Cooley On Cars
Top 5: Reasons to buy a new carBrian Cooley runs down the top five reasons you should look into purchasing a brand-new car.
If your car is, let's say 11 and a half years ago, don't call it old. Call it normal. That's the current average age of cars on U.S. roads and yes. That's an all-time high. I'm Brian Cooley, with the top five tech reasons you might want to buy a new car. Number five is upgradability. Now, I do put this one low, because it isn't real common yet. But car makers are beginning to make the most recent cars with software that can be upgraded after you purchase them. Particularly for the head unit. Tesla is famous for doing these updates over the air. For has sent out millions of DIY upgrade USB drives that you plug in and do yourself. And many other car makers will upgrade your software when your car's in for regular service. You could end up with some nice new features on the main screen. Case, the results can be great or sometimes not, but without a late model car, you can't even find out. Number four is lighting. From high intensity to automatic high beams to headlights that steer themselves, front lighting has really changed. Test drive a new car at night and then get back in yours, it's like driving by candlelight. And for the oncoming car, it's like being interrogated. Number three is LCD touchscreens. Now I put this in the middle of my list because having an LCD screen with touch or a controller isn't necessarily better than traditional knobs and a dot matrix display. See my Ford Touch. But in general you'll get more choices, more control and more information available on an LCD than any number of old fashioned knobs and buttons. Though Honda and Acura try pretty hard to overload you with both. Today all but the least expensive cars are shipping with at least the color LCD in the center stack. Number two is connectedness. But you say your current car already has an iPod connector. And satellite radio. Aren't you adorable? Today its all about USB ports, built-in Pandora, TuneIn and Spotify streaming act. Wireless bluetooth streaming from your phone, and maybe even connected nav and destination search. These are things you'll use every time you drive, but only in the most recent years of cars. Now, I still don't make these number one. Because your smart phone can graph most of this onto an older car with at least an aux jack and a windshield map. Before I get you to number one, two recent car tech trends that I wouldn't even make number ten. Voice command and rear seat DVD systems. Why? Because they suck. Come on car makers. Get voice to work at least half as well as my phone. And DVDs? Still? Really? The number one tech change that is going to affect you every day in a new car is turbo charging. And direct injection. This is the dynamic duo that has changed automotive power. Usually found in combination, DI and turbo's have meant a wholesale move to cars with smaller engines with fewer cylinders, that still deliver more power, better MPG and lower emissions. and this is the innovation on my list that you will literally appreciate every second your car is running. More top five lists await the car lover, go to CNETOnCars.com and click on Top Five.