by Joshua Thomas
A heads up display is basically a screen that presents data without requiring you to look away from your usual viewpoint, which in the case of cars, is the road. They were originally designed for aviation purposes but they are just as useful for drivers on the ground.
They work by displaying this data close to the windscreen, with some even projecting images and information onto the windscreen itself.
Apart from helping you keep your eyes on the road, HUDs are extremely safe to use as they have features such as speeding and fatigue alarms that alert you if you are speeding and remind you to rest. Other benefits include navigation and even text projection, which is very convenient.
Considering that there are numerous heads up displays in the market, we review 5 best HUD for cars available and hopefully, you will be able to choose a good fit for you in the end.
1. Timprove T600 (Best Overall)
2. LeaningTech 0001 (Best Budget)
3. ITEQ EM03B (On-Board HUD with Transparent Screen)
4. Autolover FBA-HSX-130734901 (Best Aftermarket)
5. Arpenkin X5HUDRG1133 (Good HUD for Car)
This compact product is among the top rated HUD for cars and one of the best for various reasons. First, it is a universal fit for all cars because unlike other products, this one is based on the GPS module inside.
The unit also features a 2.2-inch HD LCD screen that has a 30° angle supporting design, which means that you get a good view without having to move your eyes from the road.
Some of the information on display include vehicle speed, driving direction, driving time, altitude, and driving distance measurement just to mention a few. These contents make it a very relevant piece as well as a great driving partner.
There is also a low voltage alarm and an over speeding alarm that beep and warn you whenever the set parameters are crossed so you can adjust accordingly. This is extremely helpful in preventing accidents.
On the first scan, the HUD will show the vehicle protocol and from there you can add new functions such as accelerating competitive mode, brake performance test, and many others.
Other features include 6 interfaces: default, multi-function, simple mode, brake test, accelerated testing, and speed + time, and while these are great for an experienced user, they may pose a challenge to a beginner who would rather benefit from a simplified interface.
Although the most affordable item in this list, Leaningtech's HUD has multiple features such as being compatible with all vehicles thanks to its plug and play setup. You just have to plug it into your car's cigarette lighter port but you must buy the plug separately.
The display reflects information onto your windshield, giving you access to important figures like driving speed, time and mileage, while brightness auto adjustment and a green color display ensure that it is easy on your eyes and clearly visible, whether its day or night.
3 display modes are built-in and these include normal, upside down and reflecting on the windscreen, and these make it possible to fit the specific position in your car for convenience and flexibility in use.
A couple of safety features are also built-in and these include fatigue and over-speed alarms, in which the fatigue alarm triggers after every hour while the over speed alarm will beep 3 times when you exceed the preset speed limit (default is 120km/h).
On the downside, the unit is not 100% accurate, with some speed deviation expected since the data comes from a GPS satellite and a driving data deviation of around 2% due to different weather conditions. However, this is quite normal as 100% accuracy is difficult to achieve.
ITEQ's HUD stands out from the rest due to its large 4.8-inch transparent display, which is actually in the form of a polarizing pad.
This pad can display in two modes and these are: attaching it on the windscreen using a suction cup then reflecting data onto it or integrating the pad with the HUD then placing them on the dash.
Compatibility is also very strong with this piece, featuring a plug and play setup that basically requires you to hook it up to a 12V DC lighter socket, which is available in all cars, including BEV (battery electrical vehicle) and HEV (hybrid electrical vehicle).
Once hooked up, the unit gets its data from a GPS module and displays real-time data straight from the satellite, showing real-time driving speed, direction, altitude and time. Speed data can be switched between kilometers per hour and miles per hour, depending on your preference.
Other features include a speed alarm that is triggered whenever you exceed the preset speed, a compass for helping with navigation and an anti-slip mat for holding the unit steady and stable over the dashboard.
However, price is the main limiting factor because this HUD is very expensive. Also, the unit does not have a fatigue alarm.
