Top 5 winter-ready features in your car
Winter is here and we’re definitely feeling it. It’s the season for hot choccys, mulled wine, and fuzzy socks. It’s also the season of wet roads, icy windscreens, and driving in the dark. Not to worry though, there are plenty of car technologies that can help you on cold morning commutes to ski getaways. Let’s take a look at the top five winter-ready car features that will make your winter driving experience safer and more comfortable.
1. Heated seats
Heated seats provide that extra touch of comfort during chilly winter drives. With different heat settings, you can easily customise the level of warmth to suit your preference. On cold mornings, heated seats can often warm you up quicker than your car’s AC. While most people still consider heated seats or heating steering wheels as a luxury feature, these options can be found on mid to top trim levels of most modestly-priced cars. The Highlander variant of the Hyundai Tucson and and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed in particular are two fantastic SUV choices that have both heated front and rear seats. If it makes your cold morning drives more comfortable, we say go for it if that’s within your budget.
2. Windscreen demister / heated windscreen
Clear visibility is a definite need for safe driving, and a frosted or fogged windscreen just won’t do. That’s where windscreen demisting comes in, where air conditioning is directed to the windscreen to clear everything up as quickly as possible. Window demisters are found on most cars today, or you could also choose a car with a heated windscreen, which has heating elements embedded within to defrost and clear fog rapidly. Heated windscreens are also found on many popular cars, including Fords, Kias, and Nissans.
With frosty windscreens, always remember to never use hot water as a quick hack to melt the ice. “Using hot water on a frozen windscreen is never a good idea”, says Hugo Acosta, Director of Vehicle Operations, “The rapid change in temperature can damage or crack the glass.”
3. Remote start function
If your car needs a little warming up before setting off, remote start can come in handy especially in Winter. Instead of braving the cold to start your car and wait for it to warm up, a remote start system allows you to start your vehicle from the comfort of your home. This can be activated through connected apps on many popular car makes such as Nissan, Peugeot, and BMW. If you have an EV, you can also activate remote start on your key fob as well.
This time-saver not only lets you start the car before getting in, you can also start the heating (or AC if you’re into that) to get your car all warm and toasty before your drive. For extra convenience, you can also get your windows defrosted with remote start as well.
4. All-wheel drive for snowy or wet roads
All-wheel drive (AWD) is something you’ll need if you’re taking on snowy or slushy roads on the way to a winter getaway. AWD provides better traction and stability, enhancing your car's performance in slippery conditions. By distributing power to all four wheels, AWD systems allow for improved grip and control, reducing the chances of skidding or getting stuck. It’s great for hilly areas or snowy areas, giving you the confidence to tackle winter roads with ease.
5. Snow chains
If you’re driving a 2WD car to the snowy mountains, don’t forget to bring snow chains to fit on your tyres. If you’re caught driving without them in the Kosciuszko National Park area in NSW, you could be hit with a fine. It’s not a requirement on 4WD cars, but they’re still a great way to ensure driving safety. Snow chains increase the amount of grip and traction on icy or snowy roads, making it much safer to drive without losing control or skidding on ice. You’ll also need to check whether snow chains can be fitted to your tyres, and you can fit them on at designated chain bays as well.
From the cosy warmth of heated seats to the convenience of remote start, and from improved visibility with windscreen demisting to the stability of all-wheel drive, these winter-ready car features are designed to help you navigate winter roads.