Boy, was that a mistake. Having grown used to rear cameras in review vehicles, I backed my camera-less 2011 Mazda CX-9 into a tree on vacation, shattering the rear window and denting the liftgate. Blind-spot detection would sure have come in handy too – and I could have gotten it on a newer version or some competing models. I wasn’t in my car, but I clipped the side mirror on a compact car while changing lanes in a pick-up truck that didn’t have those little side-mirror indicators.
Maybe it doesn’t seem so bad when you don’t know what you’re missing, but trust me, you’re missing a lot when you scrimp on safety.
Here’s a look at some of the latest safety features and whether they are must-haves, nice-to-haves or “don’t-have-to-haves” for your next new or used car. (All cars since the ’98 model year are required to have driver and passenger air bags, so we’re assuming your potential purchase will include them. It should!)