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40 Crazy Car Features and Accessories You Didn’t Know Existed

Cameron EittreimMarch 7, 2022

As the auto industry is constantly changing and evolving, there will always be new car features and accessories that you might not know existed. Automakers are constantly trying to one-up each other with the next big thing. Many of these features are successful while others fall flat with consumers. Overall, automotive accessories and features have come leaps and bounds from where they were a few decades ago.

There are some features that we take for granted in our cars, while other features tend to go by the wayside when we are living life. Automakers try to make these innovative features to improve the experiences behind the wheel. We looked at some of the crazy car features and accessories that you might not have known existed. Some of these features were useful, while others didn’t quite cut the mustard.

Photo Credit: Rolls Royce

40: Rolls Royce Umbrellas

The Rolls Royce is the epiphany of luxury car brands. The Phantom in particular had some of the most groundbreaking luxury features of any car on the road. One of these unique and understated features was the umbrella built into the door of the car (via Motor Lease).

Photo Credit: Rolls Royce

Nowadays every Rolls Royce has this feature but there was a time when it was only available to prestigious models. You might not think you need an umbrella until you need one and then this feature makes sense. After all, you wouldn’t want to tackle that boardroom meeting with a wet coat.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

39: Pontiac Aztek Tent

In today’s automotive industry, a built-in tent is all the rage, especially for people into recreational activities. The Pontiac Aztek was one of the ugliest cars ever built, and the automotive world shunned it. But there were some interesting features that the Aztek brought to the table when it was released (via Motor Lease).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The most notable of these features was the built-in tent in the rear of the vehicle. The styling of the Aztek was also different from many cars on the road. There was also a built-in drink cooler that served as the center console for the Aztek, which together with the tent made this one of the original all-terrain vehicles.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

38: Volvo’s Anti-Kidnapping Heartbeat Sensor

Volvo is one of the most innovative carmakers in the world, and the S80 flagship sedan has been one of the most notable models. The S80 that came out for the 2006 model year had many unique features. Perhaps one of the most unique features was the heartbeat sensor, which could tell drivers via the keyfob if an intruder was waiting in the vehicle (via Motor Lease).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

This might not seem like something you ever think of having until you need it. Being able to get the upper hand on an intruder is a great thing. Especially if you live in a busy city where there are many crimes per capita. Driving an S80 from this generation would enable you to jump on potential intruders and car thieves.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

37: Pedestrian Airbags

Ever think a car could have an airbag to protect you from the outside? Well, a few engineers had a bright idea for equipping cars with an airbag system outside the vehicle. The idea behind this would be to protect pedestrians and motorcyclists in the event of being run over. The idea isn’t as much of a stretch as you’d think (via Motor Lease).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Car accidents involving pedestrians and motorcycles are some of the most common forms of death. Although the pedestrian airbag never caught on with consumers, it was a novel idea at the time. Fortunately, we won’t see any cars with an exterior airbag system anytime soon.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

36: Perfume Dispenser

Similar to the Rolls Royce umbrella, there have been many unique high-end features proposed in luxury cars. Mercedes-Benz had a unique idea, which involved a perfume dispenser for those times when you just need to smell pretty. This is the perfect solution for a socialite like Paris Hilton or someone who wanted to get more out of their exotic car (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Unfortunately, the idea didn’t catch on with the rest of modern society, and Mercedes-Benz dropped it. There aren’t enough consumers who need this type of thing inside their vehicles. Still, the ultra-luxurious clientele who purchase these vehicles are always looking for the next big thing.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

35: Parking Lifter

Self-parking cars are nothing new these days, and they haven’t been for the last couple of years. But to find this type of feature on a Ferrari isn’t something you’d expect. Well, there is more to the parking lifter on the 458 Italia than you’d think. The Ferrari 458 also has a load-leveling suspension, which is something that many high-performance cars have these days (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The purpose of this suspension system is to help the car handle twists and turns without losing control. The thought of using a parking lifter on an exotic car might seem funny at first, but it benefits the suspension when you are in high-performance situations. Another thing to note is that the 458 Italian is not the only Ferrari model with this feature.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

