The Features You Want: Keeper Tribe
Hi, my name is Andrew, and I’m in the Keeper Tribe. When it comes to buying a new vehicle, I don’t need (or want) anything flashy, super fast, or packed full of the latest in-vehicle tech. I want vehicle with practical features, a reputation for longevity and doesn’t break the bank. As the Tribe name indicates, I plan on keeping the car I buy for as long as possible. (I’ve been driving my current vehicle since August, 2006. I don’t plan to replace it until the engine falls out.)
That being said, here are the five features I want in my next car. If you’re in the Keeper Tribe, maybe you’ll agree. If not, chime in by leaving a comment in the comments section below.
- Bluetooth® Connectivity: My smartphone does a lot for me. I use it for many different things, like keeping in contact with friends and family, listening to Podcasts and music, and using the GPS navigation to get to a place I’ve never been — without getting lost. The ability to connect these features to my next car is important. And, being able to make phone calls without taking my hands off of the wheel is not just convenient: it’s safer, too.
- Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel and Shift Knob — These might sound like luxury items and, in a way, they are. But more importantly, these are longevity items. The steering wheel in my current car — made of rubbery plastic — began to show wear after only a few years. Now, to be honest, it’s kind of gross. Built from sturdier material, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are more durable and will last longer than a rubber/plastic steering wheel. These features will make the vehicle more enjoyable in the long run.
- USB Port — This goes hand-in-hand with the need for Bluetooth. Not only does a USB port allow me to connect my phone to the vehicle’s audio system (and, in many cases, control the phone with the vehicle’s controls), it also keeps the phone charged. This is especially nice if you use the GPS on your phone, which sucks battery life quickly. A USB port is a must for anyone who uses their phone’s nav system.
- Rear Seats that Fold Flat — I plan on owning my next car for a long time. And, even though I’ll likely buy a sub-compact, I still want to be able to haul a decent amount of stuff. For example, when I play a gig, I need to be able to fit an amp, a couple guitars and a mandolin (at a minimum) in the vehicle. Furthermore, I love camping and road trips. In order to haul all of the things I want to haul, fold-flat rear seats are a must.
- A Spare Tire — It may sound silly, but many new cars today come standard with some kind of flat-tire fix-it kit. And I’ve had more than a few flat tires that were no fault of my own and I don’t know if I’d trust a bottle full of goo to fix the problem. In fact, the kits only work on specific types of punctures. Poke a hole in the sidewall? You’re outta luck. Have a gash in through the tread that’s longer than an inch or two? Stranded. A spare tire is, in my opinion and experience, a more reliable way to get you to the nearest Belle Tire to fix the punctured tire.
OTHER FEATURES TO CONSIDER
Here are a couple features that almost made the list.
- Well-Placed, Well-Designed Cupholders — If you’ve ever had cupholders that are difficult to reach, and you enjoy drinking coffee, then you know what I mean. And, if you’re planning on living with the car for years and years, good cupholder placement and design will be appreciated.
- Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls — These little guys add convenience at your fingertips. Once you understand which control does what, you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to change the radio station or skip to your favorite tune.
- Front-Seat Armrests — Ever go on a long trip in a car with no armrests? It may sound like a trivial complaint, but front-seat armrests add a ton of overall comfort. And, if you’re planning on keeping the vehicle for a while, it’s nice to have.
So, if you’re a part of the Keeper Tribe, what are your must-have features? Did these features resonate with you? You can check out video reviews by people in the Keeper Tribe here.
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