Real-life owners' very favorite wiper blade, the Bosch Icon proves its worth in expert tests, too. This sleek beam-style blade costs more than regular windshield wipers, but loyal users say it's worth it -- especially in the snow.
Sleek and effective. In expert tests, the Bosch Icon does an outstanding job cleaning the windshield -- just like lots of cheaper wiper blades. But in day-to-day use, owners say the Bosch really shines. "They hold the shape of the windshield well, and never flap or vibrate, no matter how fast you're going," one happy owner writes. "They don't streak or chatter." Most others agree: The Bosch Icon is the top-rated windshield wiper at Amazon.com.
The Bosch Icon isn't perfect. It fits some vehicles better than others, and some owners do report streaks. However, it gets more consistently good owner reviews than any other windshield wiper. It's particularly terrific in the snow, says Chris Longhurst at CarBibles.com, because its sleek, beam-style design sheds ice and won't get clogged up like clunkier, traditional wipers.
No warranty, but some owners find them incredibly long-wearing. Bosch wiper blades carry no warranty. They last a good six months in tests -- about what you can expect from any wiper blade, experts say -- but owners say it's not uncommon for Bosch Icons to soldier on and on. "I've had these on my car for a little over a year and a half ... Only now are they starting to show signs of aging," writes one Amazon.com customer. Another says: "I've had this on my Saturn now for over a year. It's still going strong!" In fact, some owners have gotten three years or more out of a set of Bosch Icons -- through everything from scorching desert summers to northern blizzards -- but one year is more common.
Most owners would (and do) buy them again. Yes, Bosch Icons cost more than some windshield wipers -- but they also last longer for a lot of owners. "They are the only expensive wiper blades I've ever used that actually lasted longer than the cheap ones," writes one satisfied customer at Amazon.com. "Before these, I had wipers from Rain-X (two different kinds) and while they cost about 75% as much, they lasted 30% of the time. You do the math."
A cheaper version, the Bosch Clear Advantage (Est. $12), gets rave reviews from hundreds of owners at Amazon.com -- but it also gets more 1-star ratings than the Bosch Icon. The Clear Advantage has a less sophisticated inner frame and rubber compound than the Icon, and some owners say it streaks or breaks more readily.
ConsumerReports.org tests 13 windshield wiper models, including the Bosch Icon. Testers install the wiper blades on the vehicles of 185 staffers, evaluating the blades' performance when new and again after six months of use. Subscribers also post their own reviews of the wiper blades.
Review: Wiper Blade Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2013
At first, car enthusiast Chris Longhurst isn't impressed with beam-style blades from Bosch and Rain-X. On five different models of cars and trucks, they streak and miss areas in the rain. But they're so good in the snow that he strongly recommends them.
Review: Rain-X Latitude and Bosch Icon Wiper Blades, Chris Longhurst, Updated Dec. 15, 2013
The Bosch Icon has amassed high ratings at Amazon.com, with hundreds of owner reviews for the various sizes, all listed separately. Most say they're extremely good wipers and very long-lasting, although some complain of streaks, skips and fast wear.
Review: Bosch 22A Icon Wiper Blade, 22" (Pack of 1), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014
Customers at this retail site write glowing reviews for the Bosch Icon. Negative reviews are posted, but most owners are completely pleased.
Review: Bosch Icon, Contributors to AdvanceAutoParts.com, As of February 2014