How well do you know your own car? We bet you think you know it pretty well. Afterall, you likely spend hours driving it every week. You might be surprised to hear that cars from all eras are packed with various different hidden features and easter eggs.
Check out our selection of some of the most quirky, high-tech, or impressive hidden features that most drivers overlook. Afterward, take a look at your car once again and see if you spot any of them.
Eyesight Driver Assist- Subaru
Japanese vehicles are often engineered to perfection, and the Eyesight Driver Assist System found in modern Subaru cars is a prime example. All 2019 Subaru vehicles equipped with the Eyesight system received the highest possible rating from IIHS for frontal crash prevention. According to the automaker, Eyesight can reduce the rate of rear-end crashes by up to 85%.
The Eyesight Driver Assist uses a variety of sensors to monitor the car’s surroundings. In effect, Eyesight-equipped vehicles feature adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, pre-collision braking and a traffic light watcher.
Aluminum Instead of Steel
In the past, the frames of cars were made of steel. Despite being a strong metal, steel car frames added a lot of weight to the car. This wasn’t much of a concern back in the old days. Today, however, automakers strive to make their vehicles as efficient as possible. That’s why modern car frames are made of forged aluminum instead of steel.
Contrary to popular belief, forged aluminum can be just as strong yet it weighs just a fraction of steel. What’s more, aluminum frames reduce the overall weight of the car, improving the fuel efficiency.
If you ever looked under the hood of your car, you will have probably seen this hidden feature. In order to make it easier to work your way around a car’s engine, automakers color-code different components of the car’s powerplant. Elements such as the dipstick, washer fluid, oil cap, or brake fluid are all highlighted in bright colors.
Although most manufacturers tend to use yellow and red to highlight the components to keep an eye on, the colors vary. Some engines might include green or blue color-coding as well!
Brake Drying- BMW
Automakers around the globe are continuously looking for new technologies and systems to improve the performance and safety of their cars. BMW, for instance, is offering the Enhanced Dynamic Stability Control as an extra option for their new cars. Among an array of features, the Brake Drying is perhaps the most impressive one.
Believe it or not, the rain sensors fitted on the windshield wipers are connected to the brake system. If the sensors detect rain, the brake pads are moved up to the rotors every once in a while, all to keep the brake system dry. Drying the brakes improve their efficiency when it’s wet.
Ambient Air- BMW 7 Series
BMW has introduced a surprisingly useful feature for their high-end 7 Series back in 2016. The upscale sedan is available with the optional Ambient Air Package. Cars fitted with the package are equipped with 8 different scents that can be selected in the climate control panel.
Naturally, BMW did not stop there. On top of 8 different scents, drivers can switch between 3 different intensity levels of each fragrance. The lavish 7 Series comes with an array of other luxurious features, such as gesture control or a night-vision camera.
Scented Air Freshener- Citroen DS3
Sometimes, you do not have to splash out on a brand-new BMW 7 Series sedan to enjoy some of its luxurious features. Instead, you can get a DS3. The stylish crossover SUV is equipped with a scented air freshener, which is rather similar to BMW’s Ambient Air package.
Of course, A DS3 won’t have the same exact system as a lavish 7 Series. Instead of 8 different scents, the fragrance cartridge in the DS3 can be filled up with any scent you’d like.
Easy-Fill Tire Alert- Nissan
Keeping the right tire pressure in your car is a crucial part of vehicle maintenance. Underinflated tires can negatively impact the performance of your automobile, and worsen the fuel economy. Since 2008, every new vehicle has to be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system. Nissan took the system even a step further.
The Easy-Fill Tire Alert fitted on new Nissan vehicles makes checking tire pressure as easy as possible. All you have to do is simply add air into the tire. The car’s horn will go off to notify you that you’ve reached the ideal pressure.
Without a doubt, one of the best features of a luxurious car is the absence of noise. In cars like the Tesla Model X pictured above, this is mainly due to the car’s silent, electric powerplant. What’s more, many automakers fit their high-end cars with sophisticated soundproof systems, dramatically reducing the noise in cabins.
