Rear view visibility problem

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by slkram, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. slkram

    slkram Junior Member

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    I am concerned about limited rear view visibility and safety issues
    with the new 2010 Prius that I am about to buy. What do others
    think about this and how serious is the problem?
    I do not want to worry that I am less safe because of these
    Prius "blind spots." And what about parallel parking with this issue?
    Thank you for your advice.
     
  2. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I was also concerned when I was considering getting a Prius, but you very quickly get used to the rear view visibility.

    Regarding parallel parking, you'll find that you'll use the lower rear window, which gives you a good feel for how close you are to the car behind you, since it's very close to the rear bumper. You also have (if you get nav) the rear view camera.

    On roads, it not an issue, once you get use to the rear window opening being narrower than other cars.
     
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  3. eglmainz

    eglmainz New Member

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    Welcome... If the car that you have ordered matches what is on your signature (Prius IV, SunRoof), then you will also have the Navigation System, and it's rear view camera. I am new to the Prius (and have a V with Navi), and love the rear view camera, as it allows you to back up to within inches of something, so i would not say that this is LESS SAFE.
     
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  4. TKY

    TKY Member

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    Hi Slkram, Welcome to PriusChat. I have a Prius IV with Solar Roof, which means I have the bundled Moonroof, Navigation, and rear view camera. The split rear window does take some getting accustomed to, as do the side windows. There are four windows on each side of the car; two traditional large front and rear passenger windows and a smaller window at the very front and back of each side. I am finding that I am getting used to seeing traffic behind me with the spoiler bar in the middle of my view. I have also learned with use to look to my right side targeting my blind spot by looking to and through the rear small windows, as well as the traditional right-side rear passenger window. On the left (drivers side) when changing lanes or looking to turn, there is very little difference in my visual habit with the Prius versus my previous car.

    When backing up, I rely on looking at where I am backing. I find the back-up camera to be a really handy supplement as I get close or to spot curbs, posts, or other obstacles. But, I do not use it as a replacement for using my own eye-balls to see where I'm going.

    I do not perceive there is a serious blind spot problem with the Prius. --TK
     
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  5. azgringo

    azgringo New Member

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    I own a II w/o nav / backup camera. Took a little getting used to at first, but now it's no problem at all. Like any new car, you'll get used to the various differences than what you're used to. Enjoy your new Prius!
     
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  6. jburns

    jburns Senior Senior Member

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    Exactly. Some of the posts here make one think that everyone must have been crashing into things over and over prior to 2004. I've been parking within an inch or two of a curb and backing to within an inch or two of an obstacle for years without hitting anything. Learn your car people it will payoff someday.

    Here are a few simple things you can do that will help. First learn how wide your car really is by going into an empty parking lot with several small drink cups. Place one or more out in the lot and then drive your car slowly toward it and try and crush it with your right front wheel as you go by. Keep doing it in different spots in the parking lot until you can do it several times in row.

    Next place a cup(or something else if you've crushed them all) in the parking lot and drive slowly toward it with the cup centered in front of your car. Try and stop with the edge of the front bumper within 3 inches of the cup as you look down from directly over it. Repeat until you can do it consistently. Repeat the exercise in reverse without using the rear camera even if you have one. Yeah I know you have to get out of the car and walk a few steps but you can do it.

    Those simple exercises will go a long way toward making you more confident in your ability to maneuver your Prius in and out of tight places.
     
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  7. slkram

    slkram Junior Member

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    thanks so much so the tips.
     
  8. greylar

    greylar New Member

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    I can tell you that the Prius has a much smaller blind spot than I expected. When you are inside it feels like you can't see anything out the back.

    However, while messing around with installing an aftermarket backup camera I drew lines on the ground indicating the blind spots with the Prius and my Chrylser T&C mini-van. I was shocked at how much you can't see behind the mini-van and how much you can behind the Prius. There are so many windows in the van it gives you a false sense of being able to see.

    I immediately added a backup camera to the van and stopped worrying so much about the Prius. Hope that helps.

    G
     
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  9. ny biker

    ny biker Member

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    Greylar, I'm currently driving a Matrix on loan from the dealer while my Prius is being fixed. This is the first non-sedan that I have driven that didn't have a backup camera, and I'll need to parallel park it in downtown DC next week. Can you give me any advice on judging how much space is between the rear of the Matrix and the front of the car parked behind me? I feel like I'm pretty blind backing up in this thing. I admit, I'm totally spoiled by having the backup camera in the Prius. Thanks.
     
  10. paulemus

    paulemus New Member

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    Apparently the aerodynamic shape dictated the spoiler, and I guess it needed structural support instead of being all glass. Hopefully they will come up with a Space Age glass or thinner spoiler support structure.
     
  11. sshaw10

    sshaw10 Member

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    I've had mine a month and the rear visibility was a big issue for me also. It's not as bad as I thought it would be and I'm going to do an HU upgrade (got a level II) and am on the fence about a backup cam. I planned on a backup cam being an absolute necessity but now it's more of a nice option.

    The real problem with visibility is that the shape of the car slopes off to the front and back. You can't see the edges of the car. In the first couple weeks I was driving I would pull in somewhere tight and just get out to see how much room I had. After a couple times I've adjusted. I would not let it be an impediment to buying the car.
     
  12. southjerseycraig

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    I find that I use the side mirrors a lot. You might want to make sure that yours are correctly set so that you can see a car passing you until it is right outside your door.
     
  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I learnt to drive and took my driving test in a Datsun 120Y hatchback.
    Compared to that the rear view in a Prius is panoramic!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. sdleo726

    sdleo726 New Member

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    No offense intended slkram, but there is no "problem" with the Prius rear view visibility. It is what it is. Yes it's true the visibility isn't great... but all that means is you, the driver, must be more careful when backing out or making lane changes.

    Compared to my convertible, the Prius is like a green house... glass everywhere.

    If you want better rear view visibility than what the Prius offers, you'll need to look for another car.
     
  15. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    I intended to do the same and have the new HU in now. However with as dirty as the back end gets, I am not so sure now if I am going to purchase the cam. If the lens is not clean, what good are they?
     
  16. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    If they took off the rear spoiler, the car will look really really ugly like that Aztec car. My personal view.
     
  17. AussieDave

    AussieDave New Member

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    I have the Oz Itech which has the Nav unit with rear view camera. Also had fitted front and rear sensors plus the Itech has the Park Assist.

    Do not use the auto park assist except to show off to friends but the guide lines on the rear view camera are the best thing since sliced bread with my additional sensors giving an extra audio clue.

    Best car for parking that I have ever owned and my wife is really loving the easier parking it allows.

    David
     
  18. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    As others said, it takes a little adjustment time but you'll get used to it.
     
  19. GreenGuy33

    GreenGuy33 Active Member

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    I don't think the Prius rear view is much worse than many other cars, it is just different because of the "divider" between the top and bottom window, and it just takes time to adjust, like anything that is new.
     
  20. kgall

    kgall Active Member

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    Hate to say it, but I agree with slkram. After two months or so, I still find myself "missing" cars in blind spots, particularly on the right side--I'm learning to use the side mirrors more, but still.
    And I'm not sure that my adjustments, even with the mirrors, eliminate the blind spot for something the size of bicycles or small motorcycles.

    I would find the Prius easier to recommend unconditionally with a wider rear window and (if possible) a narrower band where the spoiler is, or ideally, the spoiler moved to a place where it doesn't divide the window. (Assuming, that is, that this doesn't spoil the spoiling function of the spoiler.)
     
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