Little things that makes your car special to you..

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May 9, 2003
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I am not talking about high-tech gimmicks that you can get as an option/package for a 1000's of $$. I mean things that are standard or are included with low cost packages, or just small things that are standard, or part of the inherent design, or part of a low cost package that you like, but go mostly unnoticed, and are special for the class/price of the car ... things that you may have not noticed during the first 3-4 months of ownership, but made you go "wow - cool - I didn't know it had that... " I'll start off: 2003 Elantra: -standard heated mirrors - a pleasant surprise for an econo car, with auto trans being the only option. SO USEFUL in winter mornings. Very few cars, even now, and being upscale has these as standard. (car also has power mirrors, power windows and locks as standard on the base GLS model) -padded, comfy, arm rests: yeah it's a small thing, but again, tiny nice feature for econo class; most cars of that year had hard plasticky arm rests. -driver foot rest: not many cars have these either, nice on long trips. -interval wipers standard - don't know how common this was at the time with other econo cars. EXCELLENT headlights - NONE of the cars I have driven have such excellent headlights - high beams are like daylight. (Osram H1 and H7 bulbs I think) -headlights can NOT come on if key is not in ON position - i LOVE this - can never leave headlights on by mistake after turning off car, and also never forget to turn them on at night - if key is in and car running, headlights WILL BE on. standard side air bags: again, nice to have on a econo base model as standard. -very comfy and supportive seats with manual lumbar adjust - very good seats for the class. -dash gauges are luminescent somehow; even with parking lights not on, going through a tunnel or dark area, they glow anyway - nice. - all switches for the power windows etc are illuminated - may sound small, but I like it, and have seen MANY cars that don't have it. -cargo nets on backs of seats (meh - again, wife thinks it's cool) -fold down rear seat: idk - it maybe not that special, but sure is uselful sometimes. -lamps on door that actually lights up: most cars just have reflectors in this class. - 4 very nice floor mats with HOOKS to HOLD THEM IN PLACE in front- standard/no cost item !!! (hint: think toyota) they also have "Elantra" embroidered onto them :) - Trans position indicator on dash - again, no big deal, BUT uselful to have - wifey likes it, and doesn't like that my Tbird lacks it. -Looks: looks WAY refined and more serious that econo boxes of same class, and a bit heavier too, which i like, for improved stability on roads (doesn't get blown off by passing trucks like some compact cars do) - gets 30-32 mpg avg hwy, (we've seen 36 a couple of times) -interior room: The Elantra is EPA "compact" for exterior dimensions, but is classified as "mid-size" in interior room category by the EPA. -not very imp. for me, but wifey likes following: -fold down sunglass compartment, slide out cup holders under the rear seat (which we discovered almost an year into ownership) -2 level storage in arm rest. -vanity mirrors in both sun visors (i know it's a common feature) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1997 Tbird (sport): -speed sensitive power steering standard: pretty cool when trying to park, - Bird is heavy.- and keeps car stable at high speed. -fuel disable on impact: shuts off fuel on a rear impact and has a switch to reset. -auto lamp and auto on interior lights when using keyless entry- (not sure if part of a package) turns on headlights when it's dark enough -foot well illumination on both sides upon opening the door.- very nifty useful feature I think. - all switches for the power windows etc are illuminated - may sound small, but I like it, and have seen MANY cars that don't have it. -Slide AND tilt moonroof - wifey likes this more than me. -LED tail lights - pretty cool to have in a 1997 and looks great (made by HP at the time for the 1996-97 Tbirds) -ILLUMINATED vanity mirrors on both sun visors - i don't care but wifey thinks it's cool and is jealous that Elantra lacks illumination. -very thin pillars all around: EXCELLENT visibility all around - Tbird is the best car i have driven in terms of visibility, period. -rear defroster turns off automatically after about 20 minutes - cool feature that prevents from running it all the time if needed only when you start driving. -Very slanted windshield - great visibilty esp. in rain - for some reason, water just seems to vanish from my windshield - wifey noted that it's 100x better in rain comp.to her Elantra. -interval wipers with about 10 speeds ! -great dash/console material: miles better than some of the cars even in higher classes; no cheap shiny thin plastic stuff that looks and feels better than most cars of this class/age. -emergency brake is foot operated - no cluttering of console. -leather steering wheel and shift knob - feels great, but not sure if it was an option - i am PRETTY sure it was standard with all v8 Tbirds. -coin holder in console - yeah I have actually found this very useful :) -gets 25-27 mpg for a pretty torquey v8 -HUGE trunk. -EXCELLENT sounding factory FM radio - yeah it's so good that I am reluctant to upgrade to a CD receiver - i listen to FM most of the time anyway - and the factory speakers and radio just ROCK - and i am somewhat of an audio snob wink -oh yeah - I also like the power antenna. Looks - yep - i think it's a timeless design, that started in 1989 - to me, it still looks good and looked VERY nice in 1989.
 