The majority of the world’s quietest cars, such as the Audi A8 or the Mercedes-Benz S Class, are expensive high-end cars. However, there is a variety of cheaper automobiles that offer a similar level of soundproofing for a fraction of the cost. These include the 2019 Honda Odyssey or the new Kia Optima.
Pre-Safe Sound- Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz remains a leader in automotive safety technologies, and the Pre-Safe Sound System is just one of countless high-tech safety features of a modern Mercedes-Benz. Unlike the majority of the systems, most drivers are unaware that the Pre-Safe Sound even exists!
First installed on the new E-Class, the Pre-Safe Sound plays a pink noise at roughly 80 decibels right before a crash. If a system detects that a collision is unavoidable, the sound goes off to activate a reflex in the occupants’ ears and protect their eardrums and reduce potential hearing damage from excessive noise.
Ambient Lighting – Jaguar F-Type
Cars are quickly becoming as comfortable as our own homes. Luxurious features and top of the line stereo and audio systems make it feel like you’re riding in a five-star theatre. Jaguar took the comfort-of-your-own-home a step further with a unique car feature.
The 2021 Jaguar F-Style has an ambient lighting option to set the vibe just right. Drivers have four lighting options to choose from, ranging from cool to a warm ambient glow.
Let’s say you’re returning to your car after a quick trip to the grocery store. Your hands are full, so there is no way for you to open the trunk of your vehicle. You’re forced to put your groceries on the ground and reach for the trunk lid. Some automakers considered this to be too inconvenient and equipped their vehicles with a hands-free trunk instead.
The science behind a hands-free trunk is surprisingly simple. All you have to do is wave your hand or leg under a sensor to trigger the trunk. Other hands-free trunk systems will open the boot as soon as the smart key is detected in your pocket.
Umbrella Hidden in Door- Rolls Royce
Without a doubt, one of the perks of owning a car as luxurious as a Rolls Royce is having access to the vehicle’s luxurious features. Though the vast majority of the luxurious accessories fitted on Rolls Royce automobiles, this one often goes unnoticed. There is a little compartment in the car’s door that’s equipped with a lavish umbrella.
Like the rest of the car, an umbrella from a Rolls Royce comes at a hefty price tag. If you end up losing it, you can expect to pay around $700 for a replacement. Perhaps it’s best to just leave it in the door.
Neck Warmers- BMW and Mercedes-Benz
Unarguably, riding in a convertible with the roof down is very seasonal. As refreshing as it is to fold the roof during a hot summer day, it isn’t particularly ideal during the rest of the year. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both thought of a solution to this problem, that way you can enjoy your drop-top all year long.
The neck warmers are a feature that can be found on a variety of modern Mercedes-Benz and BMW convertibles, including the BMW M8 (photographed above) or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This extra feature can be regulated with different heat settings.
Not all hidden features are as clever as one might think. In fact, some are there purely for the sake of being there. Car manufacturers have a long history of fitting the cars with so-called Easter Eggs, or little touches that are funny but serve no purpose otherwise.
If you’re a fan of looking for hidden Easter Eggs, consider getting the new Jeep Renegade. The car is loaded with Easter Eggs all around the vehicle. Some of our favorite ones include a little spider engraved by the fuel-filler door that says “Ciao, Baby!”
The Golf Gear Knob- Volkswagen Golf GTI
The Volkswagen Golf is one of Europe’s most popular small cars of all time. Its performance-oriented variant, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, is fitted with a quirky easter egg.
In case you can’t tell from the photo above, the gear knob on a Volkswagen Golf GTI looks like a golf ball. It’s the automaker’s funny nod towards the name of the hot hatch. Over the years, the golf ball gear knob has remained on the GTI variant of the Volkswagen Golf. The 2021 Golf GTI comes with one, as well.
Internal Trunk Release
This feature is proven to have saved lives, and it is likely to be the most thoughtful one on this entire list. The internal trunk release enables the occupants to leave the trunk, for example following a crash or if they simply lock themselves inside.
