CARS.COM — In “Santa Baby,” Eartha Kitt croons about wanting a sable, a ’54 convertible and a yacht under the tree for Christmas, while songstress Mariah Carey trills about wanting, well, you in her holiday classic.
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While I admire the diva-tastic Eartha and Mariah, my list for Santa is a bit more practical. There are a few dreamy automotive features I tested this year that I’d love to see under the tree — or rather, in my car. Santa baby, hurry down the chimney with these:
2017 Nissan Titan’s huge center console: I once plopped 60 juice boxes into the respectably large center console of a 2014 Toyota Highlander. My guess is, the Titan’s center console could easily handle twice that. For those of you in a family who drive around with their children constantly in tow, this console is life-changing: From your large handbag to schoolbooks, potluck fare and DVDs, this handles it all easily and keeps it neatly and safely out of sight.
2017 Jeep Cherokee Limited’s Uconnect Vehicle: I’ve always been an old soul, but since having kids, it’s not just my soul that’s feeling old — my brain is, too. I’ve come out of so many stores wondering where the heck I parked that it’s embarrassing for everyone. This feature is made for folks like me: To use it, simply download the Uconnect Access app — which also syncs your Pandora and IHeartRadio apps — and make sure your phone has been connected to the car via Bluetooth. Then, before you even think about wandering aimlessly around the parking lot, tap the Location icon in the app, view your vehicle’s whereabouts on a satellite map and even see a route to get to your car.
2017 BMW X5 xDrive40e’s Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection: This feature made me feel like a superhero. I’m nearsighted and have to wear glasses to drive at night; this feature is kind of like the nighttime seeing-eye dog that I need. My husband was leery when I asked him to keep walking in front of the X5 while I barreled toward him at night, but I (and the car) let him live another day. With the press of a button, your info screen projects a wildly lucid, real-time infrared video view of everything outside the car and sounds an alarm when your husband (or any other pedestrian or animal) gets in your way. If you don’t stop, the car will. Brilliant.
2017 Infiniti QX60’s motion-activated liftgate: This type of feature has been around for a few years now, but typically, I feel like I have to bust out a prolonged and asinine-looking dance routine to get it to work on many models. The 2017 QX60 seems to have perfected it, though: A simple swing of your foot under the center of the rear bumper and the liftgate lifts — no jig required.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica’s Uconnect Theater: Truth be told, this is not really for me, it’s for the kids. Mine loved the dual 10-inch touchscreens in the Pacifica on which they could stream movies wirelessly from a device or play any of the built-in games or apps. The only problem? I have three children and there were only two screens. Maybe Santa can get me a version with three screens …