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Why Do SUVs Have Tinted Rear Windows?

Why Do SUVs Have Tinted Rear Windows?

SUVs are multi-passenger vehicles, and there is a relatively new trend in the industry to have rear tinted glass windows.

Why Do SUVs Have Tinted Rear Windows? Latest SUVs come with tinted rear windows as a standard feature to add a cool look from previous bulkier and outdated designs. In addition, tinted windows protect from the sun, UV rays, heat, and glare. Moreover, it gives a sense of security for your family and your belongings.

I feel it strange to look at vehicles that have legal permission to have shaded rear windows that, on the other hand, are prohibited for cars. 

Why Do SUVs Have Tinted Rear Windows?

SUVs have an exception of shaded glass on the rear window despite having similar features to a car.

Besides being legal, there are multiple reasons for the wide acceptance of the tinted rear windows trend in the community.

Here are possible benefits and causes behind the availability of this feature as a standard in the latest models. 

Improve its appearance

Although true SUVs are multipurpose and utility vehicles, their earlier models lack innovative designs that give them an elegant and stylish look.

With the introduction of compact sedans having comparable features, people showed their tilt towards them.

To restore the worth that utility vehicles deserve, manufacturers develop the idea of slim designs and tinted windows.

It not only makes them aesthetically appealing but also adds grandeur and grace to the look. Moreover, it also has become a status symbol for vehicle owners.  

Sun protection

Sun rays contain harmful radiation besides visible light, including Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) rays.

Although not visible, they damage your skin and vehicle interior, including leather upholstery and polymer materials, and increase the cabin’s temperature.

Tinted films block a significant portion of these harmful radiations and 50%-90% of solar heat. However, the exact level of reflection of these rays depends on their material.

By providing sun protection, the overall temperature of the cabin remains low. In addition, it results in fewer operating hours of climate control or air conditioning system.

In this way, you will get better fuel economy and fewer maintenance issues of the engine and AC of your vehicle.

According to research, you will observe a 5% to 20% improvement in fuel economy with this technology.

Less fuel consumption has a direct relation with carbon emissions resulting in better environmental impact.

Anti-glare protection

Glare from bright daylight and headlights of other vehicles at night is a real annoyance if someone on the backseats of an SUV wants to take a nap.

People use them for camping purposes, and it is crucial to block the bright lights to ensure sound sleep.

Dark shades can effectively block 80% to 90% of the glare, and lighter ones can stop 50% to 60% entering the cabin. 

Security for your family and belongings

Privacy is the most critical factor to consider while you are on a family trip. Some people have a terrible habit of peeping through your vehicle windows.

You will even find incidents of such harassment at traffic signals where people use obscene gestures whenever they see a family in the car. It provides a physical barrier to protect your family from evil eyes on the road.

Trunk located on the rear side is its largest cargo storage compartment and a lucrative place for thieves to look into it.

They can try to look through the window to assess a potential target. The shaded glass will keep them away from doing this and, as a result, increased protection for your valuable belongings.  

Multi-Passenger vehicle

These are multi-passenger vehicles having a capacity of 7-10 and off-road capabilities.

Due to 3 seat rows and increased length, drivers don’t use their rear windows to look at nearby traffic. As a result, they have overall better visibility from the front side.

Therefore, they have the edge over other vehicles, tinting the glass on the back windows. While in cars, they are shorter in length, and the driver needs to see through for better visibility.

Therefore, they cannot use opaque glass or other shades to get the benefits of sun protection, privacy, and security of your luggage.  

Better Resale Value

Tinting has several potential benefits, including reducing the heat entering the cabin, protecting against skin cancer, and protecting the interior.

Moreover, it gives a stylish and cool look to your SUV and is legal. Therefore, you will get many potential buyers resulting in its better resale. 

What are the legal aspects of tinted glass on the rear windows of an SUV?

Various states have different laws regarding tinting of SUV windows. Some states prohibit it for better visibility to ensure safe driving, while others allow it up to a specific opacity level.

They measure the intensity of transmitted light through shade and check the applicable limits. Moreover, few states also don’t allow certain shades like red, green, and yellow to avoid distractions.

Another difference in the laws for SUVs and cars is that the former has been allowed to use tinted windows by considering multi-passenger vehicles while cars don’t have such permission.

