2015 GMC Canyon ・ Photo by Benjamin Hunting
According to NHTSA, all light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. will have to do so by May 1, 2018, as the government seeks to address a major safety concern with particular implications for children, who are often the victims of back-over accidents. Said David Friedman, acting NHTSA administrator when the rule was passed: “Rear-visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur. We’re already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP [New Car Assessment Program] and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today.”
And that includes cars like those featured here.
The Bowtie brand’s compact crossover got off to a fairly hot start during its first year on the market, thanks in part to Chevy’s increasingly high-tech approach to even the smaller vehicle segments. In this case, that means the Chevrolet Trax is among the top crossovers with standard rearview cameras, with the display shown on the vehicle’s also-standard 7-inch MyLink screen. Which, in turn, helps owners manage the standard voice-activated infotainment system that further leverages standard 4G LTE connectivity and a mobile wi-fi hotspot. Naturally, navigation is available as well, through a GPS-enabled app.
The Trax also traffics in typical crossover versatility, offering all-wheel drive and up to 48.4 cubic feet of storage space, while also serving up peppy performance and responsible fuel-economy ratings from a standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.
New for 2016 are four fresh exterior colors: Crimson Metallic, Sable Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Champagne Silver Metallic.
Technically speaking, and despite its incredible array of standard equipment, the 2016 Cadillac Escalade is not among the vehicles with a standard backup camera—instead, all Escalade models come with a full surround-vision setup that provides a top-down 360-degree view of the vehicle and immediate surroundings.
Also keeping this Cadillac on the cutting edge of technology for the 2016 model year will be the integration of both Apple Carplay and Android Auto with the brand’s CUE multimedia/infotainment system. Each provides improved enhanced integration of owners’ select smartphones, with the Apple products set to be available when the 2016 Escalade launches this summer and the Android system “expected to be phased into 2016 production at a later date.”
Indeed, the whole CUE “Cadillac User Experience” will be notably enhanced for the new model year to provide more functionality and faster operation.
Photo by Cadillac
This is the country’s least-expensive car with a standard rearview camera, backed by an MSRP of $15,650 that actually includes a multi-angle system able to show three different viewpoints. In fact, a backup camera is standard on all Honda (and Acura) products, and the automaker’s system was the first to be recognized as an “Advanced Technology Feature” by NHTSA. NHTSA also honored the 2015 Honda Fit with a 5-star Overall Safety Rating that’s matched by Top Safety Pick recognition by the IIHS.
Next, on top of that standard safety measure, every Fit also comes fresh from the factory with content like filtered air conditioning, Bluetooth, a 5-in. color LCD screen and a 160-watt audio system with USB interface, and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
The Fit fits active lifestyles, too, with a surprisingly versatile cabin and stellar fuel-efficiency grades that go as high as 33 mpg city/41 mpg highway/36 mpg combined.
Photo by Honda
The 2016 Ford Fusion makes a surprising value play in the midsize segment, since it’s one of the least expensive entries in that segment with an MSRP of $22,110, yet also one of the few family sedans with a standard backup-camera system. It also has family-friendly safety scores, too, including a 5-star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick trophy from the IIHS, and Ford’s focus on powertrain innovation also comes into play in the Fusion.
For example, the 2016 model now showcases two four-cylinder EcoBoost engines. The first is a high-performance 2.0-liter unit that produces up to 240 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque and a new 1.5-liter engine that, despite its compact displacement, can be counted on for 181 hp, 185 lb.-ft. of torque, and EPA ratings of up to 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway/29 mpg combined.
The 4-door sports car is back, featuring a 300-hp V6 engine and sporty suspension, and a premium package of standard equipment that helps the vehicle earn its MSRP of $32,410 (plus Nissan RearView Monitor on option). The 2016 Nissan Maxima thus joins a growing list of new cars with a standard rear-vision camera, then additionally delivers standard content such as a NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation, voice control and an 8-inch color touchscreen that can recognize typical smartphone-style gestures such as swiping from screen to screen.
