Automakers are always trying to cram new features into the interiors of their vehicles. Some of them are really awesome, some are gimmicks and some are just something to break down the road.
My favourite interior trickery comes from ignition switch placement. Most cars put their ignition switches somewhere logical, like right next to the steering wheel. But marques like Saab and Smart thought that they were too good for a logical place to put the ignition switch, and instead shoved them right into the middle.
We asked readers what interior features are the most clever. Here are their answers.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day, our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best 10 responses from the previous Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Viper Rearview Mirror
My Viper has extra wiring from the factory in the rearview mirror specifically designed to connect a radar detector.
I always thought that was a great example of a company knowing its customers.
Suggested by: V10omous
Saab were too good for this world:
– Where practically all other brands insisted on putting the ignition switch in the same wrong place, they put it somewhere ok (though obsolete today with keyless systems and start buttons)
– A button that has gotten just more and more in demand for every year since Saab’s passing, yet hasn’t been copied by any brand that I know of: The one that turns off all the unnecessary interior lights to aid in night driving. My current Audi is merely a major disappointment, while some recent Japanese cars are in the “crimes against humanity”-department. Sorry Mr Rental Car guy for putting black tape all over the centre console, I claim self defence.
Suggested by: Koevoet
Honda Magic Seat
The Honda Fit’s Magic seat®!!
Suggested by: 2wheelmission, Walmart Shoes and Unknown
How come vans over here don’t swivel chairs in the second row and can forward the third row passengers like in Europe?
You figured a vehicle designed to carry lots of people would have this feature but in America it isn’t.
Suggested by: The Driveress
I used to love the ‘Swing’ feature on a friends Mazda 626 in college. Basically you pushed a button and it made the centre air vents constantly rotate back and forth so they were blowing out the a/c like an oscillating fan.
Suggested by: Grinreaper31
Sometimes the simplest answer is one of the best.
Cupholders? It’s easy to forget, but when cars didn’t have cup holders, shit just kinda sucked. I once had a full 907.18 g Chick-fil-a lemonade spill in my footwell because I was holding it between my legs and had to come to a quick stop. I was on my way to work too.
Suggested by: Kaiser Khan
Nissan Travel Mode
My 2002 Nissan Altima had a button on the radio labelled “Travel” that when you pushed it would scan local radio stations, set them to presets to make it easy to flip through them, and then set them back to your originals when you pressed it again. Such a little thing that was so nice for the frequent trips between states.
Suggested by: Michael I
Integrated Booster Seats
My family had a 1999 plymouth grand voyager minivan for a long time. She finally bit the dust at 220k+ and really that was only because it sat for an extended period of time and the brakes went out, still ran great. But the built in child safety seats in the middle row were ingenious to me.(also found in the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan I believe) They folded into the back rest when not in use and folded down to have a much safer seat for younger children. Although I don’t know how good they actually were in terms of safety but they were much more convenient than a booster seat.
The other thing that was great was the easily removable rear and middle bench seats. 2 handles that unlock it from the floor, the seats fold down and roll right out. When you took them out it had as much room as some pickup trucks. I moved my entire freshman year dorm room home in that thing. That included a full size couch, a decent sized TV, and a lot of other stuff. I think it kind of got overshadowed later by the stow and go, but they were so easy to remove.
Suggested by: tyler-bogaard
Extending Sun Visors
Visors that can cover the great expanse of window.
Visors that can be extended
I’d like to extended this to include the 5th generation Civic little middle sun visor. It was about the size of a dollar bill that blocked the sun from above the rear view mirror between the driver and passenger visors. It was a fantastic solution to cover this spot until manufacturers started extending the frit in this area.
Visors that can be extended AND can be extended enough to cover the entire side window.
My Frontier’s sun visor extends very nicely, except for one problem: It doesn’t quite make it to the B-pillar. Almost every afternoon, as I drive North, the sun’s light perfectly leaks between the Visor and the B-Pillar, right into my eyes.
Suggested by: Mustang23, Ninety-9, NebraskaStig
Fold Flat Seats
As much as I love my Sportwagen, I miss the fold flat front passenger seat with it’s hard plastic back and the hard plastic rear seat backs and cargo floor with the tracks for ties downs on my 2008 Toyota Matrix XR.
Suggested by: Mephisto