34: Openometer

There are pros and cons to owning a convertible car model. You get to enjoy the beautiful sunshine as a pro, and as a con, you don’t get the same type of protection from the elements that you do in an ordinary car. The “Openometer” is a feature that some convertible models have, where the roof will open when there is a certain temperature outside (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The openometer isn’t a feature that has caught on with many consumers, which might be why you’ve never seen it. If you think about it, not every driver will want their convertible top to open automatically. In areas where the temperatures are humid, the roof could accidentally open during a summer rainstorm.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

33: Starlight Roof

The starlight roof is a feature that has only recently become popular thanks to the Rolls Royce. It is one of the interesting features that the Rolls Royce Ghost had, and at the time it was the first of its kind. Now everyone wants a starlight roof in their car, and it isn’t hard to get one if you find the right kit to do it (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Now there isn’t a certain starlight roof that separates itself from the rest, and you will never get the perfect result like you would in an actual Rolls Royce. There are no true benefits to the starlight roof, aside from the obvious benefits when you are riding around at night.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

32: Backseat Reminders

We’ve all read and seen the horror stories about someone leaving a child or an animal in the backseat of a vehicle on a hot day. While it can seem out of the ordinary that you’d physically forget your child, it has happened from time to time. The interior of a car heats up to extreme levels quickly (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Back-seat reminders can be a great feature if you are forgetful and live a busy life. You might not realize that these reminder systems even exist. GM was one of the few companies that have embraced this type of technology. There aren’t many automakers that have yet embraced this technology, other than GM.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

31: Seat Massagers

High-end luxury cars are constantly evolving to benefit the high-end consumers who purchase them. When you are driving for a long distance, it can become uncomfortable and automakers have realized this. That is why there are certain automakers now incorporating seat massagers into the car (via Are You Selling).

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Lincoln is one of the automakers that has incorporated many massage features into the seating they put into their vehicles. Whether you want a full-on massage or just a calming driving experience, a seat-massager built-in can make a huge difference. It will be interesting to see how automakers continue to make vehicles comfortable in the future.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

30: Bentley: Interior Stone Veneer

Bentley is an automaker that has come a long way, and their cars continue to push the boundaries of luxury. If you want to take the interior of your new Bentley to the next level, there is a stone veneer option. The option is available on the highest-end Bentley models and completely transforms the way the dashboard looks (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

It’s not uncommon for an exotic carmaker to offer high-end interior materials to choose from. The stone veneer adds depth to the dashboard of the car, which is generally not seen in many vehicles. As time goes on, automakers will continue to improve the quality of the interiors that we see in these vehicles.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

29: Mercedes-Benz: Heated Armrests

Leave it to Mercedes-Benz to come up with a feature that keeps you warm during the Winter. We aren’t talking about heated seats, instead of about heated armrests. It is a feature that Mercedes has been developing for years. You might wonder what a heated armrest would be good for (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Well, leave it to German engineers to find the ideal solution to a common problem. You are cold when you get into your car in the morning. What better way to fix that than a heated armrest. This is also a great solution if you are in your car for long periods, or even have to wait in your car for long periods.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

28: Tailgate Event Seating

Tailgating has become more popular than ever and so have pickup trucks. This means the price and features of these vehicles are also rising. Because the usual vehicle you’ll use to tailgate is a pickup truck, automakers have started to incorporate features targeted toward these consumers (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The built-in event seating is a new feature that automakers have included in their truck beds. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to just pull up to the stadium and start tailgating? With a built-in tailgate event seating system, you can just get to the game and start enjoying yourself. This is definitely one of the most unique new features.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

27: Drowsiness Detector

Self-driving cars have become the next hot thing in the automotive industry. These cars will revolutionize a segment and allow people to drive who might not have been able to before. These cars will also change the way we drive across the country and take long driving trips (via Are You Selling).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

One of the things that has been highly publicized when it comes to self-driving cars is that the driver can fall asleep at the wheel. This has been happening a lot with Tesla models, and it represents a dangerous problem. Luckily, automakers have been quick to adapt new technology that lets the car know when the driver has fallen asleep.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

26: Touch-Sensitive Climate Controls

Dials have long been the norm when it comes to a dashboard in a car or truck. The dials are used to control the HVAC system in the vehicle. But high-end luxury car makers have been toying with touch-sensitive climate controls for years now. The design is much smoother and with less moving parts in the final design (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

