Matt Greenop: We marvel at gadgets but do we use them

By Matt Greenop

At the launch of the stylish new Range Rover this week, we were marvelling at just how tech-clever the classic British off-road machine was these days. At the push of a button, low range is engaged and the suspension will raise 70mm, it'll stay there until you reach 50km/h and then drop to 40mm. It'll set itself up for terrain types - snow, gravel, mud, the marble smooth driveway at St Cuths - just by pushing the nice new "auto" button. Hill descent control engages automatically as well, if asked, and will ensure you get to the bottom of super-steep drop without going end over end.

The seat warmers keep you happy in winter and the seat coolers keep the nethers chilled in humidity. There's even the option of a 29-speaker, 1700W sound system from high end boutique company Meridian. It will, apparently, bowl people over from about 100m. But how many of those who are buying these $200,000-plus pieces of go-anywhere engineering brilliance are likely to actually try going anywhere other than the road or very, very close to it? They're built to climb mountains, but how many never climb anything steeper than a judder bar in the 277 carpark?

A spirited conversation at a recent barbecue sparked up about what's useful in cars.

One bloke alleged that his better half deemed indicators irrelevant and only used the rear view mirror to put her lippy on. We've touched on this before - the flappy-paddle transmissions, reversing cameras, multi-zone climate air, Bluetooth audio streaming - we all have our favourite features and some options that we never even bother with.

What are your faves and what do you wish they'd never fitted?

- Hamilton News

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