Which midsize sedan has the best visibility?

I am 80 and have some mobility issues.

Lynda J., San Diego

If visibility is an issue for you, it may not be only because of your age and lack of mobility. Roof pillars have gotten wider on vehicles in recent years to meet more stringent federal roof-crush standards, and the pillars are more sloped for better aerodynamics. Moreover, federal requirements for larger head restraints add to the clutter, and many cars have higher trunks to increase cargo volume and improve aerodynamics. All of that makes it harder for many drivers, especially shorter ones, to see out the sides and rear of current vehicles.


Among midsize sedans that we think offer better visibility than most are the Buick Regal, the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry.

The Regal gives the driver a pretty good view despite its sloping rear pillars, and it is available with front and rear sensors that will help you park without dinging your car or others. Both the 2012 Altima and the redesigned 2013 model also provide good visibility, and on the 2013 Altima you can get blind spot monitoring and moving-object detection when the transmission is in Reverse. The Camry has wide rear pillars but plenty of glass to compensate, and an available backup camera works when the car is in Reverse.

The 2013 Ford Fusion, available this fall, might also be a candidate for you because it is available with blind spot monitoring, a cross-traffic alert for when you back out of parking spaces and a parallel-parking assist that does the work for you.

You should check out some of those cars and features to find out if any will make your driving easier and safer. If you’re willing to go with a crossover SUV instead of a sedan, the Subaru Forester has an upright design that makes it easy to get in and out of and tall windows with relatively narrow pillars for better visibility than in many cars.

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Answered by Rick Popely on September 3, 2012 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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