If a car is only as good as your ability to see out of it, SUVs, with their higher center of gravity and larger windows, are an excellent vehicle choice. Good visibility a safety imperative and makes for a more pleasant driving experience. The less pesky, over-the-shoulder blind spots the better.
As SUVs strive for aerodynamics, sleeker profiles without crimping passenger, cargo space, or structural intregrity, sometimes visibility is compromised. But innovative designs, technology, and larger windows have also helped improved SUV visibility. Below are five SUV models with the best in class visibility.
The Forester, Subaru’s compact model, sports low windowsills, big windows and thin roof pillars. It’s boxier profile help make it easy to see out. While the rear corner has a small blind spot, big side mirrors help mitigate obstruction.
New technology also aids the Forester. Subaru’s driver-assist safety system called EyeSight® that utilizes two cameras to aid drivers with land departure warning and sway warning, pre-collision throttle management, pre-collision breaking and adaptive cruise control is available in the Forester. The models also offers a backup camera in all but the base-level model.
Subaru fares well in the visibility department. The Outback, a midsize model, has many of the attributes seen in the Forester including EyeSight® along with a standard backup camera.
Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover is bold and upright, fitting for the king of large luxury SUVs. The model has thin roof pillars and huge picture windows with a near panoramic view out. Add the available power moon roof for maximum visibility upward and outward.
In the subcompact class, the HR-V is the model with the best visibility. It’s a standout with its large windows and efficient use of space. With a low starting price under $20,000, the HR-V also features a standard backup camera. In this class, the Chevrolet Trac also sports good visibility.
A coupelike crossover would make a best visibility SUV list but the Crosstour still fares well even with its split glass rear back. The Crosstour has wide spans of glass, a low belt line, and thin roof pillars.
Backup cameras are standard in the Crosstour with EX-L trims and above having multi-angle cameras. The Crosstour also features Honda’s LaneWatch, which is a safety assist feature that activates the backup camera screen when you turn on your right-turn indicator helping to minimize blind spots. It’s like having an extra set of eyes on the road.
Worst Visibility SUVs
So now that you know what the best visibility SUVS are and what features help them stand out, you may be wondering attributes are best avoided if you want an SUV with good visibility? Short windows, long, bulging hoods and thick roof pillars are the trademarks of poor visibility SUVs.
In a 2014 Cars.com test, the Chevrolet Equinox, with is column-like C and D-pillars was found to be the worst visibility small SUV.
The Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage were the next two worst on the list, with ceiling mounted seatbelts and large columns that significantly cut into the window space.