Just don’t try using the word “typical” to describe the Maxima’s new appearance, because the car’s sophisticated looks are anything but. Rather, they rely on Nissan’s show-car design language for features like an aggressive V-Motion front end, a “floating” roof and a cabin with bespoke levels of luxury, according to the brand.
After leading the minivan segment in sales last year, the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country has seen demand slow during this one, especially as buzz is beginning to grow for the next-gen version. On the other hand, there are still plenty of reasons for keeping this Chrysler on consumers’ shopping lists, including the fact that its the one of the top minivans with a standard rear-vision camera system and the only one to combine that feature with standard Stow ‘n Go rear seating.
Stow ‘n Go seats live up to their name with a one-touch folding function that allows the second and third rows to be stored in integrated wells in the van’s floor. As a result, the Town & Country can be reconfigured from a seven-seat people hauler to a roomy cargo van in a matter of minutes, and without having to wrestle with the second or third rows.
Photo by FCA Media
When it comes to small cars with standard rearview cameras, the refreshed 2016 Hyundai Veloster stands out for its wild styling that combines both a dramatic appearance and the unique functionality of a “three-door” body style, which deploys a second, smaller door on passenger’s side of the vehicle for easier access to the rear seats.
Hyundai has also hatched a new Veloster Rally Edition that will go on sale this summer with the same 201-hp turbo engine found in the R-Spec model but an even sharper suspension setup, a sport shifter sourced from B&M Racing, a model-specific matte-blue exterior finish, additional “carbon-fiber-look” aero accents, and lighter-weight 18-inch RAYS alloy that save 5 lbs. per wheel as compared to the Veloster R-Spec.
It’s also worth noting that the “regular” Veloster Turbo will introduce a new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that promises improved performance over the 2015 model.
A brand-new 2016 model is on the horizon—and rumored to be reaching 55 mpg in combined travel—but the 2015 Toyota Prius remains one of the most fuel-efficient unplugged vehicles in the country today, courtesy of EPA ratings of 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined. Further, it’s not that Prius is just parsimonious in terms of passing by the fuel pumps.
Beyond its ability to help drivers save some $4,500 in five-year fuel costs as compared to owners of the “average” new vehicle, according to the EPA, the Prius also earns a 10 out of 10 score for tailpipe CO2 emissions; again per the EPA, the 2015 Prius produces a mere 178 grams per mile.
And if you’ve gotten this far in your reading, you’ve probably already realized that the Prius is our go-to choice for hybrids with a standard rearview camera system.
Photo by Toyota
Competing against other premium entries, the 2016 Buick Encore boasts key benefits that help set it apart from the crowd in terms of safety, connectivity and ownership costs.
For example, the Encore is on the short list of vehicles with a standard rearview camera, and that can be complemented by driver-assistance measures such as rear cross-traffic alert, side blind-zone alert, front and rear park assistance, forward-collision alert and lane collision alert. So it’s probably no surprise to learn that it’s also a Top Safety Pick of the IIHS and has a 5-star Overall Safety Score from NHTSA.
Other lux amenities available in the Encore include standard 4G LTE connectivity and a mobile wi-fi hotspot, along with a refined interior that relies on Buick’s QuietTuning technology and Bose active noise cancellation for a remarkably hushed driving environment.
GM’s next-gen pickups offer many of the amenities exclusive to the company’s cars, with the 2016 GMC Canyon a perfect case in point. The modern-day mid-size truck leads the list of pickups with a standard rearview camera and touts heated seats, Bose audio, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and a mobile wi-fi hotspot—powered by OnStar’s 4G LTE connectivity—as just some of its standard and available features.
Moreover, the precision-crafted cabin of the Canyon earned one of the industry’s most-watched design prizes when it was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2015.
The Canyon has the kind of capabilities one expects in a pickup, though, and it will debut a top truck powertrain bonus for the 2016 model year as well, in the shape of a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine.
Full specs for that powerplant will be provided closer to its introduction later in the 2016 model year.
Photo by Benjamin Hunting