The 3 Best Heads-Up Displays of 2020

Keep your eyes on the road without missing a beat

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The Rundown
"With an easy plug-and-play setup that goes right into your car’s cigarette lighter."
"Sticks to the dashboard and holds your phone horizontally, keeping your navigation app right in front of you."
Best OBD II Compatible HUD:
ACECAR Heads-Up Display at Amazon
"This simple, minimalistic display is OBD II compatible and offers key information like speed, RPM, and mileage."

The best heads-up displays (HUD) help make your driving experience safer by not forcing you to take your eyes off the road. If your car is an older model that doesn't have such a feature built-in, it's possible to buy an easy plug-in HUD solution from a variety of different brands. Our top pick in terms of value is the ITEQ Universal GPS HUD at Amazon. It offers an easy plug-and-play setup, tells you speed, time, and direction. It's powered by the car's cigarette lighter and the brightness is fully adjustable.

If you need help with navigation, take a look at our list of the best car GPS systems. Otherwise, read on to see the best heads-up display to buy.

Best Value: ITEQ Universal GPS HUD

Not everyone wants reflective film on their windshield. For those who want a different solution, the ITEQ Universal GPS HUD has an answer. A polarizing pad reflects the information on the HUD, telling you your speed, the time and direction you are going. The device has an easy plug-and-play setup that goes right into your car’s cigarette lighter, allowing you to take the device down if you don’t want to leave it on your dashboard while you are away. You can even adjust the brightness to find your perfect setting, whether it is day or night. An anti-slip mat keeps the device in place, securing the HUD during sharp turns.

Cell Phone Holder HUD: Vansky Dashboard Phone Mount

If you’re looking to use your cellphone as a heads-up display, the Vansky dashboard mount will help you drive safely and keep both hands on the wheel. This high-quality silicone mat sticks to the dashboard and holds your phone horizontally, keeping your navigation app right in front of you for easy reference. The rubber holders prop up your phone at nearly a 90-degree angle for optimal viewing, and they can be adjusted to accommodate devices from three to seven inches long (this includes all popular smartphone models). The Vansky phone mount is durable, washable, and can be removed and reapplied many times without losing its stickiness. It can also be used to hold other items you want to have on hand, like a pair of sunglasses, or can be used outside the car as a regular phone stand. 

Best OBD II Compatible HUD: ACECAR Heads-Up Display

The ACECAR heads-up display is a simply OBD II compatible display that provides basic infomration like speed, RPM, mileage, water temperature, and voltage up on your windshield rather than forcing you to look down at your dashboard. It'll work with the majority of cars that have an OBD II/GPS interface, as well as other vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs. If you want to use OBD II mode, the vehicle has to be produced after 2008 and it won't work with hybrid electric vehicles, diesel cars, RVs, and computer modified cars, but you can still use GPS mode.

Final Verdict

The best heads-up display to get is the ITEQ Universal GPS HUD (view on Amazon). It offers an easy plug-and-play setup, provides you speed, time, and direction, and works with the car cigarette lighter. For a phone mount option, we like the Vansky dashboard mount (view on Amazon) since it can serve double duty as a HUD, phone mount, and GPS.

What to Look for in a Heads-Up Display

Compatibility - The first thing to consider when buying a HUD is compatibility. Some rely on Apple AirPlay or Google Cast, meaning they will only be compatible with iOS or Android devices, while others require an OBD2 port. If considering the latter, check where your car’s port is before you buy. Most are tucked under the dash or on the side of the steering wheel, but some are inconveniently hidden under the carpet. Note: Older cars are often not compatible.

Display - Most HUDs fall into two categories: dedicated screens and projector screens. Dedicated screens display relevant information—like speed and directions—directly on a screen in your field of view, while projector screens project the information on your windshield. You should also consider the size of the display, which dictates its readability.

Mounting - HUDs are intended to make your driving experience safer so a secure mount is crucial. Also, some installation instructions can be complicated, which is something you'll want to look into before making your purchase.