At first, an internal trunk release was only mandatory on cars sold in the United States from 2001 onwards. Automakers across the world began installing an emergency release on all of their cars. Pretty much any new car sold today is equipped with an internal trunk release. You might never use it, but it’s surely good to know that it is there just in case.
Shopping Trolley- Citroen Picasso
The old Citroen Picasso might have one of the quirkiest, most unusual features on this entire list. Whilst equipping a vehicle with a hands-free trunk or a built-in vacuum can turn out clever, it is hard to justify what Citroen had done with the Picasso. The French automaker equipped the car with its very own shopping trolley.
The trolley can be stowed away in the car’s boot, and it could make for a great companion for shopping trips. Unfortunately, the unusual accessory must have not been a success, as the French automaker stopped adding the trolley from the 2005 model year onwards.
Hidden Storage Compartments
How well do you know your car? Automakers tend to design the interiors of their vehicles to be as efficient as possible. In effect, some cars end up with unbelievably clever storage compartments hidden throughout the cabin. There’s a great chance that your car is fitted with a secretive compartment you’ve never noticed before. Add ice to them, and they become a cooler, like the Dodge Journey pictured here.
A quick peek into the manual of your car is enough to learn about every storage compartment in your vehicle. Your car might be equipped with anything from a small one under one of the seats all the way to a compartment hidden behind the dashboard.
Mercedes Attention Assist
Mercedes-Benz is a leader when it comes to automotive safety and comfort features. Afterall, the Mercedes Attention Assist was the first of its kind back in 2009. Since then, a similar system has become standard equipment found in practically any new car.
The Mercedes Attention Assist is used to detect any signs of drowsiness of the driver. According to the automaker, drowsy drivers can potentially be a great danger on the roads. Mercedes claims that drivers often fail to recognize their drowsiness in time, and the Attention Assist helps with that.
Blumenvase- Volkswagen Beetle
For decades, the legendary Volkswagen Beetle came equipped with a flower vase, or the blumenvase in German. The vase worked its way around the interior throughout the car’s production run and eventually became one of the iconic features of the Beetle.
Not a fan of flowers? Don’t worry, the vase attached to the car’s dashboard makes for a perfect tiny storage compartment. The flower vase is just one of many ways in which the new Beetle pays homage to its predecessor.
Many automakers equip their vehicles with tasteful ambient lighting that illuminates the car’s center console, dashboard, door handles, climate controls, and more. What’s more, luxurious cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S Class are fitted with adjustable ambient lighting, where the driver can choose from tens of different colors.
Most drivers don’t realize that ambient lighting serves a great purpose, apart from being a stylish cosmetic touch. A study carried out in 2010 proved that ambient lighting improved the driver’s perception of space. In effect, drivers felt safer in cars equipped with ambient lighting.
Champagne Chiller- Rolls Royce Phantom
A lavish Rolls Royce Phantom is the absolute definition of luxury. Rolls Royce cars come equipped with all kinds of luxurious features, ranging from the beautiful Starline headliner all the way to doors that close automatically. Some of the car’s features are hidden, such as the Champagne chiller located between the rear seats of a Rolls Royce Phantom.
The Champagne Chiller can operate in two different modes that suit both vintage and non-vintage types of champagne. The high-tech chiller was developed in collaboration with the Court of Master Sommelier.
Retractable Spirit of Ecstasy- Rolls Royce
This is another great feature of modern Rolls Royce cars that most owners don’t know about. A couple of years ago, the British automaker developed a system to protect the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
A Rolls Royce owner can choose to display the Spirit of Ecstasy or hide it in the grille within a single touch of a button. What’s more, the ornament is protected even when the car is locked. If someone tries to snatch it off a locked Rolls Royce, the ornament will quickly retract into the grille within milliseconds.
Openometer- Mini Cooper Convertible
The desire to know how long you have been driving with the top down in your convertible Mini Cooper is certainly not a priority. However, the British automaker has decided to fit the drop-top Cooper Convertible with an openometer.
Since 2010, the drop-top Cooper is equipped with a gauge dedicated to informing the driver how long the roof has been down. Although a feature like this is far from necessary, it does make for a cool, quirky accessory.
