. Kia also has a system called adaptive cruise control, that actually sense if there are obstacles (like cars going at a slower speed than you are) in front of you and automatically slows your speed to match that obstacle’s.
2. Four wheel drive – This is a situational feature. If you are an avid outdoorsman who wants to be able to handle any kind of terrain, four wheel drive is probably a necessary feature for you. Even if you just live at the end of a dirt road, you might find that you need four wheel drive to get to work on a rainy morning. There are lots of uses for four wheel drive, but the average commuter will not encounter them on a daily or even yearly basis. That said, if you know that you are frequently in situations where you need four wheel drive, it can definitely be a great feature to look for as you shop for vehicles. Even just cities that get lots of rain and occasionally have flooding might require four wheel drive, allowing you to get around, even when the streets are slick or packed with debris.
3. Heated seats – Do you live somewhere where it gets cold? If so, then you probably want to have heated seats. This might be considered a luxury by some, but it is a necessity for others, especially those who are easily chilled and find that a car’s heaters do not necessarily bring the cabin up to an acceptable temperature fast enough. Seat heaters might not be at the top of your list, but if you get cold and you want to be able to get warm as quickly as possible, this is a great feature.
4. Towing hitch – Do you ever need to tow anything? If so, you might want to look out for a vehicle that has a towing hitch. Even sedans can tow things nowadays, but if you are going to be doing a lot of towing (if you have a trailer, for example, that you take out every weekend to go camping), you probably will want a sturdier vehicle that is designed for towing. Just about every brand will have a vehicle that has the wherewithal to tow. On the other hand, if you can’t imagine a situation wherein you would need to tow something, you might want to mention this to your salesperson and let them know you don’t want to pay the little bit extra that these tow hitches add to the price of a vehicle.
5. Automatic transmission – Just about the only brand that offers manual transmission standard these days is Jeep. Every other brand is probably going to offer just automatic transmissions or manual transmissions only on special order form the factory. Automatic transmissions are more fuel efficient and are easier to drive. While some people prefer shifting their gears manually, it’s almost always better to let the car take care of the shifting. Unless you are shopping at a brand that still offers plentiful manual transmissions options, the automatic transmission is probably going to be your only option and you won’t have to worry about requesting it specifically.
6. A third row of seats – Do you have a large family (or children that often need to be separate from one another) or lots of friends that you like to drive around? If so, you might want to look for vehicles that have an extra row of seats. Some models will have this option available, depending on which trim level you are looking at. A third row of seats can be a great way to get more people into your car safely or to separate squabbling children and given them all their very own space.
7. Navigational system – Just about every brand is now offering a navigational system in their vehicles, which can be extremely useful for finding your way around unfamiliar neighborhoods or in states and cities you’ve never been to before. While you might have an app on your smartphone that does this, too, a navigational system built right into your vehicle is the best way to get that vehicle where you want to go.