Heated Seats - No! - Mr D Og

It seems that the latest cars have any number of safety features, gizmos and infotainment systems which are designed to help the motorist and enhance the driving experience. It is with some reluctance I have to admit that in some instances they've become rather too complicated for me.

This got me thinking about what things I have in my car that I don't use. First to come to mind are my heated front seats. My last 4 cars had them and I probably tested them when I first got the cars and have never had occasion to use them since! Perhaps that's partly due to me living down south!

What do others have in their car that they wouldn't miss?

Heated Seats - No! - daveyjp

My last car had self parking.

I used it a few times to show people who were curious, but it took so long to set up it was easier just to park normally!

Never used voice commands.

Heated seats are used every winter, but I live in the frozen north.

I know I would never use all the Apple and Android play stuff the Playstation generation obsess about.

Heated Seats - No! - paul 1963

Cruise control....... last three cars have had it, can't remember about 2 of them but I've only used it once, briefly, on my current car just out of idle curiosity.

Heated Seats - No! - elekie&a/c doctor
Wife has a Fiat 500 with stop/ start .Thankfully the s/s system has never worked, and I haven’t bothered to get it fixed.
Heated Seats - No! - Zippy123

Heated seats - I suffer from a very bad back so they can go on even in the summer - an I live down south.

Heated steering wheel - yes please.

Self parking - never tried it - would love to - cant see in 3d properly - but can legally drive.

Rear view camera - much prefer parking sensors as I am looking around the car for obstacles- not the screen.

Decent control - never had the need to use it.

Automatic lights - yes

Automatic wipers - never seem to get the speed right.

Emergency collision detection / radar - yes - saved my life once.

Blind Spot Detection - yes - saved a bikers life once.

Lane keeping assist. Had it on my last car and liked it. It steers the car. Don't have it in the Mrs's Note and don't miss it.

Cruise control - yes. Every time I'm in roadworks on the motorway. Set at 50 and don't worry.

Stop / start works flawlessly and invisibly on the Note.

Edited by Zippy123 on 26/07/2020 at 22:38

Heated Seats - No! - Andrew-T

All this inessential stuff just confirms my satisfaction with 20th-century cars, before makers decided that optimisation had reached its limit and punters had to be lured with more and more gizmos.

Heated Seats - No! - Bilboman

Hill Start assist. Absolute waste of time.
I'm of the don't-stand-on-the-footbrake-use-the-manual-handbrake generation, and I've noticed a few times that the automatic HSA (which operates on all four wheels) and the manual handbrake (which only operates on the rear brakes) sometimes seem to be "fighting" each other as I pull away. In addition, the fact that HSA also self-releases after 2 seconds means that an absent-minded driver is likely to roll backwards and therefore hit a car or an idiot pedestrian squeezing between cars.
On my car (Toyota Auris) both the automatic lights and wipers are too slow to be of any use, even when both are set at the maximum sensitivity. In fact, Toyota's gizmos seem to be pretty useless, as I saved €700 on the optional "Toyota Sense" package when I bought this car new: Toyota Sense was heavily criticised when it first came out as being extremely unreliable IIRC.
And I loathed the back-to-front, idiotically placed, press-button parking brake on my previous car, an Avensis. It jammed stuck in traffic on four occasions.
Before investing in new technology, ask yourself, "Will it massively improve my driving comfort/enjoyment/safety?" and "What is the worst case scenario if this gadget fails during use?"

Heated Seats - No! - Alby Back
Heated seats are a marvellous thing when you've been mountain biking and had a cold water and mud enema for three hours.
Heated Seats - No! - Smileyman

I have my own list of wasted tech forced upon unwilling car buyers .. and items I'd like to see

Self locking / unlocking doors when outside car ... worries me the car might be unlocked when I want it locked,

Blind spot detection, see it operating on other vehicles as I overtake, but having physical blind spot mirror on the door mirrors is better ... these could easily be built into the mirror glass too

Automatic lights - if the car has day running lights that operate front and back I can't see a benefit, when I commute in spring / autumn it always amuses me as other vehicles headlights keep popping on and off as the cars drive under trees in wooded sections of road

Automatic wipers ... big no no, had this on my previous car, if I inadvertently left the wipers in the automatic position I hated it when they operated smearing the whole windscreen for just a drop of water

Parking sensors, they often beep in a traffic queue, especially when bikes go past, front I can see, rear is too vague, much preferred the camera with a physical image of what is behind me, could backup to a wall and stop 1" away

Self parking ... never used, never needed since learning to drive aged 17.

