2013 Car Trends
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Whether you are a daily commuter or an enthusiastic traveler, you know what it is like to spend a considerable amount of time in your vehicle. You rely on vehicle manufacturers to build in as many features as possible to make your travels more cost-effective, more comfortable and safer.
A glance at some of 2013’s new car models reveals many fresh trend-setting features:
- With rising fuel prices, drivers are increasingly interested in laying their hands on the car with the best fuel-efficiency. As always, hybrid electric cars top the chart, with Honda, Ford and Toyota models heading towards 55 kilometres per litre and 136 kilometres on a three-hour charge. The trend towards better efficiency is also present in non-hybrids, however, with new Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Ford models posting scores of around 21.5 kilometres per litre highway and 15 kilometres per litre city driving.
- The recent trend towards variable nine-speed transmissions continues in 2013, replacing the six-speed automatic transmission that was the standard until 2010. This increases vehicles’ fuel-efficiency, especially for highway driving.
- Another contribution to fuel-economy is the increase in the number of natural gas-powered cars on the roads. Mercedes, for example, will be bringing out a new hatchback model in 2013 that holds three gas tanks without sacrificing storage space.
- More vehicle manufacturers are starting to make use of carbon fiber material in vehicle bodies. It is lighter, which increases fuel-efficiency, and it is Corrosion-resistant and hence more durable. Formally only found in High-performance racing cars, some pricier new 2013 passenger models will incorporate it, and Ford has committed to using it in most of their vehicles by 2020.
- As a useful new safety measure, a front center-mounted airbag will be included in some new car models. It affords extra protection to both the driver and front passenger in a side-on collision or in case of a roll-over.
- Automatic braking systems are also gaining in popularity. These range from elaborate front and rear automatic braking systems, which scan for obstacles and stop the car if the driver is distracted, to simpler backup collision mechanisms that help drivers to park safely.
- Tactile warning safety seats are becoming more popular. If drivers drift across highway markers, or if they risk bumping into other cars while parking, the seat vibrates and alerts them to the potential danger.
- Some new 2013 Nissan models incorporate a text message assistant, which qualifies both as a safety and convenience measure. It can read text messages aloud, and can also send some pre-configured replies, such as: “running late” or “driving, cannot text.”
- It is also becoming more common to find cars with wireless charging facilities for mobile phones, notebooks and MP3 players. Unlike in the past, many new vehicles have these already built in, so drivers no longer have to buy them separately.
Innovation in vehicle technology is clearly continuing into 2013, and these are only some of the new trend-setting features that are likely to contribute to the popularity of future car models.