Check the tech: what to look for in a new car

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  vinalspin 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #97662 Reply



    A quick guide to the latest technology for prospective car buyers
    Keeping on top of new car technology can be tricky, especially as cars get ‘smarter’ and follow the latest tech trends. From breakthrough innovations to the little things that really make a difference, here’s what you should consider when buying your next car.

    The latest safety technology
    Safety tech is crucial, but with new features being developed all the time, even keeping up with the compulsory ones can be a challenge.

    With eCall, a safety feature that has been mandatory on every new car since March 2018, getting help from the emergency services has never been easier or more efficient. Should your car’s airbags be deployed, eCall will automatically contact the European emergency service number, 112 (so eCall works anywhere in the UK or Europe). As well as putting you through on a call, it automatically sends over your car details, location, the time of the incident and the direction you were travelling in. In the new Vauxhall Astra, eCall is part of a suite of features included in the Vauxhall Connect system.

    Autonomous emergency braking (or AEB) is another feature that’s quickly becoming the norm, and it will be compulsory on all new cars from 2021 under EU law. It’s designed to prevent collisions by scanning the road ahead and automatically braking if you’re too close to the car in front.

    A handy feature included in Vauxhall Astra models is Lane Keep Assist. It warns you when you’re drifting out of your lane, then automatically steers you back on track. Hill Start Assist is another useful safety feature, preventing your car from dangerously rolling backwards on an incline. With the new Vauxhall Astra, you can also opt for IntelliLux LED Matrix headlights, which dip around other vehicles for safer driving at night.

    Tech for a better drive
    These days, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anyone not taking advantage of sat nav. So it’s something you may want to consider from the get-go, rather than buying an external sat nav or relying on a smartphone app. Many cars, such as the Vauxhall Astra SRi Nav, now come with built-in satellite navigation systems. These tend to be more sophisticated than external sat navs, offering bigger screens, higher-quality maps and better location accuracy. With a built-in system, you also won’t need to worry about tech nuisances such as external wires and device battery life.

    Built-in cameras are another great driving aid. For example, Vauxhall Astra’s front camera system enables safety features such as collision alert and lane departure warning, as well as recognising traffic signs. Meanwhile, the enhanced rear-parking camera is an excellent way to take the stress out of parking.

    Keeping up with entertainment tech
    If you’re buying a new car, especially a family car, you’re going to want to pay attention to the entertainment options. Many infotainment systems, such as Vauxhall Intellilink, are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone functions. These not only ensure you can connect to your favourite tunes via the likes of Spotify with just a tap and a swipe but are also constantly updated, so you don’t need to worry about your in-car tech becoming out-of-date. They also allow access to Google Maps, with real-time traffic information as well as all manner of other communication and information apps.

    You’ll also want to check you have the ports you need to connect devices, and that they’re easily accessible. For example, the Vauxhall Astra has USB ports for the back seats, a sure way to avoid complaints from the kids.

    Tech for comfort and practicality
    When you’re going to be sitting for long periods of time, uncomfortable seats can be a real deal breaker. Many cars now come with heated seats, and optional driver seats can even include back massagers.

    From heated steering wheels (great for long drives on chilly days) to heated windscreens (saving valuable time on the winter school run), there are many handy features designed to cope with the colder weather. And you’ll also want to check the air conditioning system is decent for that rare hot summer’s day.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #97676 Reply


    sorry i am not a fan of all this tech, a lot of which is distracting. the number of drivers ive seen almost having accidents because theyre fiddling around with phones or screens rather than concentrating on the road.

    every car comes with a simple collision avoidance thingy its called a brake use it. slow down and watch the road instead of whatevers on your device or screen.

    all i need tech wise is a decent satnav. i switch my phone off when i get in the car.

    the rest is not important.

    #97678 Reply


    i think young(tech minded) people like tech and find it easy but older (over21) people (that remember three point turns ) dont

    #97684 Reply


    I have my views on this and I wonder as a car manufacturer you get it right for all customers.

    I understand there’s too much tech and also there’s not enough tech.

    Question if you were building cars how would you pitch it?

    #97687 Reply


    Sat nav and dab radio enough for me

    #97691 Reply


    Tech can be good or bad depending how you look at it.

    I personaly use the tech as a guide/reminder/helping hand but not above my judgement. I do however disagree with people who say “All tech is bad” or “You dont need it”. Actually tech can be very helpful even reducing accidents (caveat “If used properly”). As mentioned above people relying on it, playing with it, being distracted by it, will and often does result in acidents or near misses. That said to blame something (tech) for being used incorrectly, to me seems absurd.

    Reversing Camera – I love this but always use my mirrors in conjunction with turning my head, sounds simple but I see so many people forgetting to look left or right in car parks and nearly crashing into someone or something just because they rely on the camera to “See All”.

    Emergency Braking – For me this is a safety aid which has saved me in the past. A car in front of me set off from lights and stopped quickly for no reason, The emergency braking kicked in and stopped my car before hitting the other car, I was assuming as there was no reason for him to stop he would have carried on so was looking around just as I started to move. Would I have noticed and stopped probably yes but felt glad I didnt have to find out.

    When choosing a new car I always look for this type of safety feature, reversing camera, lane assist, emergency braking as this would make me choose one vehicle over another.

    Just my grumblings, views, personal opinion.

    #97692 Reply


    I don’t think tech is or will be optional, moving to full autonomy means all the safety technology will be all included.

    We will need to get used to it as in the near future, say 5-10 years ALL the safety tech will be standard.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #97966 Reply

    BionicRusty (Wayne)

    …..every car comes with a simple collision avoidance thingy its called a brake use it…..

    Oh and a thing called an indicator too. Seems we don’t need these any more, especially at roundabouts. I think drivers of today are waiting for tech to advance to thought control to activate such ridiculous things like indicators.

    🏎 I will be remembered for nothing but had great fun doing it 🏎

    #97968 Reply


    Wayne its called autonomous driving lo.

    #97972 Reply


    As long as the tech is easy to use, works well and adds to to make a journey genuinely safer I’m all for it.
    Tech can be a great aid and especially for some disabilities, the tech in our own car means I don’t need to keep taking such frequent stops as I can have a massage on the move.
    Not tech as such but having a foot rest on both sides of the pedals I find great to keep comfortable while driving a nice well thought out design.

    I can set the cruise control and the car will brake and accelerate as required to keep a safe gap, the  lane assist is brilliant and works well so does the intelligent main beam and cornering led lights.

    I can customise the dash to show me all I need and the voice activation means I don’t need to take my eyes off the road to change music or radio.

    I’ve had a few Audi’s in the past with most of this tech fitted so I was already used to using it, nothing should be distracting if it’s been well designed.

    #98006 Reply


    I’ve had a few Audi’s in the past with most of this tech fitted so I was already used to using it, nothing should be distracting if it’s been well designed.

    Except for indicators, same goes for bmw, why they don’t fit them as standard I’ll never know.

    I decided to review a weeks worth of driving on the dashcam to check just how many people didn’t indicate when they should have done(I had some spare time) and whilst doing this I did notice a trend leaning towards bmw and audi mostly, some mercs and volvos and a general mix after that.

    1 week of footage = 191 non indications and that’s allowing for the one’s I know didn’t but didn’t interact with my journey(other side of road etc)

    What does it take to get a licence these days, cash and staying awake?

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