The spread of once exclusive top-of-the-range features throughout the mainstream market is revealed by CAP New Vehicle Data – the UK's biggest database of vehicle information.
Taking five popular comfort and safety features, CAP NVD reveals major growth in the presence of ABS, power steering, air conditioning, electric windows and dual airbags as standard.
For example, while three years ago 40 per cent of the 5,620 models available new featured air conditioning as standard, today that figure is 47 per cent.
But the biggest leap forward is in safety features, with ABS braking systems now standard on 89 per cent of the 5,620 models now available – compared with 69 per cent penetration in November 2000.
And airbags for both driver and passenger are now standard on 82 per cent of today's new models – up 19 per cent from three years ago.
Power assisted steering has also seen big growth as a standard feature. This has risen from 67 per cent three years ago to 87 per cent today.
Perhaps surprisingly, front electric windows are still available only as an option on one in five new models. Three years ago they appeared on 63 per cent of new cars, rising to 82 per cent now.
CAP New Vehicle Data powers car and commercial vehicle dealer websites and showroom computer systems across the UK and maintains more than five million pieces of vehicle information.