“Where are my keys?”
It was once a common refrain when getting in the car. Seeing people patting down their pockets or riffling through their purses was typical parking lot procedure, as they tried to find where they put their keys. However, now that keyless ignition is standard on 62 percent of new cars sold in the U.S., searching for keys is becoming a thing of the past.
Keyless ignitions (also known as push-button start, keyless start, or smart keys) allow drivers to start their vehicle with the push of a button. This started as a luxury feature on cars like Mercedes and Cadillacs in the 1990s, but has since become mainstream.
Keyless ignitions use a fob that sends a low-frequency signal to the car’s computer system. When this signal is received, a driver can start the car with the push of a button. Many cars also offer keyless entry, which allows you to unlocks the car doors without a key when the fob is near. Some systems are so advanced that they won’t lock the doors if the fob is still in the car, eliminating the age-old problem of locking your keys in the car.
While you need to keep that fob close, keyless start or entry is convenient, since you have one less thing to carry in your hands when you’re getting in the car. Your key fob can remain safety tucked in your coat or bag, meaning it’s less likely to get lost. Today, keyless ignitions are available on a wide range of vehicles, including these five favorites.
Ford Mustang: For drivers who want power and performance alongside convenience, the Mustang is the perfect car with keyless ignition. Ford’s intelligent access key allows you to enter and start the vehicle without taking the key out of your pocket. The Mustang and other Ford vehicles also have a sophisticated “MyKey” system that allows you to set a maximum speed and radio volume for when someone else is behind the wheel.
Kia Soul:The Kia Soul has been named the best compact car for the money and best compact car for families, so it has a lot going for it, including a keyless entry system. This car is great for drivers who don’t want a large vehicle, but would like ample storage space and room for passengers.
Nissan Leaf: For environmentally-conscious drivers, the Nissan Leaf is an electric vehicle with a proven track record. The 2016 model included a new battery that provides 27 percent higher range, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power. The Nissan intelligent key system allows you to start the car and open doors or the back hatch simply by pushing a button on the handle or tailgate if you have the key fob nearby.
Jeep Grand Cherokee:Jeeps have a devoted following of drivers who love their chic look and outstanding off-road capability. The Grand Cherokee is perfect for drivers who want to get away on the weekends, since this vehicle is equally at home in the carpool lane or on a dirt track. Jeep’s Keyless Enter N’ Go system allows you to unlock the car by pulling on one of the front door handles and to start it with the push of a button.
Chevy Equinox:The Chevy Equinox is a great family car that ranks high for comfort, space and reliability — everything you want to get you and the kids where you need to go. The Equinox is also one of the most affordable compact SUVs. Despite that, you’ll enjoy features like the keyless entry system, which also allows you to remotely start the heated seats or roll down the widows.