10 May 2012

Driver mode button debacle

Is it a smart gadget? Or is it a pointless gimmick?

MANY older folks will complain about modern cars being marred with 'electrical gremlins'. They will regard them as being completely unnecessary, or have a few of them going wrong. But for younger folks like myself, we like them as toys or gadgets. The 'gremlins' we like our niceties like electric windows and remote central locking.

This is where it brings me onto the driver mode buttons, that modern cars - especially more expensive ones have. Where you have buttons on the centre console, to select a driving mode which is either: Sport, Normal, Comfort, Eco (in hybrids) and ESP.

But I'm asking myself right here. Is there any need for these different driving modes? Don't get me wrong, I think they're technically brilliant on how the dampers stiffen or the throttle sharpens up from the push of a button. On how it enhances the driver behind the wheel on suiting its mood.

Why can't we just drive a car with a standard chassis set up? Correct me if I'm wrong here. Maybe there are plenty of keen drivers out there, who really want to know a car's original chassis set up is to begin with. Know what its ride and handling characteristics are.

So I'll leave this for you to make your mind up on. Are driver mode buttons on a car a nice piece of kit? Or are they useless gimmicks? Over to you on that...

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