2016 BMW 340i: Head-Up Display Is Pretty Neat
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 26, 2016
Our 2016 BMW 340i test vehicle is jam-packed with optional features. As noted in our introduction of this vehicle, it's jam-packed enough to cost a rather eye-popping $59,920. But we did get a lot of cool stuff for that price, and one of the items that has pleasantly surprised me is the head-up display.
It comes bundled in the $2,750 Technology package. This also includes a navigation system, the bigger 8.8-inch center display screen, an upgraded gauge cluster display and BMW Online and Remote services. Individually, you could probably do without one or two of these options, but for the money it's fair to expect that you're going to want them enough to go ahead and just get the package.
Do you need a head-up display? No. But as head-up displays go, the 3 Series' is an over-achiever. Most head-up displays will show you your speed and maybe a couple tidbits of info. More often than not, they display in one color.
As you can see in my photo, the 3 Series' head-up display shows the car's current speed and the speed limit of the road you're currently driving on. These are always shown on the left-side of the display. Having the speed limit info readily available at a quick glance is a boon, particularly if you're driving on unfamiliar roads in a 320-horsepower sedan that eggs you on to bury the throttle at every opportunity.
If you've got cruise control enabled, it will show you your set speed in green on the top of the display. Our car also has adaptive cruise control. With this, the head-up display shows icons for following distance and vehicles ahead.
On the right-hand side, the head-up display can show audio information and navigation directions. If you use the steering wheel's audio scrolling knob to sort through a music playlist, for instance, the screen will show you the song names. It doesn't display enough to show long names but it's enough for you to get the idea. It's less distracting to look here rather than the car's central display screen.
I didn't get a picture of the navigation system in use but, similar to the audio display, it's very helpful to have right in front of you. It can show you street names, the distance until your next turn and which way you're supposed to turn. All very handy.
If you're thinking about buying a 3 Series, make sure to check this feature out.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6,156 miles