Lane control - no way, seen this on borrowed cars, far too aggressive, a distraction

Hill hold, seems like a gimmick, the only time I have needed was when the car had a foot operated "hand brake" and i was sitting at lights on a steep hill in San Francisco. Much prefer doing a normal hill start using the hand brake.

Electric parking brake ... OK, I've never used one, but I do ask myself why do they exist?

Things I have / would like to have

Rear wiper on all cars .. makes reversing on a dark wet night in winter much safer

Emergency collision system, never used and hope to never need but sensible safety aid

Cruise control ... protects driving licences and makes long distance driving much more relaxed

Heated seats / steering wheel ... tried it in a hire car in Iceland, loved it, but at times was too fierce even on lowest setting

Heated door mirrors ... just makes winter driving so much safer

Heated windscreen ... makes icy winter mornings safer

Heated washer jets ... enables the windscreen be cleaned on a frosty car

Headlight washers ... always remember watching the shadow on the road in front of me as the wiper blades on my former Volvo 360 cleaned the headlights as driving on the M25, clean lights do make for better visibility and are law in some countries.

Day running lights must operate front and rear lights, not just front lights.

Edited by Smileyman on 26/07/2020 at 23:45

Heated Seats - No! - Ethan Edwards

Cruise control, comes in two flavours. Old fashioned dumb cruise control and I agree its not much use in the uk. And there is Adaptive Cruise Control. Massively useful use it all the time. It detects when the car in front slows down or another one drops in front. it maintains the selected distance and brakes for you as required . Its great.

Heated Seats - No! - Andrew-T

And there is Adaptive Cruise Control. Massively useful use it all the time. It detects when the car in front slows down or another one drops in front. it maintains the selected distance and brakes for you as required . Its great.

I hate the idea that one might get accustomed to the car braking for you - until for some reason it fails to. What then ?

Heated Seats - No! - bolt

I hate the idea that one might get accustomed to the car braking for you - until for some reason it fails to. What then ?

You do it yourself, its natural reaction to apply brakes when needed- so if the autobrake fails to work -you brake yourself, its not rocket science only an excuse not to have it.

and because it works faster than you can react, if it fails you brake as you would normally, its a natural reaction regardless of what people say.

Heated Seats - No! - mcb100

And you will continue to brake as normal. The system will always (except in emergencies) give you opportunity to brake first. Only when it senses that you are not braking will it intervene. Sensitivity can, in most cases, be turned up and down. Muscle memory will dictate that you will ht the brake pedal, no question.

It's greatest benefit is in low speed situations, for example approaching roundabouts when a driver looks right before waiting for the car in front to join the roundabout. Car in front doesn't go, auto braking kicks in and stops the car behind.

And if it's not working, let's say the sensor is covered in snow, it puts up a warning on the dashboard.

It can get caught out every now and again, it's still pretty new technology. I had a Tiguan slam on the brakes, just momentarily, because it saw a large rock face close to the edge of a lane in the Lake District. Makes you jump for a second, but it had released the brakes before I knew what had happened.

I've spent weeks demonstrating it by driving towards a stationary object and having the car stop, and it just works, but it does leave it late and gives the driver ample opportunity to do it first. Mazda also works going backwards (others may also) but that just uses the ultra sonic parking sensors at up to 5mph. That's a little more scary to demo...

Edited by mcb100 on 27/07/2020 at 11:14

Heated Seats - No! - Zippy123

and because it works faster than you can react, if it fails you brake as you would normally, its a natural reaction regardless of what people say.

I was fully alert when a car sped on to a roundabout in front of me at about 70 - he came straight out - no stopping / looking etc. Carp roundabout off a motorway with overgrown bushes obscuring the view of approaching cars.

My car stopped before I had managed to get my foot to the brake - its that quick. Hazard lights were automatically triggered as well.

Heated Seats - No! - barney100

Cruise yes, speed limiter, not much. air scarf not tried. Heated seats, not much. Manual mode, not tried. loads of display things like fuel consumption not used on the screen. voice control no, hands free yes.

