When buying and driving a car, visibility plays a key role. The problem of overlooked blind spots dates back to the cheaply made AMC Gremlin from the ’70s. Made with closed-off, upper-rear quarter panels, this model caused visibility issues for many drivers. The unusual-looking vehicle quickly became one of the most hated cars of all time.
Consumer Reports recently published its list of vehicles to reconsider due to visibility issues. These cars’ design flaws inhibit a driver’s sight, which can lead to problems and accidents.
Compact hatchbacks: Toyota C-HR
Although its rear passenger seating area is roomy, the Toyota C-HR’s smaller, tinted windows give the interior a darker, almost gloomy feel. With a base MSRP of $21,145, the car takes more than 11 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, but it’s fuel-efficient at 29 MPG. A tightly controlled ride, wind noise is more evident when the car reaches highway speeds.
Safety: Blind spot and rear cross traffic warning are standard excluding the most basic base trim. Automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning are standard.
Subcompact cars: Chevrolet Spark
With a base MSRP of $13,220, the Chevy Spark’s smaller dimensions make finding a parking spot simpler. However, this also limits visibility in some areas of the interior. At 33 MPG overall, power comes from a 98-hp, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers leisurely acceleration. It handles responsively, but the steering can be overly sensitive at highway speeds and somewhat stiff at lower speeds.
Safety: Additional features include forward collision and lane departure warning.
Sports cars: Chevrolet Camaro
Limited visibility has always been a part of the Chevrolet Camaro’s design. But sports car enthusiasts consider this part of the package. At $25,000 MSRP, base models come with a 275-hp, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Upgrade to the SS and the engine transforms into a 6.2-liter V8 with a six-speed manual or optional 10-speed automatic transmission.
Safety: Forward collision alert is standard with the coupe. A full-display rear camera mirror is new for the 2019 model.
Luxury compact cars: 2020 Mercedes Benz CLA
Outward visibility is limited in this model. But Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system uses artificial intelligence to enhance the driving experience in response to natural language commands. The only option is a 221-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission. With a base MSRP of $33,100, the CLA will go on sale later in 2019 and will be available in front- or all-wheel-drive models.
Safety: According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Mercedes CLA comes equipped with “Benz’s full suite of available active-safety driver aids.”
Midsize sedans: Honda Clarity
With a base MSRP of $33,400, the Clarity has three options: one powered by hydrogen, a plug-in hybrid, and the electric model. The latter has a relatively short EPA-rated range of only 89 miles. The hybrid’s gas engine kicks in after 48 miles of driving on electricity. On a 240-volt charger, the Clarity will completely charge in 2.5 hours (or 12 hours on 120 volts). Although roomy, the interior is uncomfortable due to a short bottom cushion and not much lower back support, according to some drivers.
Safety: Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking come standard on this Honda.