Winter driving isn’t always fun, especially when it’s cold, dark, wet or icy out, but a new used car can put some more modern motoring technologies at your fingertips to make it more comfortable and safer to go out for a drive.
Here are five ways a new used car could upgrade your winter driving capabilities, whether you’re driving home for Christmas or facing a dark commute to and from work.
1. Heated seats
If you don’t have a heated driver’s seat, consider booking a test drive this winter to experience the difference of driving with a warm cushion beneath you – especially on leather seats, which can be particularly cold when you first sit down on a winter’s day.
On more practical terms, look for other heated features like fast-defrost windscreens, heated wing mirrors and anything else that will take the edge off of a frosty early morning start.
2. Adaptive headlights
Adaptive headlights such as those you’ll find on a used BMW 5 Series work by turning slightly in the direction the car is turning, to shine further into the bend rather than straight off its outer edge.
This improves your apex visibility and highlights obstacles sooner, but it also has an extra important benefit for winter driving, when more of us are out on the roads in the dark.
That’s because it also ‘steers’ the headlights away from the line of sight of oncoming traffic – you’ll still be clearly visible to other road users, but there’s less risk of dazzling them as they drive towards you.
3. All-wheel drive
Fire up the Quattro! Nothing gives you the extra grip on icy roads that you’ll get from a four-wheel drive used Audi Quattro, which distributes the engine power equally so you get the best balance between grunt and grip.
An all-wheel drive used Range Rover adds some real muscle and off-road handling to the tyre traction, so if you’re likely to face any hills or a drive out into a rural area, this might be the way to go for you.
4. Adaptive suspension
Adaptive suspension adjusts the rigidity of the vehicle to account for different road conditions, and again can help to ensure a more comfortable drive in tough conditions – and while this is the kind of feature you’ll see on used Range Rovers, it’s also another good reason to consider an Audi.
That’s because a used Audi Quattro Q7 can also include adaptive air suspension, automatically keeping the car’s stiffness at the optimal level for a comfortable drive, so you can drive home for Christmas without getting a numb bum!
5. Hill start assist
Finally, many of us could benefit from some help setting off on slopes not only in winter, but all year round – and hill start assist is now a feature of many modern used cars.
It adjusts the power from the engine to allow for the angle you’re setting off at, reducing the risk of stalling whether you’re driving away from a parked position or setting off in a line of standing traffic, where stalling and sliding back on an icy road could be even more likely to end in a collision.