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Interior Features and Car Technologies


“Some say she has driven over 50 types of car and can parallel park a Jaguar XJL. Others say she can strap in three children at once without even breaking a sweat… All we know is she’s The Expert.”


We put our world-wise driver (She’s not quite The Stig, but she knows her stuff) to the test and asked her to breakdown our Top 8 Cars Technical and Safety Features to help customers understand how to use their hire cars to the full potential. Read on below…


1. Park Assist Camera – as seen on the Volvo XC6O

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A camera is positioned in the auxiliary system, which is activated when the reverse gear is selected. The parking aid increases visibility around the car, improving safety, and making parking more convenient. This is a very helpful aid for drivers who find parking a specific challenge! There is a mark reference that indicates the approximate distance of the vehicle/object at the rear of the car. The Volvo is easy to drive, great for a commuter, and it has the advantage of the Park Assist Camera. Parking in a busy, tightly-packed city like Liverpool or London the Assist Camera is a great advantage, while parking on narrow congested streets, I found the new technology very helpful! It’s almost like having ‘’eyes in the back of your head’’. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged, and is deactivated when the car is driven forward or by disengaging reverse gear.

Simply said: Shift the car into gear and rather than twisting round in your seat to see behind you, as you reverse in to that tight spot – simply watch your camera mounted into the dashboard.


2. Head-Up Display – as seen on the BMW420d

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BMW offer new technology that projects driving information on to the windscreen, in the direct eyeline of the driver, improving the driver’s responses by 50%. This is a very useful system that makes driving the BMW more pleasurable and convenient, with all required information so easily to hand. It does this by using a system of mirrors that beam viable data onto a translucent film on the window screen. When driving the BMW I found the journey to be so much easier: a useful tool for a long journey, with navigational information so close at hand, as well as warnings for speed limits ensuring that the driver doesn’t get lost or speed when driving in new territories.

Simply said: Keep your eye on the road, there’s no need to look down at your dashboard with this technology as everything is on your screen now.


3. Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror – as seen on the Toyota Prius

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How does it work? Front and rear sensors are in the body of the mirrors which detect ambient light levels and adjust accordingly, perfect when another driver fails to dim their lights, making your journey more pleasurable and much safer. This is a great advantage for any driver especially in the winter, when safety and visibility can be an issue when driving at night.

Simply said: To use, simply push the Standby switch on the bottom of the mirror and when the green light comes on, the auto-dimming feature is turned on. The rest is automatic and you don’t need to do a thing!

4. Rain Sensors – as seen on the VW Tiguan

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A brilliant specification to have in any vehicle, especially in Great Britain which experiences so much rain. The auto rain sensors match the speed of the wipers to the intensity of the rain. I found the advantage of this was a smoother journey, especially when the weather is poor. There is no need to constantly adjust the settings while driving, making the driving experience more relaxing. An LED sensor is fitted behind the internal mirror, detecting the amount of rainfall. There is also the versatility of adjusting the settings to increase or decrease the sensitivity. And you don’t even have to worry about reversing. When the sensor is on and you select reverse gear, the rear wipers will automatically wipe away any rain. If this feature is enabled and the car locked with windows and/or sunroof open, the car will close them if it detects rain.

Simply said: Need never worry about turning on your wipers, simply push down the indicator stick to the automatic setting and you won’t even notice the rain after that.

5. Adaptive Cruise Control – as seen on the Ford KUGA

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This SUV is getting better and better! The new radar technology senses the gap between the vehicle in front this increasing road safety and reducing the risk of accidents. This a great asset to have when driving on the motorway or in a city. Also, the Kugas’ ‘Lane Keeping Assist’, the beauty of which is that when the driver has becomes tired or distracted they will receive a warning in good time!

Simply said: Use the Steering Wheel controls to change and maintain your speed when driving long distances.

6. Lane Keeping Assist – as seen on the Mercedes B-Class

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Even the most experienced driver can be guilty from time to time of wandering out of the correct lane, which can be extremely dangerous. With the Mercedes B-Class Lane Keeping Assist the driver is warned by vibrations on the steering wheel. This technology is ideal for a long journey when tiredness can cause inattentiveness. As a driver I have a love-hate relationship with this feature because, yes, while it stops me veering my car into other motorists, the vibrations do frighten me when I’m not expecting it and I actually meant to change lanes!

Simply said: Lane keeping assist literally helps keep you in your lane. Perfect for idle minds or hasty lane-changes. To turn this feature on or off simply use the dashboard computer.

7. Cabin Climate Control – as seen on the new Ford Fiesta

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Brilliant in the winter as well as the summer! It warms you up twice as fast, whether it’s the school run, commute to work or simply for leisure; saving precious minutes on a cold morning can be priceless. A real advantage to any driver, the comfort of a nice warm car is well received from the young to the elderly, and this is fitted with both heated seating and steering wheel for comfort. A computer model is used to detect de-fogging and de-icing. Dual climate zones enable passengers to sit in a different temperature to the driver, which is a real win for me as my husband never feels the cold and I can sit in warmth during our drives.

Simply said: By pressing the AUTO button on your controls, the car will detect the perfect temperature and set about creating it. Technology has never been so caring!

8. Active Braking Control – as seen on the Nissan Qashqai

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This uses radar to brake when the car in front is detected to be too close, increasing safety and creating a smoother journey. This technology helps the driver feel more confident when cornering by controlling the braking on each of the four wheels in response to the driving circumstances, based on the driver’s steering, acceleration and braking on winding roads or when entering or exiting a slip-road. The car also detects if another object gets too close or you are about to hit something and applies the brakes. Great for any unexpected mishaps although if you’re anything like me, will still cause you to shout and curse at the other cars!

Simply said: There are a load of safety features in the Qashqai, all of which work together to protect you as a driver. You don’t need to know too much about this one, just when it will happen and why.


Still confused? All our cars come with a range of modern and high-tech features now and that’s why we’ve trained our staff to understand how to operate them. If you’re hiring a car and have any questions about the features tweet us @EasirentCarHire for the chance to be featured in our next review!


You can read all our editions of Ask The Expert here.

For prices on both these models and more information please visit our fleet page.

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