No one knows their car better than a super commuter, a driver who travels 90 minutes or more each way to work.1 From seats to climate control to vehicle technology, they’ve dialed into the right configuration of built-in features to make each trip not only easier, but more comfortable and productive. Super commuter Nick McLaren, enterprise data governance manager for Amica, shares his recommended vehicle specifications sheet.
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The driver's seat is customizable in several ways:
“I have lumbar support, and I’m able to adjust the driver side forward and backward, closer to the steering wheel or farther away. You can be a little bit more relaxed or a little bit further up.”
Incrementally adjust the distance to the pedals, as well as pitch, tilt and lumbar support.2
“My wife and I change cars quite a bit, and we have different height preferences. It will automatically adjust so that we don’t have to do it manually each time.”
If someone else adjusts the seat, one push of the button gets you back to your own settings.3
Heating and cooling options
“I have an SUV that has heating/cooling for both the front and back seats. I’ve found the cooling works a lot better in the newer models. We have a third car that’s about 10 years old, and you can definitely notice the difference of newer technology and, of course, when you get them serviced appropriately.”
Newer models offer both for an extra degree of comfort year-round.4
Comfort settings are no longer a one-size-fits-all scenario. Look for:
Multi-zone climate control
“We’ve got six zones: front seats, middle seats, back seat – two seats each. When you’ve got enough zones for the number of rows and the number of people in your car, that makes a big difference. So does the ability to change which zones are blowing. Sometimes, you might want to have it blowing at your head or your feet. The ability to change the direction makes a difference as well.”
This enables you and your passengers to set the ideal temperature for your respective sections of the vehicle.5
Heated steering wheel
“If you can get that as part of a package in the car, it’s really, really great, too. We bought a car a few years ago that had it, and now, we want it in every car that we get.”
When you remove the need to wear gloves, you can better grip the wheel and push controls.6
Easy access is the key.
“You can voice-activate: Answer a call or end the call from the same spot, and increase or decrease the volume.”
This sync is vital for making hands-free phone calls, a requirement in 16 states and the District of Columbia.7
Keep your portable devices charged on the road with multiple slots.8
“It’s great because I use that quite a bit for music – but then you can also do a lot of other things, like navigation. You can either use Bluetooth or plug it into the USB outlet that’s in the car.”
When parked or pulled over, quickly access menus for entertainment, vehicle performance and more.8
Adaptive cruise control
“Cruise control used to be mostly about convenience, but the newest vehicle technology adjusts the distance from the car ahead of you, which improves driver safety, too.”
This sets your speed, as well as the distance between you and the car in front of you.8
“It’s really helpful when you’re on the highway, particularly. If people are focused on the safety of their vehicle, I would recommend they take a look at which cars and which manufacturers get really good safety ratings from a vehicle technology perspective.”
Drivers receive a warning sound or flash of light to increase awareness of their surroundings.9
As a super commuter, choosing vehicle features boils down to how much technology you think you’ll need and what type of comforts you want for a nice ride, McLaren says. One final attribute to keep in mind? A quiet cabin. Not only does it foster clearer phone calls via Bluetooth, it also helps you relax at the end of the workday, McLaren points out.
“The quieter it is in your car, hopefully the easier it’ll be to decompress.”