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We travel to Europe every year (pre covid). Being able to drive manual transmissions has not only been preferable in some areas but has also saved us a great deal of money in rentals.

We have have stayed home for the past two winters. There are numerous times when I dearly wished I was still driving a standard on snow covered and icy toads.

...plus so much easier to get a standard transmission started if the battery is down.. Need a push or park on a hill as we did many times with our VW van.
 

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As post #4 says, most of the latest vehicles have most of the safety related gear, especially at higher trim levels. As a senior, the musts are:
  • back up camera (have had this since 2007 on my Infiniti) is indispensable. Assists in parallel parking as well as not running over small children and obstacles
  • cross traffic alert behind when backing up. Especially important in supermarket parking lots with stupid people speeding down the aisles
  • blind spot monitoring on both sides
  • android auto
  • bluetooth

Nice to have:
  • holograph on windshield for speed, speed limit signs, lane departure
  • heated seats and steering wheel when getting into cold vehicle left in parking lots for a few hours
  • forward collision braking as long as it is not overly sensitive (holograph/audible warning is good enough)
  • TPMS for tire pressure
  • navigation IF it is standard in the trim level, but not as a costly option

Nuisance:
  • rain sensing wipers
  • auto headlight dimming
  • lane departure warning
  • following too closely (though it is generally part of forward collision braking)
  • adaptive cruise control
  • adaptive headlights turning corners

Won't buy a vehicle with Stop/Start. The most terrible system ever invented.

Won't buy a vehicle without back up camera.

P.S. Our Mazda CX-5 has all of the above except Start/Stop. It could have a better TPMS that provides actual tire pressure for each wheel independently. Stupid to have TPMS without that feature (which I have in the 2007 Infiniti). It has been a very good early warning system to warn of a slowly leaking tire due to picking up a nail or screw before actually getting a flat (or nearly flat).
 

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Must haves - heated steering wheel, heated / cooled seats, remote start, 360 camera (with trailer assist), NAV and a big LCD.

With all the tech built into new cars we wonder why auto insurance is so high. One needs to take out a small mortgage to replace one headlight.
 

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Does using Google Maps or Wayze with Android Auto or Apple require a data connection? We don't have that on our payasyou go smartphones. Phone plan with data would cost us something like $600/yr and only work in Canada?

We can download free Google Maps on our phones with NAV for limited area. Not sure if those would work with Android Auto? But not useful for long trips.

Our Outback came with 3 years of free map updates. Just about to expire. We could pay US$300 for another 3 years, but don't think we will do that. Not many roads will change in 3 years and the existing maps will still work.
No data required. But you will need to download offline maps. You identify the area you want and download it. I have most of southern Ontario on mine (Niagara falls to Montreal, up to Algonquin park).
 

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No data required. But you will need to download offline maps. You identify the area you want and download it. I have most of southern Ontario on mine (Niagara falls to Montreal, up to Algonquin park).
I have done that in our local area as well as for an area in South Carolina that we often visit. Just using phone, not Android Auto. How about the 1500km in between? That would be a lot of maps. Does Google maps switch seamlessly between maps if you drive from Niagara to Montreal?
 

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There are apps that make it easy to download the data. Especially the ones geared at off-roaders because there are no cell towers when off-roading

You could google for some ideas. I've used OsmAndMaps for off-road in the past. The vast majority of navigation apps use OSM data now (better than paid Garmin maps and free)
 

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We travel to Europe every year (pre covid). Being able to drive manual transmissions has not only been preferable in some areas but has also saved us a great deal of money in rentals.
I've never owned an auto

Not many options left though. I figure by the time I can't buy a standard I might as well go insane instant torque EV
 

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Definitely the adaptive cruise control that follows the car in front is great. Especially when the road is moderately busy. I had it on a rental car and then was sad to go back to mine. I want to try the good lane keep assist/super cruise smart driving modes too. Never tried it, but I imagine it would be great for long road trips to not be so tired.

Heated everything is standard for me now. Wouldn't go back to cold seats or steering wheel. It makes the warm up period of suffering only last 1-2 minutes instead of 10+. This is for Alberta weather though. Might not be so critical in BC or Ontario, etc.

Don't really care about the Nav/screen tech stuff. I just do everything through my phone if I need it.
 

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Nice to have:
  • heated seats and steering wheel when getting into cold vehicle left in parking lots for a few hours
  • TPMS for tire pressure
I prefer heated mirrors, but the seats are nice.
VW uses indirect TPMS which is great, you still get pressure monitoring, but don't need to buy sensors. I love it.

Won't buy a vehicle with Stop/Start. The most terrible system ever invented.
Why? The new ones you don't even notice.
Most systems restart before you get off the brake now

Won't buy a vehicle without back up camera.
They've been a legal requirement for years now.


As far as in car Navigation, I think it's useless.
The maps get out of date, and unlike Android Auto they don't offer traffic etc in many systems.
 

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When I think the cost of our vehicle was more than we paid for our first home, I justify it by thinking of all the cool stuff it has in it.

Dumb and *** backwards.....but it helps. I fool myself that all the options will make it worth "a lot more" when we trade it in next time.

Yea sure.......like that ever happened before.
 

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Navigation sure would have been handy when our son was in sports and we drove around lost looking for some obscure arena or baseball diamond.

My wife and I would do what couples do.....she would say pull over and ask someone and I would just keep driving around and around and around,

Then after 20 minutes of driving around I would find it and pull in......turn to her and say......see, I didn't need to ask anyone for directions.

The best part was when we left the arena and I pulled to the road and turned to her and said....which way do I turn ?
 