Heated Seats - No! - Trilogy.

I'd miss having a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, gears selector too, not much else.

Heated Seats - No! - mcb100

Even better than heated seats - cooled leather seats in summer.

Give me as many toys and gadgets as there are available, if I find them useful I'll make use and if not I won't.

Cruise control is generally switched on within 200 yards of home, and used almost permanently even on a trip to my nearest Tesco. Active cruise control with an automatic gearbox is the best invention since the chip pan.

Apple Airplay means that Buetooth and the car's own navigation become redundant, and enables Siri voice command.

Good LED headlights, preferably with auto high beam, are easier on the eyes. Even better are the active type that allow main beam to remain on but without dazzling oncoming traffic and moves with the steering.

Basically, it's anything that will make a journey more relaxing and efficient.

Heated Seats - No! - Trilogy.

Basically, it's anything that will make a journey more relaxing and efficient.

Automatic gearbox does it for me.

Heated Seats - No! - _ORB_

Didn't want Bling wheels.

Didn't need Roof rails.

Didn't want lane departure/auto braking/steering correction stuff.

wanted DAB radio.

Didn't want leccy handbrake.

Heated Seats - No! - Trilogy.

For the drivers who want everything done for them so they have to do nothing, just get a bus or train instead. If not, the ultimate gizmo laden vehicle will be along soon, the self driving car.

Heated Seats - No! - mcb100

And why would I want to do that? I can get door to door from the North-West to a rural spot in Berkshire for work in 3.5 hours (carrying several boxes of paperwork), using as many toys and gadgets as I want in order to stay safe, relaxed, entertained and suitably warmed or chilled. You're telling me that public transport is a viable option?

Edited by mcb100 on 27/07/2020 at 09:35

Heated Seats - No! - Trilogy.

And why would I want to do that? I can get door to door from the North-West to a rural spot in Berkshire for work in 3.5 hours (carrying several boxes of paperwork), using as many toys and gadgets as I want in order to stay safe, relaxed, entertained and suitably warmed or chilled. You're telling me that public transport is a viable option?

Must be better for you than carrying several boxes of paperwork. You need to be careful, you'll do your back in! And you play with toys and gizmos at the same time. I know what you do for a living, you're a magician!

Heated Seats - No! - mcb100

Close, but no cigar....

Heated Seats - No! - Trilogy.

Close, but no cigar....

I think you have enough to to without one of those.

Heated Seats - No! - John Boy

"Decent control" in Zippy's list made the mind boggle until I realised it was a typo!

Heated Seats - No! - Will deBeast

... First to come to mind are my heated front seats....

I wouldn't buy a car without them! And I never thought I'd appreciate a heated steering wheel.

I turned off the lane assist pretty quickly. And the smart tailgate (supposed to open when you approach the boot).

I never use the inbuilt satnav - I just use google maps from my phone.

Very rarely open the panoramic roof.

Pretty ambivalent about the keyless start.

Auto lights and auto wipers work fine for me.

The auto switch between high and low beam is pretty nifty and great when driving country roads.

Cross traffic alert very helpful. And blind spot alert.

Autohold is brilliant, especially on an automatic (keeps the brakes on when stopped). Though a bit antisocial to the car behind.

I've used hill descent on a very slippery down slope when doing an emergency rescue (child with suspected meningitis who needed urgent treatment - the alternative was taking her 3 miles by sledge).

Heated Seats - No! - John F

I quite like most of the bells and whistles, but probably wouldn't bother to get them repaired if they stopped working. One of my favourites is the rear window blind. I'm surprised more cars don't have them to prevent dazzle which can overcome the dimming mirror when aggressively tailgated by large 4x4s with high set lights. The one I dislike most is the auto wiper function.

Heated Seats - No! - Andrew-T

The one I dislike most is the auto wiper function.

Some Pug 306s had a raindrop detection system, but I don't think it stayed for long. My 207 just has intermittent wiping, but there's always a level of drizzle that's wrong for it. Same thing with the auto system.

