A reader named Andy recently dropped me a line to ask about problems with glare on the Toyota Highlander’s infotainment touchscreen. He was also interested in learning more about possible solutions.
“I’m reading a lot about sun glare on the touchscreen while driving, as well as difficulty in reach the controls while driving. Can you talk a bit about your experience with these issues? And is there any talk about someone coming out with some sort of visor to mount above the screen to reduce glare?”
First things first…
Glare on the screen?
I have to say that I haven’t really been bothered by any sort of glare on the touchscreen. It’s there, I suppose, but no worse that I would have expected. The matte (or at least non-glossy) finish helps.
I think the bigger problem is that, in high-light situations, the display can get somewhat washed out. At times, this can make it hard to see what’s going on. Here again, this hasn’t been a huge problem for me, but I can see how it could bother some owners.
The easiest way for Toyota to prevent this would have been to recess the touchscreen, as opposed to having it sit more or less flush with the front of the dash. But that would make it harder to reach the touchscreen.
Which bring us to the second part of Andy’s question…
Accessibility of controls
Is it difficult to reach the controls while driving? No, not for me. But I’m tall (6’5″) and have long arms, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.
At worst, I have to roll my right shoulder slightly off the driver’s seat to reach the most distant controls on the touchscreen. But I can see how this might be less convenient for those who haven’t blessed (or cursed; it all depends on the situation) with my height.
Then again… I also have the seat as far back as it can go, so this offsets some of that uber-tall, monkey-armed advantage that I might otherwise have. At the end of the day, I can’t see this being a particularly big deal. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker (imho).
If you’re worried about this, I would suggest doing a test drive on a sunny day to see it’s something that bothers you.
Possible anti-glare solutions
As for solutions to possible glare problems… While there are lots (and lots!) of GPS visors on the market, they’re mostly designed for free-standing navigation units. I haven’t seen any sort of custom solutions for the built-in, OEM infotainment system.
There are likewise a lot of anti-glare films on the market, though I haven’t seen anything specific to the Highlander’s infotainment system. If you decided to go this route, you might need to trim down a piece of film that’s intended for a larger tablet. That being said…
I’m not sure how much a piece of anti-glare film would help, as the touchscreen already has a matte-like finish. Moreover, it wouldn’t help with the screen washing out in bright light. And I’d also be a little nervous about applying a piece of film to such an expensive component.
What about you? Have you been bothered by a glare on the touchscreen? Or by the display getting washed out? If so, do you have a clever solution that you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments.