• Sep 16th 2006 at 7:51PM
  • 18
It used to be that you had to go out and buy a nice flashy keyring to tell the world about your premium ride. After all, relatively plain, black keys don't do much to inspire others to be jealous, or the girls to be more friendly. If you wanted to flaunt your ride socially, you had to stick the key on a branded ring.

Nowadays, however, in the age of multifunction key fobs, that's over. The fobs themselves have glitz factors all their own. Take, for example, the Bentley Continental GT/Flying Spur/GTC key fob. There are automobiles who's on-body badging is less detailed than the "winged B" on the Continental's key. And it's a substantial, weighty little bauble, as our own John Neff noted when he took delivery of our Flying Spur tester. It oozes quality and exclusivity. Attaching a real keyring to it, like the one in the photo, borders on being obnoxious.

Many other automakers are taking a similar approach, making the fob as visually arresting as possible. Brands like Jaguar and Cadillac leverage their well-known logos. Others go for a more high-tech approach, eschewing the traditional key altogether in favor of keyless entry and start systems that let the fob stay tucked away. Since keys are slowly going the way of the dodo, it's only natural that the electronic fobs that replace them become more ornamental. After all, most of the time, they never need to see daylight. For those occasions when they do, it makes sense for them to be as slick and recognizable as possible.

Edmunds has selected the top 10 key fobs out there today. We've listed their selections after the jump..

Thanks to Lucy for the tip!

[Source: Edmiunds}

Edmunds.com's Top 10 Most fabulous Key Fobs

1. Bentley Flying Spur and Continental GT

2. Mercedes-Benz

3. Jaguar XK

4. Land Rover Range Rover Sport and LR3

5. Audi

6. BMW 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series

7. Lexus

8. Volvo S80

9. Infiniti

10. Cadillac

Read the full article here. Edmunds explains its picks and has photos of each one.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is an article?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Image somebody putting a key chain labeled bentley or a bmw just to pretend it needs to get out while they take their seats to drink some latte.

      Lack of confidence. Daddy left a lot of money but pasion is still missing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Richard -

      actually, its an audi key that vw copied for their cars. technology trickles down, not up.

      if you're comparing this key to a lumina key, you're insane. vw owners should be happy that they get a much cooler key than do owners of similarly priced cars - its a nice benefit of vw's ownership of luxury brands
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the Huf switchblade keys are the best. At least for cars that still have mechanical ignition keys. Otherwise, the Mercedes and BMW keys are awesome because they don't even have a mechanical key.

      I'm pretty sure Huf also makes the Mercedes keys and quite possibly the BMW ones.

      They seem to have left out the Bugatti switchblade key and the Porsche keys.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My other car is a piece of crap too.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Great find Alex--it was interesting to see all the different key designs. I drive a Cadillac CTS-V and actually find it embarassing to take out my key in public because it looks just like my friend's Chevy Lumina key, yet I spent more money--I want the extra status. When I am at a bar I can never whip out my key to hint at my ride, though shameless as it is, I would like to. Saab keys I have seen, but the Saab 9-7X (which my exgirlfriend drove) looks just like my CTS-V key.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Do you by any chance work at an Airport ??
      "The key fob can sometimes be confused for a switchblade, as was the case for Nathan Rau, an attorney in Minnesota and the proud owner of a 2003 Audi A4. Before a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, baggage screeners selected Rau for a visual bag check. According to Rau, after dumping the contents of his bag on the table, the inspector pulled out his car key and asked what it was for. Rau replied "my car," but his explanation was deemed unsatisfactory. After running his key through the X-ray machine three times, the screeners decided to confiscate it. Surprised and none too pleased, Mr. Rau reported the event to Audi. "When Audi got wind of the situation, they reimbursed me for the key," he said. Though stylish and functional, Audi's switchblade key is anything but lethal."

      I think you and that Airport Official are one and the same.

      I always hear "Americans Are Dumb" but try to ignore the comments. Guess maybe there is some truth to it Ehh ??
      • 9 Years Ago
      OK, anyone who'll date you for you fob is probably just Joan Rivers in drag.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The bentley key appears to use the same patented Huf switchblade mechanism, but the body and the buttons appear totally different--therefore they probably are not the same keys. It is one thing if they use the switchblade design (which is patented so no other company can use that) and then it is another thing for them to use a VW key and slap a Bentley logo on it, which they clearly are not doing in this case. However, Audi's key is almost identical to the VW key sans logo.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #12 Right on!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm actually surprised the Saab key fob isn't on there. If you've ever seen one you definitely won't forget it. (I'm referring to the ones on the latest generation of Saab's, not the older ones.)

      The fob is the key itself. There is no metal key at all, just a little stump that you plug into the console between the seats. Really neat I thought. I had a loaner when my Saab was in for scheduled service and half the office was commenting on how cool it was.
      • 9 Years Ago
      These electronic keys are very annoying if you're a surfer. I want a key I can submerge in salt water. Auto makers, please confine the electronics to a separate fob!
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