Autodimming mirrors on a new car?
June 3, 2017 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Considering autodimming mirror option on a new car purchase.

I am looking at purchasing a new car. One of the options are autodimming mirrors. I have never had them before. This option is a little over $400. I am not sure if it is worth it or how reliable they are. What do people think about them.
posted by cycleback to Shopping (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They're quite reliable anymore. You will never have to touch the mirror flipper (which is good because there isn't one) or find yourself blinded.

Worth it? Can't really answer. That 's a lot, does it also come with Homelink or anything else you will use?
posted by ftm at 11:00 AM on June 3, 2017

My car has that feature on the inside mirror. It seems to work well, and is a nice convenience, but I'm not sure it would be worth $400.
posted by jkent at 11:01 AM on June 3, 2017

If you're talking about the rearview mirror that automatically dims, I had an 2008 Accord EX that did it. It worked very well (view seemed exactly what I was used to by flipping the mirror the old-fashioned way), but as the alternative is to flip a tab on my rearview I wouldn't pay $400 if I had a clear choice in the matter. Usually it's bundled into some option package, which was the case for me.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:02 AM on June 3, 2017

On review - I'm interested in whether this is offered on your SIDE mirrors, because I think I would pay a million dollars for that on some evenings.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:02 AM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The autodimming is available for both the center interior mirror and the side mirrors. The $400 includes autodimming in both.
posted by cycleback at 11:04 AM on June 3, 2017

that certainly ups the ante; I'd want to take a test drive at night if it could be arranged...
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2017

In a heartbeat, but then I'm a bit photophobic. These days it really does work reliably.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 11:12 AM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have it in the center mirror, it works well enough that I never feel it's doing the wrong thing. But, meh, it's not that onerous to do it myself. It doesn't seem worth anywhere close to $400 to me.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:22 AM on June 3, 2017

Options at purchase are always overpriced compared to the aftermarket, but $400 for all mirrors seems reasonable in that context.
posted by rhizome at 11:30 AM on June 3, 2017

Totally worth the incremental cost. I'd probably go for it (although feel a bit miffed at quite how much it cost) if it were only the interior mirror, but with the side view mirrors also having auto-dim it's eminently reasonable.

The ones I have used are far better than manual mirrors in that they progressively dim to whatever level it's necessary. It isn't just two settings, one of which blinds you and one which makes the mirror useless for seeing anything but headlights. By far one of my favorite features in a rental car, second only to working satellite radio.
posted by wierdo at 11:33 AM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's worth it. Do you need it? No, but it's one less thing to deal with when you're driving. Out of curiousity, what is the car your purchasing?

My rearview center mirror and driver's side mirror are auto-dimming and it's great. Not sure why my passenger side one isn't. $400 seams like a good price but then again my car is 2007 Mercedes E350 and I was told that my driver's side mirror cost $900 if it ever needed a complete replacement (another driver hit it or something).

I'm also curious if the mirrors would be auto-defrosting too. That comes in handy in the winter time.
Just FYI, on the side mirrors, if someone has their high beams on, it stills reflects into the car but not as brightly.
posted by eatcake at 11:41 AM on June 3, 2017

My rear view mirror auto-dims. I'd had the car for a year before I even noticed. My previous car didn't have the feature, and I probably had to flip the mirror toggle four times a year, due to people not dipping their headlights. I don't think I've ever noticed reflected headlights in my side mirrors. So, while I'm happy to have the feature, and have seen no downside, I wouldn't pay for it.
posted by pipeski at 11:54 AM on June 3, 2017

We have auto-dimming on just the rear view, and it is reliable and quite nice. It was on the car when we bought it, didn't really care either way.

Now though, I would happily have paid extra if the side view mirrors had that option.
posted by monopas at 12:13 PM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd say it's worth it for side mirrors, but then I deeply, deeply hate those awful fucking halogen headlights so many cars have nowadays.
posted by yasaman at 12:23 PM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I take it for granted that the central rear-view mirror in my car has auto-dimming but I'd give a LOT for the side mirrors to dim too. All to often I'm being followed by an SUV with really bright lights that's just the right height and just the right distance to be shinning directly in my eyes. It bothers me so much that end up pointing the mirror away from my eyes until something changes.

I used to sell new cars for a living, me mail any questions if you want advice about buying a new car.
posted by VTX at 12:24 PM on June 3, 2017

I would not pay $400 for this option. My current car auto dims the center, and I've owned it for ten years, and if you'd asked me if I'd pay $40 a year for it—less than $0.80 a week!—I'd still have said no. Spend the money on something actually fun or useful instead, like a weekend trip for you and your partner.
posted by ejs at 5:28 PM on June 3, 2017

Well, I'll dissent. I hate auto-dimming rear view mirrors. Without exception they just never dim dark enough, and it's such a trivial thing to engage/disengage, I just don't see the benefit. Certainly not at $400.
posted by so fucking future at 6:24 PM on June 3, 2017

Since I got a car with auto dimming rear-view and side mirrors, I've never ever been blinded by the headlights of cars behind me. They're an option that works so well that I don't think about it.
posted by monotreme at 9:09 PM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

My car has an autodimming center mirror, but it frequently doesn't kick in when I think it should, I'd actually prefer a manual mirror at this point. If it had an override button or something it would be okay, but they don't.

I wouldn't pay extra for the feature. Mine came standard on my car.
posted by TheAdamist at 9:52 PM on June 3, 2017

We have it on rear view and like it. It works great. It would be useful on side view. I'd buy it again. It will help resale value if your car. If someone is deciding between two good used cars and one has additional features, they'll go with additional features.
posted by fixedgear at 6:12 AM on June 4, 2017

I have an autodimming rearview mirror and love it; if dimming side mirrors had been available I would happily have those also. To me it is worth it as a small-but-nice luxury, but it's not an essential safety feature by any means.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:24 AM on June 4, 2017

Our car came with an auto dimming center mirror and I didn't really appreciate it until I was driving a rental. The rental mirror had no manual switch at all, even after I pulled into a rest stop and craned my head under the thing. The next day, I found the manual dimmer in the car's navigation menu. I want to say this was an Impala, but I can't be sure. I would pay for an auto dimming mirror over one that you have to navigate in menu but not over one with a manual switch.
posted by soelo at 9:03 AM on June 5, 2017

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