Cars these days come packed with all kinds of cutting-edge technology and creature comforts that make driving safer, easier, and much more enjoyable. From automated driving aids to ambient mood lighting, automakers are cramming their latest models full of the most in-demand features.

We've combed through the top new car trends to bring you this definitive list of the 15 best and most sought-after features available. These are the things buyers want most, according to the latest market research.

Read on to discover the hottest selling points in new cars on the market right now. You're sure to find a few to add to your automotive wish list!

1. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Coming in at number one is smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A full 53% of car shoppers surveyed said having these systems is a priority in their next vehicle purchase.

Mirroring your iPhone or Android device on your dash allows you to safely access maps, music, messaging, phone calls, and mobile apps while keeping your eyes on the road. Everything is controlled through voice commands or your car's touchscreen instead of fumbling with your phone.

This means no more hassling with clunky built-in infotainment or trying to make some aftermarket solution work properly. Just connect your phone and enjoy all its features on a big, intuitive screen designed specifically for your car.

2. Memory Driver's Seat

Nearly half (49%) of prospective buyers want power memory seats that can store preferred driving positions. It's the number one most coveted comfort and convenience item people are looking for.

Having to constantly fiddle with your seat, wheel, and mirrors to dial in the perfect position can get old fast, especially if multiple drivers share a car. With the press of a button, memory seats return automatically to your custom preset arrangements.

Some luxury models store settings for up to three drivers and include extras like stored heat/cool preferences. It's a small touch that makes a big difference in comfort and usability every time you drive.

3. Cooled/Ventilated Front Seats

Vying for first place along with smartphone integration is cooled seat technology, desired by 50% of those surveyed. This feature is rapidly gaining traction as it trickles down from high-end cars into more mainstream models.

Perforated leather or cloth seat surfaces allow air to flow through and keep you cool in hot weather. Ventilated seats harness the natural airflow, while cooled options add a chilled air function for even greater effectiveness.

It's a cleaner and more eco-friendly alternative to blasting the AC, which decreases fuel economy. Expect to see this item become standard fare on most new vehicles in warmer climates moving forward.

4. LED Accent/Ambient Lighting

Coming in fourth place is ambient interior lighting. The survey showed 52% of buyers want this aesthetic feature that used to be exclusive to luxury cars.

LED accent lighting sets a mood inside with soft glows pulsing to music or flashing in tune with functions like turn signals. It creates a high-end lounge feel and lets you customize the look to your liking.

While mainly for appearance, some vehicles connect lighting color to drive modes. Sport mode may bathe the cabin in aggressive red over mellow blue in eco mode, for example. Expect more affordable cars to offer slick lighting packages in the future.

Rank Feature % Wanting
1 Smartphone Integration 53%
2 Memory Driver's Seat 49%
3 Cooled/Ventilated Seats 50%
4 Ambient Interior Lighting 52%

5. Blind Spot Monitoring

The first safety feature to make the list is blind spot monitoring, which is desired by a full 60% of those surveyed. This tech watches your sides and rear when changing lanes, alerting you if another vehicle occupies your blind zones.

Sensors and cameras detect approaching vehicles and trigger warnings on your mirrors or instrument cluster. Advanced systems also auto-brake if they sense an imminent collision when you start moving over.

Blind spot tech takes away a major stress point by effectively eliminating blind spots. It works hand in hand with side mirror cameras and rear cross-traffic alerts to make you aware of everything around your vehicle.

6. Front and Rear Parking Sensors

Similar to blind spot monitoring, parking sensors help fill in visibility gaps when maneuvering in tight areas. Over half of buyers want these, according to the research.

Employing ultrasonic sensors or radar, they detect objects near your front and back bumpers. As you near a pole, wall, or other obstruction, beeping sounds, and dashboard lights keep you posted on the closing distance.

While backup cameras are now mandatory, having parking sensors also makes parking stress-free. They save you from crawling around scrutinizing your vehicle's extremities to ensure adequate clearance.

7. Lane Departure Warning

The next big safety tech item requested by buyers is lane departure warning, with 54% saying they want this driving aid. Using a front camera, it keeps tabs on road lines and alerts you if you begin drifting without signaling.

As your vehicle approaches the markers, beeps or vibrations cue you to get back on track. Advanced systems auto-steer you back into the lane with subtle wheel adjustments.

Lane departure tech works great on highways to catch fatigue-related wandering. On twisty roads, it helps prevent running wide on turns and protects you if distracted. Expect it to feature on most new vehicles sooner than later.

8. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

For big peace of mind behind the wheel, 52% of consumers want automatic emergency braking in their next car. This technology watches the road ahead, ready to react if you don't brake in time.

Employing cameras, radar, and sensors, AEB detects impending collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, or large animals. At speeds under 50 mph, it can bring you to a complete stop to prevent accidents. Above that, it mitigates crash forces as much as possible.

Along with the other driver aids, automatic emergency braking massively boosts safety, especially for distracted driving. It works hand in hand with forward collision and pedestrian warning systems.

9. Adaptive Cruise Control

Just over half of the participants wish for adaptive cruise control on their next buy. This intelligent version of the standard cruise integrates slowing and accelerating based on surrounding traffic.

After you set your desired speed, onboard cameras, and sensors maintain a preset distance to cars ahead. If they slow, so do you, then you accelerate back once they change lanes or speed up.

