So it's coming up on time to trade my car in. Being that I'm middle aged and in a decent life situation right now, my wife has suggested that I get a "fun" car that will last me a decade instead of another used practical car.
So I've begun the process of looking around at vehicles, and it's a little frustrating the number of very nice fun vehicles that in order to get them in a decent trim, they come with the "digital dashboard" or "virtual cockpit".
That said, virtually ALL cars now have some kind of LCD tucked in with the speedometer and tachometer. I had a hard enough time dealing with my Fusion Hybrid, which has bright blue speedometer detailing, and two 2x3" "LCD screens to either side of the speedo. I have to turn those way down and I put yellow film over them, and when I'm tired they still mess with me a little. But it's a 2014, tech has come a long way...
Do any of you have any experience with digital dashboards? I'd think that a company like Audi would do extensive testing on their displays, but I'm not super hopeful given how mediocre the last few brand new vehicles I've driven have been in this regard...
- A manual transmission.
- Some kind of longevity. That rules out "fun" cars by Hyundai and cars like the Ford Focus ST, since I am pretty sure they'd wear out by year 3 of ownership.
- AWD is a nice to have but not necessary.
- Ideally mid-20's USD. Could go a little higher if it was a new car with extended warranty on payments, and I knew it would last a decade or more.
Cars I'm considering:
VW GTI - even the top-spec trims here in the USA don't come with digital dash (they do in the UK, so it's only a matter of time but I'm safe 2019-2021), but they DO have a big infotainment screen and a 2x3" LCD tucked between the tach and speedo. I'll need to evaluate that.
VW Golf R - this comes with virtual cockpit standard. Ugh. Nevermind, I was hoping for AWD but..
VW Jetta GLI - unfortunately the nice trim with the good sound system and leather... has "virtual cockpit" standard. Ugh. Lower trim would need an aftermarket upgrade on the sound and doesn't have the same handling.
Subaru WRX - I know I can tolerate the subaru lighting, since it's the same as my wife's Forester. And so is the infotainment screen. Only problem is I hear these can be a little... harsh... to drive. But then again I live in New England, we get a LOT of snow (18" on the ground the past couple weeks) so it might not be so bad.
BMW (pre-owned) - I can't afford a new Bimmer, but a nice sporty 2015 model isn't out of my price range and very few of them had digital dash.
Audi - almost all audis have "virtual cockpit" and it isn't even optional. But lower models like the A3 don't...