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Driving a different car every day is a privilege of working in the Consumer Reports Cars Editorial department, and it's one I appreciate. But contrary to popular belief, it's not Audi R8s and Porsche 911s every day. (I wish!) In reality, it's living with mainstream cars from each manufacturer spanning the spectrum from entry-level to luxury and using them as we would our own cars. And that means figuring out and using the feature set of each vehicle.
Here are 10 features—five good, five not so good—in current CR test cars that have stood out in my mind.

Best features in new cars


1) Chrysler steering wheel audio controls: These aren't particularly new, but placing the audio controls on the back of the steering wheel is a great use of dead space, and frees up the front of the steering wheel for comprehensive cruise and trip computer controls.

2) Convertible top operation while moving (Mini, Porsche): These are just two of the manufacturers that offer this feature, but it's a great convenience. While owning a convertible certainly comes with some compromises, the ability to raise the top while in slow-moving traffic when you encounter a rainstorm is a major plus.

3) Ford capless gas caps: This system eliminates the days of driving off from the gas station with your gas cap hanging loose and saves precious second on frigid days. Simply open the fuel door, pop in the nozzle, and start filling. When you're done, just close the door and off you go.

4) Power tailgate buttons that are mounted low: Power tailgate buttons are fantastic additions to SUVs and minivans. They allow easy opening and closing of the hatch from a variety of locations (key fob, interior button, on the door itself). But some vehicles have the closing button on the underside of the hatch door, making it out of reach for shorter people when the door is raised. Ford is one manufacturer mounting the buttons low, in the cargo area. This makes it easily accessible to users of all heights.

5) Lower anchor LATCH connections (Lexus CT 200h, Volkswagen Touareg, and others): I'm a relatively new parent (my baby is about to move to a convertible car seat), and I'm always putting the infant-seat base in a different test car. Lexus made lower LATCH anchor access pretty simple, but also elegant. They're hidden behind small zippered openings, out of sight if you don't need them, but easily accessible if you do. Very slick. The Volkswagen Touareg has very accessible anchors as well, but they aren't as well camouflaged. Ultimately convenience is key when it comes to juggling little ones.

Worst features in new cars


1) Chrysler steering wheel audio controls: While I do like the placement of the audio controls (see above), the preset scan control needs a bit of tinkering. This button allows the driver to move through the presets—but it is a one-way move! There is no way to go backwards, only forwards. So, you want to jump back and forth between preset 4 and preset 5? Plan on visiting presets 6, 7, 8, 9, 1, 2, and 3 over, and over, and over again.

2) Kia Optima seat heater controls: While the interior appointments and design of the new Kia Optima is impressive, the location of the seat heater controls is perplexing. While they're positioned extremely well for the passenger, on the right-hand side of the transmission lever, the control for the driver is totally obscured by the transmission lever when the car is in gear.

3) Volkswagen Jetta seatback recline: The previous-generation Volkswagen Jetta (as well as the current Golf) used a large, well-located knob for manual seatback recline. This allowed for fine-tuning of the seatback angle, giving the occupant the ability to set a near-perfect seating position. The redesigned Jetta has not only done away with the knob in exchange for a lever that allows only a handful of fixed positions determined by VW engineers, but the lever is also awkwardly located and extremely small, making it difficult to reach and annoying to use.

4) Toyota Hybrid backup chime: There's plenty of discussion about equipping hybrid vehicles with the ability to project noise when they are running on battery power, in order to alert sight-impaired pedestrians to the presence of the moving vehicle. Conversely, Toyota has decided the driver needs to be alerted when those vehicles are in reverse. Apparently the shifter in the Toyota Prius and Lexus CT and HS models may be confusing to use. When they are in reverse, a loud—and quite annoying—chime rings. Memo to Toyota: I am fully aware the car is in reverse. I selected that position myself. If the shifter is that confusing, maybe it's not the driver who needs an alert.

5) Touch-screen audio systems for tuning: It's simple: people like to use a knob for tuning. Trying to tune an audio system with a touch screen is an exercise in distracted driving. Ford and Chrysler have decided a tuning knob isn't compatible with an uplevel audio system, and the result is a frustrating and distracting experience for the driver.
From Consumer reports


Make we wonder what you guys love and hate about other cars, thought it may be your nemisis car or you beloved car! share what you guys think!



for one i hate the useless cup holders on older civic, they had absolutely no use at all !
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Study: Steering Wheels Dirtier Than Toilets



Have you ever driven a vehicle that had a sticky steering wheel? It's probably one of the most disgusting feelings there is, and a report in IBN Live shows that the adhesive can be more than just grape jelly. Researchers at Queen Mary University in London claim that there are, on average, 700 different kinds of bacteria per square inch of steering wheel. That compares to 80 distinct bacteria types on a public toilet seat. Even worse, the trunk has 1,000 bacteria types per square inch. The most common form of bacteria was bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning.

The reason cars are filthy is simple; we simply don't clean them. While we vacuum, dust and disinfect our home on a semi-regular basis, only one third of study participants cleaned their vehicle once a year or more. That sounds pretty crazy (and a bit lazy), but think about it. You may jettison the trash and vacuum the carpet on a somewhat regular basis, but how often do you wipe down that nasty steering wheel? And when you think about how many Americans regularly eat in their vehicles, our cars could be a solid reason why we are sick as often as we are. Now we know why valet parking attendants tend to wear white gloves.

Beyond cleanliness, the study also shows that many drivers know next to nothing about their vehicles. For example, two-thirds of us don't know how to change a tire, while one third of those surveyed don't even know how to put air in the tires. It's a sad, sad world.
There 100% right how often do we clean our cars... how often do we eat in them, and we touch them alll the time! don't forget when we let people drive our cars. its time to give my car a full clean!

from autoblog
 

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I always favored having a Tire pressure monitoring system in car's, it's a good reminder on something that really matters on your car and your safety. As easy and quick as it may be to check your tire pressure with a simple tire pressure gauge, in winter months it can be bothersome. Also with our busy lifestyle, who really thinks to check their tire pressure, most drivers just gas up and go.
 

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"Have you ever driven a vehicle that had a sticky steering wheel? It's probably one of the most disgusting feelings there is"

Have you ever stuck your hand in a Toilet Bowl, probably full?
It IS one of the most disgusting feelings there is, Turds...
 

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...With a fist full of dynamite. Ahah
 

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when it dries it feels nice, the wipes are specifically for the interior and steering wheel, it leaves interior plastics with like a coating of something, makes it look so clean
Oh nice, I have to go get me some at Pepboys. I was always scared to try, lol.
 

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Uh I remember driving my neighbors car, just looking at the steering wheel alone you could see it was super shiny, like it had clearcoat sprayed over, a look it shouldn't have. Touching that wheel was honestly one of the worst feelings I could've experienced, it had a very cold thick slimy greasy feeling that I will never forget, everytime I see a dirty steering wheel now it comes up and haunts me so. I don't understand how some people can touch such a f'cking dirty thing.
 

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I Wanna add that the Keyless entry/Start is great too. Very handy.
Only flaw is that they should have the car turn off after sitting in Park for a hour.
I hate it when I forget to turn off my car.
 
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