• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


  • CitNOW reveals the best-loved and most bizarre or innovative car features
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI ‘golf ball’ gear knob, Volkswagen Beetle vase and Vauxhall’s built-in bike rack top poll of popular items
  • A third of drivers said they would consider buying a car without ever seeing it “in-the-flesh”

The nation’s favourite hidden car features have been named – with the Volkswagen Golf GTI golf ball gear knob coming out on top.

The iconic dimpled gear shifter tops a poll of 2,000 drivers by CitNOW to find the nation’s most popular secret features some owners didn’t even realise were fitted on their cars.

Other much-loved gizmos included SKODA’s integrated umbrella, the Volkswagen Beetle dashboard vase and Vauxhall’s integrated bike rack.

These memorable features – available on used cars costing less than £10,000 – can often be a surprise when a consumer buys the car on the second-hand market.

CitNOW, the video technology pioneer, said a third of drivers would consider buying a car having only seen a video of it sent by a retailer.

But hidden surprises aren’t always as pleasant as these Top 10 gadgets, with faulty parts and scratched bodywork sometimes revealed after the car is bought.

Research shows 88% of British drivers would ignore an online car advert if it didn’t have images or a video – and 50% of respondents said a video tour is “important” or “essential” when buying a car.

And 72% of drivers would consider travelling further to view a used car if they were sent a personalised video first.

CitNOW provides a video contact service to retailers, allowing them to bring the showroom experience to a customer’s living room. A simple, well presented video showing a car of interest can help a customer decide whether a trip to their retailer is worth it, or not.

Ollie Parsons, Head of Sales and Client Services UK at CitNOW, said: “The Volkswagen Golf GTI golf ball gear knob was voted as the most iconic hidden feature. It might even be the difference between someone buying the Golf GTI or looking at a rival!

“All these secret or fun features will delight a buyer who’s bought a car before realising they got more than they bargained for.

“At CitNOW, we continue to work closely with retailers to provide them with the digital tools they need to enhance the experiences of their customers.”


A survey of 2,000 UK motorists revealed the most popular gadgets as:

Volkswagen Golf GTI Golf Ball Gear Knob – 19.9%

The Golf GTI is one of the most iconic cars ever made and is even more special with a golf ball atop the gear lever. It’s been a feature of the manual gearbox-equipped GTI for many years and is a real delight for hot hatch fans.

Volkswagen Beetle Vase – 14.6%

Dating back more than 50 years, the factory-fitted vase adds a floral touch to the popular Beetle. Owners could pop in their favourite flower – or even a pen for last minute additions to the shopping list.

Vauxhall Corsa FlexFix Integrated Bike Rack – 12.4%

Bike racks can be expensive not to mention annoying to fit. Vauxhall came up with an innovative solution on the Corsa back in the later 2000s. The FlexFit system appeared behind the rear number plate after you lifted a handle in the boot. You could pull it out, lock it in place, slip on the extra rear lights provided and load up your bikes.

SKODA Integrated Umbrella – 10.1%

Ever left the house in glorious sunshine only to arrive at your destination in a downpour? Of course you have, it’s Britain. Skoda’s innovative integrated umbrella hides in the door pocket out of sight ready to keep you dry if you get caught in the rain.

MINI Ambient Lighting – 9.8%

If you want to turn your car into a spaceship/nightclub then MINI’s ambient lighting is for you. With lighting strips throughout the cabin it lets you change the colours to create a personal lightshow. The tech even beams a MINI badge onto the floor when you open the door.

Honda Magic Seats – 9.7%

Honda rolled out its magic seats in the early 2000s and were a highlight of the Jazz before being introduced onto the Civic. The magic behind them is that they allow you to fold up the entire seat to free up floor space for large, bulky items.

MINI Convertible Openometer – 9.4%

The unpredictable British weather means owning a drop top can be an interesting experience. How much use will you really get out of it? Well MINI decided it’d tell you exactly how much with its “Openometer”. The gauge records the time spent travelling with the roof down.

Nissan Curry Hook – 7.5%

You’ve been to pick up a takeaway but don’t want to spill your tikka masala over your seats or footwell. Cue the dashboard-mounted Nissan curry hook – first introduced on the Almera in 1996. It lets you tie the bag up for your trip back home, safe from potholes or speedbumps making a mess of your motor. Now found in the boot of modern day models.

Renault Modus Boot Chute – 4.1%

If someone has parked right up your rear bumper, opening the boot to load your shopping can be a bit of a problem. The boot chute is handy in these tight spots as it allows the lower portion of the tailgate to be tilted down so you can get into the luggage area without lifting the whole lid.

DS 3 Integrated Perfume Dispenser – 2.6%

Forget a little tree dangling from your rear-view mirror, Citroen offers a built-in air freshener to pump your chosen scent around the DS 3 cabin. A handy little dial on the dashboard lets you control the intensity so you’re not overpowered by fumes.

For more information on Web Video and Smart Image visit www.citnow.co.uk/demo.