As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

The 3 Most Frustrating Features in Today’s Cars

There is no doubt that cars are getting more sophisticated by the day, offering levels of convenience, practicality and efficiency that we have never seen before. At the same time, however, that hasn’t always necessarily meant that we have enjoyed certain aspects of the latest features fitted into our vehicles. In fact, some of them can be downright annoying sometimes. Let’s take a look at a few of the most frustrating features in today’s cars.



Overly fiddly infotainment systems

Infotainment systems have become a mainstay in just about every car hitting the road. But if you’ve stepped into another vehicle recently, the first thing you might realise is that not all infotainment systems are created equal.

One of the most frustrating things with certain infotainment systems is just how poor their user interfaces can be. The user experience often hasn’t been the primary design matter. Certain driving and comfort functions may be buried away behind a complex set of layers that require you to dive into settings to access things like air conditioning.

The message to manufacturers here is simple. That is, keep it simple! Sometimes a button or dial is just easier, and let’s just stay away from touch-sensitive controls that really serve no ultimate benefit.


Stop-start systems

Sure, they might help optimise the fuel efficiency of the modern-day vehicle, however, stop-start systems aren’t always as beneficial as we might be led to believe. For example, if you are trying to cut across oncoming traffic, or head into a roundabout from a standstill, you want the fastest engine response to kick in.

Even if these systems have improved by leaps and bounds, they will still never quite have the instinctive burst of power that sometimes serves as more than a nicety. We can live with stop-start systems, but please, let us turn it off if necessary.



Excessive auditory distractions

If there’s one thing we appreciate, that is a friendly reminder. However, once you start to push that case, prompting the same message over and over, it’s only normal human behaviour that we start to ‘switch off’ and ignore that noise. And by ignore, I don’t mean we tune out, because you can’t really not hear something that is effectively barking instructions at you on repeat.

Some of the worst offenders include those chiming sounds that blare out every time your door is open, the sound of the horn when you activate remote locking, seatbelt warnings that ring endlessly when the car is in park or reverse and AI driver assistants that won’t stop talking or simply aren’t good enough for voice recognition….the list goes on.

Is it too much to ask for these signals to be better harnessed for their own efficiency? Can’t we just hear them when they are necessary, rather than every moment the on-board computer thinks they might be necessary?