This product is one of the best aftermarket HUDs because of a number of reasons. Although a little trickier to set up, after connecting to the OBD port, it displays much more information about the car as compared to GPS HUDs.
With this A8, you can expect to view info about the speed, instantaneous and average fuel consumption, mileage, shift reminding, battery voltage and others, and this will be very accurate since the data is gotten directly from the car's onboard computer.
A number of alarms are also included and these are low voltage alarm, high-temperature alarm, engine fault alarm, and speed alarm, among many others. Basically, you get an abundant display and this is done on a large 5.5-inch screen.
However, since the unit is designed to connect to an OBD II port, its compatibility is limited to vehicles that are OBD2 certified. This is mostly American and European cars manufactured after 2003 and Asian cars manufactured after 2007.
The benefits though, outweigh this small problem because other features built-in include a fatigue alarm that flashes the indicator light after 4 hours to remind you to have a rest, automatic brightness adjustment for protecting your eyes while also maintaining good visibility, etc.
Just like the A8 above, this X5 from Arpenkin is an OBD2 based HUD that can only be used in OBD2 or EOBD certified vehicles. Even though this limits the compatibility factor and complicates the installation, it leads to a more accurate data display since all the information is retrieved from the car's computer.
The displayed data includes water temperature, battery voltage, water temperature, revs, speed in either km/h or mph and also several alarms such as low voltage, over speeding and high engine temperature alarm.
For the actual display, a 3-inch LCD display is used, making the HUD compact and easily portable due to its small size. However, it can project this data onto the windshield, creating a much larger field of view for easy visibility of all the displayed parameters.
Nanotechnology is incorporated to help in this display by eliminating any unwanted reflections, leading to a clearer and sharper screen.
Other features include automatic and manual screen brightness adjustment and auto power on and off when starting and shutting down the vehicle for battery conservation.
Built-in HUD: Some high-end car models already have built-in HUD systems. They may be invisible to you, but they project information at eye level to the windshield through a series of mirrors.
On-Board HUD: These are aftermarket devices are mounted onto your dashboard and project information either on your windshield or on their display screen. All the items in this review fall under this category.
Some of the highly advanced units can be connected to your phone through Bluetooth and allow you to take your calls hands-free or view your navigation app.
For this, you will only need your smartphone. These apps display information onto your windshield when you place your phone on the dashboard. For this, you will need a grippy mounting pad to keep your phone in place when driving.
Compatibility has got mostly to do with the vehicle. HUDs that are GPS based can be used on any type of vehicle since they connect to a satellite above and get to measure variables such as speed, time, etc.
However, some units are based on connections to the car's onboard computer through certain interfaces such as OBD, OBD II, EOBD (European standards), and JOBD (Japanese standards). In this case, ensure that the product you buy is compatible with the car you drive.
If you cannot read the display, then a HUD is no good for you. You should look out for a bright display that is adjustable either manually or automatically, so as to maintain high visibility in all lighting conditions.
It is also important to check the screen's resolution and cohesion. Resolution basically refers to how crisp the screen displays the image and in this case, the best one should be in high definition.
On the other hand, cohesion mostly applies to the hud's that project the data to the windshield, in which a double-image effect may be formed. To avoid this, always follow the installation instructions and use the included piece of film to layer the windshield.
These days you need to be within reach every time and it would be a good idea to have a HUD that can be connected to your smartphone. This can either be through Bluetooth or directly using a cable.
With this, you can also view other apps for navigation, messages and even use voice assistants such as Siri to respond to texts or make phone calls.
Read More: 10 Best Bluetooth Car Kits
If you are not a handy person, then you should go for either a GPS or smartphone app HUD because they are easy to install.
Most of these simply require a little fixing on the dashboard then plugging into the cigarette lighter socket for power.
However, if don't mind doing something extra during the installation process, you can buy a compatible OBD2 HUD, then fit it into the OBD2 port, which is usually located just beneath the steering wheel.
