Most, if not all of us if we are being honest, have experienced that awkward moment of panic when we have a vehicle ‘suddenly appear out of nowhere’ as we are driving down the highway.
I consider myself to be a capable accident-free driver and have taken high performance driving courses. My mirrors in each of my cars are set following the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommendations for setting side mirrors to minimize blind spots. Additionally, my newest vehicle has blind spot warning that alerts to when a vehicle is in the car’s blind spots. But I have found it is still possible to be ‘surprised’ by the appearance of a car or truck that has come up behind me and that wasn’t visible in my side mirrors.
The team at NxTGEN® Automotive provided me with a set of their EXTENDED VIEW custom blind spot mirrors for review on my BMW X3.
Several features set NxTGEN® Automotive blind spot mirrors apart from other blind spot mirror vendors and their related products:
- Their mirrors are developed for specific vehicle model applications
- The are made of real glass
- The scale, ratio and curvature of the glass is researched and designed to provide an ultra-clear continuous image despite being actually a combination of nine planes refined to capture all of the blind zone for each specific model
When you order for your specific model BMW or Tesla (currently the only OEMs models with available NxTGEN® Automotive blind spot mirrors), you receive a card with the two glass lens and abbreviated application instructions.
Installation is straight forward with a caveat: you need to pay attention to where on your respective mirror it is supposed to go. Depending on which BMW model you order, the NxTGEN® mirror is to be mounted in the lower or upper outside corner (for all Tesla models, the mirror is mounted in the upper outside corner).
In addition to the NxTGEN® mirrors, you’ll need isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a microfiber or paper towel and a hair dryer (to activate the adhesive).
The first step is to test place the NxTGEN® mirror on your side mirror to see where you will be placing its contour to match your OEM mirror contour. Next, wipe the side mirror with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a microfiber or paper towel to remove any contaminates.
Now you remove the protective sheet off the adhesive backing of the NxTGEN® mirror and carefully align with the OEM mirror contour. Press fully in place. This next step is important to ensure the blind spot mirrors remain bonded to the side mirror glass. Use the hair dryer on high to heat up the entire NxTGEN® mirror for 1 to 2 minutes. Follow this by using a microfiber towel and press all areas of the NxTGEN® mirror for about 30 seconds and you are done. Repeat with the remaining side mirror.
Here is what it will look like:
Do they work? A demonstration test.
To see the degree of blind spot reduction with the NxTGEN® mirrors, I set up a simple test. Prior to installing them, I took my BMW to a parking lot and parked so that cars were behind me similar to being on a multi-lane road. I also positioned a tripod off the left side of my BMW to represent a person or bicycle coming along my normal blind spot zone. As mentioned earlier, my mirrors were already set following SAE guidelines.
Here is what I could see:
Next, I temporarily affixed the NxTGEN® mirrors and was extremely pleased by how it had virtually eliminated the entire blind zone on the driver side. Here is what it showed:
You can see that in addition to the same car on my left, from a safety point of view, two critical elements are in the NxTGEN® mirror that were not in the OEM mirror: my pseudo person/bicyclist and the car behind me. Also, you can see another car to the left that was not in the regular mirror view.
[Technical note, the OEM mirror was not readjusted, my car had not moved, and the camera I used to take all the images was in the same head/eye level position each time.]
The results for the passenger side were less impressive. I repeated the same set up as with the driver side including the tripod pseudo person/bicyclist. The OEM mirror set to the SAE recommendations does not have a blind zone immediately next to car like the driver side does, and the pseudo person/bicyclist was easily seen. The only difference with the addition the NxTGEN® mirror was that you saw more of the car in the next lane than you saw in the OEM mirror. This means that with the NxTGEN® mirror you will no longer have the split-second blind spot when a car passing you on your right transitions from being visible in your mirror to being visible out the passenger window.
After my demonstration test, I properly affixed the two mirrors following the steps described above. I drove on city streets and the highway. The NxTGEN® mirrors clearly (literally and figuratively) eliminate the blind zones. What I noticed is the driver side NxTGEN® mirror in addition to capturing any vehicle coming up on your left side also shows you any vehicle behind you in the same lane you are. As you can see in this driver side image, the NxTGEN® mirror not only shows the same car as the OEM mirror, but also one that is in front of that car but in the OEM blind zone, and part of one directly behind me.
These NxTGEN® mirrors, at msrp $27 for the set, are definitely worth purchasing and installing, even if you have blind spot warning on your vehicle. They provide a crystal clear virtually non-distorted image that appears to fully eliminate blind zones in mirrors set up per SAE guidelines.
Rated a 5 out of 5 hot product!