Your favorite uncommon gadgets on your car

Does your car have cool gadgets that aren’t on most cars, but you think they’re cool?

I’ll start with my 2003 Subaru Forester:
[li] “Weather Band” - the radio comes with a WB button that gives you National Weather Service weather updates for that area.[/li][li] Grocery bag hooks. I don’t know how uncommon this is, but it’s the first car I’ve ever had that has them - little hooks in the back hatch by the floor where you can hook plastic grocery bags. Love it.[/li][li] Giant sunroof. The sunroof is something like 3 feet long and opens up into the back seat.[/li][/ul]

Post your own! Loads of fun!

Does it have to be “standard equipment”?

If it’s standard only, then my cruise control. I love playing with it but generally, if I set it for the speed limit, I end up having to turn it off to pass slower vehicles.

If it’s aftermarket: My auto starter gets first prize. I love being able to turn on my car (sometimes when I’m just walking to it) and get in, turn the key, and off I go.

My backup sensor is second. No more guessing how far I am from the wall/other vehicle. My Matrix (hatch) has no decent views below 3.5 feet so I can’t see curbs or other lower vehicles when I close in.

My deck is a MP3 deck with a folding front flap with an organic LCD display but I no longer really “play” with it since the bright display distracts me when I drive at night.

My VW Passat has the wonderfully fun (although not particularly useful) TipTronic shifting. For all you who don’t know, that’d be clutchless-shifting, or as I like to call it – “droppin’ 'er into sports mode”.

Heated seats. When I bought my Bravada I was glad it had 'em. Very nice in the winter.

The auto-dimming rearview mirror. No more getting blinded when people tailgate.

A come-along (also known as a hand puller).

My aftermarket CD player came with a cute little remote control. It fits nicely in the compartment that was intended to hold a garage door opener.

A full-size spare tire. (Not really a gadget, but rather uncommon in this area.)

A locking gas cap.

A couple of years ago on a winter business trip to the UK, I was quite surprised to find that my rental car had an electric defogger embedded in the windscreen. It didn’t look anything like the rear defogger, it was a whole bunch of zig-zaggy whisper-thin filiments embedded in the glass.

I don’t know if this is commonplace in European cars, but it sure kept me from having to scrape ice off the windshield (as if I didn’t have enough things to worry about, wrong side of the road and all!). Very nice.

My VW Jatta TDI wagon has an auto program feature for the radio. You hit a button and it programs the six strongest radio signals into your buttons, on a separate band, so all your travelin’ radio station settings don’t effect your home settings.

I like my heated seats. There are little mirrors in the sun-visors that have a sliding cover; when you slide it over to reveal the mirror a little light comes on. There’s a plug in the bag for accesories like air compressors etc. and the full size spare comes with a really nice jack and tire changing kit.

The engine adapts to your driving style and learns when you like to shift, making driving smoother.

I have the ESP option, which is an electronic stability program–haven’t used it yet, but others rave about it.

Defrosting side view mirrors which are adjustable using a single control knob.

The sunroof has an anti-“flutter” setting–there’s a certain speed where the air pressure sort of wobbles without it.

The ashtray has a light in it so you can find your toll change at night–or the patrolman can see your roaches, whatever.

The dials are red and blue, very easy on the eyes, and all electronic controls are illuminated at night.

The best feature of all is the great fuel mileage and maintenance though. I change my oil every ten thousand miles, I refuel for less than all those gassers and I go twice as far on it.

Plus, it’s red. :slight_smile:

I have a Jetta too, but not a TDI. I love the heated seats, and the vanity mirror lights. When I put my car in reverse, the passenger side mirror tilts down so I can see the curb. Another neat feature was the volume controls on the steering wheel, but we put MP3 player stereo in and took out the stock system and the steering wheel controls don’t work anymore.
The heated windshield washer system and heated side mirrors are neat, too. I’m sure I’ll be using them more with the weather gets colder.

There’s a lot of cool things on the Jetta that I have never had on a car before, I haven’t discovered them all yet!

Heads-Up Display. I love it so much I got non-polarized sunglasses.

My Echo has the instrument console thing set in the middle of the dashboard, turned to face the driver, so looking straight out is basically solid glass. Beautiful.

The navigation/TV screen built into the dashboard - allows me to indulge in the incredibly dangerous activity of watching TV and driving at the same time.

GMC - Denali SUV- My kids call it “The Spaceship”

Satellite phone calls via Onstar system with voice synthesized - voice recognition dialing. Great for bad spots where cellular reception crams out ’

XM satellite radio - It’s the bomb!

Mutliple 12 volt outlets front, side and back

Computer controlled full time 4WD Stabilitrak and ABS. Weird to feel car actually calculate best individual wheel power settings to dig out of mud holes, and it works!

Front and back sear heated leather seats

Steering wheel mounted audio and phone controls

Power folding side mirrors -

7 CD changer and 9 speaker system audio upgrade rocks the house

Split front and back AC settings

Insanely powerful and responsive engine with sports car like acceleration on demand

Lots more but those are my favorites

Here’s some of my car’s features:

Layout: 2 seater, rear engine, rear wheel drive.

Engine: Fuel injected, intercooled turbo, 100+ HP per litre.

Transmission: 6 speed Tiptronic

Electronics: Fly by wire throttle, traction control, ABS.

So what do you think it is: Porsche? Ferrari? Lamborghini?

Nope, its a Smart

I used to drive a '78 Lincoln Continental (Pucci Edition) that had all kinds of nifty features. It had a digital (LED) Miles to Empty meter, an automatic headlight dimmer that actually worked, and a quadrophonic 8-Track Stereo.

My DB-5 has:
Ejection seat
Rotatating License plates
Smoke screen
oil slick emitter
Homing device for chasing Gold Rolls Royces
and rotating knives in the hub caps (very handy!)

Mine has a button on the dash which winds the aerial down half way.

It’s a japanese import and it seems that it is needed in case the owner has a low clearance garage entrance!

Well, if I can interpret the OP as ‘Your favorite uncommon gadgets in your car’ then it would have to be the pair of huge fake ears I carry in my glove compartment.

Every now and then (especially in stop/go traffic) I like to put them on and surreptitiously watch people’s reactions - they’re quite realistic [sub]but about double the size of normal ears.[/sub]

Sorry it’s not more high-tech; some of the gadgetry you guys have sounds awesome.

Also handy for mass-producing the car. In foreign markets all they have to do is turn the center console to face the right side.

Also my '72 Saab Sonnett III has covered headlights, but they raise manually. There’s this giant lever below the dash on the left, and you pull it out like an an emergency brake and the headlights raise up. Not so much a gadget as an older way of raising the headlights, but I love it!

My wife’s Pontiac Bonneville SSE has 14-way seats. The seat bottom and back are independently adjustable. The back has 3 adjustable lower back cushions and side cushions that adapt to different waist sizes. Mrs. Nott and I are 5’4" and 6’4", and we’re both comfy in these seats.

It also has “heads-up” display that appears to float over the hood. You don’t have to take your eyes off the road to see how fast you’re going or see if your turn signal is still on.

We’ve only used it once, but the one time we went tailgating I just was tickled to death with the little tailgating card-table in the back of our Honda CR-V.