Poor Rear Window Visibility - recommend a camera system?


#1

I recently purchased a 2011 Subaru Outback and I’m having difficulty seeing out the back window when I’m parallel parking or backing up. The rear window is up high and narrow. I use the side mirrors as much as I can, but feel disoriented when I can see the car behind me. I’ve checked out some camera systems online, but I haven’t see great reviews for them. I also contacted Subaru to see if I could get one installed after market, as they only included their rear view mirror camera on the high end Limited edition that included the moon roof which I didn’t want, but they can’t install it after market. Any suggestions?


#2

In theory, they should be able to install the rear vision camera system for you, even though it came as part of a “package” originally.

The package consisted of the moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, camera, and a small monitor in the rearview mirror, and this package was actually available on all models except for the “stripped” model. And, if you opted for the Limited model (as I did), the monitor is a fairly large screen in the center of the dashboard, rather than the little monitor in the rearview mirror.

Anyway, just because they can do this installation “in theory” does not mean that they will do it in reality. You might want to check with more than one Subaru dealership on this detail, as some may be more willing to do this than others.

If no dealership will do the installation for you (which essentially consists of installing the camera on the tailgate, and a new rearview mirror (the dedicated wiring should already be in place), then you could get an aftermarket system installed. The aftermarket systems typically place the camera in a special license plate frame, and some actually transmit the image wirelessly to a small monitor that you can suction-cup to the dashboard. Just be sure to remove this device from the dashboard when parking in dodgy areas, as it could be mistaken for a GPS and result in a broken window. I opted for the factory system, as I don’t like devices like this that may attract thieves.