Five Features To Pursue in Used 2015 Vehicles

December 7th, 2015 by

 

 

2016 is coming, and that means a number of 2015 models will soon be hitting used car lots. This also means that potential customers will soon be able to appreciate the innovative technology that was first introduced in these specific vehicles.

The features and capabilities are varied, but they all make your driving experience easier and more enjoyable. For example, the adaptive cruise control eliminates any of the fears that surely accompany the standard system, meaning you can sit back and let your vehicle do all the work. While your vehicle is cruising along, you can take advantage of the accompanying infotainment system, checking the weather or finding the ideal radio station for your trip.

Engineers have also recently included a number of safety features (like forward-collision mitigation), fuel efficiency features (like stop/start functions) and parking features (like the park assist technology). You wouldn’t have had these kinds of opportunities only two years ago!

If you’ve been considering purchasing a used car in Albany, see which innovative features you should be targeting (via Josh Sadlier of AutoTrader.com). If you’re pursuing a 2015 model, you may luck out and acquire all five unique capabilities…

Adaptive Cruise Control

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Standard cruise control can be tricky. Sure, it allows you to take a bit of a breather while driving, maintaining a safe speed that you’ve manually set. However, it still requires a bit of focus, as you’ll have to manipulate the speed at any given moment. That’s why adaptive cruise control is such an appreciated feature.

The technology doesn’t only maintain a set speed, but it also keeps your vehicle a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Using sensors installed in the front fascia or grille, the system automatically deactivates when you press on the brake (meaning you’ll certainly have to trust the function to test its full capabilities). Understanding these functions, the adaptive cruise control will allow to take a break…while also keeping you safe.

Essentially introduced in 2014, the feature is now included in many 2015 vehicles, whether they be sedans, trucks, or SUVs. The versatility and user-friendliness of the function is why Dean McConnell, the director of Occupant Safety & Driver Assistance Systems for auto supplier Continental Automotive Systems North America, told Michael Wayland of the Detroit News that the feature will only become more common in the coming years.

“The successful strategies we’ve seen with our customers is when they can make a safety improvement and also offer a comfort feature that the consumer can relate to and use every day,” McConnell said. “That’s why adaptive cruise control, I think, will continue to grow at a significant rate.”

Forward-Collision Mitigation

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The specific features and functions vary by brand and model, but they all serve the same purpose: to anticipate (and subsequently prevent) a forward-collision. This safety feature won’t only help protect your vehicle, but it will also prevent you from rear-ending a fellow driver (an accident that you’d likely be held liable for). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety echoed this sentiment, estimating that the technology could reduce crashes by 20-percent (with 66,000 ‘serious crashes’ and 879 ‘fatal crashes’ avoided).

As Sadlier explains, the system will “monitor objects on the road ahead and measure the data against your own car’s speed and heading.” If the sensors determine that an accident could happen, you’ll likely be alerted via an audible alert. Some vehicles take this feature a step further, actually braking your vehicle if they sense that a crash is inevitable.

We know that some drivers can’t stand pesky alarms or alerts, but studies have shown that drivers are trusting the system.

“We’ve done some surveys that show that even though drivers may be annoyed by false alerts, the majority are leaving the systems turned on,” Russ Rader, the senior vice president of communications at the IIHS, told Sami Haj-Assaad of AutoGuide.com. “And drivers felt that the systems were making them safer drivers.”

Furthermore, these safety features will certainly be instrumental as self-driving vehicles become more prevalent.

“These are the building blocks of autonomous driving,” Rader said. “With auto braking, we’re seeing automakers improving and raising the speeds at which they initiate.”

Parking Assist

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Parallel parking can be absolutely impossible for some, resulting in an endless search for a spot that will accommodate your lacking parking skills. Luckily, that isn’t an issue with the new parking assist feature found in most vehicles. Using several sensors in the front and rear of the car, the system will make the parking process a breeze. Whenever you get too close to an object, you’ll be alerted via audible alerts.

Some systems are significantly more advanced. Using the included sensors, some vehicles will actually park themselves, completely eliminating any of the stress that accompanies parking. Some will even take it an extra step, finding an open, accommodating spot.

A more primitive version of the system was actually produced back in 1999 by Lexus, and the technology has obviously evolved significantly since then. When it was first introduced, some rival companies made fun of the feature, advertising their vehicles “for people who can park themselves.” Now, more than 15 years later, the feature is included in most 2015 models.

Auto Stop/Start

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Even if you own a fuel efficient vehicle, you’re aware of how quickly that gas runs out. To avoid constant trips to the pump, engineers have included the innovative stop/start technology.

When you’re stopped in traffic or at a light, the system will automatically power off your engine. When you’ve removed the foot from the brake, the system starts back up. Considering how much fuel you typically lose from an idling vehicle, the technology will allow you to save small (but significant) amounts of gas. Furthermore, the lack of needless emissions does wonders for the environment.

Of course, if a driver isn’t aware of this function, it can be a bit alarming when your engine suddenly shuts off. While many pundits believe the function to eventually be standard in most vehicles, they also believe there will be a slight transition period.

“It’s just a matter of time before the technology gets featured on more vehicles,” Devin Lindsay, a senior analyst of North American powertrain forecasting for IHS, told Michael Martinez of the Detroit News. “But from some of the stories I’ve been told, it’s kind of a slightly weird transition, especially if the customer isn’t aware.”

Infotainment System

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Head into any new car and you’ll find a variety of new features. However, one bit of technology will likely catch your eye: the touchscreen infotainment system.

The actual technology varies by brand, but they consistently offer the same pair of capabilities: navigation and radio (often satellite). From there, it’s very varied. Some systems will team up with your iPhone or Android device, allowing you to access many of your phone’s basic capabilities (like calls or texts). Others provide real-time sports and weather updates, while some advanced systems even allow you to make dinner reservations or purchase movie tickets.

The best part? Many of these systems are hands-free, meaning you’ll never have to take your eyes off the road to access all of these functions.

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