You're a maker of cars, aren't you?

No?  Well, you know one, right?  Do you mind passing along this post to him?  Gee, thanks!

The automotive industry is huge.  There's a lot of money to be made.  All the more reason for each corporation to make sure their vehicles are full-featured, lacking no necessary gadget or convenient add-on.  You'd think that Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, GM, and the like would be constantly analyzing one another's vehicles, making sure their own model measures up to comparable vehicles manufactured by the others.  But they seem to fail.  After talking with auto owners from all across the market, I've compiled a list of simple, yet very useful features that every new car should have.

Aux-in.  Also known as an auxiliary input.  It's basically a backwards headphone jack.  It provides a means to play music from basically ANY device over your car's speakers.  In the age of iPods and smartphones, we need a way to hook up our techie treasures so we can listen to the musical tidings of the Glee Cast while we're cruising down the freeway.  Or maybe some Miley?  Regardless of your musical tastes, you don't want to play around with an FM transmitter - you want the pure, unblemished tones of "Don't Stop Believing" pumping from your mp3 player over your car speakers.  You just use a male-to-male (hope I don't have to explain that one - just ask your parents) auxiliary cord.  One end plugs in to the headphone jack of your iPod, Zune, CD player, BlackBerry, laptop, or other device.  The other end plugs right into your stereo system through the much-needed AUX-IN port.

USB ports. This could be an even better option than the AUX-IN port.  You can play your music and charge your device simultaneously.  How about it, Ford?  You hearing me, Kia? Radio controls on the steering wheel. For real.  Do you know how many deaths each year are caused by reaching over to hit the "Seek" button?  Last year, there were 755,687,000 such deaths in the US alone.  (Just kidding. I'm no statistician.)  But seriously - this is a problem.  ATTENTION CAR COMPANIES: we want convenience.  And we want it NOW.  So, please.  We need a 'seek +/-' button, 'volume +/-' button, and a mute button.  Thanks.  (And yes - mute buttons come in very handy - they're really useful for drive-thrus.

Auto-up/down buttons for ALL windows. Many cars only have this option for the driver's window.  But it needs to be extended to all of the windows.  It just makes sense.  Thanks, car companies.

DTE. Distance-to-empty or digital tank estimate.  It stands for one of the two. Either way - it's simple and so useful.  It tells you whether you've got 30 miles left or only 9 miles to go before you breakdown on the side of the road.  My car happens to have one of these and it's pretty handy to have.

100,ooo-mile Powertrain warranty. Seriously, guys - you're making some quality cars.  So, why don't you vouch for them?  Your car is going to last to 100k miles, so why don't you back up your company's reputation by offering these standard with all new vehicles?  Shout out to Hyundai and GM for this one.

Steering wheel lock. So folks can't steal your car!  If they break in, they sure won't be able to drive off without your keys - regardless of whether they know how to hot-wire it.  Oh, hey hardened criminal.  So you want to drive off in Kate?  Well, you can't.  Her steering wheel is locked. Bazinga.

Whistle-tips.This video will explain the usefulness of this accessory.  It's a must-have if you want to be hip.