While touch-sensitive climate controls are benefits, there are also downfalls. The main problem is that there are more electrics to replace when the controls stop working. This could be a problem in the long run, and one of the reasons touch-sensitive controls haven’t yet caught on.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

25: Swing Gates

Swing gates are another feature that has caught on in recent years, especially on SUV models. The main vehicle on which you’d find a swing gate was the Ford C-Max Hybrid. The swing gate makes loading the rear cargo area much easier. But the styling of the swing gates is not the most attractive thing to look at (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

There have been all kinds of variations in the rear doors on an SUV. The swing gate is only one of the most recent ideas. For years, GM toyed with the barn door idea on the Suburban SUV, and there have been many other ideas.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

24: Car Shower

Surfers have been longing for a built-in car shower for decades. You’d be able to shower on the go, and as more people chose a mobile life, this might be a great option. Fortunately, none of the major automakers have caught on with this idea yet. RV models are still more popular than ever, so having a shower in a car might not make sense (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The logistics of an automaker having to tool a factory to install this feature would require a massive investment. The thought of having a built-in car shower might seem cool, but the application hasn’t been perfected yet. Time will tell what happens for the future of this feature.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

23: Refrigerator in a Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Hyundai is a company that has spent decades trying to repair the damage that the Excel hatchback caused in the 1980s. Part of this strategy was to introduce more advanced cars with every model year. One of the most peculiar models was the Equus, which was a high-end luxury car that offered many features (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Equus received huge praise for the quality of the interior and luxury features. The built-in refrigerator was something that you’d never think you’d see in a Hyundai. While a built-in fridge isn’t the norm for most of us, it was a cool feature that makes the Equus Ultimate a noteworthy used car.

Photo Credit: Travelog

22: Toyota MasterAce Ice Maker

The Toyota MasterAce is one of the most iconic minivans of the 1980s. Toyota had a great run building these vans originally, and there were some unique features. The MasterAce was a great car if you wanted the recreation of an RV, but the compact demeanors of a minivan. Prior to the redesign in the 1990s, the MasterAce had many unique features (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Travelog

The built-in ice maker was one of the most popular features of the time. The van could make ice on the fly, and it made the perfect companion for camping and outdoor activities. Why stop for a bag of ice when you can just get it fresh inside your van? Definitely a unique feature that made the MasterAce a cool van.

Photo Credit: Dodge

21: Tiny Temperature-Controlled Coolers

There have been all kinds of unique coolers that have been including inside of cars in the last decade. The tiny temperature controlled coolers are one of the options that have made luxury cars unique. What would you use a cooler like this for exactly? Well, you can store snacks on a long road trip or even a bottle of wine (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Dodge

There are no limits to what you could use one for, and it would save you money during a long road trip. The great thing about these tiny temperature controlled units is that they don’t take away from the design of the car. Whether it is a dashboard mounted drink cooler or something larger, the premise is great.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

20: The Automobile Armrest

Believe it or not, there was a time when cars didn’t come with an armrest. Most vehicles have a bench seat, and thus an armrest was useless. But as automakers moved away from the traditional six passenger seating arrangement, most cars got an armrest. This was a great feature when you were on a long drive (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Comfort is one of the most important things that you look at in a car. With the armrest, the comfort of our modern vehicles has changed tremendously. It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when we had to drive without the comfort of having an armrest by our side.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

19: Rotating License Plate

The rotating license plate is not common but it has a purpose. Most of the time, that purpose involves some sort of government agency or a criminal that needs to hide the identity of a car. Rotating license plates are not easy to install, and there are very few shops who will perform this modification (via CarBuzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

A rotating license plate can also be used on a show car when a club or shop name needs to be displayed instead of the stock plate. A rotating plate can make this easier than having to unscrew the original license plate every time you go to a car show. Either way, this is a unique feature that you’ll seldom see often.

Photo Credit: Amazon

18: Rooftop Tent

A feature popular on the Pontiac Aztek SUV, the rooftop tent has gained traction in recent years. As more outdoor enthusiasts start to purchase SUV models, it pays to have a built-in tent. When you can pull up to the campsite, and you don’t have to spend hours setting up the tent (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Amazon

There are a few types of rooftop tent to choose from, with some being much more advanced than others. But the main premise behind it is to ensure that you can enjoy your camping trip without having to do a massive setup every time.

