The CDC and various other official bodies encourage or require parents to place their children in a rear-facing child safety seat from birth through the ages of 2 to 4 years. Of course, that means a driver or passenger can’t see them, which requires a mirror that you can see out of the car’s rear-view mirror. As someone who has moved their son’s rear-facing car seat between different cars every week, I would highly recommend this a mirror like this one with a swivel baseas it is so much easier to assemble and adjust than others.
But do you know what’s better than a mirror? The Chrysler Pacifica‘s “Fam Cam”. Between the second and third rows, in the middle of the van, is a small shiny black disc on the ceiling that contains cameras showing images of the second and third rows. There is daylight color and also nighttime infrared camera views (although certain darker colors look purple-purple in daylight). You can also enlarge one of the outer seats in the second row for a better view. Any of the above options will allow you to see your children many times better than a mirror can, especially at night. Just check out the difference below.
Basically, you can’t see your child at night with the rear-view mirror at all. Turning on the map light on the ceiling helps, but my son didn’t want an interrogation lamp on his face, and it’s certainly not ideal for sleeping either. The rear seating position of a particular car may also mean that the child’s front-facing mirror is below the rear-view mirror’s line of sight, meaning you have to choose between seeing your child or seeing what’s going on behind your vehicle. Again advantage Fam Cam.
Here’s another benefit. It is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to mount a front-facing mirror and a tablet holder at the same time. I’ve usually circumvented this by mounting the mirror to the center seating position’s headrest, but of course that’s not an option on a vehicle with captain’s chairs. Now while I was literally able to mount both in the bracket Pacifica To illustrate my point, it wasn’t easy, and both the mirror and tablet holder were a poor fit. Using Fam Cam is obviously a better option. (Also kudos for Chrysler’s Positioning the USB port in the third row, making it super easy to keep the Galaxy charged).
Well, to be fair, the Kia carnival and Honda Odyssey offer a similar rear seat spy camera feature and we like that too. In fact, a lot more family-oriented vehicles should have something like Fam Cam, especially three-row Crossovers/SUVs. It would also be nice if these features weren’t limited to top-end trim levels.
Well, a nitpick. While this is a great feature, it’s unfortunate that it takes up the Pacifica’s entire screen. If you need to quickly bring up another menu screen, like navigation, or select a radio station, you’ll have to exit the camera… and then go through the process of entering again. It’s not a difficult process, but it would be much better if you could split the screen between Fam Cam and another menu option. That goes for them Odyssey and carnival by the way too.