Which SUVs have the biggest passenger windows/most visibility?
April 17, 2018 11:14 PM   Subscribe

It’s a strange way to shop for cars but my kids like to see outside.

I recently drove a friends Land Rover and it was amazing with I felt like I was outside in the car and that was really great. My Jeep Cherokee’s windows are tiny. I want my next car to have huge windows.

Is there a good way to look this up across car makes?

What large SUVs have giant windows?
posted by ibakecake to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Just Google “vehicles / SUV with the best visibility”

I myself would go for a Range Rover any day.
posted by Kwadeng at 2:53 AM on April 18, 2018

Response by poster: I did try to google and I didn’t like what it gave me rear view window vs passenger windows. Thanks though, Clearly I should buy a Rover for the windows
posted by ibakecake at 3:04 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a BMW X3 and the windows are pretty great. Add to that the glass roof, and it's a winner.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:04 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've just gone through the process of buying an SUV and a big part of the reason for our decision to buy a Subaru Forester was the expansive windows. It is like driving in a fish bowl. If the Forester isn't large enough for your needs, you way wish to look at the Subaru Ascent; we found that all the Subarus had great visibility.

The Hyundai Tuscon was our runner-up; the side windows were slightly smaller than the Forester but the moonroof was incredible.
posted by GreenEyed at 4:11 AM on April 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

On that one criterion, it’ll probably be difficult to narrow down your options.

But depending on where you are, I’d look at sites such as automobile.de and go through the options
posted by Kwadeng at 5:28 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're not in a big hurry and are near a larger city, keep an eye out for the annual auto show (the kind put on by local car dealers.) You can look at multiple brands in person without having to schlep to the showrooms.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:51 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I also came in to recommend the Forester, though I’m not sure it’s big enough for your “large SUV” criteria. We test drove it when shopping for our current ride, but ended up going with a sedan. When we replace our current SUV we’ll probably go with the Forester. We loved the windows.
posted by jaksemas at 7:29 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Consumer Reports looks at visibility in it's ratings - look to your library for a way to access that information.

Part of the issue here is that the new (from 2004 but vehicles change slowly) rollover rules forced all the makers to beef up the amount of support the roof has. Safety (distance from glass) and drag also have a role here, as a flat wall of glass right in front of your face isn't ideal. But it's mostly that roll over test. It's cheaper to just use more metal - which makes all the pillars thicker. Most of the American large SUVs are also derived from a truck and that further contributes to cheap sub-optimal solutions. Consider the massive roof supports on the family Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon/Suburban and Chevy Tahoe (GMT K2XX platform), which need it as they are among the worst on the market for rolling over. Ford's T (a derivative of it's P Truck platform) has similar design constraints.

What you are looking for, and seeing suggested in the comments, is SUV's that are not derived from a truck - Land Rovers and Subarus, that aren't cheaply made (looking at you jeep). Visibility is one of the core design principles at Subaru, but you specified large SUV. I suggest the Toyota Land Cruisers/Lexus LX would likely also fit the bill. Know that you are going to pay for that visibility in the sticker price and at the gas pump.

Mid sized would give you more options, and I would suggest looking in particular at the Honda Pilot, which like the Subarus, have excellent visibility, and likely comes close to the sort of vehicle you are imagining. BMW 5x is another expensive option with good visibility.
posted by zenon at 10:50 AM on April 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

One of the effects of recent safety legislation is a trend to have taller doors with greater side impact protection, this naturally means you get smaller windows.
So finding what you are looking for is more a function of the vehicle age than any particular marque.

The MK1 through MK V Renault Espace the oldest models have the largest windows, the 90's era Espace was like driving around in a greenhouse.
The Land Rover Discovery shows a similar trajectory.
posted by Lanark at 1:39 PM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

i haven't been in one, but the Ford Flex looks like it has huge windows.
posted by mullacc at 3:35 PM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you so much, the safety stuff makes sense but windows are disappearing!
posted by ibakecake at 7:57 PM on April 18, 2018

Humbly suggest you take a look at the crossover Volvo V60 and V90 models; I haven't driven one, so can't speak to driving experience, but they're have great visibility in the rear and back seats. They're obviously kid friendly, practical, meant to go off-road if you like, and Volvo interiors are impressive.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:14 PM on April 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

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