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!echo! Storage to the left and right of center console, storage underneath the steering wheel, two glove boxen and a slide out tray under the passenger seat. I don't know where any of my stuff is there are so many places to put it.
 
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I don't think any particular feature makes a car special to me but as far as an unexpected pleasant surprise goes, it's probably the robustness of the voice recognition for the multi-media controls for the Audi.
 
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2004 Silverado: Outside temperature display Instant fuel economy readout Oil life monitor (that reads out XX% of oil life remaining) Comfortable seats, loads of headroom, easy to get in and out of cab.
 

01rangerxl

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The backwards driver seat belt buckle makes my truck special! Yes, somehow they installed the driver's seat belt buckle backwards and it left the factory that way. I have left it as is because if the dealer removed interior panels to fix it the truck could get interior rattles. As for good things that make it special, I love the seats and the layout of the interior. It looks outdated now, but personally I think the Ranger has a perfect interior for a truck. I also really like the sound of the motor above 3K RPM. The 3.0 Vulcan is not a high performance motor by any stretch of the imagination, but it does sound nice. Between 3K and 5K RPM is where it runs best.
 
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Not Seattle, but close.
2009 Jeep Patriot: 24 mpg city and I got 33 on a long trip in September. AWD with 4WD lock function Electronic Stability Program Perfect shade of green Lots of other little goodies that aren't on my old Cherokee. Lifetime powertrain warranty. Paid substantially less than sticker price of $19k.
 

97tbird

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Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
2004 Silverado: Outside temperature display
ah! I forgot to mention this on my Tbird: I like it, too :)
 
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- HID headlights on a $25k car - foglights - rear spoiler - power seat - power windows, locks, mirrors - remote keyless entry - made in Japan
 
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Easton, PA
soft opening glove compartment felt lined interior door handles lift up 2nd row seat cushions for storage high mounted radio/HVAC display big HVAC knobs (I like big knobs) 28mpg six passenger
 
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Feb 23, 2007
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Grand Rapids, MI
In my '95 Integra.. A cool little felt lined coin holder under the steering wheel that opens/closes. Folding rear seats. Valet key. Double wishbone independent suspension. Dipstick has a nice rubber-ish coating on the handle. Anti-lock brakes Power Moonroof Cruise Control Adjustable lumbar support on seats Side support on the bucket seats Ability to shift through all 4 gears without a clutch Power antenna (although it finally broke last winter after 14 years of use! lol) Rear wiper w/fluid nozzle on rear window Power locks do not lock from the inside if the driver's side door is open to prevent locking your keys in the car. Nothing too fancy, I guess. But my car is still special to me, rust and all. grin
 

97tbird

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after reading some posts, I got reminded of these: (thanks !!) Elantra's price: about $14k I think. it also has: little coin holder compartment under st. wheel grab handles and coat hooks driver's window express (one touch) down Tbird: Big one: power windows, moon roof and WIPERS all still work with key on ACC position - most cars you have to turn it to ON... IRS - Independent rear suspension (standard) RWD grin Over Drive on/off button on the shifter soft opening glove compartment with LIGHT that goes on when open. Trunk light Cruise control buttons on the st. wheel remote trunk open and panic button on key fob rear seat arm rest (when in down position) opens a storage compartment. electric trunk open button in ctr console spoiler with integrated LED 3rd brake light.
 