However, there is no specific definition for modern compact models or crossovers in the law, and it depends on the cop checking the vehicles on the road.

If he considers dyeing is obstructing the driver’s visibility and harmful for public safety, he can give you a challan ticket. Therefore, be careful and have good knowledge of the laws of the state you are traveling to.

Here is a general criterion regarding tinting for SUVs and minivans in the USA. There can be a slight variation from state to state regarding opacity level and different colors.

Tinted SUV Windows Tint Size Opacity
Windshield Non-reflective shade 4-6 inches on top 0-100%
Front Windows Reflective as a standard window Complete window 70%-88% light transmission
Rear Windows Reflective as a standard window Complete window 0-100%

 Moreover, there are exceptions to using light tints on all windows for all kinds of vehicles if somebody has a medical problem and is sensitive to light. They also prohibit the use of red, orange, and blue shades.

Do all SUVs have tinted rear windows?

No, all SUVs don’t have tinted rear windows as a standard feature.

Manufacturers started adding this feature in models after the late 90s, and the purpose was to compete with sedans in their looks.

Even nowadays, you can buy the desired model with plain or transparent glasses. You can also remove them after purchase if you don’t like them and have a visibility problem.

Latest tinted glass technologies for SUVs

With the increasing trend, this industry has grown, and several technologies developed during the period are available to add this feature.

They use a film on a glass substrate to add the desired shade. Here is a brief description of 2 innovations in this field that use a reactive film and an electronically activated design.

Reactive design

This film is sensitive to light and heat. Therefore, with increased intensity of heat and light, its shade darkens, and you will get blocked sunlight and other harmful radiations.

However, at night, due to the absence of light, film behaves like transparent glass without any obstruction.

Smart Tinting Films 

In this technology, they use electronics components to control the opacity of the film. By charging and discharging it, you will get desired shade.

It has the flexibility to control the opacity and shade parameters. You can also turn it ON or OFF according to your requirements. However, this system is expensive to install and maintain.

Tinted materials and shades used in SUVs

The film is the primary component of tinting glass windows. They are available in various materials. Furthermore, few common examples are metallic, ceramic, dyed, and hybrid ones. 

Metallic: These films have a layer of tiny metallic particles to reflect sun rays and heat from their windows. It is durable and doesn’t fade for 5-7 years. However, it is reflective and metallic particles interfere with electronic and radio signals in the vehicle.

Ceramic: Ceramic films are non-conductive and have a single or multiple layers of nanoparticles of any ceramic material. They are the most expensive and are widely in use nowadays. Its non-conductive nature makes it compatible with the latest models. In addition, it has better light and UV protection and has a service life of 8-10 years.

Dyed: It is the least expensive of all types. It has 3 layers:

  • The thin adhesive part
  • A dyed film in the center
  • An outer protective layer made of polyester

They have the darkest shades and are less effective in blockage of UV rays and heat. However, they are adequate to block light and protect your privacy. In addition, they have a shorter life span of 3-4 years.

Carbon: This film has multiple layers of polymer materials that are derivatives of carbon. It gives a matte look and is non-reflective. It protects the interior from UV rays and gives a matte black finish. However, it is a bit expensive with a longer life of 7-8 years.

Hybrid: Hybrid films uses the best features of all materials by adding multiple layers of any combination. 

Experts can add the shade and opacity up to desirable levels during the manufacturing process. Then, you can confirm that it is within regulations by checking light transmission using a photometer.

Drawbacks of having tinted rear windows of an SUV

Using opaque films can create problems at night due to too much dark inside the cabin. Therefore, using tints having 50%-60% light transmission value is beneficial for both day and night operations.

Law enforcement agencies can not see through these, and such vehicles can be a part of kidnapping or other illegal activities. Therefore, certain states don’t allow it, or partial shading is allowable.

It can reduce the driver’s visibility, especially at night time with little lights available. Therefore, you should choose a trade-off between your safety and convenience.

Too bright colors and reflective products can be disturbing for other drivers. You can get a fine for compromising public safety.

How much does it cost to add tinted windows to your SUV?

The cost of tinting windows of an SUV depends on its material, light transmission value, thickness, and opacity.

It will cost around $100 for relatively inexpensive dyed films to $800 for expensive reactive or intelligent films.

Ceramic materials are also of good quality, and they will cost around $400 to $500.

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