Finding the perfect car can be difficult — often because of an elusive must-have feature that slows down the search. Look, we get it. Who doesn’t want the easy cleanup of leather seats, a dose of vitamin D from an open moonroof or the toasty relief of heated seats on a frigid winter morning?
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The importance of these must-have features can be so strong that it takes precedence over reliability, cost, brand loyalty or your better judgment; sure, the car has 200,000 miles and no service history, but look at that sunroof! But what are those most coveted features?
Cars.com’s shoppers can narrow search results to only show cars with heated seats, a third row, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more. We took a two-month snapshot of Cars.com’s monthly 20-plus million unique visitors to see the gotta-have-it features that shoppers are searching for in their next new or used car. The results turned up some expected players, but also newer features that simply weren’t around a few years ago.
Most Popular Car Features on Cars.com
1. Leather seats
3. Heated seats
4. Backup camera
5. Navigation system
7. Remote start
8. Blind spot monitoring
9. Third-row seating
10. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
The most popular features — leather seats, sunroof/moonroof and heated seats — are somewhat expected because they’re most sought after and often optional. The backup camera in fourth place is an important safety feature, and here’s a fun fact: All cars manufactured after May 2018 are federally required to come with a standard backup camera; this list, however, includes searches in all new or used cars, which can stretch well before 2018.
Seeing remote start at No. 7 is interesting; today, this feature is often integrated into the car at the factory rather than installed later at a dealership or with aftermarket accessories. In newer cars, remote start often includes a smartphone app (with subscription) that can remotely start the car from anywhere with a cellular connection while at the same time preconditioning the interior to a set temperature or turning on the heated seats and heated steering wheel.
Surprisingly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the list at No. 10. If you can find a car with this tech then you also can cross off Bluetooth and a navigation system from your list because CarPlay and Android Auto project phone calls and navigation from your cellphone to the car’s media screen. When equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can skip the expensive or rare navigation option in your car search because your phone does all the hard work.
More From Cars.com:
- Most Popular All-Wheel-Drive SUVs on Cars.com
- 10 Car Features That Will Keep Pets Safe and Comfy
- 10 Features We Find Outlandish
- What Are the Pros and Cons of Leather and Leatherette?
- What’s the Difference Between a Sunroof and a Moonroof?
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