From luxury to budget: Top new-age car features under ₹20 Lakh that were once exclusive to expensive cars

From luxury to budget: Top new-age car features under ₹20 Lakh that were once exclusive to expensive cars
Car tech in budget segmentImage credits- Canva
  • Common man’s cars are becoming increasingly modern and feature loaded.
  • We have seen features specific to luxury segment trickle down to cheaper cars in last three years.
  • Here are some of the features that were once exclusive only to luxury cars.
India's automotive industry has undergone significant changes over the last few decades, with the country now ranking as the fourth largest market globally. Technological advancements in electric mobility, green energy, Internet of Things (IoT), and passenger safety have been among the many trends reshaping the industry.

Along with these fundamental changes, there have been specific car feature upgrades. Previously exclusive to luxury models, features such as power windows, central locking, touchscreen infotainment systems, keyless entry, automatic transmission, and various safety features made their way to budget cars in the last decade. But in the last three years, we have even witnessed some very niche luxury car features trickling down to the common man's cars.

It’s known that any invention or innovation is expensive initially, and it becomes more accessible as it spends time in the market. Take smartphones, for example, the high-resolution camera, fast charging, and wireless charging - all these features were seen only on premium segment phones, but today, they’re common in most phones. Similarly, the feature first comes to the premium segment for cars and then trickles down to the affordable range.

Here are some new-age features that have added smarts to cars under ₹20,000,00.

Ventilated seats
These car seats have small fans or ventilation holes built into them, allowing air to circulate and keeping the driver and passengers cool and comfortable during hot weather. This feature is most recently seen on Hyundai cars like the new Verna. It is unusual to find this feature on a car that costs less than ₹15 lakh in India.

HUD stands for Head-Up Display. It's a technology that projects important information, such as vehicle speed, navigation directions, and other vital data, onto the windshield or a specialized display so that the driver can keep their eyes on the road while still being able to view essential information. While it's not the most demanded feature, it is still new to budget cars, and it was recently seen on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the new Glanza, which cost less than ₹10 lakh in India.

Integrated Air purifiers
These are air filtration systems built into the car's air conditioning system, designed to remove dust, allergens, and pollutants from the air inside the car.

Wireless charging
This feature allows you to charge your mobile devices wirelessly by placing them on a charging pad built into the car.

Cruise control and Assisted Driving
These features allow the car to maintain a constant speed without the driver having to keep their foot on the gas pedal. In the case of assisted driving, the car uses advanced sensors and cameras to adjust speed, steer, and brake, but the driver must still be alert and ready to take control at any time.

Auto headlamps and wipers
These features automatically turn on the car's headlights and wipers in response to lighting conditions or rainfall changes, allowing the driver to focus on driving. This isn’t particularly new to budget cars, as Hyundai has been offering this for quite some time on its i10 and i20 series, but it has now become a basic feature on most upper-segment variants of budget cars.

Heated OVRMs
OVRMs stands for Outside Rear-View Mirrors. Heated OVRMs are a feature that heats the exterior mirrors to prevent ice buildup during cold weather, improving visibility. Most recently, it’s seen on Skoda Kushaq, Kia Seltos.

Hill assist control
This feature prevents the car from rolling backward when starting on a hill by automatically applying the brakes until the driver presses the gas pedal. It was once seen on super expensive Range Rovers and Land Cruisers, but lately, the feature has become a common sight on SUVs that don’t cost a bomb.

Integrated voice assistance
This feature allows drivers to control various car functions using voice commands, such as adjusting the temperature, playing music, or making a phone call, without taking their hands off the steering wheel. It’s a common sight in MG Motors, Kia, and others, and even Siri and Alexa have found a common place in infotainment systems.

This feature lets the car owner set virtual boundaries on a map. If the car crosses that boundary, it triggers an alert or takes other predetermined actions. It is seen on some MG Motors cars like the new Hector, which is priced well under ₹20 lakh.

Companion app
This is a mobile application that is designed to work with the car, providing the driver with real-time information about the car's status, location, and performance, as well as allowing them to remotely control certain features such as locking and unlocking the car or starting the engine. Most car companies like Kia, MG Motors, and Honda now have a companion app that makes the new-age budget cards much smarter.

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