Photo Credit: Amazon

17: Blind Spot Mirror

The blind spot is probably one of the most annoying things for a driver to encounter. The problem is that you can damage your car or even hurt someone. As vehicle designs become more intensive, the blind spot will only become worse. Blind spot monitoring systems help, but they are available on every car model (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Amazon

Blind spot mirrors have been designed to help you sort of aid in the spots you can’t see. Originally designed for truck drivers hauling a load, these mirrors have now made it onto many cars. The end result is a mirror that will help you see your blind spot and haul a load properly.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

16: Sunglasses Visor Clip

You’ve gotta be in style when you drive, right? That is where the sunglasses visor clip came into play. Many automakers have tried different variations of this thing over the years. It could be in the center of the roof over the driver, or it could be built into the visor. Nevertheless, there are many variations that you’ll encounter (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The premise of this feature was simple, to ensure that you could access your sunglasses in a moment’s notice. You want your sunglasses where you can easily reach them, instead of digging around for them in your car.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

15: Tesla Down Under Car Theft Protection

Tesla models are some of the most advanced vehicles in the world. The anti-theft systems that go into these cars are definitely top notch. In the future, it will become more difficult than ever to steal an electric car. The reason behind this is that these vehicles will be linked to our smartphones and identity (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Tesla Down Under Car Theft device is about the same as the rest of the technology that the company has been using. You are connected into the Tesla app, and this controls who has access to your vehicle or not.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

14: IceScreen Mirror Mitz

Nothing is worse than going to start your car in the morning and it’s covered in ice. If you don’t have heated mirrors, then seeing out of your mirrors is also a pain. Nevertheless, the IceScreen Mirror Mitz were a unique thing that helped. You’d put the mirror mits on your mirrors prior to a frost, and they stop the mirror from icing up (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Not the most ingenious thing, but it seemed to do the job well. Unfortunately, most cars nowadays have defrosters built-in, so the need for these would be very slim. Nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze us how many unique items can be found in the automotive space when it comes to accessories.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

13: Solar Shower

A built-in shower is something that we’ve covered earlier, but it takes a lot to get a shower into a vehicle. You’d need some type of conversion van to power the shower, and that doesn’t even solve the water problem. But a few smart automotive accessory makers have also come up with a solar shower idea (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

This way, you aren’t using the vehicles built-in power to get the shower heated. A solar shower can be used anywhere, as long as you have a water source. This is definitely a great idea for the weary traveler, who might want to stop and take a shower from time to time.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

12: Handpresso Auto

If you drink coffee, then you know that hand-pressed coffee is the only way to get the true flavor of the beans. We tend to be in such a hurry in the mornings that having a hand-pressed cup of coffee isn’t in the question. Luckily, there was a nifty accessory created to solve this problem, the handpress auto (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

This nifty device is a full coffee press that can be built into your car. We’re not sure how the thing works, but it’s a novel idea to say the least. You could be pressing coffee when you were on the way to that meeting, or even a soccer game.

Photo Credit: Amazon

11: The Carstache

This is one of those accessories that just makes us scratch our heads. The carstache is a one-off accessory that gives your car facial hair. We’re not sure why you’d want facial hair on your car, but it seems to work like that. You simply attach it to the front of your car, and now your car has a set of facial hair (via The Sun).

This was popular for a while when UBER and Lyft first became popular, but the novelty of dressing your car up has worn off. There are much better accessories that you could use on your car to get a unique look.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

10: Portable Vehicle Traffic Speed Bump

Tired of those pesky teens speeding through your neighborhood? No speed bumps on the ground to keep them in line? Well, there is also an option for that, and it is the Portable Vehicle Traffic Speed Bump. This unique device can be placed anywhere, and you can have a portable speed bump setup within minutes (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The idea is novel at best, as the portable speed bump probably wouldn’t stop anyone from speeding. But if you have an event where little kids will be present, and want to slow down the flow of traffic, then this might work.

Photo Credit: Amazon

9: Monsters For Your Car

Want to celebrate the unique? Check out these Monsters for your car steering wheel covers. Usually steering wheel covers are a bit overrated, but these have a certain sense of style that makes them unique. Whether you get the pink one or the gray one, you can’t go wrong by using these (via The Sun).

