Heated seats are the number one most sought-after feature among car buyers, according to a recent study conducted by market research firm AutoPacific that was cited by Kelley Blue Book.
The study, dubbed the Future Attribute Demand Study, surveyed roughly 90,000 recent new-car buyers, asking them to rate their interest in more than 100 car features and characteristics. Feedback indicated buyers want heated seats more than any other feature, followed by blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, all-wheel drive/four-wheel drive, lane departure warning, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a power front passenger seat, LED accent lighting, ventilated or cooled seats and driver’s seat position memory, in that order.
Many of these popular features are quickly becoming standard equipment on some vehicles – especially active safety technology like blind spot monitoring, parking sensors and lane departure warning. Many vehicles that come with an infotainment screen also feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard – including most General Motors vehicles.
While the majority of the most in-demand features are highly practical and have applicable real-world uses, the least popular features were mostly unnecessary gimmicks that serve little actual purpose. Leading the way was fully autonomous, hands-free driving without a steering wheel, which was tied with infotainment gesture controls. In-vehicle shopping features were the third least popular, while electronic engine noise enhancement and augmented reality head-up displays rounded out the bottom five.
This study appears to indicate the majority of new-car buyers value practical equipment that improves their ownership experience as opposed to gimmicky features that serve little purpose other than drumming up marketing hype. While features like an augmented reality head-up display may get views on YouTube, it seems most car buyers would rather see that money spent on standard heated seats and more standard active safety features.