A small HUD that uses a special sticker to project directly onto the windshield.

AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2

A dashboard HUD that is accurate and easy to use.

While manufacturers have begun offering HUD (heads up display) options in certain vehicles, the technology has yet to become a standard feature. Those who want to try a HUD in their own vehicle may have to find an aftermarket solution.

To get more information about heads up displays for cars, our review team tested both aftermarket and built-in products. A good heads up display may not dramatically change your driving experience, but it does improve safety and many drivers (including our tester), prefer it.

What Is A Heads Up Display?

A vehicle is equipped with a futuristic HUD.

A heads up display takes the information that is usually present on the dashboard and projects it onto the windshield. The benefit of this is that the driver does not need to glance down at the instrument cluster (and away from the road) to check vehicle speed and engine RPMs. A variety of information could be provided by a heads up display. Some even show lane warnings and navigation system information such as map directions.

Many aftermarket heads up displays do not project information onto your windshield but instead include their own screen. These semi-HUDs sit on top of the dashboard and so may still be in the driver’s field of view.

Our HUD Recommendations

Our review team tested several HUDs, including the built-in HUD on a Mazda3. In our experience, the aftermarket HUDs are OK but significantly less functional than the built-in HUDs.

That said, we did try a couple of aftermarket HUDs that offered a small upgrade over the standard instrument cluster. If you’re curious about trying a HUD in your vehicle, it can be worth it to purchase a low-cost aftermarket option and get a sense of the technology. Be aware that the overall experience is much improved with built-in heads up displays.



Check Price

Cost: Around $50

The VGEBY 5.5” HUD is a small projector that can throw a variety of information onto your windshield. It projects onto a special sticker that you affix to your windshield, and so operates as a true HUD overlay.

Some HUDS work via GPS, and others connect directly to your OBD2 port. HUDs that use GPS to measure speed can be unreliable and slow to update. Aftermarket HUDs that connect to the OBD2 port give more accurate, up-to-date readings. The VGEBY is the latter type of heads up display technology, and can even read and clear OBD2 fault codes.

This car HUD comes with a 180-day refund policy, so it’s a good purchase for the HUD-curious.

Our Experience


We thought that the VGEBY was the best heads up display that we tested. It isn’t hard to install and is most similar to a built-in HUD (though not quite as easy to see). That said, the projection sticker can be a pain to work with. Once you attach it to your windshield, you can’t move its location. The sticker that came with our VGEBY was bent in the box, which made it difficult to keep attached to the windshield.

The VGEBY’s display size is somewhat small, but readable, and more importantly projected onto the windshield. This display provides a slight upgrade over the instrument cluster.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 3.6 out of 5 based on around 100 ratings

Most reviewers agree that the VGEBY is worth the cost. Those who prefer to have current speed information at eye level seem to appreciate the upgrade.

This HUD is easy to install, though many claim the instructions are poorly written. A few people had to turn to YouTube for installation assistance, though we did not have any trouble with the installation process.

AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2

AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2

Check Price

Cost: Around $55

This heads up display does not project onto your windshield, but a fold-out screen. This makes it more of a semi-HUD, but one that works well nonetheless. The AWOLIMEI C2 reads data directly from the OBD2 port and can monitor a number of things such as intake pressure, oil temperature, and air/fuel ratio. Like the VGEBY, the AWOLIMEI can read and clear OBD2 fault codes.

In addition to reading OBD2 information, this HUD also has a GPS mode. This means it can be used on a bicycle as well to measure speed, altitude, and direction. The data display is customizable, with several different color options as well as automatic brightness adjustment.

Our Experience

AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2

The AWOLIMEI provides accurate speed information, and the display is easy to read. We found that the sticky surface intended to keep the AWOLIMEI attached to our dashboard did not work well. This issue is solved by using an additional adhesive (we’d recommend tape or adhesive tack).

This HUD is customizable and can display a wide range of data such as water temperature, fuel consumption, custom odometers, intake pressure, and oil temperature. The ability to change the display colors helps to improve readability.

