Feature Friday: Automatic reverse braking

Feature Friday: Automatic reverse braking
The 2020 Nissan Versa comes standard with automatic reverse braking. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

To follow up on a feature from a couple weeks ago (rear cross-traffic alert), another one of my favorite must-haves in a new car is automatic reverse braking. This feature does exactly what you think it does: If you are backing up and the car sees something you don’t, it applies the brakes for you.

Think: low poles in parking lots, toys left in your driveway, a pedestrian who walks behind your car while texting.

It can be a bit startling the first time you experience it, and some systems are more aggressive than others. But when it saves you from crashing into your garage wall because someone said “squirrel” — and you looked away — at an inopportune moment, it’s a huge lifesaver. Perhaps literally.

The unfortunate thing is this feature, at the moment, is usually only available on top-tier, high-end vehicles.

But I would like to point out that Nissan is paving the way to bring this feature down to the masses. They have made it STANDARD on their least expensive vehicles. So, the 2020 models of Versa, Sentra and Kicks all have this as standard. With a sub-$20K price tag.

To get a closer look at how automatic reverse braking works, you can check out this video on the Nissan Owners Channel.

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