With lane-departure warning (LDW), visual, audible, and/or tactile warnings—such as steering wheel or seat vibrations—alert the driver when the car crosses lane markings. The system does not activate when you use your turn signal. In addition to sensing when you drift from your lane, lane-keeping assist (LKA) provides steering input or braking to correct the vehicle if it starts to exit the lane.

(Read our special report, "The Positive Impact of Advanced Safety Systems for Cars.")

Which Brands Do LDW and LKA Best?

Most Satisfying: More than 77 percent of Cadillac, Hyundai, and Tesla owners were very satisfied with their LDW system, followed by Lexus, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. The latter three brands also topped the LKA charts, with more than 80 percent of those owners very satisfied. These systems apparently can even be relationship-savers. The owner of a 2015 Cadillac SRX said, about LDW, “I love it. It has a vibration in the seat and a visual cue on the dashboard. It’s good for me, but it’s critical for my husband, who frequently drifts. I don’t have to point it out now.”

Least Satisfying: Honda produces the least satisfying LDW and LKA systems, according to our survey, with 59 percent of vehicles with LDW rated at very satisfied and 62 percent of vehicles with LKA rated at very satisfied. Inconsistent operation was a major complaint. An owner of a 2016 Honda CR-V said, “The LKA will work for a few minutes and then it is as if it forgets what it is supposed to be doing and lets your car drift out of the lane, mostly toward the shoulder.”

False Alerts: Owners reported that 41 percent of vehicles with the LDW system gave at least one false alert. Looking at it from a brand perspective, owners reported that about 50 percent of Honda and Nissan vehicles with LDW exhibited a false alert. But even the brands rated best for these systems—BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac—can be improved, with owners reporting close to 30 percent of the vehicles with LDW having at least one false alert.

CR’s Take: The systems can help protect sleepy or distracted drivers, but they can be intrusive on curvy roads. The LDW system’s feedback should be a good reminder to use your turn signal when changing lanes. When using LKA, we’ve found that giving a wide berth to a cyclist or pedestrian may cause the system to steer the car back toward the curb, scaring everyone involved. Neither system has been proved to prevent crashes.

Lane-Departure Warning

Brand Names for Lane Systems

MakeName
AcuraLane keeping assist system
Alfa RomeoLane departure warning
AudiAudi active lane assist
BMWLane departure warning
BMWLane keeping assist system
BuickLane keep assist w/ lane departure warning
CadillacLane keep assist w/ lane departure warning
ChevyLane keep assist w/ lane departure warning
ChryslerLaneSense
FiatLaneSense
FordLane keeping system
GenesisLane departure warningw/lane keeping assist
GMCLane keep assist w/ lane departure warning
HondaLane departure warning
HondaLane keeping assist system
HyundaiLane departure warninge and lane keep assist
InfinitiLane departure prevention
JeepLaneSense
KiaLane departure warning
Lexus Lane departure warning
LexusLane departure alert with steering assist
LincolnLane keeping system
MazdaLane-keep assist system & lane departure warning
Mercedes-BenzActive lane keeping assist
MiniNA
MitsubishiLane departure warning
NissanLane departure warning/Lane departure prevention
PorscheLane departure warning
SubaruEyesight with lane keeping assist
ToyotaLane departure alert
ToyotaLane departure alert with steering assist function
VolkswagenLane assist (lane change assistant)
VolvoLane departure warning
VolvoLane keeping aid

Guide to Advanced Safety Systems

We tell you which safety systems owners like, and the brands that do them best.