Most of my life, my vehicles were pretty spartan. In addition to the years riding motorcycles, where weather protection is something you wear and grocery shopping is limited to what you can squeeze under a bungee net on the pillion, I have driven beaters that needed to be exited through the passenger door and once had a daily driver with no carpeting, no radio, five-point harnesses by way of seatbelts, and a fire extinguisher between the seats where most cars have cup holders.
It's not like the Z3 is exactly a plush-bottomed luxobarge, but it does have a few creature comforts which I wasn't used to and which I therefore pooh-poohed as excessive fripperies when I bought it. Now, having driven the Forester for a week while the Zed sits in the garage waiting for climate change to have an effect on the Broad Ripple glacier sliding down the alley, I find myself missing things I never thought I'd miss...
Remote door locks, for example. Before I had the Z3, I used to mock the little *beeps* and *bwoops* you'd hear in parking lots, yet it only took a month or two before I found myself standing outside my apartment door with an armload of groceries, unconsciously thumbing the remote as though it would unlock the deadbolt, too. The Subie has power locks, but no remote, and I'm constantly getting ten steps across the parking lot and having to go back and do that thing with the key in the door. Funny, I don't remember locking and unlocking a car being this much of a pain in the ass.
Cruise control? I can hold a speed on the highway +/- 5mph without tying up too many processor cycles, but what am I supposed to do if my right foot gets a little owie and sore after a couple hours? Coast to the shoulder while trying to flex some life into my tootsies and the stiffness out of my ankle? I can't remember... I know I took roadtrips before 2001, and so I must have known the answer and just forgot it.
The roadster has a pretty truncated version of BMW's trip computer: Pushing in on the turn signal stalk will toggle the clock through telling you the outside air temp, average speed, average mileage, and range remaining on this tank. The Subie will tell me what time it is, but only because the clock in the Alpine head unit is still soldiering on after the integral one in the overhead console has gone to wherever it is that little LED clocks go after a long and happy life. Being the 'satiably curious sort, I find myself scanning the horizon for bank thermometers because what's the temperature, dammit? I have to know! I used to know and now I don't!
Perhaps surprisingly, I am surviving without the heated seats just fine. The Forester's heater makes with the toasty air in a hurry and the cloth seats warm fast, too, and if you don't dial the temp setting back, it'll run you out of the car in a sweat in a surprisingly short time.
I feel like such a tenderfoot for missing cruise control, though...