When it comes to automotive technology, some U.S. consumers are beginning to think less is more. According to a new study by Edmunds.com, frustration over unreliable Bluetooth devices, keyless ignition systems and privacy concerns associated with some autonomous driving features are causing some to take a pass on these high tech features.
Edmunds.com editor John O’Dell says, “Car manufacturers are investing a lot of energy and resources into building more connected cars, and that’s raised some legitimate concerns about safety and privacy among consumers, even if there is little or no risk to them at this time. But even if those dangers never come to fruition, some people just do not want a vehicle packed with technology.”
Consumers concerned about the reliability and security of high tech features are also avoiding keyless ignition systems, embedded cellular connectivity, adaptive cruise control and certain other accident avoidance systems, including exterior cameras.
Three of the most popular new models among high tech averse consumers are the 2015 Hyundai GLS sedan and Accent GS hatchback, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The MX-5 Miata does not offer an onboard navigation system, and neither of the Hyundai models feature Bluetooth connectivity.
Other popular models include the 2015 Smart fortwo Pure Coupe, the 2015 Kia Rio LX (sedan and hatchback) the 2015 Nissan NV passenger van, 2015 Nissan Titan S King Cab and Crew Cab pickup trucks, and the 2015 Mazda3 iSV sedan. Many of these models are available with manual transmissions – for the truly “old school” buyers.
Other strategies for avoiding high tech gadgets include purchasing used, instead of new vehicles, and purchasing new vehicles that have reached the end of their model cycle. But O’Dell says these are only stalling tactics. “It’s clear,” say O’Dell, “that high-tech information, entertainment and safety- and performance-enhancing systems aren’t going to go away.”
O’Dell notes, “In a few more years, the things that are now considered advanced technologies may be commonplace on even the most basic models. Those who prefer low-tech cars ultimately will have to learn to adjust, or resign themselves to owning only older vehicles.”
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