Visibility rating of cars: the best and worst models in the class
• How the car looks on the outside is very important to the buyer. But much more valuable is how the car looks inside – or rather, how far you can look out of it. And not only through the windshield, but also through the side and rear.
• Even with all the gadgets, “smart” technology and road markings drawn on the DVR screen, nothing replaces looking through the glass when assessing the distance while maneuvering, changing lanes, entering the highway or parking.
Why is visibility important when choosing a car?
Often, for the sake of design requirements, car manufacturers sacrifice visibility. Recently it has become fashionable to "thicken" the body pillars, which reduces the field of view of the driver. In addition, safety standards have become more stringent, and higher requirements are placed on the strength of the body. And the stronger the body, the wider the pillars, and the smaller the field of view.
• And the less the driver sees, the more it will affect driving safety – and not only in relation to other cars, but also to pedestrians, especially in the vicinity of schools, kindergartens and parking lots near supermarkets.
• Therefore, when choosing a car, experts recommend paying attention not only to the acceleration speed up to 100 km / h and the multifunctional media system inside the cabin, but also to the all-round view. During the test run, be sure to check how easy it is for you to glance over your shoulder and how much you see when changing lanes or when leaving a parking lot.
• Visibility is affected by many things:
- body shape,
- ceiling height,
- rack width,
- rear seat arrangement
- mirror tilt,
- steering column height.
• The more expensive the car, the more it allows you to adjust the field of view "for yourself" – there you can adjust the driver's seat, steering wheel and mirrors in several directions at once.
How was the study of the best and worst visibility of passenger cars
Many automotive experts are concerned about the safety issue, so we have chosen the most trustworthy among the ratings on specialized sites.
• Among them are the Consumer Reports website (it is an independent and non-profit organization that strives to provide buyers with the most honest information about products), Motor and Wheels online magazine, BuyACar, one of the oldest British car sales services online, and many others.
• The rating from Consumer Reports for the first time began to evaluate the visibility within the categories of cars – previously they were all thrown into a common pile. However, as test results show, this approach is fundamentally wrong. As a rule, visibility is best for sedans, but from SUVs it’s as if you look out of the windows of the fortress. However, even there there are champions in terms of the ability to look into the world around them – for example, the Subaru Forester is ahead of its rivals by a wide margin. Therefore, site experts recommend this car for novice drivers or the elderly.
• But among premium cars, expensive sports cars generally have the worst visibility. Blame the aerodynamic shape of the body, beveled side windows, mirrors reduced for the sake of wind resistance and a low driver's seat.
• Not all categories, however, are equally useful, for example, large SUVs and minivans had to be merged into one, since the difference between them in terms of visibility is insignificant.
Champions and outsiders in visibility among cars
Best Small Car – Honda Fit
One of the attractive features of the Honda Fit is a rearview camera with multiple view modes that allow the driver to easily view the area behind the hood. And she has more windows with side mirrors than her competitors among small cars. Not only that, the rear seat can be folded down for a better view.
Best compact hatchbacks – Fiat 500L and Hyundai i10
The Fiat 500L's wide windows and slim pillars all around guarantee excellent visibility and a clear view over your shoulder. Alas, rear parking sensors are not included as standard, as well as a rear-view camera. If desired, the first can be added to the basic configuration, but the second is no longer worth it – all the same, the screen of the information system is only 5 inches diagonal, so you won’t see much there.
As for the Hyundai i10, the latest generation has taken a step forward in terms of visibility: Korean engineers have thinned the C-pillars and enlarged the windows (their bottom line is now lower by 11 and 13mm front and rear). This number may seem insignificant, but now looking around the neighborhood from the inside of a small city car has become even better.
Best Compact Premium Car – Infiniti Q50
While the Infiniti Q50 doesn't shine in terms of trunk space or room for items in the cabin, the car's forward visibility is simply amazing. As well as the ability to comfortably place the legs of the driver and front seat passenger. And an improved 360° camera will help you explore the space behind.
Best Midsize Sedan – Subaru Legacy
This car is considered one of the best in terms of visibility, not only in its category, but in general. The reason lies in the thin racks, huge windows, as well as the presence of a rear-view camera, which reduces the number of "blind spots".
Best Sports Car Model – Subaru WRX
The new generation Subaru WRX is expected to enter the market next year. Judging by the photos of the test car (albeit carefully disguised) that appeared on the network, it can be seen that the glazing area is still large, which means that visibility will not suffer, and the trunk is still roomy.
Best Compact SUV – Subaru Forester
This SUV has virtually no blind spots. It has no thick pillars, huge windows and a low waistline. In addition, the ground clearance of the current model has increased slightly compared to the previous release. And if you want, you can buy another Subaru EyeSight package with a driving assistance system.
Best Premium Compact SUV – Audi Q5
Narrow windshield pillars, large windows on both the driver and passenger side, as well as a third rear side window contribute to excellent all-round visibility of this model. The high seating position of the rider provides excellent visibility. Also, all configurations of the Audi Q5 are equipped with parking sensors both front and rear, but with such visibility, they are not really needed.
Best Mid-Size SUV (Two Rows) – Honda Passport
Alas, in general, the Honda Passport is not likely to shine – it is boring, insipid, inexpressive. But there is a lot of space in the cabin, the seats are comfortable, and the driver's seat is raised and from there you can look around the surroundings almost unhindered.
Best Mid-Size SUV (Three Rows) – Honda Pilot
Large glass area and thin roof pillars guarantee excellent visibility. This (and the crash test results) led the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to give the car five stars for safety.
Best Midsize Premium SUV – Land Rover Range Rover
The high seating position, thin pillars and an abundance of wide windows distinguish the Range Rover from the competition, and its side mirrors are simply gigantic. It should be noted that the presence of the rear camera by default. Also, if you wish, you can also choose a package with the speaking name Vision and Convenience, which further reduces the already few blind spots.