Happy Thanksgiving from CarMax!
We’ve got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We’re thankful for the things that make driving a late-model vehicle such a comfortable and rewarding experience. Modern convenience features take the hassle out of driving!
Here are five car and truck features we're thankful for.
- Cooled and heated front seats. On really hot days, regular cloth and leather seats can leave you with damp, sweaty clothes—and a meaner demeanor. Cooled seats can be ventilated—where cabin air is circulated through layers of perforated seat cushioning, like in the Lexus RX 350, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Ram 1500)—or actually cooled using the car’s AC system, like in the Ford F150. Running cooled seats isn’t as environmentally friendly as ventilated seats, since you’re burning more gas to run the AC. On the other hand, cooling just the seats is a more targeted use of AC, and more efficient than cooling your whole interior. We don’t need to say anything about front seat heaters that you don’t already know—toasty buns are thankful buns!
- Powered liftgate. When your arms are full of grocery bags, it’s incredibly handy to have a powered liftgate. Found in SUVs and minivans like the Ford Explorer< and the Chrysler Town and Country, these hatches open at the touch of a button on your key fob. On recent Honda CR-V models, you push a button on either your key or the hatch and the liftgate opens fully, giving you access to your cargo area. Load groceries, etc. at will. Push two more buttons in the CR-V’s cargo area and the 60/40 bench seats drop flat, giving you even more stowage.
- Camera-assisted navigation. Your life is busy, and you’re focused on what’s in front of you all the time. Don’t forget about what’s behind you! Assisted navigation is like having a co-pilot to help you on today’s busy roads. Blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors found in the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Impala help you keep tabs on your surroundings.
- All-wheel drive. Unlike four-wheel drive, which you switch on yourself, all-wheel drive is always on, and standing by at the ready in the event it’s needed. Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with AWD have the advantage over 2WD in the wet and snow because they can sense uneven road conditions and give you more traction, on the fly. You’ll find AWD in the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. All-wheel drive uses more fuel than 2WD, but it comes on only when conditions call for it. Sometimes, you can’t gauge the road conditions ahead and an AWD system is good insurance in the event of quickly-changing road conditions.
- Remote start. Recent models of cars and trucks can be started in the driveway on cold mornings from the warmth and comfort of your home, using a very convenient remote start feature. Some start using a button on your key fob, and others can be configured to start using an app on your mobile device. Pre-heat your car before you get into it! Cars that come with remote start include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, >Ford Fusion, and Chrysler 300.