Winter, particularly here in the UK, is cold
Temperatures fall, ice appears on windscreens across the country and getting in and out of a car is a far less pleasurable experience than it is in summer.
However, if you’re looking to change cars at this time of year, then there are a few optional extras which you can add (or look out for, in the case of a used vehicle) which can take the edge off the chill. Here are seven of the top ones.
Winter can often be a miserable time when it comes to motoring. Whether it’s getting into a car on a cold morning and waiting for it to warm up, having to spend ages defrosting a windscreen before you can set off or having to drive into treacherous conditions, it’s not an awfully pleasant time.
But there are ways that you can improve winter when it comes to driving. Let’s take a look at some of the best features for winter to look out for when buying your next car.
A must-have if you don’t want to sit in the cold are heated seats. They’re handy on cars with leather upholstery, which can often be unpleasantly cold to sit on before the vehicle’s warmed up.
Lots of cars come with heated seats these days, and many come with several settings depending on how warm you want to be. If you’re feeling particularly kind to your passengers, you could look at getting a vehicle with heated seats for the rear seats, too.
Heated steering wheel
Again, there’s nothing worse than a cold leather steering wheel you get to your car on a morning, and it only adds to the misery.
However, an increasing number of new cars – whether affordable or expensive – are available with a welcome heated steering wheel that can quickly warm up your hands. You can often control the level of heat on the wheel as well.
Perhaps the biggest first-world problem is realising that your favourite Starbucks coffee (other brands are available) has got cold before you’ve finished drinking it.
But manufacturers have a trick up their sleeve, and that’s the fact that they’ve designed heated cupholders which heat up a plate at the base of the holder to keep your drink nicely warmed. It’s typically only high-end BMWs and Mercedes models that benefit from this feature, however.
Spraying de-icer, waiting for it to do its thing, or having the arduous task of having to use an ice scraper on a cold, frosty morning when all you want to do is set off on your journey is nothing short of a pain.
It’s why when you’re choosing your next car, it’s worth having a look for a car that comes with a heated windscreen. It’s one of those features that makes you wonder how you managed before you had it, and is an option box worth ticking if you never want to have to use a can of de-icer again.
An increasing number of new cars – particularly EVs – are available with ‘remote’ services that let you use a smartphone app to ‘connect’ with your car. Functionality can vary, but they often lets you check whether your vehicle has been locked, or check the fuel or charge status.
But the highlight in winter is a pre-warming feature. Essentially, using your smartphone app you can turn the in-car heater on before you get into meaning that by the time you get to it, you’ll have a warm and comfortable interior. You can use it for pre-cooling in the summertime, too.