What Used Car Features Do Customers Look For Most?

May 18, 2023

Team ACV




What Used Car Features Do Customers Look For Most?

ACV facts & figures

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When drivers shop around for a car or start their preliminary research, they’re looking for more than just the make and model of the vehicle. For some, specific features can make or break their desire for a vehicle or determine whether they’re willing to go for an upgraded trim level. You’ll find that every driver has different priorities, from the latest safety and comfort features to updated navigation and mobile device integration, so a smart dealer stays on top of the tech their customers really want. Below are some of the top-rated features to look for when acquiring used car inventory for your lot.

Safety Features

Blind Spot Monitoring

The main function of blind spot monitoring is self-explanatory: The vehicle monitors a driver’s blind spots and uses sensors to make them aware of obstacles, including other cars. When the sensors detect an object in a blind spot, the system makes the driver aware with lights, sounds, or both. Some versions of this system also show a camera view of the vehicle, giving the driver full visual awareness.

Blind spot monitoring has been available on the Ford Fusion since 2010 and the Explorer since 2011. Honda introduced their Honda Lane Watch video monitoring system for all vehicles in 2015¹.

Lane-Keeping Systems

Lane-keeping and lane-departure warning systems are vital safety tools that prevent a vehicle from drifting out of its lane. These features help reduce the risk of an accident when a driver gets temporarily distracted, loses focus, or is tired. Lane-departure warning systems, which have been available since 2004, warn the driver when they start to inadvertently leave their lane and may alert them with audio or visual cues. Newer lane-keeping systems can guide the car back into the appropriate lane on its own.

The Toyota Prius was among the first models to include lane-keeping technology in 2013, and other popular vehicles followed suit, like the 2014 Ford Taurus and the 2015 Ford F-150 and Honda CR-V¹.

Comfort Features & Amenities

Heated Seats and Remote Starter

If you live in a cold climate, you know how valuable heated seats can be—but it turns out this feature is widely popular in all locations. How popular? Research firm AutoPacific found that 66% of survey respondents wanted heated seats in their next car². These seats feature integrated heating coils that can be toggled on and off based on driver and passenger comfort. Heated seats are available on a wide range of vehicles, whether you’re after a family sedan—like the Toyota Avalon or Hyundai Sonata—or a powerful SUV, like the Nissan Pathfinder or the GMC Acadia Denali³.

A remote starter system is another must-have in the winter months. Instead of getting into a freezing vehicle, drivers can start the engine while they’re still indoors and give the interior time to warm. The feature is also handy in the summer because you can roll down the windows to air out a hot car and allow the engine fluids to run and lubricate the system properly⁴. Remote start is typically an upgraded feature on a basic model or standard in higher trim models and can be found in cars ranging from the Honda Accord to the Acura TLX⁵.

Infotainment With Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ Integration

Infotainment displays are common in most newer model vehicles and can be especially appealing to younger, more tech-savvy drivers². Basic in-dashboard GPS isn’t enough in today’s market. The wide adoption of smartphones means drivers are looking for compatible systems, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These platforms allow drivers to plug in their phone and use it for navigation, audio, and hands-free calling and messaging.

Apple CarPlay started appearing in the Kia Soul in 2014, with Hyundai close behind in 2015. General Motors and Volkswagen rolled out the feature in 2016, as did luxury brand Mercedes-Benz. Audi, Dodge, and Ford added this integration in 2017⁶. Hyundai was also among the first to include Android Auto in 2015⁷, and Chevrolet did the same in 2015, making it available on 14 models alongside Apple CarPlay8.

But GM recently announced plans to discontinue Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in their electric vehicles in favor of their own system, which they’re building in collaboration with Google9.

Driving Features

Four-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive

Safe, reliable handling is a must, so all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) is an essential feature for many drivers. As opposed to other systems that only use power to the front or back wheels to propel the vehicle, AWD and 4WD provide power to all wheels so the vehicle can maneuver through more challenging terrains or road conditions. This added traction is desirable for consumers who want to be more confident when they’re driving in wet, slippery weather or who are interested in off-road driving. The Volvo S90, Kia Stinger, and Kia K5 are solid choices with this type of traction system10.

ACV is Your Go-To Source for the Used Cars Your Customers Want to Drive

When you’re ready to acquire inventory for your dealership, count on ACV Auctions to have quality used cars with the features your customers want. Our detailed market reports and comprehensive auction platform ensure you know every detail about a vehicle before you bid. Sign up today and start browsing to find the next great addition to your lot.



  1. Andersson, K. Top Rated Used Cars for Safety Features. instamotor. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://instamotor.com/buy-used-car/safety-rating/top-rated-used-cars-for-safety-features
  2. Gorzelany, J. (12 November 2021). New Features Car Buyers Want Most—And Those They Steer Clear Of. Forbes. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2021/11/12/new-car-features-buyers-want-and-prefer-to-steer-clear-of/?sh=28c0ad3d1854
  3. Jones, P. (6 July 2022). 11 Cars With Heated Seats As Standard. Motor and Wheels. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://motorandwheels.com/cars-with-heated-seats-as-standard/
  4. Heaps, R. (25 April 2022). Cars with Remote Start: A Must-Have Feature for Extreme Temperatures. Kelley Blue Book. Retrieved on May 8, 2022, from https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/remote-start-extreme-temperatures/
  5. Nerad, J. (27 December 2019). 10 Best Cars with Remote Start. Autobytel. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.autobytel.com/car-buying-guides/features/10-best-cars-with-remote-start-131162/
  6. Cesari, H. (21 November 2021). Which Gently Used Cars Have Apple CarPlay? Motor Biscuit. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.motorbiscuit.com/which-gently-used-cars-have-apple-carplay/
  7. Selfert, D. (26 May 2015). The first production car with Android Auto is a Hyundai. The Verge. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/26/8655931/android-auto-hyundai-sonata-first-production-car
  8. Sorokanich, B. (27 May 2015). Chevy Brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to 14 Models for 2016. Car and Driver. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15355808/chevy-brings-android-auto-and-apple-carplay-to-14-models-for-2016/
  9. Tucker, S. (3 April 2023). GM: We’ll Phase Out Apple CarPlay, Android Auto in EVs. Kelley Blue Book. Retrieved on May 8, 2023, from https://www.kbb.com/car-news/gm-well-phase-out-apple-carplay-android-auto-in-evs/
  10. Threewitt, C. (27 March 2023). Best All-Wheel-Drive Cars. US News & World Report. Retrieved on May 9, 2023, from) https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/advice/best-all-wheel-drive-sedans