General Articles

Car Features Essential for Road Trips

If you plan on forgoing security lines at the airport and cramped seating in airplanes, traveling by car is a viable alternative. Traveling by road may not be as fast as traveling by air, but you may be more interested in the journey rather than the final destination. Do you plan on renting or buying a new car for your upcoming travels? If so, there are a few features you’ll want to make sure your vehicle has to keep you comfortable from the first mile to the final home stretch of your journey.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Long stretches of road where you don’t have to do a lot of breaking or weaving around cars calls for adaptive cruise control. This feature gives your foot a rest, and it improves your overall gas mileage. Depending on the make and model of vehicle, adaptive cruise control can brake your car in a traffic jam, or even take care of steering in more cutting-edge vehicles.

Ventilated and Heated Seats

Seats that are too cold or too hot can turn a long drive into an absolute nightmare. Car seats that are ventilated or heated can keep you comfortable and focused on the road. That said, you’ve got to be careful your heated seat doesn’t make you sleepy while behind the wheel.

Head-Up Display

Taking your eyes off the road for just a second can result in an accident, even for the most careful of drivers. Some newer car models come with a head-up display that shows vital information right on the windshield so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road more than necessary. Your current speed, navigation data, and radio info can all be displayed in front of your eyes.

Lane-Keep Assist

Maybe you plan on bringing your kids along with you on your road trip. If so, they can distract you from keeping your eyes and attention on the road. Having a car with lane-keep assist better ensures you don’t weave out of one lane into another—and into another car into the process. Besides fussing kids, fatigue and other distractions can cause you to veer out of your lane. Lane-keep assist can sound a chime or vibrate the steering wheel to put your attention back where it belongs and better ensure you pay closer attention.

Wireless Phone Charging

Smartphones are undoubtedly a driving distraction, but they’re also a great convenience to have on the road. From getting reliable directions and finding the nearest gas station to calling for a tow when you break down in the middle of nowhere and finding the perfect song, your phone can do it all. That said, your the device can only do that when it has enough battery. Phones with wireless charging capabilities make it so you don’t have to struggle as much to find the right cord and charger that’s compatible with your phone’s outlet. Be sure to keep this feature in mind while finding the right car for a road trip.

Navigation System

Rather than using your phone to get directions to your final road trip destination, you can use the car’s navigation system instead. You may prefer this to your phone’s small display and potentially unreliable connection to the car’s system. Just make sure you do some research on the navigation system beforehand to ensure it’s reliable, accurate and actually useful.

Adaptive Suspension

You’re likely to encounter varying road conditions on your trip, such as tight turns and bumpy roads. To better ensure the most comfortable ride possible, you’ll want a car model with adaptive suspension. That way, you can switch between options like “sport,” “comfort” and “normal.”

Road trips are made that much better when you’re behind the wheel of a great automobile. Look for these features before you hit the road.