Rear-View Camera - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Rear-View Camera

September 26, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

Our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI comes with a rear-view camera standard in the SEL Premium edition.

Some safety advocates are suing the federal government to make rear-view cameras mandatory on new cars.

Two questions for you: Does your car have a rear-view camera? Do you think it is something that should be considered mandatory safety equipment?

Read more in this Edmunds news article:

Feds, Safety Advocates Fight Over Rear-View Camera Recommendation

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 8,018 miles


Comments

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    My car does not have a rear view camera. I would support backup sensors as mandatory, but not a backup camera. Why? You're already looking in your mirrors and/or physically turning around to look behind you. Adding another place to distract your eyes could actually make backing up less safe. Backup sensors will give you an audible alarm when you get close to an obstacle, freeing up your eyes to actually look where you're going.

  • A good wide angle camera can cover a lot of territory behind you. But I do agree with greenpony, it does make another spot you have to remember to look. I actually liked the one in the Terrain that had the display in the rear view mirror as it was a more natural place to glance during backing up. Since it is too late to move car designs back to where they had decent visibility cameras are likely to be a must. What amazes me though with how cheap they have to be to include anymore, why don't manufactures just include them. But I guess it is the old 'if you save $10 and sell 100,000 of them it adds up' thing.

  • craigo81 craigo81 Posts:

    I'm all for the cameras. Backup sensors are sonar based and can be inaccurate or miss things entirely. A child lying on the ground for instance. Also newer models of vehicles tend to have large blind spots as upgrading safety regulations are creating thicker pillars and higher door lines. The fish eye lens of the camera can see more and further, especially when backing out of a parking space. My CX5 camera lets me see an approaching vehicle in a lot well before I will see them through a window. The rear view mirror positioned camera screens tend to be small and hard to notice details, that's why they're not used much. I have adjusted my backup eye scan to be the side mirrors, a glance over shoulder and the screen, rather than the mirror. The rear view mirror is now limited to on-road use. It just doesn't have as much useful and safe information as the camera.

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    We have backup cameras in our Odyssey and my wife's A6 wagon but not in my E90 M3. I think they should be mandatory as they do provide an extra margin of safety that even back up sensors can't... especially when it comes to small children and/or animals. However, I fear people becoming 100% reliant on them and not properly looking behind them or over their shoulders when backing out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people staring at their center consoles while backing up and almost hitting things because they don't use the backup camera properly (as a supplement to looking behind them).

  • swib swib Posts:

    My Focus ST does not have a backup camera (It's not even an option for some reason) but I do not think they should be mandatory. I wish it had been an option as I would have gotten one, but I don't think all cars should become a couple hundred bucks more expensive to add yet another safety feature. It's really easy to not back into things, but maybe that's just me.

  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    Clearly, the Government must act to save us all. Reverse gear should be banned, and all cars should only have forward, left, right, up, and down dimensions. Dangerous and unnecessary dimensions like "backward" are a threat to The Children and minorities, and should be strictly forbidden. Heck no, I don't have a rear-view camera, and these crazy people need to be stopped, now. Not everything that might in some instances be helpful needs to be mandatory, and we need to get back to placing responsibility where it belongs, on the vehicle operator.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    If the government must intervene to save people from their own misdeeds and poor decisions, I'd rather they mandate improved visibility rather than an electronic workaround that only adds cost, weight, and complexity.

  • lsiii_ lsiii_ Posts:

    I see more cars equipped with backup cameras and/or sensors with dented damaged bumpers than I do with ones that don't have cameras and/or sensors. These features can be great assistance tools, but they won't do any good if people don't start paying attention and take responsibility for their actions.

  • megatechpc_ megatechpc_ Posts:

    I definitely don't think it should be mandated by the government. I do enjoy the feature though...

  • rwatson rwatson Posts:

    It's so very sad that so many people think the government's purpose is to control everything we do. If you want an item, buy it. If it costs too much, then save your money, but don't expect another useless bill that adds onto the cost of the average automobile. I never thought in my life I would see the cost of a 4 cylinder "appliance" car reach 30K. But that's what you get with all the mandatory garbage designed to save us from ourselves.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I don't usually like the nannies, but a backup camera is pretty easy to use and really does not need to add much to the cost - the actual camera is a big nothing and every car has a screen in it now. Mandatory? I don't know about that, but I welcome them being more widely available. You have to use them in conjunction with mirrors and turning your head, but no matter how good your car's rearward visibility, a camera will show you areas you just cannot see any other way.

  • pantherman5 pantherman5 Posts:

    why do those service van drivers always put orange cones in front and back of their van? because it forces them to walk around the van before they leave, making sure there's nothing around. i'm all in for back up camera. i love the back up camera on our odyssey. the passat tdi sel is my 1st sedan with a back up camera. it gives a good view of what you can't see from drivers seat - anything that is shorter than height of trunk lid. with little ones in the household and repeated reminders, this visual aid is an added security when backing out of garage.

  • Slightly OT but the backup camera on our 2013 Passat TDI SEL is extremely fuzzy. Are you all seeing the same with yours?

  • cx7lover cx7lover Posts:

    I thought this post was gonna be about the crappy backup cam on the Passat. I love my backup cam. It makes backing up easy. And the RCTA system assists with cars and people.

  • I own an SE TDI and had an aftermarket camera installed, since you can't get one without the clunky nav system and awful fake wood of the SEL. It looks a bit like the picture above and it is helpful. However, like with all screens, it's easy to be mesmerized by the screen and not look behind with your own two eyes. You can lose all sense of the positioning of the vehicle if you get "lost" in the screen. I like the camera but only as an aid beyond what you can see yourself. I don't support government mandates of this sort. I also think there will be claims by people who rely on the camera too much and hit something backing out with the front end of their vehicle. That said, I think these are essential for SUVs or something like a Camaro with awful rear visibility.

  • Also, forgot, I had backup sensors on two vehicles I owned. On one, the sensors were very helpful. On the other, the sensors picked up way too much and became such a nuisance that I quit listening and...backed into a trailer left by some workmen at my home. That's why I chose camera over sensors.

  • aaceljo aaceljo Posts:

    yes and yes!

  • naatz1 naatz1 Posts:

    My car does have a camera and I think it should be mandatory. I even added one to my 7 year old Gr Cherokee finding it so valuable in my 2012 Camry. My reason is not so much having small children around, but having neck arthritis limiting easy head turns. Note I still use the camera and mirrors since things approaching from the sides are not always captured on the camera. It's interesting that VW woke up for the 2013 Passat since unfortunate for them the 2012 did not have it when I was shopping for a new car in Mar 2012. The Camry XLE did and was a factor in picking it over others; the Subaru in 2nd place had a BU cam but in a much pricier option package and as much as I like a lot about the Passat TDI it fell out of final consideration. Apparently a lot of top sellers 2013/14s like Accord finally added BU cam options that weren't there in 2012. BTW, very happy with the Camry's MPGs, comfort, reliability at 23k mi later.

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