ACECAR Head Up Display Car Universal Dual System 3.5 Inches HUD, Speedometer OBD2 GPS - Walmart Link
SHEROX 3.5" Car HUD Head Up Display with OBD2/EUOBD Interface Plug & Play Vehicle Speed - Walmart Link
VGEBY 5.5'' HUD Head Display Multi-Color Windshield Screen Projector Vehicle Speed, - Walmart Link
Pyle 3.5'' Car HUD - Head-Up Display Multi-Color Windshield Screen Projector Vehicle - Walmart Link
5.5" HD OBD2 Car HUD Head Up Speed Display Over Speed Warning Plug & Play HUD short for - Walmart Link
Lttrbx. T600 Universal Car HUD Head Up Display Digital GPS Speedometer with Speedup Test - Walmart Link
VGEBY Universal Head Up Display 5.5'' Screen Car HUD OBDII Interface Fuel Overspeed - Walmart Link
XYCING Car HUD Heads Up Display 5.8 inch OBD Digital Speedometer Windshield Projector - Walmart Link
DODORO 3.5 Inch Head-Up Display,LED Speedometer, Color Projection, Speed Warning, A2 ECU, - Walmart Link
LEANINGTECH P10 Car HUD Head Up Display Smart Digital Speedometer with OBD2/EUOBD Port - Walmart Link
Heads up Display Cars Universal GPS Speedometer 3.5 inch HUD Digital Car Compass with - Walmart Link
Head-up Display, Dagood A8 5.5 inches Multi Color Car HUD Windshield Screen Display Head - Walmart Link
Head-up Display, ACECAR Upgrade Head Up Display Dual Mode OBD2/GPS Windshield Projector - Walmart Link
BOYO Vision VTHUDpro VTHUDpro Head-Up Display for Cars, Trucks, and Vans - Walmart Link
ACECAR Head Up Display Car Universal Dual System 3.5 Inches HUD, Speedometer OBD2 GPS - eBay Link
SHEROX 3.5" Car HUD Head Up Display with OBD2/EUOBD Interface Plug & Play Vehicle Speed - eBay Link
VGEBY 5.5'' HUD Head Display Multi-Color Windshield Screen Projector Vehicle Speed, - eBay Link
Pyle 3.5'' Car HUD - Head-Up Display Multi-Color Windshield Screen Projector Vehicle - eBay Link
5.5" HD OBD2 Car HUD Head Up Speed Display Over Speed Warning Plug & Play HUD short for - eBay Link
Lttrbx. T600 Universal Car HUD Head Up Display Digital GPS Speedometer with Speedup Test - eBay Link
VGEBY Universal Head Up Display 5.5'' Screen Car HUD OBDII Interface Fuel Overspeed - eBay Link
XYCING Car HUD Heads Up Display 5.8 inch OBD Digital Speedometer Windshield Projector - eBay Link
DODORO 3.5 Inch Head-Up Display,LED Speedometer, Color Projection, Speed Warning, A2 ECU, - eBay Link
LEANINGTECH P10 Car HUD Head Up Display Smart Digital Speedometer with OBD2/EUOBD Port - eBay Link
Heads up Display Cars Universal GPS Speedometer 3.5 inch HUD Digital Car Compass with - eBay Link
Head-up Display, Dagood A8 5.5 inches Multi Color Car HUD Windshield Screen Display Head - eBay Link
Head-up Display, ACECAR Upgrade Head Up Display Dual Mode OBD2/GPS Windshield Projector - eBay Link
BOYO Vision VTHUDpro VTHUDpro Head-Up Display for Cars, Trucks, and Vans - eBay Link
Ultimately, a HUD improves your driving experience by making it safer and is, therefore, a great asset to have in your car. After going through this review, you should be able to pick the best HUD for your car that meets all your needs.
Keep that in mind you should consider its compatibility, ease of installation, display quality and the connectivity that it offers during the selection process.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.