Autotrader editors highlight seven great safety features available in non-luxury vehicles
OREANDA-NEWS. Staying safe on the road is paramount, and today's cars are offering more advanced safety features than ever before. Shoppers who are interested in buying a new car on a tight budget may think that they will miss out on the best safety technologies, as high-end luxury vehicles are typically the first to integrate these features. However, the editors at Autotrader have good news: Some of the most advanced safety technologies are now available on a variety of non-luxury vehicles.
You'd much rather have advanced safety features than infotainment in your next car if you're like 83% of consumers in a recent Autotrader study1. So in honor of June being National Safety Month, the experts at Autotrader named seven advanced safety features that you can get in not-so-expensive cars.
"You don't have to compromise on safety just because you can't spend a fortune on your next vehicle," said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. "There's a trickle down effect that brings high-end features to more mainstream vehicles after a few years, so we wanted to compile a list of our favorite features and the more accessible cars that offer them."
Below are the Autotrader editors' picks for seven advanced safety features and the affordable cars that have them:
360-Degree Parking Camera: One of the great recent safety innovations is the 360-degree parking camera. This enhancement to the traditional backup camera provides a virtual 360-degree aerial view around the car. While the feature is not incredibly common at this point, a few affordable cars have it. The 2016 Nissan Rogue is one of those vehicles, and the 360-degree camera is standard in all SL models. That's great news for shoppers interested in this practical feature, as the Rogue SL starts at just under $30,000 with shipping.
Adaptive Cruise Control: Adaptive cruise control, which maintains a preset distance between you and the car in front of you, was once only available in select high-end luxury cars. Today, it is finding its way to more affordable models. Subaru includes adaptive cruise control as part of the EyeSight suite of high-tech safety features that's available on all models—even the compact Impreza Limited, which retails for around $26,300. Other affordable small cars—like the Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra—have also added it to the options list.
Automated Parallel Parking: Remember when you still had to parallel park your own car? That's the kind of thing you'd say if you had an automated parallel parking system, which is available on vehicles as affordable as the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. While automated parallel parking remains an uncommon feature even in the midsize sedan segment, it's surprisingly affordable on the 200. All you have to do is opt for the top-level 200C model and add the $1,295 SafetyTec package, for a total MSRP of just over $30,000 with shipping.
Blind Spot Camera: Checking your blind spot could be a thing of the past if you opt for a new Honda with LaneWatch, an impressive new system that provides a large, handy camera to show you exactly what's in your blind spot. This is a feature that the Autotrader editors expect will "trickle up," as it isn't currently available in any ultra-high-end luxury cars. If you're interested in trying it out, Honda offers the feature on virtually every one of its models—including the subcompact Fit, which includes it as standard equipment in the $18,500 EX trim.
Head-Up Display: If you're used to driving without a head-up display, you might not understand why you'd ever need it. But this feature puts pertinent information like navigation directions, your speed, the speed limit and more just a quick glance down from your line of sight, making driving a lot safer. While this may sound expensive, you can get a head-up display on the MINI Cooper, even on the base level, by choosing the Media Package and its Wired Upgrade—a $2,100 add-on that manages to keep the price of the hatchback below $24,000 with shipping.
Lane Keep Assist: More advanced than just a typical lane departure warning system, lane keep assist actively steers a car back into its lane if it detects that the car is starting to drift out, which can literally be a lifesaver. This feature is usually confined to high-end luxury cars; however, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra includes it on models with the Tech package and the Ultimate package, a $4,400 upgrade. The result is a $27,600 compact car—but one that's loaded with all the latest safety technology.
Pre-Collision Braking: Although forward collision warning and automatic braking are starting to trickle down to more mainstream cars, these features are usually confined to top-level option packages of high-end trim levels. Not so in the Scion iA, which includes a pre-collision warning system as standard equipment within its $16,600 base price. And while the iA's automatic braking feature only kicks in at low speeds, it's still an impressive item on such an affordable vehicle—especially since most of the iA's subcompact rivals don't even offer the feature as an option.
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About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns cars with industry-leading digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. Committed to open choice and dedicated to strong partnerships, the Cox Automotive family includes Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, vAuto®, Xtime® and a host of other brands. The global company has nearly 30,000 team members in more than 200 locations and is partner to more than 40,000 auto dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, while engaging U.S. consumer car buyers with the most recognized media brands in the industry. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., an Atlanta-based company with revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees. Cox Enterprises' other major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Media Group.