According to Autotrader, 55 percent of millennial drivers expect to spend an additional $2,600 to get desired tech features. The most important features for millennials include navigation systems, satellite radio, Bluetooth, MP3 players and mobile integration.
The love of technology is understandable for a digital generation that communicates via smartphone text messages and social media apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Viber and WeChat.
"Technology has become the deciding factor for car buyers selecting a vehicle," said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader senior analyst. "Automakers must deliver innovative features or risk consumers looking elsewhere."
At Nissan North America, that is forcing a new look at interior design, says Michael Aron, senior manager of marketing intelligence. In particular, automakers are concerned about overly complex interior controls.
"There is no tolerance, especially by the younger generation, for manual input, to struggle with multiple screens in order to find out what they want or to provide the right direction," Aron said.
"The millennial may think the vehicle is an extension of their ability to connect with friends or is an extension of their relaxation space," he said.
"Now we are taking a fresh look at the interior and asking, what is the right information at the right time with the right stimulus in what situation?"