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The 10 most annoying new car features

Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 24, 2015

Where’s the volume knob?

New cars include features that would have been expensive options a few years ago, like touch screens and navigation systems.

With the the rush to upgrade technology, the new car experience might be getting — a little annoying.

"Today's cars are better and packed with more features than ever before," said Managing Editor Dave Thomas, in a statement. "When buying a new car, shoppers should consider which features are a must have, which are a nice-to-have, and which might end up being frustrating in the long-run."

Here are the 10 most annoying features showing up in new cars, according to

Touch-Sensitive Controls: In the dark ages of 2005, you could adjust the air conditioner with peripheral vision. Today, many cars have touch-sensitive areas that lack tactile feedback. In some cases, there isn’t even a volume knob.

Touch Screen-Dependent Controls: Many new cars relegate nearly all their controls to a central touchscreen. That means looking down to navigate through the menus just to switch an audio source.

Stereo Tuning Buttons Instead of Knobs: The easiest way to tune to the right radio station is with a knob. A button just doesn’t do it justice.

Navigation Systems That Lock Out Passengers: To reduce driver distraction, some navigation systems won’t let the driver make changes while the car is moving. But that also locks out passengers who are trying to help navigate.

Giant Key Fobs: These remote start dongles are supposed to be more convenient than keys. If you’re going to get rid of car keys, don’t make its replacement a big blob of plastic.

Square Cup Holders: Why?

Auto Stop-Start: This feature turns off the engine to save gas when the car is stopped. But it can be really annoying if the startup delay is too long.

Voice-Control: This feature would be great but hardly ever works.

Car Alarms: Few people pay attention to car alarms, other than to be annoyed.

Small Side Mirrors: Lane changes are dangerous enough even with good mirrors. Why make them so small to be almost useless?

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer with the Scripps National Desk.