The rear cross-traffic warning (RCTW) systems give visual, audible, and/or tactile notification of an object or vehicle that is out of rear camera range but is approaching as you’re backing up. Some systems will automatically brake to avoid a crash.

Which Brands Do RCTW and Rearview Cameras Best?

Most Satisfying: Owners were happy with the rearview cameras across most manufacturers. Tesla, Lincoln, and Ram topped our survey with very satisfied ratings above 90 percent.

RCTW received praise, too, especially the systems from Kia, Subaru, and Hyundai, each rated at 89 percent very satisfied. “In combination with the backup camera’s very wide field of view, the [RCTW] monitor alerts me of things that I would never be able to see on my own,” said the driver of a 2016 Kia Optima.

Least Satisfying: Toyota and Volkswagen rearview cameras had the lowest percentage, with nearly 75 percent of vehicles for each brand rated at very satisfied.

For RCTW systems, 69 percent of Hondas, and 74 percent of Mercedes-Benzes and Audis rated at very satisfied. The few complaints from owners were that the systems sometimes alerted drivers for no reason or failed to give warnings when appropriate.

False Alerts: About 29 percent of the vehicles with RCTW gave at least one false alert. Lexus, Subaru, and Toyota operated the most consistently, with less than 25 percent of vehicles having at least one false alert. Lincoln and Ford vehicles with RCTW registered the most false alerts—more than 40 percent.

CR’s Take: Rearview cameras will be mandatory for all cars and most trucks built in May 2018 or later. Consumer Reports and other safety advocates pushed for this law, suing the government to get the final rules in place. Rear cross-traffic warning adds another layer of safety.

Rear Cross-Traffic Warning

Brand Names for Rear Safety Systems

AcuraRear cross traffic monitor
Alfa RomeoRear cross path detection
Alfa RomeoCross path detection
AudiRear cross traffic assist
BMWRear cross traffic alert
BuickRear cross traffic alert
CadillacRear cross-traffic alert
ChevroletRear cross traffic alert
ChryslerRear cross path detection
FiatRear cross path detection
FordCross traffic alert
GenesisRear cross traffic alert
GMCRear cross-traffic alert
HondaRear cross traffic monitor
HyundaiRear cross-traffic alert
InfinitiMoving object detection
JeepRear cross path detection
KiaRear cross traffic alert
LexusRear cross traffic braking system
LincolnRear cross traffic alert
MazdaRear cross traffic alert
Mercedes-BenzRear-cross traffic assist
MitsubishiRear cross traffic alert
NissanRear cross traffic alert
SubaruRear-cross traffic alert
ToyotaRear-cross traffic alert
VolkswagenRear traffic alert
VolvoCross traffic alert

Guide to Advanced Safety Systems

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