Two new reports from automobile rating services show how technology affects automotive perceptions. Consumer Reports found that technology is lowering rankings in reliability while Edmunds.com report that new technology can be found in used cars at cheaper prices.
Consumer Reports in its new reliability rankings found that in-car electronics and transmissions are trouble areas that drag down overall scores for Acura RLX/TLX, Ford, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler and others. Nissan’s Infiniti brand continued its downward trajectory because of problems with its InTouch infotainment system. Cadillac dropped seven places to near the bottom, plagued by its CUE infotainment system, says CR.
From Consumer Reports’ data, the Tesla Model S earns a worse-than-average predicted reliability score. The main problem areas are the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks.
Edmunds.com says that many of the same high-tech features found in new cars — Bluetooth, blind-spot monitoring and rearview cameras are available pre-owned cars that are priced at thousands of dollars less than new cars. They offer of list of when each technology was popularized to see what year models to look for:
- Bluetooth, wirelessly syncs your mobile device to the car’s audio system, exploded as a feature in 2009, with 81 percent of all models offering the technology as either standard or optional.
- Rearview cameras will be required standard equipment beginning with the 2018 model year — and they have been available dince at least 2005. In the 2010 model year they were available in 58 percent of all available models.
- Blind spot detection or monitors shows a lighted icon in your side mirrors to let you know that it is not safe to turn or change lanes, started to be available in 2013 but came in half of models in 2015.
- Adaptive cruise control, which automatically detects a vehicle ahead and reduces your car’s speed to keep a safe distance starting in 2013 was available in about of a third of models but was more popular in 2015. It is most often found in luxury cars.
- Dual climate control is a great solution for any driver who has ever fought with a passenger over the temperature of the car. It has been available since the 006 model year, more than 50 percent of new cars on the market offered the feature as standard or optional.
Some of the features can be added onto late-model car with afermarket products at affordable prices. Car buyers can save a much as 75% with a previously-owned car. We found a 2013 Nissan LEAF through Edmunds.com a few months ago that was 3/4 off of its original price. TrueCar also has some great deals on cars that are few years old.