Adaptive cruise takes the hassle out of constantly adjusting your speed on busy highways. The technology makes road trips more comfortable and relaxing so you can enjoy the ride.

10. All/Four-Wheel Drive

The first performance feature requested is AWD/4WD capability, sought after by 54% of those in the survey. This powertrain sends torque to all four wheels rather than just the front or rear two.

Utilizing computer management, AWD dynamically shifts power to the wheels with the most grip. This aids acceleration on slippery streets and adds confident cornering by reducing oversteer and understeer.

In trucks and SUVs, 4WD improves off-road traction through low-range gearing and robust drivetrain components. In all applications, AWD and 4WD increase safety in poor conditions like snow, mud, and rain.

Rank Feature % Wanting
5 Blind Spot Monitoring 60%
6 Front/Rear Parking Sensors >50%
7 Lane Departure Warning 54%
8 Automatic Emergency Braking 52%
9 Adaptive Cruise Control >50%
10 AWD / 4WD 54%

11. LED Headlights

Now over halfway through the list, 52% of shoppers want LED headlights on their prospective vehicles. This lighting tech is swiftly replacing traditional halogen and HID lamps.

LEDs consume far less energy while producing crisper, brighter beams for nighttime, and overcast driving. Top-tier systems automatically high beam when no oncoming traffic is detected, then dip back down as needed.

High-end matrix LED and laser light arrays have individual segments that switch off and on as you turn, keeping maximum visibility around curves. Expect LEDs to become the new standard for modern headlamps.

12. Heated Seats

An oldie but goodie, heated seats still attract modern buyers, with 66% requesting them. There's nothing better than getting into your car on a cold morning and quickly warming up as you drive.

Heated seat tech employs electric heating elements and fans beneath the upholstery to keep your backside nice and toasty when it's chilly out. Most setups feature adjustable temperature settings and timers.

From Canada to Sweden, heated seats are cherished items that make everyday driving more comfortable. They continue gaining fans as they expand from luxury rides into more affordable wheels.

13. Rearview Camera

Although now federally mandated on new vehicles in the U.S., backup cameras remain in high demand with over 60% of consumers listing them as a must-have.

Gone are the days of dangerously guessing your trajectory when reversing, thanks to live video feeds of what's behind you. Camera tech eliminates most blind spots with multi-angle views on larger vehicles to cover more ground.

Cameras sync guidelines to your steering angle, changing color when approaching objects and sensing cross-traffic. Top systems integrate 360° surround views for parking and off-roading. They're invaluable assets that are luckily here to stay.

14. Rear Automatic Braking

Next is rear auto braking, which uses rear sensors and cameras to detect objects behind your vehicle as you're backing up. If you fail to stop, it automatically applies the brakes to prevent hitting anything.

On top of the safety benefit, this tech saves you money in preventing minor fender benders that lead to costly bumper repairs and insurance hikes. It also protects important stuff like boats and travel trailers when maneuvering.

Rear automatic braking works hand in hand with other systems like cross-traffic alerts and parking sensors to keep your surroundings visible. It delivers peace of mind that your backside is covered just as much as your front.

15. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Rounding out the list, wireless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto gives you all the functionality without the tether of a cord. This liberates you to mount your phone anywhere or carry it freely.

Wireless connectivity is still relatively new but already coveted by over 50% of new car shoppers as it rapidly enters the market. It's a pain point that's ubiquitous with anyone using a smartphone, so it will soon be commonplace.

Automakers like BMW are pushing wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay hard across their lineups. Expect it to be standard fare by the end of the decade as mobile tech continues dominating our daily driving.

Rank Feature % Wanting
11 LED Headlights 52%
12 Heated Seats 66%
13 Rearview Camera >60%
14 Rear Automatic Braking >50%
15 Wireless Smartphone Integration >50%

And there you have it—the top 15 features buyers are begging for in their next cars. From touchscreen clarity to towing capacity and everything in between, what people want in their vehicles continues to get smarter, safer, and more convenient across the board.

If you're browsing for a new ride, keep this list handy while taking test drives. Focus on trim lines with all or most of these items, and you're sure to end up with a feature-packed daily driver or family hauler that ticks your boxes and holds value well through future resale too.

What cool technologies are you hoping to see become more prevalent in cars? Share your automotive wish list in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most high-tech safety features in new cars?

Some of the most advanced safety techs in new cars include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, surround view cameras, night vision systems, and more. These automated driver-aids help prevent accidents and give drivers much greater awareness.

Which affordable new cars offer the best combination of features?

Brands like Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, and Mazda are packing great features into vehicles with excellent value. Crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5 offer features galore at relatively affordable pricing.

What amenities make a car interior truly luxurious?

From massaging seats to refrigerated beverage compartments to ambient lighting and premium sound systems, high-end luxury cars pamper occupants in ways basic vehicles can’t. Many also offer sophisticated semi-autonomous driver aids that reduce fatigue on long trips.

Do used cars have cool technology features too?

While you may not get cutting-edge tech buying used, items like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, blind spot monitoring, push-button start, heated seats, and backup cameras are common on 3-5-year-old cars. Luxury makes features trickle down faster on the used market.

Which car brands offer the most high-tech features?

Luxury automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, Genesis, Volvo, Porsche, Tesla, and Land Rover typically lead the way rolling out bleeding edge tech and luxe features. Much of this trickles down to mainstream brands in 5-10 years.