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Safety, convenience, and fun! Features to look for in your next auto purchase.

How-To's and Tips | 06/30/20
Young Family Looking Out Car in Summer

Auto buying can be a mixture of excitement, fun, and anxiety over so many choices. Shopping for your new vehicle can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of research and some time spent determining what you feel is important, you can make a choice you’ll be happy with for years to come. Ascend can help by getting your financing in place with a great rate on a new auto loan before you even step foot on a car lot.

Here is a list of key features you might want to consider in your new car or truck, as well as a few you might want to skip.

Safety features

  • Evasive steering: Keep yourself safe even in the event of surprises on the road with this handy new feature. Evasive steering will provide you with additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle and your own steering efforts are not sufficient.
  • Blindspot alert: This feature alerts you when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of your blind spot.
  • Forward collision warning: If you’re prone to distraction while behind the wheel, you might want this feature. It provides a visual and/or audible alert when your vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
  • Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.
  • 360-degree camera: This camera takes the risk factor out of backing up by giving you a bird’s-eye view of the car. This way, you can see the entire area surrounding their vehicle and check for children and objects in their way.

Convenient features

  • Automatic keyless entry: This feature was created for those moments when you’re staggering toward your car with armfuls of grocery bags: It automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
  • Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
  • Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up! You can now buy a car that charges your devices quickly.
  • WiFi hotspot: Stop eating up your phone’s data; just plug into your car’s WiFi instead. Some in-car hotspot services charge a monthly fee after a complimentary introductory period, but these tend to be cheaper for unlimited data than a similar data plan through a mobile phone carrier.
  • Heated steering wheel and seats: This one is a lifesaver on those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm quite fast enough.
  • Wireless charging pad: Leave the wires at home! Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up. This convenient function uses induction to charge your device and work with most new smartphones. If your phone is aging and won’t charge on an induction pad, you can buy a special case to bring it up to speed.

Fun-to-have features

  • Smart device connectivity: Telling your phone to crank up your AC or to shut off your oven is old news. But, did you know you can now do the same for your car’s controls? Some new autos allow you to use remote voice control with smart devices, like Alexa, for your car. You can tell the assistant to set start the vehicle, set the temperature, unlock doors, and even get your favorite playlist going while you're getting ready to leave.
  • Rear entertainment systems: No more backseat fighting! This feature gives the rear seats of your car a separate entertainment system. Many come with wireless headphones so you can keep the kids entertained whether it’s a trip across town or that eight-hour trip to the beach.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: Leave your phone in the cup holder and avoid dangerous distraction with these features. Both will sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system so you can use the car’s screen to navigate and help keep your eyes on the road.

Features you can skip

  • Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The look might appeal, but the ride will be less comfortable. Plus, your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes and other obstructions on the road.
  • Built-in navigation systems: Don’t pay extra for a navigation system when you’re going to use Waze or Google Maps most of the time anyway. With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, you’ll always have the latest navigation software without the cost or tedious updates of a built-in system.
  • Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by Ascend Federal Credit Union to hear all about our auto loans. We have fantastic rates to get you behind your new set of wheels!

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