Have you sat next to the proud owner of a brand new premium-class big sedan or sporty coupé? Or a cross-over or an off-roader? The owner might mention, that when he bought the car, he was told that it came with 4000-5000 € worth of extras as a promotional gift. Then he undoubtedly goes on to demonstrate everything he has got “for free”. Most of the new toys or gimmicks are activated with switches and buttons and levers situated in the mid-console, where just ten years ago one would find only a gear-lever, the handbrake and often the levers to open the side windows.
I will not bother you with a list of everything one friend of mine has in the mid-console, but let’s just say that there are at least ten “essential” extras and umpteen levers to activate them, plus six extra instruments to indicate how the gimmicks work. There is basically nothing wrong with devices that make life easier for someone with a big new car. What is not only wrong, but also quite unnerving, is that the owner – and driver – wants to demonstrate all his new toys while driving on busy city streets or doing 150 km/h on a highway. The only good gimmick in these situations is the lane-warning alarm, which wakes the driver from his dreams when the car is heading into the nose of a huge truck! OK, I am just envious of my friend and his likes. Sorry.