Cars with push button start

A simple push of a start button is enough to get some cars started

BuyaCar team
Feb 21, 2022

If it's a while since you sat in a new car, you may be left scratching your head when you realise there's nowhere to put the key in the ignition. The reason is the number of push button start cars now available both new and used.

These became more popular for sporty and luxury models, but have now taken over as a more convenient solution. Push start also works especially well in cars with keyless entry, where you never have to take the key fob out of your pocket or handbag to get in and drive off.

It's nifty, and can make your car feel more high-tech. You might even be able to impress your passengers in the same way James Bond would when he engages one of his many gadgets.

Push button start has become a common feature of cars of all shapes and sizes. Even the very cheapest models are often available with the gadget, while almost everything built by posh brands is push-to-start.

What is a push button start?

Thanks to modern electronics, there's no need to twist a physical key in the ignition of modern cars. Instead, all you need to do is press a button, which is either found near the steering column, on the dashboard, or next to the gear selector.

You may also see it described as keyless ignition. These types of systems allow you to start the car just by detecting the key fob is in the car with you.

In theory, they make starting a car easier as you don’t need to go rummaging around in pockets and bags for keys. As long as you have the key with you, the car will start.

However, there’s one caveat that is important to remember. The key only needs to be in the car to start the engine. Once the car is running you don’t necessarily need the key anymore.

For instance, (for most types of systems), if you then leave the car running, nip back to your house and accidentally leave your key inside, the car can theoretically be driven off. While this is an unlikely scenario, if it were to happen, and you turn off the engine at your destination, you’ll have no key to start it back up again.

Push button start: the good

✔  Quicker to start than more traditional methods
✔  No need to search for keys in bags
✔  Neater design

Push button start: the not so good

More expensive to replace than traditional keys
Can take longer to exit a vehicle
An electrical element than can fail

What else are cars with keyless start called?

Different manufacturers tend to use ever-so-slightly different names for it too. For instance, Porsche will refer to it as its Keyless Entry Security System (or KESS) whereas Mercedes refers to it as Smart Key System.

Which cars have push button starts?

Most manufacturers now offer push button start, and on many models it comes fitted as standard, with no option for a traditional ignition key. If you’re buying a new car, you’ll struggle to find a car without keyless entry/push start.

As mentioned, Porsche and Mercedes both use them, as do other high end manufacturers like Audi and BMW. More humdrum manufacturers like Ford and Vauxhall also use it, as do Renault and Peugeot too. In fact, even Dacia sells push button start cars, despite them being the cheapest models available in the UK.

Mini Countryman

Used deals from £14,811
Monthly finance from £242*

Mazda CX-5

Used deals from £14,490
Monthly finance from £153*

Volkswagen ID.3

Used deals from £33,900
Monthly finance from £556*

BMW 3 Series

Used deals from £11,500
Monthly finance from £227*


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