Is a BMW Head Up Display Worth It?

You can add a head-up display to most BMWs by shelling out for an option package—but is it worth the added cost?
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A BMW head up display (HUD) projects key driving information in the driver’s field of vision to improve on-road safety and convenience—but is it worth a few thousand dollars extra? 
If you’re buying a new BMW, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from, including tons of gadgets and cool tech. Some, like a digital instrument cluster, can up your car’s cool factor, but a head-up display can actually help you to drive more safely. 
Here to help you decide whether it’s worth it to add a head up display to your BMW is
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car insurance
broker app. We’ll go over the benefits of having a HUD, look at the costs from model to model, and throw in tips for how to use it if you do choose one. We’ll even show you how to reduce your
BMW insurance costs
to free up space in your budget for this awesome tech! 
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BMW head up display: what is it, and do you need it?

A head-up display, or HUD (sometimes called a heads-up display) is a system that projects important information onto your windshield in the driver’s line of sight. As the line implies, it’s designed to allow you to keep your head up and your eyes trained on the road while you drive, without having to look aside to check your speed, your entertainment system, or other information. 
The BMW HUD works using a small projector, a series of mirrors, and a translucent screen on the windshield that captures the images and information you’ve selected for display. You can customize your HUD information, and options vary slightly between models, but in most cases, you’ll be able to display information such as: 
  • Road speed
  • Speed limits
  • Navigation instructions
  • Telephone and call information
  • Engine RPM
  • Cruise control 
  • Vehicle status and warning messages
  • Entertainment menu (including Apple CarPlay)
You can adjust the height and brightness of the display for your comfort and convenience. With BMW Night Vision, the HUD can even detect and highlight pedestrians to help prevent accidents. While it’s not an absolute necessity, it can be a great way to prevent distracted driving, which causes thousands of fatal crashes every year. 

Which BMW models have a head up display (HUD)?

A full-color head-up display has been an option on most BMW models since 2013—but it’s not standard equipment. The head-up display is available as an option on the following popular 2022 BMW models: 
  • BMW 2 Series:
    Available for $3,350 with Premium Package (including Live Cockpit Pro navigation) 
  • BMW 3 Series
    : Available for $2,250 with Premium Package (including keyless entry, power lumbar support, heated seats and steering wheel, and gesture control) 
  • BMW 4 Series:
    Available for $2,150 with Premium Package (including keyless entry, power lumbar support, heated front seats and steering wheel, and gesture control) 
  • BMW 5 Series:
    Available for $3,300 with Premium Package (including remote start, 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, heated front and rear seats, and power trunk lid) 
  • BMW 7 Series:
    Standard on
    750i xDrive
    ; available for $3,000 with Premium Package (including power rear sunshade and side window shades) on other models
  • BMW M4:
    Available for $1,150 with Executive Package (including heated steering wheel, remote start, and power trunk lid) 
  • BMW Z4:
    Available for $2,900 with M40i Premium Package (including remote start, ambient lighting, adaptive LED headlights, and automated parking system)
  • BMW X1:
    Available for $4,100 with Premium Package (including upgraded navigation, heated front seats and steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, etc.) 
  • BMW X2:
    Available for $3,650 with Premium Package (including keyless entry, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, heated steering wheel/front seats, navigation system, and ambient lighting)
  • BMW X3:
    Available for $3,450 with Premium Package (including keyless entry, lumbar support, panoramic moonroof, gesture control, and heated front seats and steering wheel)
  • BMW X4:
    Available for $2,250 with Premium Package (including heated front seats and steering wheel, keyless entry, and adjustable lumbar support)
  • BMW X5:
    Available for $3,350 with Premium Package (including remote engine start, gesture control, and glass controls)
  • BMW X6:
    Available for $1,250 with Premium Package (including remote engine start and gesture control)
As you can see from the list above, the cost of a BMW with a head-up display depends on the other package contents for that model. For the M4 coupe or X6 SUV, both of which combine the HUD with sparse add-ons, it won’t add much to your bottom line. But if you’re looking at an X1 SUV or a
5 Series sedan
, the other equipment included in the Premium Package will make adding a HUD fairly expensive.  
You should also be able to get an HUD on just about any BMW M model—after all, a head-up display is ideal for any performance vehicle. 
MORE: 2022 BMW X5 facelift

Can you add a head-up display to a BMW?

What if you already own a BMW that doesn’t have a HUD—or you’re looking at an older model? It’s possible to add a head-up display to a BMW that doesn’t have one, but the cost of the upgrade will depend on how serious you are about having a true HUD. 
If nothing but a genuine BMW HUD will do, you’ll have to replace the entire windshield. Remember, the BMW head-up display works using a transparent screen built into your windshield, and you won’t be able to install that without swapping out the entire windscreen. The whole thing will cost in the neighborhood of $2,000—about on par with the cost of the options packages shown above. 
On the other hand, if you’re okay with a retrofitted head-up screen that isn’t actually built into the windshield, you can buy one for around $450. It won’t be quite as pretty (or as impressive), but it’ll still keep all that key information directly in your field of vision. 

How to use the BMW head up display

If you’ve never used a head-up display before, it might seem a little intimidating, but it’s actually incredibly simple to use. Here’s your BMW how-to for the HUD: 
  • 2004 – 2018 models: Find the HUD button near the headlight controls and push it to turn HUD on or off. You can update HUD settings in BMW iDrive. 
  • 2019 and later models: Use iDrive to turn HUD on and off and update settings. Navigate to Car > Settings > Check “Head-Up Display” box, then check boxes to select which information you’d like displayed. 
If your BMW is working with iDrive operating system 7.0, you’ll be able to integrate Apple CarPlay with your HUD. Android users can also use the HUD to navigate through music selections and other infotainment features. 
MORE: The secret BMW key fob tricks you need to know
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Is a BMW head up display worth it? 

A BMW head up display might not be essential tech—that’s why it isn’t standard equipment on almost any model—but it’s worth it in many cases. Using a HUD can keep your focus on the road, reducing distracted driving and improving your reaction time in dangerous situations. 
The drawback? A head-up display is only available as an option in most cases, and it’s usually bundled with some less-practical features like heated seats. Those additional accessories might be a bonus for you, but they’ll also increase not just your purchase price, but your insurance costs. 
The choice is yours. If that added safety is worth the added price, go for it—especially if you’re looking at a model, like the 4 Series, M4, X4, or X6, with a relatively affordable Premium Package. On the other hand, it may not be worth the added MSRP if you’re trying to keep your overall ownership costs low. 

How to save on BMW insurance

One way to free up a little extra room in your budget to accommodate a BMW head-up display is to shop for a new insurance policy with
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