Like fashion, automotive trends change each year. Innovation in technology, safety and design paired with consumer demands inspire manufacturers to test new initiatives. If you are car shopping, it’s worth taking into consideration the popular and the stylish before making the purchase.
In 2012, smartphone integrations were the must-have technology. It solved a major problem by eliminating the urge to use a handheld device while operating a vehicle. In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association regulated backup cameras, giving the technology credibility and thus making it a standard for many new vehicles.
What can we look forward to in 2015? What innovations are driving the future? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest auto industry trends of 2015…
1. Improved Fuel Efficiency
If you wanted a fuel-efficient vehicle a few years ago, you’d have to settle with for a small electric or hybrid car like the Toyota Prius. Now, it’s different – from SUVs to luxury, drivers have more options when it comes to economical cars thanks to improved fuel efficiency.
Fuel-efficient vehicles come in many forms, such as electric battery, hydrogen fuel cell, diesel, compressed natural gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Even traditional internal combustion powered vehicles are more efficient than before.
2. Increasing Driver Data
The modern-day consumer is data-hungry. After all, they have a world of knowledge in the palm of their hands. They are eager to know more about their driving behaviour and vehicle usage. Manufacturers are starting to install more sensors, cameras and telematics systems into vehicles to enhance the commuting experience and also offer greater knowledge.
While it is still uncertain how most of the car data will be used in the grand scheme of things, the ability to track key information will offer drivers more control over maintenance and comfort.
3. Renewed Interest in Sports Cars
Sports cars are getting a new makeover. No longer will they be seen as a premium fuel-wasting luxury items, but as well-designed experiences for drivers who yearn for more power and balance. With improvements in fuel efficiency and new government standards, car manufacturers are finding new ways to make turbo and super charged engines can offer more power for a smaller cost in fuel.
4. In-Car Technology
A smartphone on wheels – isn’t that what a modern car is anyways? You don’t buy a car for the infotainment system, but it is definitely a nice addition. In-car technology is improving in every facet, including the most important one: usability. Drivers will soon be able to operate the technological aspect of the vehicle with greater ease. This goes beyond simple radio presets, of course.
In addition, in-car technology is also getting more connective. Different devices will soon be able to link up to the car itself. With built-in WiFi, you’ll be able to keep your passengers entertained with Netflix or anything else on the Internet.
5. Greater Emphasis on Digital Security
With enhanced connectivity comes greater demand for security. Recent news about hackers seizing control of vehicles through various digital avenues, including infotainment systems, is causing many drivers to worry. Car keys, alarms and steering wheel locks may stop car thieves, but security against digital infiltrators is proving to be equally as important, and the latest trends are confirming that.
6. More Subcompact SUVs
A new generation of drivers are choosing subcompact SUVs as their go-to vehicles. And why not? Whether you are off on a camping trip or touring a city, subcompact SUVs offer the best of many worlds. Drivers are demanding flexibility and practicality, which is what makes subcompact SUVs, such as the Honda HR-V, a terrific option for the drivers of 2015.
7. Popularization of New Cars
There are a few reasons for improved new car sales.
The first is that the used car market is in a decline as there are fewer used vehicles for sale than in previous years. Current car owners are keeping their vehicles longer, up to 10 years. If they are not keeping a vehicle, they are trading it in. This means that drivers will have a harder time finding the used car of their choice at a dealership or online. If you are investing in a car, you are less likely to settle today.
Secondly, new cars are cheaper than they were a couple of decades ago, and interest rates are low. You can get an auto loan with less than two per cent interest. While it’s true that buying a new car is not the best short-term investment, having a reliable vehicle with the latest safety and technology features is greatly desired among consumers today.
Thirdly, maintenance is high. Odds are, an older vehicle will need more attention than a new one. This is a big factor as repairs can end up costing the amount you would have saved for buying a used car.