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Do You Like LaneWatch? - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited June 2017 in Honda
imageDo You Like LaneWatch? - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Most new Hondas like our 2016 Honda Civic are now available with the LaneWatch blind-spot camera. Have you tried it? What did you think of it?

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Comments

  • Umm, I don't know. I was hoping you would tell me. I don't own a 2016 Civic, was I supposed to buy one? How about telling us at least your initial impressions.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    edited February 2016
    I've been selling Hondas for two years and I've got mostly positive feelings about it. LaneWatch debuted on the 2013 Accord EX and above. Before Honda, I sold Toyotas. Toyota has invested more in the Blind Spot Monitoring on both sides, where Honda has reserved BSM for the Elite trims of Pilot and 2014+ Odyssey.

    LaneWatch is very useful on the highway when merging or changing lanes. It's also nice around town to see if a cyclist is approaching. However, if I owned a car with it, I would switch it so that LaneWatch only turned on when activated by the button on the end of the turn signal stalk. I don't need it for every right turn.

    The #1 question I get from customers is "why isn't there LaneWatch on the driver side?" Simple- Honda thought it would be counter-intuitive to look at a screen to the right of you for an image of what is approaching on the left side. LaneWatch is designed to SUPPLEMENT (NOT replace) the passenger-side rearview mirror. The idea is that you glance at the LaneWatch image on your way to checking your mirror before merging.

    So is it useful? Yes, in many situations it is. However I would prefer it not activate by default with the right turn signal. Thankfully, Honda gives drivers the option to switch it to manual activation only.

    All this to say nothing about Rear Cross-Traffic Alert which is often bundled with Blind Spot Monitoring and which, in my opinion, is a brilliant technology. RCTA has saved my neck more than once while driving my mother-in-law's 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE.
  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433
    I've test driven a few Hondas with LaneWatch and I like it. However, I like an actual blind spot warning monitor more. I do understand the the blind spot monitors cost more so LaneWatch is a great low cost alternative. It's interesting on the Honda trims that include blind spot, they delete the LaneWatch. I wonder if it's because everything can't fit in the mirror housing.
  • Lane watch seems unnecessary with properly adjusted mirrors and shoulder checks. The rear-cross traffic stuff is good stuff. Some cars also have front cross-traffic. Both are terrific in cities with narrow lanes and street parking galore.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    From the picture, the camera looks to be useful for parking. Does it show enough of the curb in relation to the wheels? If so that's probably what I'd use it for the most.
  • I have a 2015 Honda Accord with LandWatch and find it very helpful. I even use the push button feature to see potential merging opportunities. The driver's side could use a better blind spot system as the split mirror system isn't that helpful. A warning light system like Lexus uses would have been preferred.
  • I have it on my '15 Civic and I really like it. When I first got the car I didn't trust it at all and deactivated it, but I make several very quick lane merges on my commute so I have since become addicted to it.

    Like others have said, it should be used as a supplement and not a replacement for actually looking. It IS great for watching the curb when parking though. I have to parallel park on my street at night so it has saved me from curbing my wheels on countless occasions.

    Thumbs up, Honda!
  • I've never used it, but I think it's a great idea in principle. A relatively simple solution for checking the blind spot, but with the option to turn it off for those who don't like it. Seems like a win-win.
  • miata52miata52 Posts: 114
    Tried it on a Fit I test drove with my daughter. If you have the mirrors set properly, seemed kinda pointless. But most people don't set their mirrors correctly, so then I could see it being useful.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    I would think that the screen's placement would actually increase some of the risk. You're looking down and right, at the screen, which offeres a limited field of view. That makes it more of a distraction than an assist, I would think. Plus, at night, I would think the screen brightness would cause your night vision to be impacted negatively.
  • I have it on my 2016 Accord. I was a little skeptical, but it really works well. The visibility to the left rear is very good, so that is not an issue. I wish it had rear cross traffic alert, though
  • schen72 said:

    I've test driven a few Hondas with LaneWatch and I like it. However, I like an actual blind spot warning monitor more. I do understand the the blind spot monitors cost more so LaneWatch is a great low cost alternative. It's interesting on the Honda trims that include blind spot, they delete the LaneWatch. I wonder if it's because everything can't fit in the mirror housing.

