Purchasing a new car is a large responsibility, but with so many new trends hitting the dealerships, it can also be a fun shopping experience. From added functionality to truly unique technology, the cars on today’s lots offer something for everyone. Check out these up-and-coming vehicle trends to see what you might come across the next time you’re searching for a new car.
1. More Crossover Vehicles
People have long had a love-hate relationship with SUVs. Yes, they’re roomier and more comfortable for large families or for people who are on the road a lot. However, SUVs are also harder to operate and not fuel-efficient. In comes the crossover vehicle, something you’ll see much more of in 2018 and beyond. Crossover vehicles are hybrids that blend the best parts of sedans with the best parts of SUVs. Because they are more versatile, they are becoming very popular very quickly. Near six million of them sold in 2016, and the number is only growing.
2. Dynamic Displays
The inside of your vehicle is evolving rapidly. Functionality is continually increasing with the help of touchscreens, and knobs and switches are becoming a thing of the past. Physical instrument gauges are being switched out for high-resolution displays. Many vehicles already offer wireless internet access, app integration, and much more, and other automotive brands are following suit. Before long, everybody will be connected to their favorite travel and music apps, calendars and schedules, and more on their car’s dashboard.
3. Electric Vehicles
Electric cars aren’t a new concept, but they are expected to become increasingly common over the next few years. Currently, electric vehicles are still rare. The cost of the car coupled with the fact that there aren’t a lot of charging stations — less than 20,000 in the United States compared to roughly 120,000 gas stations — means no long road trips and a lot of inconvenience for many drivers.
Even the current tax break of $7,500 isn’t enough to get many people behind the wheel of an electric car. However, technology is quickly advancing, and as prices drop and more charging stations become available in the years to come, more people are expected to purchase these eco-friendly vehicles.
4. Brain-to-Vehicle Technology
Artificial intelligence has long been used for autonomous vehicles, but now Nissan wants you to connect your own brain directly to your car, a move that the company says will make you an even better driver. B2V technology requires you to put on a wired cap. The cap measures your brain waves, and then the car’s autonomous systems analyze them. They use those analyses to anticipate what you’ll do next while driving.
Nissan claims the technology will help to shorten reaction time when the driver is in control. While the shortened times will be largely imperceptible to the human senses, the data will help A.I.-controlled vehicles to more closely match their movements to yours, which makes many drivers more comfortable. This technology isn’t something you’ll find at every local dealership yet, but it is an expectation in the near future.
5. Car Sales
Trends in car sales themselves are changing and currently, sales are considered “ok” at best. Because dealerships aren’t performing as well as they’d like, many are offering lower prices, better lease terms, and other incentives to boost sales. The dip in sales occurred for a few reasons. For one thing, more people are choosing to purchase used cars to save money.
Another reason for the dip is that cars are becoming more reliable, meaning people need to buy them less often. This leaves millions of cars on the market. On the other hand, SUVs and CUVs are still selling well and a variety of new models are about to hit the market.
Experian’s data shows that fewer subprime loans are also responsible for the decline in sedan purchases. This might be because people are struggling more financially in general and don’t have good enough credit for a loan or simply don’t want another debt. People who are in the former category can read more about getting a loan with bad credit.
Of course, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of trends to avoid getting stuck in the cycle or purchasing something simply because it’s cool and being touted as the latest technology. If you don’t expect to sit around and let your car do all the work, you probably don’t need a car with B2V technology. On the other hand, an electric vehicle is good for your fuel budget and the environment around you.