From my experience (2005 Forester XT purchased new in the desert
Southwest USA) the Subaru side/rear window tint is for all purposes,
pretty much non-existent, and they don't offer a deeper tint option on
rear windows like is optional with other manufacturers.
My other car is a Dodge Caravan which has a tint band on the
windsheild top, light tint on driver & passenger windows, and a deep
tint glass on all other windows. (50 states legal) Granted, that was
an extra $$ option.
I added an aftermarket tint film to my Forester. A while ago, I
questioned Subaru USA as to why they don't offer a Forester deeper
tint option, but got no answer. (Honda, Toyota & other imports offer
it for US models. No idea why Subaru declines it)
BTW, Subaru has the radio antenna mounted on the window. Some folks
say using metallic window films can adversely affect radio reception.
Formula One film makes a convincing argument for their Pinnacle series
which uses a non-metallic, ceramic material so as not to degrade or
disrupt radio signals. Go to http://www.formulaone.com/ and click on
<Pinnacle> Series for their story.
Don't bother with the factory tint. Get an aftermarket application
from a pro. My Subie came with the "tint package" and it is
utterly useless for reducing sun glare and heat. Go to a local
shop that can give you a window treatment that will work
MUCH better that what Subaru provides.
It is a film attached to the inside of the glass. It has a water
activated adhesive on it. A good shop will advise you on care and may
have a long or lifetime warranty. Some films (mettalic) may interfere
with radio reception if a car has in-glass antennas. The ceramic
films(others?), while more expensive, will not interfere with AM radio
reception. If you live in a southern state, ask around any other car
owners about their experiences with tints and installation shops. Also,
by mentioning your location here, or over at the appropriate forum at
www.nasioc.com you may have suggestions pertaining to install shops as
well as local tint regulations.
Quality tint shops guarantee no peel. It's all in the application.
I've tinted my last 3 cars with 3M film applied by a local detail
shop, and 8 years later it looks great. I scratched one window on my
Subie, and they replaced the film for $20.
I still drive by my 2001 Subie (at it's current owner) and it still
looks good, my '05 Tacoma is outstanding.
Good shops will also follow the defroster lines on the rear window, so
you won't see any seams.
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