Unlike the VGEBY, the AWOLIMEI does not project onto the windshield. It is not located directly in the driver’s line of sight. While you don’t need to look as far from the road to read this HUD as you do to see the instrument cluster, the difference is marginal. It still feels like mostly taking one’s eyes off the road. We think the primary benefit of this HUD is that it can display different data than the instrument cluster.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 3.9 out of 5 based on around 10 ratings

There are not many reviews for the AWOLIMEI on Amazon. However, those who do review the AWOLIMEI leave mostly positive comments.

Some like this HUD precisely because it doesn’t project onto the windshield. One reviewer claimed that they owned the projector type of HUD, but the sun damaged the sticker to the point that the HUD was no longer visible.

A couple of reviews mention that this HUD can be hard to read if the ambient light is especially bright. We didn’t have this issue, but the display is certainly fainter than the instrument cluster.

Mazda3 HUD

Most automakers produce at least one model that offers a built-in HUD. Tesla is one of the few exceptions and currently does not offer a model that includes a built-in HUD. In addition to several aftermarket HUDs, we also took a test spin in a Mazda3, which offers a built-in HUD.

The Mazda HUD doesn’t offer a lot of information and functions primarily as a speedometer. Adjustable controls allow you to position and angle the display to the perfect spot. The floating projection is very easy to see.

Not requiring a sticker is a big upgrade, and this display is overall easier to see than any of the aftermarket HUDs we tested. The Mazda3’s HUD also has the benefit that it doesn’t require extra cabling. Overall, this was the best HUD experience and felt like an upgrade over the instrument cluster.

Is a Heads Up Display Worth It?

Heads up displays are worth it for some people. While it may not revolutionize your driving experience, many who drive vehicles with a built-in HUD claim to prefer it. Another reason to purchase an aftermarket HUD is that some can display information that is not available on your instrument cluster, such as water temperature or g-force.

That said, HUDs can be expensive. While there are moderately priced vehicles that offer a HUD (such as the Mazda3), these use special windshield glass that is more expensive to replace. If you live in an area where you regularly need to replace your windshield because of frequent rocks, road debris, or off-road driving, a heads up display is probably not worth it.

Can You Add A Heads Up Display To A Car?

Yes, you can add a heads up display to a car using an aftermarket HUD such as the VGEBY 5.5” HUD or the AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2. Aftermarket HUDs peaked in popularity in the late 2010s. Since then, many companies that manufactured the high-end models (costing over $300) either shut down or stopped HUD production (Garmin and NAVDY).

Most aftermarket HUDs are in the $40 to $150 range. The technology at this price point can be useful but does not rival the quality and usability of a built-in HUD.

Do You Need A Special Windshield For Heads Up Display?

Only a particular type of surface can be both transparent and allow for the projection of HUD information. With most built-in HUDs, the vehicle needs a specially polarized windshield. However, some HUDs can project onto a transparent sticker that you place on the windshield. Having tried both types, our testing team felt that the fully polarized windshield works much better.

If you buy a car with a built-in HUD, it will use a particular type of polarized windshield. These windshields are more expensive to replace than standard windscreens.

Some aftermarket HUDs do not project onto the windshield at all, instead projecting onto their own screen that you place on top of your dashboard.

Which Cars Have A Built-In Heads Up Display?

The following manufacturers currently produce at least one model with a built-in HUD:

The specific models that offer HUDs can vary from year to year. Some models may have HUDs in certain years and not others. You’ll have to check with the dealership to determine the exact models with a built-in HUD. Regardless of your preferred dealership, you’ll likely find a car with a HUD option (the main exception being Tesla).

Heads Up Display For Cars: Bottom Line

If you want the best HUD experience, buy a car with a built-in HUD such as the Mazda3. If you want to add an aftermarket HUD to your vehicle, consider the VGEBY 5.5” HUD or the AWOLIMEI Car Heads Up Display C2, though keep your expectations limited. These devices can be handy for some and are not especially expensive.

How We Tested

The heads up displays in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon for top products, looking at factors such as display information, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then ordered the HUDs that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a Ford Fusion, taking note of ease of use, display information, and accuracy.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Heads Up Display: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.