J.D. Power Report Says People Want Fuel Economy, Smartphone Integration in New Cars

By Trevor Dorchies | April 26, 2013

It all comes down to personal preference. Do you want a beefy V-8 engine? Or are you more concerned with your carbon footprint? Do you want smartphone integration? Or do you like left being left alone while you drive? According to a recent report by J.D. Power and Associates, when shopping for a new vehicle, people are most interested in getting good fuel economy and having the ability to pair their smartphone with the on-board infotainment system. Other interests include wireless connectivity, voice recognition that actually works, and an array of media included with the infotainment system. The study gauges interest of perspective owners before and after pricing of the vehicle they're interested in is announced.

"Automakers have an important opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by working side by side with smartphone and application developers to provide a seamless smartphone experience for in-vehicle control of GPS/mapping, music, weather, search tools, travel and more," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates in an statement released by the company. "These connections to smartphone applications need to be robust, affordable and simple to access and use in a vehicle environment."

Besides smartphone integration, those out on the market actively looking for a new vehicle want good fuel economy. The J.D. Power and Associates survey uncovered that out of the 22 technology features people could choose from, fuel economy and active shutter grille vents are at the top of the wish list. A fuel economy indicator was right behind on this wish list, but many automakers have already stepped in front of the curve and have included this feature on many different models.

"Vehicle owners are continually aware of rising fuel costs and the need for better fuel economy. As they have come to understand the benefits of new automotive technology, they are increasingly interested in those that allow them to manage their fuel consumption with greater efficiency and help better manage their cost at the pump," said VanNieuwkuyk.

A full run-down of features people wanted, as recorded by J.D. Power and Associates' survey, are as follows:

Market Price Feature Interest

  • Device/Application link: 82%
  • Fuel economy indicator (at $50): 72%
  • Fuel economy indicator: 79%
  • Device/Application link (at $250): 67%
  • Active shutter grille vents: 76%
  • Active shutter grille vents (at $150): 61%
  • Natural language voice activation: 74%
  • Wireless connectivity system (at $300): 58%
  • Next generation head-up display (HUD): 74%
  • Surround-view camera system (at $550): 48%

What say you? What features do you need in a vehicle? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Source: J.D. Power and Associates