Monday 24 October 2016

Motoring Love/Hate: My top ten likes and loathes

Olive Keogh

Published 20/01/2016 | 02:30

Manufacturers not fitting vanity mirrors is one gripe.
Manufacturers not fitting vanity mirrors is one gripe.

Olive Keogh spills the beans on her car-related likes and dislikes.

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1. Tailgates that open really high making it difficult for smaller people to close them easily. Fitting a grab strap would help.

2. Wheel nuts so tight you can't change your own tyre.

3. The demise of roof gutters. They were there for a reason - to stop drivers getting wet when they opened the window in the rain to pay a toll or get a parking ticket.

Gutters were dropped in the interests of aerodynamics but surely there's a better compromise that doesn't involve soaking customers?

4. Front (A) pillars so thick they impair visibility. Safety regulations demand robust structures but if some companies can comply without creating blind spots then they all can.

5. So-called flexible seating that is anything but, unless you have the strength of King Kong.

Always try moving the seats yourself before buying. Don't assume because the salesperson makes it look easy that it is.

6. Manufacturers in such a hurry to add connected car features that they have paid scant attention to how easy/intuitive they are to use.

7. Manufacturers so keen to showcase their new technologies that they're adding features many drivers don't want or need.

8. Still nowhere for women to put their handbags in most cars. Just look at the number of handbags on passenger seats despite the safety risks.

Also fiddly door handles that break your nails and audio controls that are impossible to use if your nails are long.

9. Manufacturers who don't bother to fit a driver's vanity mirror and this is not just a female thing.

Both sexes need to be able to check for spinach between their teeth before flashing their pearly whites at the world.

10. Car dealers that want you to make an appointment to BUY a car - seriously?

Okay so cars have their shortcomings. But there is no denying they also come with some appealing features.

Here's my Top 10:

1. The high-driving position of SUVs and crossovers.

2. Rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and cars that can park themselves.

3. ESP - electronic stability control - a handy and unobtrusive system that keeps you safe when under-wheel conditions get tricky.

4. Automatic tailgates that can be "kicked" open if your hands are full; and closed with the press of a button.

5. Heated seats. Not to everyone's taste, but on a cold morning that little trickle of heat is magic.

6. Satellite navigation. Still prone to glitches but improving all the time. Has also made a contribution to harmonious motoring as no one has to "lose face" by asking for directions any more.

7. Music streaming and smartphone apps that allow drivers control their cars remotely.

For example those that enable you to pre-heat or pre-cool your car before you travel or to park your car from outside the vehicle if the space is very tight.

8. Individual climate control - allows you set a temperature that suits you and keeps it constant so there are no in-car arguments about people being too hot or cold.

9. Individual rear seats that give children their own personal space so there are no turf wars while on the move.

10. Adaptive headlights that follow the curve of the road and give much better illumination in bends and on twisty or unlit roads.

*We are sure there are many more so let us know what gets up your nose, or that you like.

(, @ecunninghamcars)

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