Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh … no, thanks. Have you ever actually ridden in a sleigh? Sitting on a damp seat, bitter air (maybe even snow) flying in your face, feeling every hiccup in the road. Sounds downright uncomfortable. And cold. And without a cupholder for your cocoa in sight, it’s downright archaic. Fortunately, we have vehicles loaded with modern conveniences that make driving to Thanksgiving dinner one of the most pleasant parts of the day. 

Infotainment Systems

That drive to grandma’s house used to be a long one. At least, it felt really long. Today, the time flies by when you have all the entertainment you need, right at your fingertips — or even hands free. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto conveniently connect your smart device to your car, so you can:

 

  • Get directions. No arriving 20 minutes late because you got lost. Again.
  • Respond to text messages. Don’t start without us! We’ll be there in 8 minutes.
  • Listen to your playlist. Dancing all the way. Aha, aha.
  • Answer phone calls. Yes, we can pick up extra rolls.
  • Access an audio book. Sci-fi and pumpkin pie, baby!

 

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Some infotainment systems even let you keep an eye on the backseat shenanigans. Of course, there won’t be any, because the kids are happily watching a movie or playing video games. Actually, maybe we’ll just skip the drama, er, turkey this year and go for a drive.

Automatic Everything

Windows

You probably don’t even think about it anymore, but automatic windows were uncommon just a couple of decades ago. Remember your mom chirping, “Make sure your window is up!” before heading inside? Or when you couldn’t open them all quick enough when your sibling took off their shoes after football practice? 

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Door Locks

Automatic door locks are another modern convenience that make quick exits easier. Remote door locks were introduced by Cadillac in 1987, but it wasn’t until 1998 when central locking systems became more commonplace. And fewer backs were wrenched by reaching from the driver’s seat to the passenger back door. Even better, today transponder keys let you lock and unlock your door from across a parking lot. Perfect if you need to outrun an annoying neighbor. Or have an armful of groceries.

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Headlights

In high school prior to the 2000s, you could practically plan on regular announcements such as, “The owner of the green Ford with license plate T03 D13, your lights are on.” Headlights now have an auto mode, so you don’t have to worry about killing your battery. Great for reducing anxiety on rainy mornings (Did I leave the lights on?), although some people might miss their chance at fame. It also takes the guesswork out of when you should be turning your headlights on or off while driving.

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Today, automatic high beam headlights are even more convenient. When you’re focused on the road, you may not think to turn on your high beams. And if you’ve been blinded by someone coming toward you, you know drivers tend to forget to turn them off, too. Auto high beams do both actions for you, by detecting the surrounding lighting. In addition, as of 2022 the U.S. will allow adaptive beam lights. These lights have multiple projectors that can change shape to hit the road, not other drivers. Automatic win for everyone.

Safety Features

Lane Assists

Other car safety features have improved significantly in recent years, as well, a benefit for both novice and experienced drivers. Lane departure warning and lane keeping assist may finally keep that guy from meandering over into your space. Lane centering assist keeps your car … in the center of the lane. They’re all helpful features when driving on a crowded road, especially if you tend to wander a bit more than you should.

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Blind Spots

Blind spot warning helps when you actually want to change lanes. It uses radar to scan for vehicles that are approaching your blind spot and lets you know if someone is there. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the technology has reduced lane-changing accidents by 14%. Many newer cars also have blind spot assistance, which may slightly adjust the steering and even apply the brakes if your turn signal is on.

Parking Assist

Speaking of tight spots, cars with self-driving features have made it much easier to park, something even veteran drivers can appreciate. Park assist uses sensors and cameras to alert the driver of how close the car is to surrounding objects, and some systems actually park the vehicle for you.

Modern Car Conveniences We’re Thankful For

Who couldn’t use a little more confidence when it comes to parallel parking? No more sweating bullets while you’re trying to fit into a tight space on a busy street. Not only is it more convenient, it cuts down on your chance of leaving dings and scrapes on someone else’s paint. It doesn’t control how wildly your teen swings open the car door, however.

Want to make your family’s spirits bright as you dash to grandma’s? And soccer practice? And music lessons? Find a vehicle with all the modern conveniences on KSL Cars