Integrated Vacuum Cleaner- Honda Odyssey
This is probably something you’d never expect to see in your car, though it is an incredibly handy accessory. We all know that the interior of a car can get seriously messy in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, vacuuming a car is often very inconvenient. Luckily, if you own a Honda Odyssey minivan, there is an ingenious solution.
Honda has fitted the Odyssey minivan with a built-in vacuum cleaner. The hose is long enough to reach most parts of the vehicle, and you can use it at any given moment.
Lane Keep Assist
The Lane Keep Assist, or a similar system called the Lane Departure Warning, is a clever system that can be found equipped on a variety of modern cars. The system uses either infrared sensors or video cameras to monitor the lanes. If the car crosses a lane without the indicator on, the driver is alerted.
The Lane Keep Assist is typically more sophisticated than the Lane Departure Warning. As opposed to just warning the driver when the vehicle crosses a lane, the Lane Keep Assist makes sure the car stays in its lane without any driver input.
Automatic Hazard Lights
Automakers strive to make their cars as safe as possible. According to various studies, a large number of accidents are caused by drivers who fail to see that the car in front of them had rapidly decelerated. Car manufacturers have come up with a brilliant solution to resolve this dangerous issue once and for all.
Many cars sold today are equipped with a clever solution. The system calculates whether the brake force applied to estimate whether the driver performed emergency braking. That way, the hazard lights are automatically enabled as soon as the car detects an emergency braking maneouver.
Windshield Ticket Holder- Skoda
Skoda, an automaker from the Czech Republic, has thought of an ingenious way to store parking tickets. Many countries in Europe require the drivers to display a parking ticket right by the windshield. For years, Skoda cars came equipped with a little parking ticket holder on the bottom of the windshield.
The plastic holder located at the driver’s side of the windshield will press up a piece of paper against the windshield. This clever solution means you will never have to worry about losing parking tickets again.
Fuel Cap Location Reminder
As you enter a gas station, do you always remember where the fuel cap is located? You might be surprised to hear that the fuel gauge indicates what side of the vehicle the fuel tank is on. More precisely, the little triangular arrow next to the fuel pump icon.
A fuel cap location reminder is particularly handy for people who frequently change cars. Now that you know this, you will never face this problem again!
Tesla’s autonomous AutoPilot driving assistance isn’t exactly a hidden feature. In fact, it’s one of the main selling points of Elon Musk’s cars. The first version of Tesla’s AutoPilot hardware has been fitted on the Model S and the Model X between 2014 and 2015. The system has undergone various upgrades in the last 6 years, but the most exciting update may still be ahead.
All Tesla vehicles sold today come equipped with sensors, cameras, and other hardware that could potentially be upgraded within the next years. According to Elon Musk, all Tesla vehicles sold today will be able to drive fully autonomously one day.
Drive Pilot- Mercedes Benz
Practically everyone has heard of Tesla’s AutoPilot. Were you aware that other manufacturers offer a similar system, too? A couple of years ago, Mercedes-Benz introduced the revolutionary Drive Pilot. The semi-autonomous driving assistance system has been fitted on the automakers’ vehicles ever since.
The Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot offers a partially-autonomous mode for highway driving. The vehicle can adjust the speed, follow the road, and maintain a proper distance between other cars all by itself. Despite the automaker’s presentations where the car was seen driving by itself with no driver present (photographed above), Drive Pilot does require a driver behind the wheel.
Hidden Rear View Camera- Volkswagen
The design team at Volkswagen must have thought that a rear-view camera sticking out of the rear bumper would spoil the car’s clean design. That’s why, modern Volkswagen Golf and Passat cars are equipped with a hidden rear-view camera.
The rear-view camera fitted on a new Golf or Passat is cleverly hidden under the car’s rear emblem. Once you put the car in reverse, the emblem tilts and the camera appears. Not only does it not spoil the car’s clean lines, but it also helps keep the camera’s lens clean.