Heated Seats - No! - Deryck

Lane Keep Assist is either off or on "Alert" rather than "Assist" so I don't have to fight it

Park Assist has been used a couple of times for the novelty factor, but the side sensing is useful when navigating narrow gaps

I thought the reverse camera with parking sensors was a pointless add on but is actually quite useful

Auto wipers are good - I need to adjust the sensitivity up or down depending on the conditions

I like the voice commands as most of the controls are via a touchscreen as is distracting when driving

Heated washer jets seem to be good but I have not had a particularly cold spell yet to be sure

The heated windscreen is a must for light frost

I miss the heated seats but the latest car heats up quickly

I am old school and miss the CD multi-changer :-)

Heated Seats - No! - elekie&a/c doctor
I remember in the 70s , fitting the Philips 45rpm under dash record player to a few cars . Do you think this will ever return?
Heated Seats - No! - badbusdriver

With regards to the heated seats of the thread title, i've never owned a car with them, but driven plenty at various garages/dealers. One time when i worked at a Saab dealer, i borrowed a fancy demonstrater to take my folks to the airport when they were going on holiday, a 9000CD turbo auto. Let my Dad drive and Mum in the front passenger seat, but before i got out, i set the passenger heated seat to the highest level. On the way to the airport, Mum started to squirm (she'd never sat on a heated seat, never knew they existed), i started laughing and explained about the seat. She also started laughing, with relief though, as it turned out she thought she'd pee'd herself!.

What i do fancy is a heated steering wheel. I often find my hands getting very cold when driving in winter, possibly to do with the hands being higher than elbows, blood following the course of gravity or whatever. My MIL has a heated steering wheel (as well as seats) on her top of the range Hyundai i10 and i am a little jealous!.

Our Jazz, being a top of the range model, did have quite a lot of gizmo's. One that i couldn't really figure out the point of, was what it had instead of an adjustable intermittent setting for the wipers. This was an adjustment for the sensitivity of the windscreen sensor. The theory being that it should work the same as the aforementioned adjustable intermittent. But it didn't, it was either too sensitive or too insensitive, never just right. But it strikes me as an inferior solution to a problem which didn't exist, the adjustable intermittent control on my 2010 VW Caddy is, IMO, far superior!. The Jazz does have an auto-brake function whch works at lower speeds (can't remember the exact figures) and it also has a warning for higher speeds. Both functions are, IMO, over sensitive. The power fold mirrors are a welcome addition if, like me, you live on a narrow street. Not essential, as it is easy enough to just fold them in manually, but welcome all the same. It had keyless entry and start, something i'm not overly fussed about, but my wife found it an absolute boon!. She, like many women i guess, kept the keys in her handbag. Keyless entry meant no searching through the bag looking for them (and my wife tends to use big handbags!). There was a blip with the system, only happened once though. She was down in the Solihull area visiting her sister and at the time there was very wet spell. The keyless entry stopped working for a day which involved her having to take the actual key out of the fob to get into the car, but also i seem to remeber her having to remove the battery from the fob to open the car, then put them back in before she could start it (or vice versa). Not sure if the weather had anything to do with it, but as i said, it only happened the once and seemed to sort itself out after a day.

Cruise control is something i really like and use a lot. This started when i was still driving buses after my depot got a fleet of new coaches with cruise fitted. I found myself using it pretty much all the time, including in situations you may not expect. Doing runs at quiet times it was all to easy to find myself getting ahead of schedule, so using cruise to keep my speed down a bit on the open road (when my natural instinct was to be doing at least 50mph) was helpful to avoid having to stop for ages at bus stops. Also, on these same quiet journeys (late at night for example), coming into Aberdeen from the North, you have 3 or 4 miles at 30mph speed limit. Very easy for the speed to creep up, so i'd set the cruise to just under 30mph coming out only for roundabouts (depending on layout!), junctions and red lights.

Heated Seats - No! - Andrew-T

<< What I do fancy is a heated steering wheel. I often find my hands getting very cold when driving in winter, >>

I quite like being old-fashioned and driving in gloves - not the traditional light-leather string-back ones, normal leather, leather wheel. Never felt the need to heat the wheel itself.

Heated Seats - No! - FP

I'm quite happy to accept (or ignore as necessary) all the toys I've come across in a car. Some examples:

Stop/start - works well on my Mazda CX-5, particularly re-starting.

Heated seats - I'm not bothered, but SWMBO loves them.

Climate control different settings L and R - never bothered, just use the same settings.