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In my experience the problem with built-in navigation systems is the auto manufacturers and dealers treat them as a potential ongoing revenue source. They charge for updates and make it difficult. The last time I inquired (a number of years ago) about the cost for our Lexus RX350 the quote was $300+ and would require the vehicle for the whole day. Are you kidding me. When we had a Garmin navigation device I paid something like $100 for lifetime updates, which I could download and update in less than an hour.

The auto manufacturers need to recognize that with smartphones and map apps the updates are always current and always free. For that reason I'll never need nor pay for a navigation package on a vehicle.
 

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In my experience the problem with built-in navigation systems is the auto manufacturers and dealers treat them as a potential ongoing revenue source. They charge for updates and make it difficult. The last time I inquired (a number of years ago) about the cost for our Lexus RX350 the quote was $300+ and would require the vehicle for the whole day. Are you kidding me. When we had a Garmin navigation device I paid something like $100 for lifetime updates, which I could download and update in less than an hour.

The auto manufacturers need to recognize that with smartphones and map apps the updates are always current and always free. For that reason I'll never need nor pay for a navigation package on a vehicle.
Our Subaru NAV uses maps from Harman . Free updates for 3 years but of course they keep working after that, sans updates. Probably fine for those who do not keep car much beyond the warranty period. To extend the updates cost US$300 for 3 years.

On our '98 we use a Garmin that came with lifetime map updates at no extra cost. It works well, but requires a cable to 12v outlet and a dash mount that could go flying in event of a sudden stop.

I have used my phone with Google maps on my older cars. Again it would need cord and mounting to be any use for longer trips. So all I would usefully get is audio direction.

Using phone with Android Auto is something I will look into if Subaru maps become too dated. For this, the maps would be displayed on the Subaru's built in screen and hopefully on the centre dash display. Not all cars would have a screen or AA or Carplay capability so this is not ideal for them.
 

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The auto manufacturers need to recognize that with smartphones and map apps the updates are always current and always free. For that reason I'll never need nor pay for a navigation package on a vehicle.
For sure it's a cash grab by auto makers, Navigation and Wifi hotspot are things pretty much every smartphone can do.

One thing that surprised me was Ford offers their remote App for free on at least some (maybe all?) of their new vehicles. So you can remote start, lock/unlock doors from your phone. Handy for those that often lock their keys in and need to remote start from a big distance.

Edit: Another cash grab is the cost for new/replacement keys (fobs).
 

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Integrated active safety systems like Subaru EyeSight and similar from other makers are great, they can save you from an accident. But they are only active when needed, so many of the features are not noticed in daily driving. Good to have nonetheless. 360 degree cameras are also a good feature, since so many new vehicles have high belt lines and poor outward visibility.

My absolute favourite feature is keyless entry and ignition with proximity sensors, and second is backup camera.

Backup camera lets me backup to within 4" of a wall. And it is so reassuring to be able to see right behind the vehicle when backing up, compared to looking out the back window often you can only see 10 or 20 feet behind the vehicle, especially with how high the back of many vehicles is these days.

With keyless entry and ignition I zip my fob in a pocket when I leave my home, and don't have to touch it until I get back home. Touch the door handle to unlock. Press the door button to lock. Great for long road trips and shopping trips with multiple destinations. I especially like it for sports. I often hike, bike and kayak. No need to dig out the fob to unlock the car when tired after a bike race. Or for kayaking, put the fob in an aquapac and zip it in a pocket or hang it around my neck. No worries! Often overshadowed by newer active safety systems, but still my favourite.
 

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Heated seats and steering wheel are great.
Brake hold is nice but I rarely use it.
Navigation is nice, we use it a lot even when going somewhere familiar.
Backup camera is nice to have.
Remote start is nice.

I hate the blind spot alert...if you need it you shouldn't be driving. I disabled the audio alert but the light still flashes.
I disable the stop/start every time I get in my car.
My car has an annoying feature, the heated windshield automatically turns on any time it's +4 or cooler and stays on. This will drain the battery quickly and could leave you stranded. Every single time I use my car in winter I have to manually disable it and am unable to change the setting to leave it off. The only time it's useful is after a freezing rain if the wipers are stuck to the windshield.
 

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From the posts so far, everyone has different must haves and dislikes and hence why most of this stuff is now standard in vehicles, at least at higher trim levels. It makes sense from an assembly plant perspective to stick all this stuff in 'in mass' by all auto makers, e.g. I suspect all cameras by all auto manufacturers are sourced from only one or two places anyway. The key consideration should be the ability to 'permanently' shut off many of the features via switches or via the interactive screen, just like one can set the audio system settings.
 

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I have done that in our local area as well as for an area in South Carolina that we often visit. Just using phone, not Android Auto. How about the 1500km in between? That would be a lot of maps. Does Google maps switch seamlessly between maps if you drive from Niagara to Montreal?
There is only 1 map (although you can download different areas). It's just whether you have downloaded the area you are going to or not. The only downside to downloading more is the memory it takes on your phone. IIRC the area I have is about 500 MB's of data. If you want to reduce space used on your phones drive, I would narrow the downloaded areas to your planned travel path.
 

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Because they've been going the way of the Dodo birds, but I still want a manual transmission. Every car I've personally owned as always been a stick shift.

Why choose a manual transmission, because it keeps the driver much more engaged in the act of driving the car and you have full control over gears and when to shift. Plus a manual transmission has become a very good theft deterrent system.
I really wanted to get a manual to teach my kid. There is very little out there that is manual. I found a couple, but they are the base, if want ANYTHING such as power windows, or ac you couldn't get it. The alternative is a ferrari or really high race cars, they have a manual option. Though they are more of the 'paddle' on the steering wheel.

I think every one should learn to drive a manual especially if you travel. I learned initially playing those arcade racing games. They don't even have that any more.
 
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