6 features that most cars have, but some Teslas don't

Zhang Peng / Getty ImagesDespite their one-of-a-kind features, Tesla cars lack certain functions common in other luxury cars.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story contained inaccurate information about some features available on certain Tesla vehicles. The post has been updated to remove the inaccuracies and clarify certain available features on vehicles sold by Tesla. We regret the error.

Back in 2008, when Tesla Motors released its first vehicle, the all-electric Roadster, the vehicle was celebrated for the speed and power created by its clean, battery-powered motor.

Flash forward more than a decade, and Tesla has three vehicles for sale – the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 – with more in the works. Electric vehicles have also generally become more common.

Today, Teslas are hardly unique for being electric cars. Rather, these vehicles stand out for all the special features available. From an autopilot function to a HEPA air filtration system to the Falcon Wing doors of the Model X and Ludicrous Mode acceleration option, Teslas have features that no other vehicles offer.

On the other hand, there are a few features many cars have but that Teslas are missing.

Here are seven of the most notable features that many other cars have, but Teslas surprisingly do not.


Head-up displays

Marin Tomas / Getty Images

Head-up displays, usually called HUDs, beam critical information onto the windshield so a driver can monitor speed, directions, and other details without moving their eyes off the road.

Many higher-end vehicles today have a HUD standard, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been consistently opposed to them, finding HUDs “annoying” and saying that as Tesla cars move toward autonomous driving, they aren’t going to be needed anyway.


Heated steering wheels are not available on the Tesla Model 3

Matthew DeBord/BI

There is no heated steering wheel available on the Model 3, but it’s standard on the Model S and Model X.

A heated steering wheel might seem frivolous to those living in warm climates, but its absence in cars costing anywhere from $US50,000 to $US100,000 (or more) is a regular source of frustration for customers who deal with cold winters.


Cooled seats

Marin Tomas / Getty Images

Tesla vehicles allow you to cool down the seats (or warm them up) remotely via app, but if you forget to do so, chances are you’ll be sitting on an uncomfortably hot seat when you’re driving in the summer. And while cooled seats have been common in many cars for many years, they are nowhere to be seen in Teslas.


360-degree bird’s-eye view for parking

Even a number of moderately priced vehicles now feature an array of downward-facing cameras and sensors that, when in reverse, create a digital 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. This makes parallel parking much easier.

That said, many Teslas can parallel park themselves automatically.


Self-closing trunks

Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images

You can open and close the trunk on a Tesla Model 3 using an app, but unlike what you’ll find in so many vehicles these days, you cannot close it using a button found in the cabin. You’ll have to get out of the car to close it manually.


Blind-spot assist lights on side-view mirrors

Those little orange lights that light up on side-view mirrors when a vehicle is in the blind spot are almost ubiquitous these days. But Tesla’s system is a bit different.

Tesla’s blind-spot monitoring feature uses cameras, in addition to ultrasonic sensors, and will show vehicles in an owner’s blind spot on the touchscreen.

Tesla cars do have other blind-spot features, including an option to activate an audible chime that sounds when someone is in your blind spot, but not the lights that give quick reference as you check your mirrors.

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