Automotive Indulgences | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Automotive Indulgences

Modern auto indulgences can bring the great outdoors inside, and the comfort of a sedan into the world of topless automobiles. Everybody seems to want what they don't have. Those with open tops want the comfort of a warm cabin. Those with a cabin want to see the stars. If you are torn between the decision to go indoors or outdoors with your next vehicle purchase, and especially if you are obscenely rich, a couple of new options may be able to make life just a little more convenient.

There are a couple of decisions you need to make before your purchase. First, identify your reasons for wanting to outfit your vehicle. Is it for you, or are you doing it to increase resale value? Do you want a nifty doo-dad because you think it's cool, or because you expect that somebody else will want it later on?

If you're thinking about outfitting the car for resale value, you may want to check your head. With only a few exceptions, such as alloy wheels or a desirable performance package, most options add almost nothing to the value of a vehicle. Contrariwise, according to Car & Driver, it's far more common that a vehicle will lose value because it's lacking a common feature such as power windows, automatic transmission, or air conditioning.

But as long as you're interested in decadent options for the sake of your own comfort, expecting little or no compensation, then there are many fine ways to spoil yourself—with many of them only available from Mercedes-Benz. It remains a sad fact that you can't have your car seat massage you at the same time it blows hot air on your neck underneath the artificial starlight of your Rolls Royce. Not yet, anyway...

Mercedes-Benz massaging seats

Price: $1,820 and up

While it's not the greatest massage in the world, it's still a massage while you're driving your car, which is better than you're getting unless you've hired a masseuse to sit in the seat directly behind you. Sometimes, putting a five-year-old with cramping legs behind you will net the same result for cheaper. The option comes stand-alone for $1,820 on a S550, or is part of a premium package on the CL550, or comes included if you buy anything with a V-12. While now available from other luxury manufacturers, Mercedes pioneered this luxury option in 2000.

Mercedes air scarf

Price: $510-3,750

It's understandable that in today's society the task of tying an actual scarf around your neck can be cumbersome and confusing. After all, you need to set down your iPhone and use both hands for about 20 seconds. Never fear! Mercedes-Benz has removed the need for actual scarves when you decide to drive your convertible with the top down after summer's end. The automotive kings of comfort have invented a virtual scarf which blows hot air on the back of your neck while you drive, keeping you nice and cozy and looking like a royal ass who doesn't know what season they're in. This indulgence is $510 on a SLK55 AMG, or part of a $3,750 package on other models.

Rolls Royce starlight headliner

Price: $12,000 (similar feature also available in an Opel Adam for under $500)

The king of expensive and useless indulgences has to be the Rolls Royce Phantom, which presents the option to have 1,600 starlight LEDs festooned on the headliner. The price of this unexpected pampering? An extravagant $12,000! However, it gets props for exclusivity, since it's the only car offering such a feature. Wait, what's that? You can get one on a European-spec GM car for under $500? Now I feel dumb.

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