What do automotive shoppers really want?

A few years ago, those who kicked the tires on new vehicles might have prioritized fuel efficiency, comfort, or perhaps horsepower.

Today, it’s all about the tech.

“The race never ends to develop ‘must have’ vehicle technologies,” says Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research at J.D. Power. “New technology continues to be a primary factor in the vehicle purchase decision.”

“However, it’s critical for automakers to offer features that owners find intuitive and reliable,” Kolodge adds.

Automotive expert Nik Miles mirrors Kolodge’s assessment: “Besides price, tech plays a major role when considering a new car – interestingly, for every age group – but it has to be easy to use.”

Miles is founder and host of, an online magazine featuring the latest in automotive news and reviews. “Even inexpensive vehicles are loaded with tech, whether it’s