Car buyers want air-con and bluetooth; not voice control or sunroofs

28 Sep 2018

Air conditioning is the number one must-have feature for any new car buyer, according to new research.

Out of the 2,000+ UK adults surveyed by Kwik Fit, more than a third of them stated air-con as the single essential feature they would pay extra for, suggesting the glorious heatwave of summer 2018 has had lasting effects.

Bluetooth connectivity was the second most mentioned (17 per cent), followed by a heated windscreen and sat-nav (16 per cent each) with parking assist cameras completing the top-five with 13 per cent.

The survey sample was also asked to identify which feature they would definitely not pay extra for and right at the top of that list was voice control, cited by more than four in five respondents (81 per cent).

It seems that motorists are more concerned with the road ahead of them rather than the sky above because the second least desirable feature was a panoramic glass roof (77 per cent). A sunroof ranked joint-fourth in the bottom five too with adaptive suspension.

Car makers have been investing heavily into developing innovative safety features but car buyers aren’t impressed. Almost half (49 per cent) of drivers said they would not pay extra for tech like collision alert or anti-drowsiness warning systems, and would instead to prefer to spend their budget on comfort or convenience features.

A spokesman for Kwik Fit said: “Following the summer we’ve just had, it is no surprise that air conditioning is on everyone’s wish list.

“It’s a great option to have and not only can make a journey so much more comfortable and enjoyable in the heat, it makes de-misting the windows during the winter much easier.

“While it’s brilliant to have, it is a feature that needs attention and regular servicing to ensure it operates well.  We advise drivers not to keep their air conditioning permanently off through winter, but to use it regularly to keep the system lubricated.”

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The top-five must-have features:

Air conditioning: 35%
Bluetooth connectivity: 17%
Heated windscreen: 16%
Sat-nav: 16%
Parking assistance cameras: 13%

The bottom five:

Voice control: 81%
Panoramic glass roof: 77%
Heads-up speedometer display: 75%
Adaptive suspension: 74%
Sunroof: 74%