As the automotive development engineer, I see the World from bit wider perspective, mainly a couple years earlier then you.
I am also the customer. With the obsessive inability to tolerate shitty solutions on cars…
Below I want to explain, my definition of the term “Complete Car” for the long-distance trips.
The nowadays cars have evolved:
from: “too much electronics”
to: “I want it so smart like my mobile”
very quickly, and most people are still on that first group. Even if they understand technical aspects, they have learnt that some… years ago.
The future could be sad…we wouldn’t drive, and we would rent instead of buying cars. But now we could enjoy being in the middle of that way!
What makes the Car Complete for me?
Most important: Driving, driving and still driving!
It must be somehow interesting. Most of time I need something fast, loud and exciting. But when I want, that has to be calm as well. Complicated compromise. That is what the modern Granturismo car has to fulfill.
Volvo or some Mercedes, are probably one of the most comfortable cars, but there will be difficult to find it here. I can’t find the place for something so calm in my garage… I have some days, when I can say, I really need it now! But I can’t buy a car for the 3 days in a year :D
I do not like Front Wheel Driven Cars, life’s too short to drive them (maybe with some exceptions). Best summer car could be RWD, all other should be 4×4 for me.
That little bit over steering, that balance in the corner, that makes me happy.
Not all of 4×4 are good enough, but there are also electronically controlled which are all right.
I’m not happy with the new BMW X1 xdrive, but I’m happy with the Mazda CX-5 drivetrain. Subaru S-AWD was my best one, but there was missing anything above it…
NCAP do it right. Also, with the electronic systems rating.
Remember there is no better way to protect people, than when there is no collision.
If you have the version without the electronic safety systems, your car is less safe then full version. That systems have saved my hood two times and that have nothing in common with that if you are a good driver or not (can the daughter of your neighbour drive? Probably not😉 ). It works. And don’t worry, hardware is also always under the investigation. 5 stars are important, and that have to be nowadays 5 stars (Remember Punto test from last year?).
Convertibles are generally not safe cars, no risk no fun!
That is the place where you spend all the time in car. It has to be fine to make you fine. Materials and design, have to be my taste. Obvious? So, tell me why Toyota sells so much cars? Nobody needs the good interiors! Only we, here! Freaks. Last year one rental gave me an Octavia (instead of Volvo, telling that is the same class!) for 3000 km (that was one of the short moments when I wanted to drive Volvo!), smallest engine, lowest trim level. I was highly disappointed, and it was hard to enjoy the trip. It was the meditation challenge: stay happy despite of travelling that…
What is interesting, despite my love to the modern solutions, I don’t like touchscreens. Good buttons are good choice in my opinion.
Imagine setting the Porsche suspension and drive mode on touchscreen…
but on the other hand I can’t wait to try new a7 to see if I’m wrong.
Infotainment, Assistance equipment
If you drive too much, and I thought if you read that, you drive too much, it is much more better when somebody is watching you. It is your IT specialist.
He drives probably better then all of us. That is fact.
Full options there makes your life and your money safer. The systems I mean are: Emergency braking Assist, Active Cruise Control, Active Line Keep Assistant, Blind Spot Assistant.
Of course, conclusion of that point is sad: it is only okay, until you can still shut him up. Completely.
I always want to drive petrol engine.
I don’t like Diesels vibrations and I miss the music of petrol exhaust.
Of course, there are the cars, where the Diesel choice is obvious, but I will rather choose smaller car with bigger petrol engine.
Not every car have to be Complete…
So, tell me now, is the 10 years old Aston Martin “Complete Car”? No. But that is not important, there is so much value according to first point (driving!) and not each car have to be complete. But still, when you don’t have Aston, it’s fine, when it is as complete as it could.