What is the most useless feature in your car? It’s a loaded question that can lead to hours and hours of debate. Offering a longer list of features to attract more customers is an old trick for car manufacturers. Among the many features that a car comes fully loaded with, some are completely useless. Here is our compilation:
This was designed originally for vehicles intended to be sold in the developed countries. As the name states, it is meant for storing coins in an easily accessible place so that you can quickly drop them in the parking meters. But we don’t have parking meters in India. This feature will come handy only if you like to distribute your coins at traffic signals. But considering today’s inflation, offering coins to a beggar is like giving peanuts.
With GPS kits from different manufacturers available off-the-shelf across models and price range, who needs a compass? Updates for the maps are also launched regularly to help one navigate down to a particular street or restaurant. There are navigation apps available even on smartphones. Unless Rambo is at the wheel, why should a vehicle need a compass on the dashboard?
In Obama country, cruise control is used during inter-city journeys to stay under the strict speed limit and prevent getting a ticket. On an autobahn it reduces the stress of driving. But in India this expensive piece of electronic wizardry is as useful as a bicycle is to a fish.
Daytime running lights
This was first mandated in Scandinavian countries where it is often dark during daytime hours, in interests of safety. But in our sunny country, it is not just a useless but a rather irritating feature to have on your vehicle. Unless you enjoy the attention of bystanders, passing vehicles and general people signaling to you that your headlight is on.
Why does this most important piece of kit figure in the most useless list? Because most first-aid kits in cars do only lip service to the purpose of an actual first-aid kit. Do yourself a favour — put together your own medical and first-aid kit and keep it in the car’s glovebox.
On cars meant to be driven on closed circuits, a spoiler is important because it is aerodynamically styled to provide the vital downforce necessary to generate more grip from the tyres. But on a family road saloon or hatch, all it does is declare that you are just a wannabe racer. If you belong to this breed, you most probably think that spinner wheels are cool too.
We assume Indian car makers see the roof rail as a styling feature rather than a utility feature. Frankly, how often do we see a car with a ski or a bicycle or a kayak mounted atop a car? Anyway, how useful is a roof rail in a small hatch?
If you wish to utilise this feature in your car, you’d better buy a sunglass that fits the holder. Larger-sized sunglasses don’t fit into most holders. Maybe you could keep other knick-knacks in it.
In our country, it can be used by little boys and girls to stick their heads out from when daddy takes them for an after-dinner ice-cream. During the day, an open sunroof can be a tempting target for a paan- spitting passenger of a passing bus. Unless you bought it for the kids, a sunroof in India is as useless as a windshield wiper in a submarine.
Once upon a time, the morning ritual included topping up the water in the radiator and keeping an eye on the temperature gauge, especially in summer. While some car makers have abandoned this relic in favour of a warning light, others continue to toe the line of tradition.