Most people are not very tall. Most of us can comfortably fit into small cars for our transport: yet we hardly think that might be a reason to get one. Too often we prioritise flashiness and size, instead of functionality and cost-saving in terms of buying a car. This is especially the case given that, on average, women are shorter than men.
Many big features that are only found on new and large cars are increasingly finding their ways to smaller and used cars. This is because we’re reaching a point where Optional Extras, like a Backup Camera, are increasingly being recognised as the essential they are.
“These are things that customers have come to demand now,” Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning at Hyundai Motor America, said in an interview to AutoNews. “If you talk to a customer who has never experienced a backup camera and gets one for the first time, they tell you they’ll never go back. Our job is to bring this technology down to an affordable level.”
So what should we expect of smaller cars, now that we’ve reached a point where technology is no longer for the expensive, new and large cars.
Demand has become loud for compact cars to no longer mean “cheap”. Indeed, AutoNews reports: “demand for such technology is becoming so strong that automakers are feeling pressure to change the way they price safety technology.”
Considering the heavy focus on safety, the increased demand, and the widespread competition from other manufacturers, we will increasingly see compact, smaller cars be given the same treatment as the most expensive, top-of-the-line cars in terms of safety.
This doesn’t have to mean they become expensive, since, as we’ve noted many expensive features just became mandatory, due to increased demand and widespread implementation.
“Many features now ubiquitous in vehicles, such as antilock brakes, backup cameras and keyless entry, started as high-priced extras in luxury cars and trickled down to mainstream vehicles over many years. As in the case of electronic stability control, which became mandatory in 2011 — 15 years after it first appeared in the BMW 7 series — government pressure often speeds the shift.”
It’s unfortunate that it requires government intervention to make it so, but at least it’s an indication that powerful bodies are watching and that it is possible that features reserved for the select few could be put in cars, even smaller ones, long regarded as merely entry-level. Yet, even people driving entry-level vehicles demand safety and they have every right to have it.