Photo Credit: Amazon

Installation is fairly straightforward, and while most steering wheel covers are very limiting, these ones seem to grip the wheel well. You can celebrate the odd and get a lot of stares in the process with these unique steering wheel covers.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

8: Truck Bed Swimming Pool

Many people have dreamed of having a truck bed swimming pool, but the application is a lot harder than you’d think. Fortunately, you can buy a prebuilt truck bed swimming pool that can be dropped directly into the rear of the truck. This will prevent the water from spilling out, and you can have great temporary fun in the bed of your truck (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Now obviously this will be limited if you actually need to drive your truck around. But if you want to have a quick novelty in your backyard, then this might be worth investing in. You can literally have a hillbilly limo with a little work.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

7: The XD Design Solar Window Charger

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to charge your phone and you don’t have a cable. Or the battery to your car dies, and you are stuck with no way to charge your phone. There’s a solution for that, and it is the XD Design Solar Window Charger. Just attach to a window in your car, and you have a quick charging solution (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Solar power is everywhere, so it makes sense to use one to charge your phone. The installation isn’t that difficult, and the results are surprisingly better than you’d expect for the price.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

6: Car Jack That Uses Car Exhaust

There are many unique car jacks that have hit the market, but this one takes the cake. It uses your own cars exhaust to lift the vehicle up. This is ideal for someone who might not have the strength to do it themselves. The application seems easy enough to get going, and you can get your tire switched quickly (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

These jacks haven’t seemed to catch on at this point, but it will be interesting to see what the future holds. There is always a need for better roadside assistance stuff that can help the consumer get back on the road.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

5: Swivel Tray For Your Dining Needs

As with the Toyota MasterAce, there have been many unique dining options built into vehicles. If you don’t want to pack extra tables and all that extra stuff, then having a built-in swivel table can help. These tables were great for outdoor outings and even getting the kids setup with snacks (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

There have been many different table designs that have gone into vehicles, from being built into the back of the seat to a standalone design. No matter which type of table you use, there is sure to be a unique use and option for it.

Photo Credit: Amazon

4: App-Controlled Fiber Optic LED Accent Light

Some cars, like the Rolls Royce, have LED optics built into the roofs, but for the average consumer, you won’t have this. Fortunately, with the advances in LED technology, it isn’t difficult to get this built into your vehicle. The App Controlled Fiber Optic LED Accent Light can be installed easily and operated from your phone (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Amazon

Generally, the car battery will power these devices and can do many colors. If you want to add that late night ambiance to your car, then the App Controlled Fiber Optic LED Accent Light might be a great option.

Photo Credit: Amazon

3: Car Jump Starter

We’re not sure how many people like to drive around carrying jumper cables in their backseat. But with the advances in portable charging technology, you can now jumpstart a car with something as small as a cell phone. These portable jump starters can be used on the fly and offer many unique features (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Amazon

If you’re looking for a quick way to start your car on the fly, then one of these portable jump starters is a great option. They are very easy to setup, and you can get up and going within a few minutes.

Photo Credit: Amazon

2: Portable Gas Pump

The days of carrying a heavy gas can around are gone, and now you can get a portable gas pump for half the price. The portable gas pump is a unique device that can pump up to ten gallons of gas without you having to lift a finger. The design is a miniature gas pump, and it has some pretty unique features (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Amazon

If you’ve ever wanted to pump gas, but you didn’t want to deal with a heavy gas can, then this is a great option. Although the price is high, you can’t put a price on convenience, and this is about as convenient as you can get.

Photo Credit: Amazon

1: Alexa-Enabled Roav VIVA Car Charger

Although modern cars have all kinds of new technology, if you drive an older vehicle, you don’t experience this. Fortunately, there is a way around that, and it is the Alexa-Enabled Roav VIVA Car Charger. You can simply plug this into your accessories port, and you will have an Alexa enabled vehicle in a matter of minutes (via McCarthy Auto Group).

Photo Credit: Amazon

There are many benefits to having Alexa capability built-in to your car, which is why many drivers want it. The Alexa-Enabled Roav VIVA Car Charger is fairly inexpensive and easy to use, making it a great accessory for drivers who want more in their ride without having to completely change the factory infotainment center.

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