For some people, vehicles are just a way to get from point A to point B. Sure, they may spring for a few upgrades like heated seats, particularly if they live in a cold climate, but many drivers are more than satisfied with an average car in a regular, subtle color, one that will blend in with all the other cars in the parking lot. And then, there are the car enthusiasts. The ones who know all the possible interior features, and are the first to know whenever a company comes out with some new innovation thanks to technological advances. Instead of asking why you would pay extra for a certain features, they’re asking why wouldn’t you? And when it comes to the luxury car market, it’s all about the extra features.
Yes, luxury cars themselves are made with impeccable craftsmanship, everything under the hood is impressive and they drive like a dream. However, let’s be honest – it’s all about those add-ons, and when money is no issue, the options available can be truly incredible. You might ask why on earth people would want to pay extra for some of the crazy features on this list, but hey – it’s a supply and demand world, and as long as people keep opting to pimp their luxury rides, car manufacturers will keep coming up with crazy features they can choose to add on.
10. Toyota Century cassette deck
First, came the 8-track tapes, then the cassettes, then the cds, and nowadays, most cars just have a USB stick or jack to plug in your electronics and get those sweet tunes blasting. However, throwbacks are in style, and Toyota is definitely on trend – although this might look a little stranger than most luxury cars you’ve lusted after. The Toyota Century throws it back to the sweet rides of the 1970s, and you can opt to buy a car in the 2000s that comes fully equipped with a cassette deck. Now, the only question is, where did you put all those old cassettes you used to love? Time to dig through those boxes in the basement. I mean, why wouldn’t you pay extra to have a feature that makes your car look like that old junker your grandfather owns?
9. Jaguar XF gear knob
Sometimes, a feature is entirely for fashion rather than function, and the Jaguar XF proves this perfectly. You know the gear that comes with every car, allowing you to switch from park to drive to reverse and back again? Well, Jaguar decided that the basic stick was just too dull, and opted to have a gear that retreats when the car is off and rises like magic when you slide in for a ride. There’s only one problem – apparently, the luxury feature wasn’t too well designed and is prone to problems, particularly if you need to tow your Jag. But, I mean… it rises from the console, appearing from thin air. That’s worth something, right?
8. Audi A8’s R-rated seats
There’s no doubt about it – everyone loves having a bit more legroom in their vehicle. Whether you’re settling in for a long road trip or just heading to run some errands, having a little extra space is one of the most practical luxuries. The Audi decided to reward not the driver, but the backseat passengers with some extra space in an…ahem… strange configuration. In case you haven’t seen it, they added deep, almost reclining seats, and then a small seat directly in front, facing backwards, like those pull-down seats flight attendants perch on during take-off and landing. We’re not sure exactly what the reasoning behind this feature was, but all we’re saying is, it’s probably for date night rather than a family trip.
7. Bentley’s “Info-tainment” pack
Bentley’s added infotainment feature proves just how stupid some people can get at the car dealership. Many individuals already own iPads and touch-screen devices, but you don’t want to be lugging it from your house to the car every single day. Plus, what if you have kids and you’d like separate screens installed right into the headsets so that they’ll ride along happily when it comes time for weekend errands. How much could a few screens set you back in this day and age, when technology is fairly inexpensive? A few thousand? Wrong – if you go for the pack including two in-headset screens, a small 12 inch drop down screen, and some iPads for extra interaction, you’ll set yourself back about $32,000. That’s right – your infotainment pack would cost as much as many, many reasonably priced vehicles themselves.
6. Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe scent system
You know those little tree-shaped air fresheners that have occupied space in cars pretty much since cars have been invented? Surely, you’ve had one in your vehicle at some point. They advanced to less obtrusive technologies, such as little capsules you can clip over your air vent, but at the end of the day, you can keep your car smelling fresh for very little money. Unless, of course, you have a big budget – then why on earth would you go with the basic option? In Mercedes’ S550 Coupe, you can select a scent of your choosing, and have a glass jar of the scented liquid installed in a small receptacle within the glovebox. You program when and how much scent you would like, the car processes the information, and periodically small bursts of your scent of choice will come floating through the climate control vents. Like magic.
5. Audi A8’s Bang & Olufsen pop-up tweeter
Sound systems are one feature that many people decide to upgrade, because let’s face it, people love jamming out in their vehicles, belting out the latest hit and enjoying some tunes for the drive. However, this feature is for the serious audiophile. Forget those ordinary speakers – the Bang & Olufsen pop-up tweeters come out of your dash when it’s time to listen to some tunes, position themselves for the optimal sound, and provide you and any passengers with a world class musical experience. Once you’re done, they’ll simply retreat back. Sure, it’s kind of a cool feature, but would you be willing to spend $7,000 for a better sound quality?
4. Mercedes-Benz’s granite trim
When it comes to picking the materials inside your car, usually you think of the fabric – either the general fabric material, or luxe leather. However, Mercedes has upped the ante by adding another option. Most luxury homes have gleaming granite countertops, so it only makes sense that that desire would extend to a luxury vehicle, right? At least that’s what Mercedes-Benz thought, and they added an option of upgrading to granite trim within your vehicle. Unless you’re a die-hard granite enthusiast, it seems like a feature of the car that probably wouldn’t affect you whatsoever, but hey… status symbol?
3. Porsche’s leather vents
You’ve seen those people driving around with the air streaming out of the plastic climate control vents. How pedestrian! In your luxury car, you paid to have luxe, buttery-soft leather seats, so why on earth wouldn’t you extend that high end fabric to other parts of your vehicle? It only makes sense. Porsche gives you the option of extending it to your dashboard and mirrors, things that you routinely adjust or touch, so that only seems fair. But what about your air vents? That’s right – it’s an option, and if you pony up the money, you too can be the proud owner of a car where the cool or hot air must pass across leather before it reaches you. Smells like luxury, right?
2. BMW’s “Gentleman Function”
If you purchase certain BMW models from the 7 series, you will be the proud owner of a luxury feature known as the “Gentleman Function.” We’ll give you a moment to brainstorm what exactly that might be. A primly dressed butler who pops out of your glovebox and hands you a glass of whiskey? A built-in steamer to quickly take the creases out of your tuxedo? A button you can kick beside the gas pedal that gives you an automatic shoe shine? It’s none of those things, unfortunately – it’s simply a feature that allows the driver to adjust the passenger seat. You know – because gentlemen always drive, and their lady companions wouldn’t possibly be able to adjust it on their own.
1. Rolls Royce’s Starlight
Okay, we’re going to be honest – this feature is pretty cool. If you manage to find enough change in the couch cushions to purchase a Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead, you’ll have the option to get the night sky put in your car for $12,000. Well, almost – you’ll get a roof liner that has tiny fibre-optic lights embedded within it that, when lit, allows you to lay back in your reclined seat and look up at the stars. Now that’s a car feature that your date will actually care about. Dinner, drinks, and a night under the stars. If you’re looking to recreate a particular moment, you can even pay extra to have Rolls Royce lay out the ‘stars’ on your roof to replicate what the night sky looked like on a particular date. Now, who says car manufacturers aren’t romantic?