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When did T-birds get IRS? That is surprising, thought they were just rebodied crown vics or Mustangs. When I got my Neon I thought they were just [censored] economy cars... LOL It is, but has a few special features: The 95 cam was to aggressive and made the idle rough so the following Neons got a less agressive cam. 136hp vs, 132. 2 1/4" mandrel bent exhaust. Does pretty good at autocross too. No special or power interior features, maybe that's special these days?
 

97tbird

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actually it's 4-wheel independant suspension; started in 1989 according to Wiki:
Quote:
"....On December 26, 1988 a completely redesigned Thunderbird was introduced as a 1989 model alongside its sister car, the Mercury Cougar.[6] The new Thunderbird was developed on Ford's MN12 (Mid-Size North American Project 12) platform, which had been in development since 1986. Featuring a nine-inch longer wheelbase than the previous generation Thunderbird and a short-long arm (SLA) four-wheel independent suspension, the car offered excellent handling and ride quality. ..."
 
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The V6 engine in my 1990 4Runner actually has two oil filter mounts. One of them is for the oil cooler and the other is to install the oil filter. My 2005 F250 has a power steering cooler under the bumper. Cool but what is the purpose of it?
 
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a few more - clear tail light covers - overhead eyeglass holder - dual compartment center bin that doubles as an adjustable armrest - coin compartment - lights on front door panels - cabin lights turn on when key is removed from ignition - steering wheel audio controls
 
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but as far as stock goes I am going to have to say roll up windowns and non powered locks. Why? every car comes with electrical ones that are garbage now and mine will last longer!
 
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Easton, PA
Originally Posted By: defektes
but as far as stock goes I am going to have to say roll up windows and non powered locks. Why? every car comes with electrical ones that are garbage now and mine will last longer!
I guess you've never changed a broken manual window regulator. my car pool buddy has a ION w/ manual windows; they eventually creep down and let in a wind whistle. inconvenient in the summer to roll all the windows down.
 
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Great Lakes
On the e39, I like the little 'gong' sound and message that shows up on the display when the temperature drops below 37F, to remind you that roads may be icy. Other than that, all the hidden on-board computer (standard equipment) readouts are nice since I'm a tech geek. You can look up the actual coolant temp, engine rpm, amount of fuel in both tanks, real time fuel consumption (in liters/100km and liters/hour), battery voltage, etc. The one thing that's not there that I wish was there is the ability to read oil temp. I also like how easy it is to replace the oil filter from the top without making a mess. I only found that out when I did the first oil change. Finally, I really like the idea of having the battery in the trunk - it stays clean and is easy to access. It also helps with F/R weight distribution. :)
 
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ME
1st gen saturn s-series: Roofline/ door connection doesn't impinge on headroom for aerodynamic purposes. (gets worse in later gens) headlights are as clear as they day they left the factory. If they're plastic they used a high grade. The uncomplicated reflectors make great high and low beams. Oil dipstick is a straight shot, so one can do a cold pull without needing napkins and get an accurate reading. Wagon has "friction" on the outboard 3 point belts which makes child seat installation better. Newer sedan has the pull-it-all-the-way-out-and-it-ratchets-back belts. The shoulder belt tugging on the seat makes it lean. mad
 
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Da Swamp
2003 Buick Park Avenue: The compass set into the rear view mirror; I wouldn't have paid extra for it, but I find it very useful in new territory. The Heads-Up/EyeCue display thrown onto the windshield, showing my current speed in digital readout. At night it's like a little ghost riding out ahead of me. Remote trunk release and the cargo net in the trunk. Heated seats (for Miss Linda to cozy up on; I never use mine). A second (and there might be a third someplace) interior electrical plug like the cigarette lighter; I can use them to run my tire inflator, and they're live even when the engine and ignition are off. The ultra-cool blue-green instrument lighting; I can't stand the faddish orange, and the whitish-yellow gauge illumination of my vintage Mercedes wasn't bright enough to compete with headlights, taillights, and street lights, whereas these are.
 
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