Can You Live Without Keyless Entry?

I recently went through a heart-wrenching breakup — with my cute and sexy Volvo C30. It fit my previous life as a single mom to two little girls perfectly. It was functional, fun and unique. Best of all, it had remote keyless entry and start, a feature I didn't fully appreciate until my C30 was gone.

I'm married now, and I've added a stepdaughter to the family, so I've swapped into an older Mercedes-Benz C-Class. There's nothing wrong with the car, but now I have to press a button on the key fob to unlock the door and then use the old "put the key in the ignition and turn to start" trick.

Sure, it may sound like a First World problem, but this is a serious car-owner issue for me.

As a busy, working mom, I juggle a lot of physical stuff: my purse, my computer bag, my daughter's dance bag and knee brace, my other daughter's piano music bag. Throw a few grocery bags or a yoga mat into the mix, and all of a sudden I'm thinking about getting arm implants. Keeping track of car keys in 2012 just seems unnecessary to me.

Keyless entry systems are popping up on cars of all prices and trim levels, from the base Hyundai Elantra to luxury brands like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. Just as the price levels run the gamut, so do the system's usability. Ideally, keyless entry should always be paired with keyless start. If you can get into the car without your key but then need to find the key to start the car, what good is that?

Keyless entry 1
I strongly prefer keyless entry systems that work seamlessly, without requiring the user to adapt to any new or extra maneuvers, such as holding your hand around the door handle, grabbing and pausing for several seconds until the door unlocks or pressing an unlock button on the door handle, like in the Kia Sorento.

After almost a decade of test-driving cars, I've developed a strong affinity for keyless entry systems that either unlock the door as you approach vehicle (like in the Audi A8) or, like in my old C30 or the Toyota RAV4, the door unlocks and opens in a single motion when I pull the door handle — as long as the key is buried somewhere at the bottom of my purse.

What about you? Is keyless entry a must-have for your busy life as a parent, or is it nothing more than fluff for the most spoiled among us? Tell us in the comments section below.

By Kristin Varela | May 1, 2012 | Comments (14)



Great feature to have and like you said keyless entry without keyless start is relatively worthless. It is so convenient not to have to reach into my pocket for a key or fob.


Just got a 2012 Passat with VW's version of this (KESSY) and I must say, that I half agree. I like having push button start, but... I don't always use the door handle to unlock. I still find myself pulling my fob out and pressing to lock or unlock the car. Maybe it's a habit I'll break, over time.


I love keyless entry, too. I may sound spoiled, but as the mom of a toddler who is obsessed with keys, being able to keep my keys out of her view and safely secured in my purse, means less temptation (and temper tantrums!) for her!


Call me old-fashioned but I prefer plain small metal keys. Any hardware store can make duplicates for $2. I hate the huge keys and key fobs for today's cars, too bulky to fit comfortably in my pocket and cost $200 for your dealer to duplicate. Too much technology, no thanks.


My God, what has the world come to? Keyless entry isn't good enough, we need keyless start as well. It must really be difficult if one has to pump their own gas. Funny she didn't mention auto dimming lights as part of her absolute gotta have list. Let's keep pumping them car prices up!

Derrick G

"It must really be difficult if one has to pump their own gas"

Nah, not so much. Cadillac is following Ford in making cars without caps that have to be removed--AND REPLACED!--during the fueling process.

BTW, I know what she meant when she said "base Hyundai Elantra," but still only the Limited model can have keyless entry/start. But that's still not the cheapest car with it. That would be the Kia Rio SX. Sure, the Nissan Versa Hatchback costs less, but you still have to turn a knob to start the car. Such effort! (unless there's something cheaper I don't know about, but I'm sure I'll be corrected).


It is truly nothing more than fluff for the most spoiled among you. Good God, I can't imagine how easy life would be if this were something I actually had to worry about. Must be nice!


When I bought my current car (used), it had a third-party remote keyless entry/starter on it. One of my first tasks was to remove this device!


It be better if we could integrate keyless into an app for your phone. GM already does this for the Cruze and 2013 Malibu


My daily driver is a 1994 Mazda Protege. I do have power door locks, but because 90% of the time I'm just commuting alone or running errands alone, I don't really even notice or use the power locks.

Keyless entry is convenient, or so I hear. But if you can't live without it, something's wrong with you.


i prefer a key system then push button start.


I have a Prius, and the best keyless entry ever with the push start button plus the silent engine. Heavenly scent, the car's gear handle is effortless built for shifting gear and I am on the go for no time at all. Thanks, Toyota for building a world class hybrid that no competitor could ever come close.


Carrie - I never thought about the whole "toddler key fascination" thing and the benefit of being able to just keep keys out of sight (its been a few years:). I remember those days of my girls playing with and subsequently dropping my keys in inaccessible places.

M -A totally keyless system using a phone app instead makes perfect sense. I love it!


Keyless entry n keyless start a must. Like my infiniti m. Y have a keyless entry if i have to get in then pull my keys out. Wont buy any car like thay does that.

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