This list of cars with the best backup cameras proves that there’s more to this often-overlooked piece of technology than you may think.
It’s easy to take a backup camera for granted: since 2013, the feature has been mandated on new cars by the U.S. Department of Transportation. If your vehicle is older and you want to add one on, you check out our article on best aftermarket safety features for cars to get an idea of what to expect. If you’re in the market for a new car, this rundown of cars with the best backup cameras highlights this ever-improving vehicle safety feature.
The Nissan Versa earns a spot on our list of cars with the best backup cameras because it is so inexpensive. With a starting price of just over $17,000, this cheap compact car won’t wow you with the size of its 7-inch central display screen, but that’s plenty big to keep a close of what’s behind you while backing up. And complimentary features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available further up the trim ladder.
One of the most popular cars for sale these days, the Toyota Camry has dynamic gridlines that appear when you put the car in reverse. The lines move in concert with the steering wheel to keep you inside the parking lines. Higher end models replace the 7-inch screen with a more user-friendly 9-inch unit. With the available panoramic view monitor, an overhead 360-degree view is rendered, enabling a more complete field of view in low-speed or reverse situations.
Tesla’s Model 3 may not have the biggest screen compared to some stablemates, but it is a reasonably priced EV at about $40,000 and the 15-inch display is not exactly tiny. When reversing, the screen shows a straight-back view plus views along both rear sides, which is handy during tight maneuvering. It even shows a little icon with a real-time measurement of how far away any obstacles as an additional safety measure.
Another all-electric car, the Kia EV6 has a big 12.3-inch display mounted atop the dash for easy viewing. When you put it in reverse, the display shows the view out back on the left and an overhead 360-degree view on the right. Not only that, the Kia brakes automatically if you get a little TOO close, has power-folding side mirrors for when you have to really squeeze it in, and has an available self-parking feature for when you just don’t want to fiddle with tricky parking. You can learn more about all the latest automotive safety technology here.
The mighty Mercedes S-Class is easily the most expensive option on this list of cars with the best backup cameras, but that expense comes with some nifty technology. When you’re ready to back up, park, or inch forward, the Surround View Monitor displays an overhead real-time view of the car as with most systems. But on the Mercedes version, you can drag your finger on the screen to rotate the car in 3-D, which means you can pull back to see what’s on the sides, out front, or behind, and zoom in to get a close look at any blind spots. It’s a useful bit of tech that is easy to work with on the nearly 13-inch screen.
The Ford F-150, one of our favorite high-tech vehicles of 2023, can be fitted with a 12-inch display making it easy to see what’s on the backup camera and all the trick trailering views as well. With Pro Trailer Backup Assist, you can see what’s on both sides of your trailer and Trailer Reverse Guidance gives an overhead view of the trailer with guidelines between the rear bumper and front of the trailer. Add auxiliary cameras and the system can also show you what’s inside the bed and behind the trailer. Like most backup cameras, the use of built-in infrared LEDs enables decent night vision for when the sun goes down.
Mazda’s new three-row CX-90 crossover offers a unique See Through View with its backup camera. When enabled, the 10.25-inch screen depicts an extra-wide rear view with a blacked-out graphic of the vehicle and a full view of both rear corners. With the available front and rear cross-traffic alert that both feature automatic braking, the CX-90 can alert you when an object is too close at either end and hit the brakes if needed.
Nissan fits its Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection to the Pathfinder SUV. Using four cameras – front, rear, and both sides – this system shows a 360-degree overhead view of the vehicle like most systems. But with Nissan, it also keeps a virtual eye out for objects moving on all four sides and delivers a warning message, a chime, and an alert to the driver for which direction that object is coming from. It’s one more tool to help take the stress out of backing up.
The Subaru Outback is our pick for Ultimate Family Wagon for a whole host of reasons, but the available 11.6-inch infotainment screen helps it earn a spot on this list of cars with the best backup cameras. Along with plenty of visibility while in reverse, the Outback can use rear automatic braking to stop before it’s too late and an available digital rearview mirror ensures you can see what’s way out the back even if the rear window is blocked by cargo. There’s also a forward-facing camera with a 180-degree viewing angle that comes in handy during tight parallel parking maneuvers.