For the most part, the best driving experience is one that isn't filled with complex electronics. But these examples of automotive technology actually make cars better for enthusiasts.
There's nothing better than being able to start your car from your kitchen on a cold day. No sitting in the freezing cold waiting for everything to come up to temperature.
Given the choice, we'll always opt to shift for ourselves. But if you must get an automatic transmission, you can't go wrong with a dual-clutch. Shifts are seamless and lightning quick, giving you a two-pedal gearbox that's super responsive and direct.
Speaker systems in cars have come a long way in the last 30 years. Crackly, fading audio has made way for some truly world-class stereos that you can option from the factory.
Whether it be for phone calls or listening to music, having Bluetooth in your car just makes life easier. No wires, no SD card juggling, just sync your phone to your car and go.
Backup cameras are required on all passenger cars sold in the US after May 1st, 2018, but the best systems have more than one camera. They make parking and maneuvering through tight spaces safer for everyone.
Though normal cruise control is nice, radar-based adaptive systems take it to the next level. The technology adjusts your car's speed accordingly to maintain a set distance behind the vehicle in front of you. It makes congested highway cruising a whole lot less stressful.
Magnetic adaptive suspension uses a fluid with a viscosity that changes based on magnetic input. It's incredibly clever, and used on everything from Corvettes to Ferraris.
If adaptive suspension isn't your thing, a company called Multimatic has a wonderful solution. This trick spool-valve damper setup is used on all sorts of race cars and performance minded road cars like the Ford GT, Camaro Z/28 and Colorado ZR2.
The proliferation of automatic transmissions in performance cars might be a bit of a disappointment, but it's brought about one great bit of technology: Launch Control. Just push a button, and the car automatically sets itself up for perfect, repeatable launches, tailoring the drivetrain and traction control for the quickest possible start.
Mechanical LSDs are great because they're consistent, but if you want the most high-performance differential out there, you have to go electric. Depending on where you are in a corner, they can lock, unlock, and send power to a designated wheel that needs it most.
This works by having the car brake the inside wheel while going through a turn, simulating a limited-slip differential. It allows for a better distribution of torque across the driven wheels, and therefore, more grip. Most of the time, it works seamlessly, meaning you won't feel it happen at all. You'll just see the results.
A side-effect of driving big, long cars is a large, hard-to-see blindspot. That's easily remedied by blindspot monitoring systems that can sense when a car or other object is in the very spot you can't see. Clever, and extremely useful.
We don't really see a downside to avoiding a crash when possible. Anti-collision systems like Subaru EyeSight can warn you if it thinks you're about to hit something, and even apply the brakes for you.
There's no better feeling than hopping into a ventilated seat on a hot day. The same goes for feeling a seat heating up in the middle of winter. If you've experienced it before, it's hard to go back.
Massaging seats are one step above climate-controlled seats, and use little motors scattered throughout to give you a customizable massage while driving. Like heating and cooling, once you experience it, you'll want to have it in every car you drive.
Like seats, it's a pleasure to feel heat emanating from the steering wheel on a cold day. No more wearing gloves when you drive to work in the morning during sub-freezing temperatures.
Being able to see all of a car's vital readouts navigation directions is a huge help in situations where you shouldn't take your eyes off the road. Newer head-up displays are customizable, which means you can see what you want to see, and get rid of useless info.