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Top 10 Hidden Car Features

Jesse McGraw

Not all car features are immediately known. Some aren’t listed, some are forgotten, and some were on accident. Here’s the top 10 hidden car features.

“I Didn’t Know It Did That!”

Have you ever encountered a car feature on your very own vehicle that you hadn’t noticed before? Sometimes cool car features aren’t explicitly shown to you when looking over a car for the first time or other car features had just been forgotten over the years by most of the general public. We looked through a couple of nifty car features owners might not know they have on their cars right now.

Honda CR-V – Cargo Folding Table

Honda CR-V Folding Table
Honda CR-V Folding Table

This hidden car feature has had a social media resurgence recently, as owners run to the rear of their Honda CR-V, take out the cargo tray, and pop some legs out from under it to create a handy little folding table. The cargo folding table was a fun gimmick Honda included on their CR-V models from 1997 to 2006. I wish more SUVs handled the cargo tray in this manner, but car manufacturers must not think there’s much value there since Honda themselves discontinued the fun car feature.

Dodge Challenger – Under Hood Cup Holders

2018 Dodge Challenger cup holders - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2018 Dodge Challenger cup holders - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The Dodge Challenger is made to burn rubber and roar down the road, but sometimes you want to just pop the hood and admire that supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 engine. Luckily, Dodge knows you’ll want to gather all your buddies around and talk specs, so they added cup holders for when the hood is open. Alright, they aren’t really meant to be cup holders officially, but the little circular divots in the plastic molding work better for drinks than any other vehicle’s under hood design would. The divots are really just helpful for keeping nuts and bolts from rolling around and getting lost while working on the car, so the car feature is still appreciated.

Honda Fit – Magic Seats

Honda’s Magic Seat design makes their vehicles cargo space options superior to the competition, especially in the Honda Fit. The rear seats of the Fit can fold their seat bottoms up creating the perfect space for a decent sized TV purchase, while still providing room in the back for other purchases. The seats can then flip down, like most hatchbacks of today, to provide a large cargo area to further increase its hauling capacity. With the rear seats down, you can then fold the front passenger seat down for longer cargo like a surf board or ladder. Finally, you can flip both front seats back with the rear seats up to create an impromptu bed like the classic compact Rambler. That’s a lot of functionality and generated space for such a small modern vehicle.

Volkswagen Beetles – Blumenvasen

Volkswagen Beetle Blumenvasen - media.vw.com
Volkswagen Beetle Blumenvasen - media.vw.com

Ever wonder why the Volkswagen Beetle was one of the quintessential flower power hippie cars? The Blumenvasen might have been something to do with it. This flower vase was an optional accessory for the Beetle since 1950. It was originally a fancy German made porcelain vase that could be filled with flowers and be clipped on the dashboard or windshield in order to provide a nice fragrance to the little vehicle. The little flower vase could still be found on Beetles prior to 2011, just look to the right of the steering wheel and you’ll see a little vase sitting next to the gauge cluster.

BMW 3-Series – Keeps the Brakes Dry

Did you know the BMW 3-Series car feature that has kept its brakes dry since the 2006 model? The brake drying technology detects lower traction and whether the wipers have been activated, then the brake pads make light contact with the rotors to remove any moisture. This ensures that the brake system is just as effective as it would be in dryer conditions. It’s a nice touch that you would only really notice if someone told you – like this article.

Mini Cooper – Openometer

The Mini Cooper is full of quirks, but the convertible model has an odd car feature made just for it. Dropping the top of the little mini activates the Openometer, a gauge cluster element that tells the driver how long they’ve had the top down. It’s basically pointless to any owner, but Mini decided it was worth adding as a fun little part of their convertible experience. I guess you could add “Has only spent 142 hours with top down.” to the seller notes if you sold it though.

Toyota 4Runner – Prepared for Fast Food

Toyota 4Runner Burger Tray - Canadian Gearhead on YouTube.com
Toyota 4Runner Burger Tray - Canadian Gearhead on YouTube.com

The fifth generation 4Runner has a decent following from the overlanding community, but did you know it was outfitted with a burger tray? When you fold down the rear seat cup holders, there’s a little tray the pulls out made for your favorite fast-food burger to sit. Toyota even incorporated a trash bag holder near the rear seats, so the passengers won’t leave wrappers carelessly in the side doors or on the floor. Now, if they had an additional fry or nugget holder I would have been sold.

Tesla Model X – A Christmas Light Show

Tesla has packed their vehicles full of high-tech car features and fun little infotainment easter eggs, but they hid an interesting feature in their Model X. The electric SUV can turn into a full-on Christmas light show if the 8.0 or later software has been installed. By holding the Tesla logo on the main screen for 5 seconds, you’ll be introduced to a code entry message. If you enter “modelxmas” or “holiday” and then hit the ok button, you’ll be told to leave the vehicle. After a short time, the Wizards in Winter Christmas song will start and all of the Model X’s lights will flash in unison. Even the falcon doors move to the music.

Chevrolet Avalanche – Midgate

Chevy Avalanche Midgate - Hilltown on YouTube.com
Chevy Avalanche Midgate - Hilltown on YouTube.com

The folding midgate was a feature specific to the Chevrolet Avalanche that most people hadn’t recognized it had. The Avalanche had a decent sized truck bed, but it could expand into the passenger cabin. By folding the rear seats forward, removing the rear glass, placing the glass into a specialized slot, and undoing some latches allows the midgate to fold down. This enables Avalanche owners to haul longer items without having to drop the tailgate open and also creates a partially open-air design for warm days. Maybe Chevrolet will bring this feature back one day, but for now you’ll have to shop used to get an Avalanche with a midgate.

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Jesse McGraw
Jesse McGraw

Jesse's life-long car obsession began when he started collecting Hot Wheels as a child. He’s constantly keeping up with the latest car news and diving deep into automotive history. His automotive journey began with a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, only recently replaced by an impeccable 2014 Kia Soul. You can find him modifying and racing cars in video games when he’s not playing paintball or writing about cars.

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