Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Toyota's wide mirrors

This week Sara from Knoxville observed that many damaged side mirrors are on Toyotas. My right side mirror assembly is cracked. I think the probem is not the width of the mirror but the fact that the mirrors are not hinged. The vast majority of cars have mirrors that will fold rather than break when bumped. I don’t understand why Toyotas’ do not.

Possibly the Japanese expect that people who driver their cars have an idea of the cars size…

I’d wager that most vehicles don’t actually have folding mirrors… I can’t remember any of my cars that ever did… (Fords, Mazdas, Toyotas)

I listened to this lady and thought, oh yeah, I used to have that problem but I don’t anymore. I said nothing. Now I just backed my 1999 Camry out of my old one stall garage and wiped out the mirror on the drivers side. I’ll take it in for my 3rd repair! I am with the flex mirror suggestion!!!

"I’d wager that most vehicles don’t actually have folding mirrors… "

I can’t give you any statistical information on this point, but I can tell you that every car I have owned from the 1992 model year to the 2011 model year has had folding mirrors. And, the cars of all of my friends during that same period of time have also had folding mirrors–without exception. That includes Hondas, Subarus, Toyotas and Hyundais.

Odd if Toyota got rid of their folding mirrors. My 93 MR2 has them.

BTW, re: Japanese cars not having them, my 91 crx, 07 TL, the 95 Integra I used to drive, and the 09 CRV another family member drives all have them. . .

My '04 4Runner has them. So does my '01 Jetta.

Seriously, though, they stick out maybe 4 inches. I don’t want to get that close to anything if I can help it. I can normally walk through a parking lot without ramming into other people’s property. I’m not sure why so many people seem to have issue with it.

“I’m not sure why so many people seem to have issue with it.”

In 46 years of driving, I have had only one occasion when one of my sideview mirrors made glancing contact with the mirror of another car. That was with my '71 Charger with (naturally) non-folding mirrors, and this occurred on a narrow Brooklyn sidestreet, in conjunction with a double-parked car. Even that occurrence resulted in just a tiny scratch that I was able to buff out with polishing compound.

The possibilities–as I see them–include:
Poor depth perception
Being distracted by cell phone use or…God only knows what else
Just plain poor driving abilities

If Sara from Knoxville has had multiple episodes of mirror damage, I think that she needs to look in the mirror (at home, preferably) in order to see the true culprit.
(HINT: The culprit is not Toyota.)

I think the larger vehicles, SUVs and trucks, typically come with folding flag mirrors but cars often don’t.

Lots of people clip their mirrors on something simply because they’re not concentrating on what hey’re doing. There really is no other reason.

My 2003 Impreza has folding mirrors. I found out when I bumped it when I was moving something too close to my car in my garage…

I’ll have to check in the lot at work to see which ones do/don’t have folding mirrors… I just don’t recall them being that common.

But my grandparents’ old Crown Vic had them - and they had to fold them in just to fit through the garage door (literally)

My old '90 Accord, a vehicle where Honda was so cheap that they didn’t include a mirror on the passenger side, had folding mirrors.

Don’t you mean folding mirror? I mean, it only had one… :slight_smile:

Our old Mazda GLC only had one, too, but I don’t remember if it folded. Our family’s 1979 Pontiac LeMans had a “folding mirror” - it kept falling off its mount and “folding” against the side of the car.

Seraph, right side mirrors were not required in '90. I installed my own on my '89 Toyota Pickup.

Yup. And Honda left it off to improve the coefficient of drag for better fuel economy. On the CRX, the HF with no passenger mirror had a .29 cd while the other models which had the mirror had a .3

As someone with a 100 year old, tiny garage, off of a narrow alley, I am a huge fan of folding mirrors. Without them, it would be virtually impossible to get either of our cars into the garage, due to lack of clearance on either side.

I wonder if, for CAFE requirements, outside rearview mirrors will be replaced with rearview camera systems. I haven’t heard anything, just have a neural synapse working overtime.

Honda talked about doing that for the CR-Z. The prototype had them. They dropped it for the production model though.

MB - that is very possible.

The Ford Prodigy (Cd of 0.199) had them as well… and while it took awhile, some of the fuel-saving tech on that concept is now making it to market…

Another advantage of getting rid of sideview mirrors is a reduction in wind noise - the two noisiest spots on nearly every car are the base of the windshield, and the mirrors. Eliminate one and you might have a much quieter car.

My 2000 Toyota Camry does not have folding mirrors because it was assembled in the good ole US of A. If cars are assembled in Japan, Korea or Europe, they main reason to have folding mirrors is to save space, so that the shipper can fit more cars in the boat.