Using The Key To Lower Windows
Have you ever tried holding the unlock button on your car keys for a few seconds? If not, try it the next time you unlock your vehicle. There’s a great chance that after 5 seconds, your car’s windows will open.
If you hold the lock button for a said amount of time, your windows will close before the car locks. Consult your owner’s manual to make sure whether you can control the windows with the key to your car.
Did you know that many minivans and SUVs are fitted with a conversation mirror? Typically located in front of the rear-view mirror, the conversation mirror offers a great view of everything that’s going on in the backseat. A Honda CR-V is just one of many cars that come equipped with this handy, overhead mirror.
A conversation mirror is especially helpful for parents who travel with their kids in the backseat. That way, they don’t have to turn around to see whatever is happening in the rear. A conversation mirror is a simple, much safer solution.
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Have you ever noticed the small tab on the bottom of your rear-view mirror? If you pull it, you can switch between the day and night modes of the mirror. A dipping rearview mirror is very useful to reduce headlight glare from the cars behind you. Many drivers don’t realize that their vehicle is equipped with such a handy feature.
What’s more, many modern cars are equipped with a rear-view mirror that adjusts automatically as a standard feature. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors use sensors to adjust the brightness within seconds.
Ice Scraper By The Fuel Cap- Skoda
Having to scrape your car before setting off during the wintertime is anything but a pleasant chore. What happens if you lose your ice scraper? Trying to remove ice off the windshield without a scraper is very inconvenient, and it takes way too much time. Once again, the team at Skoda has thought of a very clever solution.
Modern Skoda cars come equipped with an ice-scraper. Unlike most cars, the scraper isn’t anywhere in the car’s cabin. Pop the fuel filler door on any modern Skoda and you’ll find the ice scraper right there.
Fuel Cap Holder
Another ingenious feature that can often be found by the fuel cap is even simpler than Skoda’s hidden ice scraper. When filling up your car, where do you put the fuel cap? Do you place it on the roof of your vehicle, or is it attached like the one in the photo above?
Some vehicles are equipped with a clever fuel cap holder on the inside of the fuel-filler door. Check if your car has one the next time you’re at the gas station.
If you’ve never owned a compact car, you probably never heard of Magic Seats. Magic Seats are an extremely clever way of utilizing a small car’s cargo capacity, and automakers have been fitting them on all kinds of vehicles for years.
Honda owns the trademarked Magic Seat system, though a similar solution can be found in other cars, such as the Chrysler PT Cruiser photographed above. In the new Honda Civic or Jazz, the rear seats can be lifted to a vertical position, freeing up cargo space in effect.
Holiday Show- Tesla Model X
Teslas come equipped with all kinds of easter eggs hidden all over the cars. The Holiday Show mode on the Model X SUV is perhaps the most impressive one of them all. The Model X will turn into a delightful display, flashing lights and opening doors in sync with the music played from the car’s sound system.
To turn on the Holiday Show, Tesla owners have to hold the Tesla T for 5 seconds, enter the special access code, leave their vehicle, and lock it. Then, the show will begin!
Integrated Bike Rack- Opel Corsa
If you’re a die-hard cycling enthusiast, perhaps an Opel Corsa should be your next car. The German automaker’s compact comes equipped with the Flexfix Integrated Bike Rack. Owners of the Opel Corsa can simply pull the rack out after unlocking it from the boot and place their bicycles on top.
The Opel Corsa, sold as the Vauxhall Corsa in some markets, has been in production since the 1980s. The current-generation Corsa is available with a variety of different engines, ranging from a 1.2L three-cylinder motor up to a 50kWh all-electric variant.
Logo-shaped headlights- McLaren
It is no secret that McLaren supercars are absolutely breathtaking from every possible angle. After examining the supercar’s front end for a longer period of time, you might realize an easter egg cleverly incorporated into the car’s flawless design. The car’s headlights resemble the company’s iconic swoosh, which is also McLaren’s logo.
The McLaren P1 GTR pictured above is a souped-up variant of the P1 hypercar. It can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in less than 2.8 seconds, while the top speed is nearly 220 miles per hour.