What Does This Button Do?

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Tons of things go into seats, like passengers, child-safety seats and less convenient items like quarters, cellphones and keys that disappear into the black hole between the cushions. Few things, however, come out of a seat unless it's a coil spring poking you in the rear or the extravagant feature Mercedes-Benz incorporates on its E-Class convertible.

Top 10 Most Extravagant Car Options

The Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet's mysterious button hints that it expels something from the front seats, but it's not the scented breeze of pine trees when your passenger can't catch a hint.

By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (8)

What Does This Button Do?

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If the illustration on the 2015 Volkswagen GTI's key fob is any indication, the automaker wants us to prepare for an impending alien death-ray attack. VW's counterattack strategy? Honking the horn and flashing the turn signal lights really fast. Man, who would have thought defending Earth would be that easy?

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Really, this particular button isn't much of a surprise as much as an interesting way to illustrate the common panic button, which should be used in real emergencies and will honk the horn and flash the exterior lights to alert passersby. Or as we often encounter, scare the crap out of you when your smartphone accidentally hits the button in a pocket.

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Joe Bruzek | July 8, 2014 | Comments (18)

What Does This Button Do?

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The button in our latest What Does This Button Do series seems to say "You. Sit. Here." thanks to an arrow pointing at a seat. No Capt. Obvious, that's not what it means.

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The icon refers to the power flip-down head restraints in the Volvo V60 wagon, an all-new model for 2015. The new feature is standard and a big help when it comes to opening up rear visibility. It's also available on other Volvo models for 2015.

By Jennifer Geiger | June 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

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.

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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 (15)

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)

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