The auto industry doesn't always make us happy, but we love these trends.
There are a number of automotive trends we're not fans of, and recently highlighted a selection we would stop if we could. Of course, this doesn't mean that we're completely against progress. There are so many things that we love about new and future cars and we wanted to share our favorites. This list compiles the five best automotive trends that we love, ranging from industry standards that affect new cars to cars that will be built in the future. We hope that automakers continue to do these things in the future.
2016 was the year of car globalization, especially in the US. The United States typically gets screwed when it comes to awesome models like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R. Now, both of these models are finally available to US consumers. Due to the increasing cost associated with building specific cars for different markets, automakers are simplifying things by building what they call "global platforms." This means that the Ford Focus that's sold in the UK won't be mechanically different from the one sold in the US. Thanks to this industry trend, we in the US now have less forbidden fruit to crave after. Long may this continue.
Safety technology in new cars is so impressive that some of the models we've tested recently seem nearly impossible to crash. Automakers are giving us blind spot detection, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, and much more. There are even cars that can practically drive themselves. We don't love the idea of handing the driving over to a computer, but no one likes to have an accident, and we love the systems that strive to prevent them. It is a nice feeling to get into a car with some or all of these systems and know that you are a little safer.
In-car entertainment has come a long way from a CD-player and FM radio. New cars can use Pandora, Spotify, and all sorts of connected functions. Soon, automakers won't even be on the hook to design infotainment systems with new technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay spelling the death of the traditional car head unit. Compared to our phones, car head units are not updated nearly as quickly, so it's nice to see that automakers are finally warming up to the idea of letting the companies that make our phones handle the technology in our cars.
Perhaps one of the best industry trend is insane speed. Make no mistake about it, we are living in a golden age of horsepower. 15 years ago, 600 horsepower was the domain of hypercars like the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT. Now, you can match the performance from those cars in a Corvette Z06. Even simple family cars are faster than supercars from the 1980s. We may be reaching a limit to how much horsepower a manufacturer can offer in a road car, but it has never been a better time to be a speed freak in an era where 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds is possible, and anything more than six seconds is considered slow.
Reliability might not a sexy subject, but it's one of the most important new trends in the automotive industry. Jay Leno always loves to joke that in the 1970s, the Dodge Challenger came with a warranty that only lasted a few months. Now, you can by a car like the Challenger Hellcat with over 700 horsepower and a three-year warranty. The biggest improvement made to fast cars has been reliability. Owning a car like a Ferrari or Lamborghini was often a nightmare that required constant engine rebuilds and trips to the dealer. Thanks to modern build quality and new technology, it has never been easier to own a fast car.