Buying a new car is an important decision. When it comes to ticking options, that decision is made even harder when new technology pops up demanding extra money on top of the purchase price. We received an e-mail from CarAdvice reader Shane asking whether he should option heads-up display (also known as HUD) in his next new car.
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Q: Hi guys. Love the site.I am looking at purchasing a new car (either the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4). I've noticed that a lot of new cars come with the option of a heads-up display. Is an option like this worth ticking when buying the car? I'm not really sure what it is. Any help would be appreciated.

A: Thanks for getting in touch Shane.

While heads-up display may sound like a new technology, the technology has actually been around for a while. One of our staffers has a heads-up display unit in his Nissan Silvia. Modern HUD units come with the ability to display not only speed, but navigation data, audio selections and in some cases even performance data such as a rev counter or gear display.

A HUD works by projecting an image from a control module mounted in the dashboard. In some cases this image appears to hover over the bonnet, while in other cars it is displayed on a retractable glass screen that comes out of the dashboard.


The module can then also be adjusted to suit a driver's seating position and in some cases even customised to display certain elements of the vehicle's telemetry. In BMW M cars for example, the whole screen is taken over by a digital revolution gauge to optimise shift times and ensure your eyes are kept on the road.

In the case of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which debuts this technology for Mercedes-Benz, it can display speed, navigation data and cruise control speeds.

As a driver that spends a great deal of time behind the wheel of a car, I find this technology very handy for keeping an eye on speed and also navigating through unknown areas. It allows you to keep your eyes on the road, reducing the amount of time required to glance down away from the road.

To help demonstrate the technology, we headed out with the all-new Mercedes-Benz C250 Estate, which is fitted with heads-up display technology. It's certainly a technology worth having in your next new car.