What Does This Button Do?

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We've found it, folks. The elusive ejector seat lives on, and it's not in James Bond's Aston Martin. If this coveted button followed through on what its illustration promises, it would make the eight-passenger 2014 Lexus LX 570 luxury SUV into a seven-passenger vehicle during a henchman hijacking.

More Curious Buttons

Luckily for gabby front passengers — and frail henchmen — the button doesn't eject an unwanted guest through roof, but it does make getting out of the LX 570 easier, and with much more grace than being launched out of the car.

By Joe Bruzek | February 3, 2014 | Comments (11)

What Does This Button Do?

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I like feeling pampered — even in a car. That doesn't mean a hoity-toity attitude, just some good manners. Naturally, I loved the civility of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 coupe. During my drive, it seemed that the E350's mystery button was saying, "Please, allow me to let me help you." So, what does this button do?

By Sara Lacey | December 31, 2013 | Comments (14)

What Does This Button Do?

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Lights?! Camera?! Action?! No, the camera this button is referring to isn't an invitation to the director's chair, but it's still pretty cool. The Hyundai Equus is equipped with an around-view camera system, activated via a console-area button.

Hyundai's luxury sedan was refreshed for 2014 with updated exterior styling and a revised interior. Several premium convenience features were also added this year. One is a multiview camera system, but this is no ordinary backup camera.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 4, 2013 | Comments (1)

Why Is This Button Here?

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One look and it's easy to tell what this button does, but its obviousness doesn't make it any less odd. Actually, it's not really a button; it's more of a touch-sensitive panel. In fact, it's pretty tough to find any traditional buttons in the 2014 Cadillac CTS.

For years, automakers have been moving away from real mechanical buttons and knobs toward touch-screens and flat-panel touch-sensitive controls. We're used to seeing climate knobs, audio dials and vehicle info menus increasingly controlled via touch, but Cadillac has taken the phenomenon to new levels with the 2014 CTS' glove box. And the button isn't even on the glove box.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 6, 2013 | Comments (5)

What Does This Button Do?

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We can always count on a luxury car's extravagant features for confusing button imagery. The nearly $100,000 2014 Audi A8 L TDI we recently tested is no exception, housing what may be an industry exclusive backrest snowball launcher. Best cooled seat ever?

Unfortunately, it's not the world's coolest seat, but it is one of the more refreshing driver comfort features.  

By Joe Bruzek | October 24, 2013 | Comments (8)

What Does This Button Do?

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Steering wheels provide this series with great content because they're often overcrowded with buttons. The 2013 Ford Fusion's crowded steering wheel seems to have run out of space and relocated one confusing button to the center console. The button in question displays a steering wheel and the letter "P."

Don't worry, we believe the P steering wheel button is sanitary, plus the Fusion doesn't have a clean diesel engine with urea injection. Another more logical and non-bathroom-related guess is a variable power-steering assist system, which on other cars varies the wheel's power-steering assist for comfort or performance; on a button, it's often represented by a steering wheel.

By Joe Bruzek | September 30, 2013 | Comments (10)

What Does This Button Do?

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With LED headlights powerful enough to guide a 747 jumbo jet through San Francisco fog, the 2013 Acura RLX has another worthy feature more fitting to the aviation world. The Acura's Assist button located in the upper ceiling of the RLX is a fairly standard feature in luxury cars with advanced roadside assistance connectivity.

What's unique is the button's missile-launching arming switch cover. Occupants must first reach up and flip the cover open to access the button. It's impossible to do so without wanting to hit Assist and make rocket launching noises like you're sitting in a fighter jet's cockpit about to send a barrage of missiles into the distance. 

By Joe Bruzek | June 24, 2013 | Comments (0)

What Does This Insanely Awesome Button Do?

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The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is home to perhaps one of the most appropriate buttons we've encountered in the What Does This Button Do? series. Mysterious buttons are rarely spelled out as clearly as the Jeep SRT8's, or as fun to use.

By spelled out, we mean the whole word, "Launch," appears on the button to designate the 470-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Jeep SRT8's Launch Mode. There are no acronyms or guessing with this button. What the button does is also made clearer by the awesome depiction of a drag strip's starting-line lights, aka a "Christmas tree."

By Joe Bruzek | June 4, 2013 | Comments (6)

What Do These Buttons Do?

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The 2013 Lexus LS 600h L is a lengthy name for a car with a lengthy list of premium features and a hefty price tag: $120,805 (including destination). It's no surprise a few worthy mysterious buttons appeared in this ultra-luxurious sedan. Among its lavish features are a command center in the backseat for the reclining and massaging seats, power sunshades and various remotes for the entertainment and massage functions. 

Despite the the numerous backseat features, the more curious buttons appeared up front. A "Spot" button is an interesting choice on a $100,000-plus luxury sedan. See Spot run. See Spot wearing a doggie diaper if ever allowed in the Lexus. Button No. 2 looks straight out of a James Bond movie; it could pass as an ejector seat used on whoever allowed Spot in the car without a doggie diaper.

By Joe Bruzek | April 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

What Does This Outlet Do?

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House-style AC outlets are one of those handy "little things that count" new-car convenience features that literally have hundreds of uses. The outlet goes by different names and voltage ratings like 110-,115- and 120-volt AC outlets, though they all serve the same purpose and offer an alternative multi-use outlet compared to the common probe-style DC outlets that accept phone and portable GPS chargers.

The feature is still far from standard equipment on family cars (where it often appears), and is usually paired with expensive rear-seat multimedia systems in large SUVs and minivans or available only on more expensive trim levels. When equipped, the outlets are typically found in the second row or cargo area appearing just like they do on the wall at home.

As cool as it would be to plug an electric snow blower or refrigerator into your car, not everything with a plug will work. The plug has its limitations, and there are guidelines to follow in order to use electronic devices safely.

By Joe Bruzek | March 20, 2013 | Comments (4)

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