2017 Buick Encore, 2016 New York Auto Show
2017 Buick Encore, 2016 New York Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
4. Can you see me now?
Rear visibility may qualify as a premium feature in many cars today.
On sports cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, it's borderline acceptable—rockets don't have rearview mirrors either. But on many other cars including family crossovers, thick rear pillars make it nearly impossible to check a blind spot in traffic. Buick Encore, I'm looking at you—or at least trying to.
Ford Gen 2 Ecoboost 3.5-liter V-6Enlarge Photo
5. Fuel economy, or something like it
The EPA's fuel economy test isn't a surprise. Automakers know the program, and in many cases "build to the test" in order to eke out a passing grade. We're pretty sure that's the only way we finished college, too.
What is new is the way drivers are struggling to adjust to smaller-displacement, turbocharged engines that can swing wildly whether you're on- or off-boost.
New Ford F-150 truck buyers are some of the most vocal critics, but they aren't alone in their struggles. Volvo's XC60 can be notoriously finicky about its mileage returns too and we're even having problems meeting EPA figures with our Honda Pilot, which isn't a turbo.
Cadillac's Rear Vision Camera with Dynamic Guidelines - image: GM Corp
Cadillac's Rear Vision Camera with Dynamic Guidelines - image: GM CorpEnlarge Photo
6. And now our feature presentation
We used to call it the "Honda rule," but they've shaped up over the past few years: Automakers have a habit of burying popular (and sometimes necessary) features within packages that can add thousands more to the cost of a new car.
For example, the 2017 Mini Cooper links its $500 rearview camera with a $500 proximity parking assistant, which we're not sure the latter is strictly necessary for such a small car. But Mini isn't the only offender. Mercedes-Benz can be ruthless with their options packaging, and any GM ordering sheet can be an exercise in futility.
Just let us pay for a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay please.