Top 7 Best HUDs
By | Last updated: February 25, 2020
best head up displays

Not much of the driving advice doled out by my long-suffering father has been retained by your author’s increasingly foggy brain. Gripping the wheel at ten-and-two has been replaced by nine-and-three, although dad’s exhortation that my preferred wheel grip of twelve-and-nothing was absolute bollocks brings a smile to my face even now.

However, being told to keep one’s eyes on the road is a lesson that rarely leaves any of us. Look far ahead, he would say, because those who simply look just beyond the hood will find their drives full of terrifying surprises. Come to think of it, that advice holds true for lots of things in life, not just driving.

Some snazzier cars (and even some not-so-snazzy ones) have a head-up display that projects the car’s speed and other info onto the windshield. The t4hinking behind this feature is that, heeding dad’s advice, one doesn’t have to take their eyes off the road to learn their car’s velocity and other minutiae.

What’s that? Your car doesn’t have a head-up display? Worry not, for we’ve assembled a few options for fitting it to vehicles lacking the feature.

1. Editor’s Choice: ACECAR Upgrade Universal Car HUD Head Up Display

Displaying driving data on its 4.3-inch TFT screen, this little unit can display a phalanx of information in too-small numbers or simply give a massive readout of one’s current speed. Presented in a clear font with an attractive color scheme, it is a small matter to switch between a variety of operating interface modes and layouts.

Based on the GPS module inside its housing, this unit will start and turn off automatically with vehicle ignition. Be sure to annoy your favorite teen driver with the speed alarm setting. It does need to be plugged into a power source, so be sure to hide those unsightly cables. The GPS chip can also tell drivers information like altitude and driving time. Thanks to the simple need for 12V power, this unit can be used in just about any wheeled vehicle.

Pros/Versatile, clear screen
Cons/Ugly cables

2. Widerlife Dual System HUD Head Up Display

More of a true heads up display than the unit selected above, this item projects an image onto ones windshield, beaming it out of its face like so many Star Trek transporter beams. Its reflected image includes information like speed and direction. Choose from a snazzy decorative light or simply one’s vehicle speed.

Unlike other HUDs on this list, the Widerlife runs off the car’s OBD2 port, allowing it to provide readouts of water temperature, battery voltage, and engine speed in RPM. The box is a 3.5”x2.1” rectangle, standing about 1.2 inches high. A quartet of easy to use buttons face the driver and allow for scrolling through the various options.

Pros/Compact size, its reflective nature makes it a true HUD
Cons/Only good for vehicles built after 2008

3. Pyle Heads-Up Display Screen

Despite sharing a name with Gomer, this head-up display also projects its information onto a glass surface. Its arrangement of data is much more frenetic than the HUD listed above, a decision which will please players of Forza Horizon by anger any luddites in the audience. Changing the display doesn’t seem to be much of an option.

Speed, driving direction, driving time, driving distance, and altitude are all on full display. With no need to take your eyes off the road, all vital information is projected ahead of the driver in a full-color 5.5-inch display. No OBD2 ports are needed here; simply plug this thing into a 12V power source and you’re set.

Pros/Plenty of data information, 12V operation
Cons/Weirdo brand name

4. Red Shield HUD Reflective Windshield Film

This isn’t technically a heads up display; rather, it’s an accessory to go along with one. According to the seller, the high definition crystal clear film provides the best display resolution and pixels per inch to best reflect the projection. Apparently, the film is totally transparent and will not distract a driver.

After cleaning a 6-inch square on one’s windshield to ensure maximum adhesion, peel off the sticky backing and place this film where it is desired. Somehow, despite its 6-inch measure, it can effectively display a HUD of 7 inches. Reviews are somewhat middling, with customers reporting it doesn’t really work in daylight.

Pros/Could provide clarity for displaying one’s HUD detail
Cons/Not an actual HUD

5. iKiKin Car HUD Head Up Display

This heads up display is, in your author’s opinion, the best-looking option on this list. Shaped like the gauges on a sportbike, this HUD displays a wealth of information in what could be construed as a second dashboard rather than a head-up display. Its tachometer encircles a speed readout like that in a Fiat 500.

Displayed information includes the likes of voltage, water temperature, and turbine pressure. In fact, the seller says it can read 36 data from the car’s ECU. The display is about four inches in diameter, plus a bit on the right-hand side for extra detail. Six different displays can be selected, including a trio that swap the big round gauge for a wide readout of data.

Pros/Looks super cool, OBD2 precision, lots of display options
Cons/Expensive

6. ACECAR Car Universal Dual System HUD

Similar in scope and size to a head-up app one could download for their smartphone, this HUD provides relevant data in large easy-to-read numbers, which should make it popular with the Golden Corral set. The difference between this and an app is this units ability to speak with one’s car through an OBD2 port.

This, of course, allows the unit to display information such as engine rpm and voltage. Ambient decorative lighting looks pleasant and the screen that projects the detail onto a windshield is plenty large. Thanks to some nifty engineering, cars that do not have an OBD2 port can play with this HUD as well, since it also packs a GPS unit.

Pros/Uses either OBD2 or GPS, affordable
Cons/Displays minimal information at once

7. Hudly Wireless Head-Up Display

Unique to the others on this list, the Hudly looks much like the Xbox Kinect system, sitting atop the dashboard like an oversized radar detector. Its clear screen flips up like a Top Gun prop, drawing power from any 12V power source.

Acting like a mini version of Apple TV or Google Chromecast, one can mirror their smartphone’s display to the display. This mean that Waze, Save for oddball Pixel and Nexus phones, this unit plays well with all iOS and Android software. Yes, one can technically watch movies on this thing but be aware that audio will route through the Hudly speakers, not your car speakers — not to mention that playing a film while driving would be very distracting.

Pros/Flip up screen, works with apps
Cons/Very costly

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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