Is a Ford Head-Up Display Worth It?

The only 2022 Ford model with a head-up display option is the Ford Escape. Find out if it’s worth the extra money here.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Jessa Claeys
background
Currently, Ford’s head-up display (HUD) technology is only available on certain trims of the
Ford Escape
or Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. The HUD projects key navigation information on the windshield 
As driver-assistance features advance in modern vehicles, amenities like head-up displays have become a coveted perk. Not only can a HUD make it much safer to check your speed and route, but it can also give an otherwise bland SUV a futuristic edge. 
Unfortunately, Ford doesn’t offer nearly as many opportunities to drive with a HUD as luxury brands like
BMW
,
Audi
, or
Mercedes-Benz
. But is it worth seeking out the rare HUD-friendly Ford anyway? Read on to find out. 

Ford head-up display: what is it and do you need it?

When a vehicle has a head-up display system (also called a HUD or heads-up display), this typically means it projects information like the speed and route onto the windshield within the driver’s line of sight. By doing so, it helps keep eyes on the road since drivers won’t have to glance toward the speedometer or touchscreen for the information they seek.  
Ford’s HUD works by using a small projector to display real-time images and specs from your touchscreen or instrument panel onto a clear pop-up screen right in front of the windshield. The HUD screen auto-adjusts to lighting conditions for optimal viewing, and the driver can move the location of the graphics up and down or alter its size. 
You can customize what sort of info displays on a Ford HUD as well, but options are usually limited to: 
  • Driving speed 
  • Navigation details and notifications
  • Incoming calls 
  • Lane keep assist 
  • Distance indications 
  • Speed sign recognition 
  • Eco advice 
  • Warning messages 
  • Engine RPM
For safety’s sake, a Ford head-up display will limit some of its features when you’re moving at high speeds. Otherwise, it can be a great way to prevent
distracted driving
—especially during lengthy trips! 
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Which Ford models have a head-up display (HUD)?

As of late 2022, you will only find a Ford head-up display in certain 2021 and newer Ford Escape trims. While it doesn’t come standard in any Ford Escape, you can purchase a Ford HUD as part of a package in the following models:
  • 2022 Ford Escape Titanium
    —available for $2,425 with the Titanium Elite package (also includes Active Park Assist 2.0, Bang & Olufsen sound system with subwoofer, HD radio, leather-trimmed seats, and more) 
  • 2022 Ford Escape Titanium Hybrid—available for $2,425 with the Titanium Elite package
  • 2022 Ford Escape Titanium Plug-in Hybrid—available for $2,075 with the Titanium Premium package (includes Active Park Assist, B&O sound system, floor mats, leather trim, wireless charging pad, and HD radio)
  • 2023 Ford Escape Platinum—available for $1,910 with the Premium Technology package (also includes Active Park Assist 2.0, B&O sound system, HD radio, and quilted leather-trimmed seats)
  • 2023 Ford Escape ST-Line Elite—available for $1,910 with the Premium Technology package 
  • 2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid
    —available for $4,530 with the Plug-In Hybrid Premium package (also includes 360-degree split-view camera, heated power passenger seats, B&O sound system with subwoofer, perimeter alarm, and much more) 
As you may have guessed, head-up display pricing varies significantly depending on what’s included in the package. While the 2023 Escape Plug-in Hybrid charges the most for its HUD package, the Hybrid Premium package also comes with the most features. 
On the other hand, the 2023 Escape Platinum’s Premium Technology package contains the least features but also costs the least. 
MORE: Are Fords expensive to maintain?

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

So, what happens if you own one of the many Ford models and trims without a head-up display? That depends. While you won’t be able to install an OEM head-up display in a Ford vehicle that isn’t equipped for one, there are plenty of aftermarket options out there for certain models. 
Since Ford Escape’s original head-up display system doesn’t project directly from the windshield (as many luxury brands do), you can easily find an aftermarket head-up display unit that mimics the Ford HUD quite closely. Catered to work with your specific Ford, these HUD units are mounted to the dashboard to project information onto or in front of your windshield. 
Depending on the vehicle, most aftermarket HUD systems cost between $200 and $500. You’ll need to connect it to your Ford’s onboard diagnostics system, so assistance from a trustworthy mechanic may be in order, which will cost extra. 
Unfortunately, not all Ford models have aftermarket HUD units available either. So if you’re desperate for that head-up display and you’re a diehard Ford loyalist, you may want to look into budgeting for a new Ford Escape. 

How to use the Ford head-up display

Starting your Ford head-up display is extremely straightforward: 
  • Hit the head-up display icon on the right side of your steering wheel or center console
  • When you see the HUD menu in your instrument panel, press “OK” on your steering wheel to check the box and turn it on
Once activated, your Ford Escape’s HUD will rise from your dashboard and start displaying. You can toggle HUD graphics’ position, brightness, and size and customize what’s projected by scrolling to “Adjustment” or “Content” in the instrument panel. 
Whether you’ve got a 2021, 2022, or 2023 Ford Escape with head-up display capability, the above process will be the same. 

Is a Ford head-up display worth it? 

A head-up display is by no means necessary, but it can make driving a Ford a lot safer. Without the distraction of looking away toward your instrument cluster or center console, reaction time in tricky or unexpected traffic conditions may improve. 
As much as a HUD benefits driving safety, though, it’s not an option for any Ford model aside from a handful of Ford Escape trims. Even in Escape trims with a head-up display available, you’re going to have to pay several thousand dollars extra for a package that includes a HUD (along with several other non-essential luxuries). 
Because of this, you’ll be better off opting for a cheaper aftermarket solution in the Ford Escape if a head-up display is all you want. The Ford HUD isn’t quite as high-tech as some luxury brands either, so you may want to look into BMWs, Audis, and
Acuras
—all of which have more models with HUD options. 
And if you’re after something closer to what you’d expect in a spy movie or Batman sequel, consider going electric. The augmented reality HUD systems in the Audi Q4 e-tron,
Volkswagen ID.4
, and
Hyundai Ioniq 5
are sure to impress.
Bottom Line A Ford head-up display can increase your safety on the road, but it will also increase your purchase price by quite a lot, as well as your
Ford insurance costs
since higher-value vehicles cost more to insure.
 
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