Four Dealer Options Worth Picking Up
by Brian Alexander
When it comes to buying a car, it’s best to treat the base MSRP as a rough starting point. With new vehicles featuring an ever-increasing selection of the latest tech, comfort and convenience options, there’s very little reason to drive off the lot with a base-spec model any more.
Think about it – you’re going to have to live with this car for the next couple of years at the very least, meaning the investment you make now will last a long time. Best get the comforts you want built-in, at a price you can afford, while you still have the chance. And when it’s time to sell, having a car with a few choice options will appeal to potential buyers as well.
We realize that you can’t tick every box on the options sheet, so here are our four vehicle options you shouldn’t go without. While they might come standard on some cars, for the most part, these still remain options throughout the majority of the market.
With more and more states adopting no-calling-behind-the-wheel laws (and rightfully so, we must say), Bluetooth connectivity is not only your salvation, it’s just a safer choice altogether. Yes, you could use a Bluetooth headset or those Apple headphones with the cord that always manages to get in the way, but we have to say there’s nothing cooler than talking to your friends literally through your car’s speakers. Scrolling through your address book and dialing is made easier this way too, and once you pair a phone to your car, it will automatically connect every time you turn on the car. If not part of a package, this option is pretty easy on the wallet – and definitely well worth it.
Heated and/or Cooled Seats
If you’re living in a place where the temperate isn’t a balmy 70 degrees year round, you have three options – be miserable as a result of the climate, relocate your place of residence or opt for heated/cooled seats. You won’t believe the difference they make when you get into a blisteringly hot or frigidly cold car. You’ll receive instant comfort while you wait for the heating/cooling system to kick into gear.
Unless you prefer the sounds of your car’s mechanical noises to actual music (sprang for a Porsche GT3 RS, did you?), or you’re one of the two-dozen people left on the planet to not conform to the MP3 standard of the 21st century, this one is kind of a no-brainer. Auxiliary jacks are equally useful and worth a look, but the ability to browse your entire music library through your car’s interface – not to mention the fact that it charges your MP3 player while you listen – is too good to pass up.
We realize that your phone probably has GPS. And yes, we also realize that a Tom Tom or Garmin would be the more economically sound option. And you probably don’t even get lost all that often. But there’s something about an integrated navigation system that, even in 2010, comes across as totally awesome and infinitely useful. Plus, these days, most systems have live traffic and weather, and some can even report back nearby gas prices, stock prices and local movie times. Yeah, it’s a lot cooler than your Fandango app.