Does the Highlander’s Rear Entertainment System Block Your View?

A number of readers have written in with questions about the BluRay/DVD rear entertainment system (RES). Among other things, several have asked if the video screen blocks your view out the back when it’s in use.

As a reminder, our Highlander does have the RES. I’ve never really been a fan on built-in video systems, but supplies were tight when we bought and the one we got (from a far-flung dealer) had the RES plus a better out-the-door price than we could get for a non-RES vehicle closer to home.

In other words… It was a no-brainer.

As for the effect of the video screen on your view out the back, this is a really good question. I never really thought about it until we took the Highlander home. The video screen folds up when not in use, but it sticks down from the ceiling when you’re watching a video.

And yes, it does obscure your view out the back window when it’s in use. The photo below, which depicts the view out the back when the video screen is flipped down, gives you an idea of what I mean.

Looking out the back with the RES screen flipped down... (click image to enlarge)

Looking out the back with the RES screen flipped down… (click image to enlarge)

It’s not the end of the world, but the video screen (visible as a dark rectangle in the middle of your view) does obstruct your view. You can (mostly) see around it by moving your head back and forth, but…

If this bugs you and you still want a video player, you might want to explore aftermarket headrest video systems. As you can see from that link, they’re also way cheaper than the $1,810 list price for the Toyota RES.

Another option would be a tablet headrest mount, which could be a good solution — especially if you already own a tablet.

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Technology & Infotainment
1 comment… add one
  • Myuran Oct 14, 2014

    My wife and I are both tall and we find the mirrow to view the passengers in the back also blocks the mirror. When we have it down, we can’t fully see the window in the rear view mirror. This is our only grumble, otherwise we love the car.

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