Proximity sensors and rear camera - useful, but I still rely on mirrors and my sense of where the edges of the vehicle are.

Built-in satnav - wouldn't be without it; saves the faff of removing the portable device/phone from the windscreen.

Seat settings/position memory - would be useful if anyone other than me drove the car, but they don't.

Auto wipers - useful.

Auto lights - didn't like the idea until I got used to it. It seems to work OK, but I am aware that oncoming traffic might take a brief lights-on (under a bridge or whatever) as a flash of the headlamps.

Auto braking - frightened the life out of me when it was first applied unnecessarily as someone cut in front of me not particularly closely at a roundabout and on another occasion when I drove up to my garage door. Just accept it now.

Cruise control - only useful on major roads in quiet traffic. I hardly ever use it, even on long trips, and then only when I need to wiggle my right foot a bit to get rid of cramp.

Edited by FP on 27/07/2020 at 14:07

Heated Seats - No! - ExA35Owner

Heated windscreen - really miss it now we have cars without

Heated seats - good in winter, again miss them

Rear camera and sensors - increases safety when reversing; sensors have saved me one collision with a low bollard that was invisible from inside the car

Auto wipers - one excellent Peugeot system, others iffy

Speed limiter - use it a lot, especially where wide roads have 30 limits. Cruise good on empty motorways and in some other places.

Lane departure warning - switched off most of the time as it complains if driving on twisty A roads; good on motorway

Hill hold - agree that it can lead to less careful driving and to hanging on the footbrake

Stop/start - had three different versions now, all good at keeping noise and pollution down in traffic; unconvinced that they save much fuel (our Suzuki happily tells us we've saved 3ml of fuel on a shopping trip!)

Auto lights - I'd prefer control, so I keep them turned to manual.

Heated Seats - No! - groaver

Push button stop start especially when you also have stop/start technology.

Heated Seats - No! - Terry W

Never had heated seats.

The idea may have been a winter winner in the 1960s with vinyl seat covers - although climate controlled would have been better for summer use.

But all gizmos add complexity, cost and eventually go wrong. I have never really noticed a problem with fabric seats generally fitted since the 1970s - but leather perceived as a premium option has many vinyl characteristics.

Heated Seats - No! - Penumbra

Heated seats - meh!

Cruise control - a definite must.

Doing Somerset to Edinburgh 6 times a year now (Covid allowing!). Mile after mile of roadworks with average-speed cameras, so cruise control is invaluable

Heated Seats - No! - sammy1

I read somewhere recently that BMW? were going to make most options available on their cars via the software and you only paid them for the options they turned on. This suggests that all their cars would broadly be made the same and it was not April fools day!

Heated Seats - No! - Miniman777

Lots of tech I like on my cars.

Auto headlights, heated seats with three levels of heat, folding mirrors on lock, rear parking camera and sensors, LED headlights and the collision warning, though I find it fickle at times. With an auto, I've auto hold, so that's ideal for hill starts. Speed limiter, reduces chance of being pinged with a camera. I also have self-park but seldom use as manual park is quicker.

The tech that bugs me is the adaptive cruise control, as the gap of detecting a vehicle ahead is too huge. I prefer the basic cruise.

Some have complained about what BMW call 'comfort access' but I've had cars with wireless entry for 6 years and never had an issue. Even my BMW keys have had the fobs replaced with the new type which stops transmitting a signal after 2 mins. The car also has the remote boot open option, and many of these bells and whistles are great on a wet day.

What no one seems to have objected to is the electronic measuring of engine oil by the management system. My BMW has a hidden dipstick so I can check, but to me that's an area fraught to what could be an expensive failure. And some car dipsticks are notoriously hard to read - ie: R56 Mini...

What I would like is remote start, so I can start and warm the car while still in home. Got gates, so no concerns over opportunist theft.

Heated Seats - No! - Andrew-T

What I would like is remote start, so I can start and warm the car while still in home. Got gates, so no concerns over opportunist theft.

I don't suppose it is possible to start the car with it in gear .... :-)

Heated Seats - No! - primus 1

I have a Puma with all the gizmos ( except heated seats and wheel , but it lives in the garage anyway) but what I really like is the automatic tailgate, very handy, although you can give Micheal flatley a run for his money when trying to operate the release with your foot


Ask Honest John

Value my car