    Not sure about Honda, but on Mazda the BSM is in the rear bumper/quarter panels area.
  • I have a 2015 CR-V and use LaneWatch as a "check" in addition to me using the mirrors. The car might be involved with driving lessons for a new driver, so I will turn it off for him (as it is kind of a "crutch" that is not available in most cars). That said, I would prefer to have blind spot monitoring on both sides rather than LaneWatch on just one mirror.
  • drex2drex2 Posts: 24
    I've had it on 2 cars and like it a lot. With BSM, I can't get past the need to look over my shoulder, because there's a huge difference between actually seeing what's there and placing blind trust in a sensor. LaneWatch eliminates the blind trust factor by showing you exactly what is or isn't there. And it goes beyond the "blind spot mitigation" mirror adjustment (which I also use) by providing a significantly wider field of view than standard side view mirrors provide. And I don't find it at all distracting. Too bad a driver's side version isn't practical.
  • agent0090agent0090 Posts: 26
    Have it on a 2014 Crosstour and like it. I wish the driver's side had one. The button at the end of the turn signal stalk makes it really easy to use. Plus the 5-year-old thinks it's a cool spy camera.
  • If I don't get a 2016 Civic it will be fo one reason. It doesn't have a Blind spot monitor and a cross traffic alert. The problem with Lane watch versus the blind spot monitor and cross traffic alert is simply this. The Civic Lane watch is basically a passive device and the Blind Spot Monitor is an active device. The former protects a careful driver AND the latter protects both a careless driver and a careful one. Why? Take the case of the change to th your right lane. If you activate the Lane watch and look at your center screen it should work most of the time but what if you, ocassionally are not so careful? The Civic version is then useless if you don't examine your center LCD screen which, by the way, takes your attention away from the where you should be looking (the road in front of you). With the Blind Spot Monitor if you turn your right signal on and ignore its light signal, you will get a loud auditory warning. In plain words, drivers who ocassionally do stupid things will still have their Butt saved by the BSM. Similarly, you are backing out of your grocery stores parking space after carefully looking to see that there is no car coming. OOPS, the auditory signal will even warn you of the little old lady with the Grocery cart that just moved behind your car because the BSM can even detect that small of a moving object.

    My Civic Dealer said that most of his customers love the Lane watch. I wonder how many that previously had a BSM and Cross Travic system would have said that?
  • craigo7 said:

    schen72 said:

    I've test driven a few Hondas with LaneWatch and I like it. However, I like an actual blind spot warning monitor more. I do understand the the blind spot monitors cost more so LaneWatch is a great low cost alternative. It's interesting on the Honda trims that include blind spot, they delete the LaneWatch. I wonder if it's because everything can't fit in the mirror housing.

    Not sure about Honda, but on Mazda the BSM is in the rear bumper/quarter panels area.
    But the warning light is in the mirror (don't know where the auditory speaker is located,though).

  • My daily driver is a 2007 Nissan Altima. I have a small wedge mirror adhered on the driver's side mirror and wide-angle rear view mirror tilted-right inside. Both allow me to see my blind spots so i can change lanes without needing to turn my head or check twice. Old school right? We also have a 2015 Acura MDX as the family hauler, it is my wife's car and has BSM. I have not installed any wide-angle mirrors for the sole purpose of trying new technology. I must agree with drex2, not being able to see what is actually in/near my blindspot has given me less confidence in making lane changes. Both my wife and I are always craning our neck/shoulders around to take a double-look even if the BSM light is not on. It's particularly annoying on the driver's side because of the B-pillar blocking view. Seeing is believing. The mirrors allow me to maintain situational awareness with a quick glance and I don't have to move my head/take eyes off road for more than a couple seconds.

    I'm in the market for a new car to replace the aging Altima. I test drove the 2017 Accord Hybrid and tested the Lane Watch feature. It would be a decent replacement for my wide-angle rearview mirror inside, but the resolution is not great (not sure if it's the camera or the screen's fault) and I have no idea what it would look like at night (does it switch to IR b/c that would be sweet!) That still leaves me needing something for left side and the "expanded view" mirror is useless, we have it on the MDX and it doesn't see enough of the blind spot just a sliver. Actually makes me a bit nauseous when i see a car and it is 'bent' between the regular and expanded view portions. But it's an easy fix, just add a wedge mirror again. Alas, I'm holding off on the Accord Hybrid b/c of the lack of RCTA and I've come to realize it is very much needed in today's parking lots where people are either constantly distracted or just assume anything bad that happens to them is someone else's fault.. Pretty much every other mid-sizer has the feature available. It uses the backup sensors in the rear bumpers, which Honda has already invested to integrate. They might have to tweak the software and mounting locations but it shouldn't be an expensive add-in.

    The Ford Fusion Hybrid actually has wide-angle wedge mirrors built into the side mirrors and it works much better, similar to my Altima setup. Too bad the styling and tepid acceleration don't appeal to me.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 628
    edited September 2016
    Vehicles can come up on your right side so very quickly, one must not move to the right unless the vehicle on the Lane Watch screen appears to be way, way behind you. Remember that objects are much closer than they appear to be as seen on the screen..
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 628
    edited September 2016
    I've always looked first before signaling a right turn. So it makes sense to me to disable the Lane Watch coming on with right turn signal, and instead use the Lane Watch "On" button (at end of turn-signal lever) before signaling a right turn. Otherwise, I would frequently be signaling a right turn that I then would find I wouldn't be able to make.
  • ai23ai23 Posts: 1
    I own a 2016 Honda CR-V. I absolutely love the Lane Watch feature. Some people say that it's distracting but I always have it on. It allows me to see who's next to me in case. It's also nice that I do not have to turn my head all the way as others have stated. Also as others have stated I trust what I can see more than what I hear. It's a shame that Honda has done away with it. They should have just left it there and give the people to disable it if not wanted.
  • I've switched to Mazda due to BSM, Cross Traffic, and not having to get a moonroof. You're looking at the mirror anyway, so makes sense to have signal in mirror, as opposed to looking down at a screen. Wish Honda would offer BSM and CT in LX, and EX.
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