I do not like the new Speedometer Displays

I do not like the new Speedometer Displays and I think it is a Safety Issue!

I cannot say for sure that all Auto Makers have decided to change-up the display of the car’s Speedometer Display, but it appears that so many have followed suit.

They seem to think that we drive in increments of 20 MPH, rather than 10 MPH… I do not like this, it takes more than a quick glance to tell just how fast you are traveling. When your needle is reading more than 40 mph and with a quick glance (in order to keep your eyes on the road…), are you going 45, 50, or even 55 MPH?

I’ve included photos of the dash boards of four of our vehicles, my wife’s '85 Corolla, my '01 Ram Truck, my '19 Corolla hatchback, and my wife’s '20 Honda Fit.

As you can see, the top two photos are for the older vehicles and their speedometers are in 10 MPH increments, making it easy to access your speed at a quick glance.

The bottom two photos are for the newer vehicles and both of their speedometers are in 20 MPH increments, and not easy to discern the actual speed with a quick glance.

When we bought the 2019 and the 2020, both makers, Toyota and Honda, sent us surveys to critique the cars and I told both I did not like the layout.

Because I believe in the power of the pen, I subsequently wrote them again and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, voicing my concern that this new layout was a safety issue since the driver cannot easily discern their speed.

So, with this posting, I hope to set a “grass root” effort on fire also voicing this concern.

Happy Motoring and Drive Safe…

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I don’t know why, if it’s space or having to include kilometers too but yeah I find our Acura not easy to see the 70 mark. I guess maybe 80 is the new 60 or something. Used to be 60 was more in the 12 oclock position but not anymore. I remember asking my dad if our Ford would really go 120 because that’s what the speedometer said. With the Thunderbird engine he guessed it would come close.

Doesn’t the display on the right help? Is this not an improvement since 1985?


The display on the new Corolla clearly shows the exact mph in large digits that don’t require more than a quick glance to read. The display of the Fit can be toggled to display the exact mph as well, if I remember correctly. If you don’t like the layout of these cars why did you buy them?

It would also appear that the Corolla has lane departure warning and adaptive speed control that will warn you if you are approaching another car too quickly. Surely these items are as valuable as a large-print speedometer reading.

My wife drives a 2018 model car, and in addition to a gauge and digital display for the speedometer, there is also a display that warns me if I’m driving faster than the posted speed limit. I imagine your new Toyota has the same.

First off, I am only dissatisfied with the speedometer increments. My eyes go first to the speedometer, not the right side display. The 2019 Toyota has three different display options for this section and I chose the one that also shows the MPH digitally, which I like, but once again, it is not the instinctive action with years of glancing at the speedometer.

As for the Honda Fit, I’ve been through the owner’s manual and also asked the dealer (salesmen and service department in case it’s not documented…) and as they say, “No joy…” If you know how, “enquiring minds want to know…”

As for “If you don’t like the layout of these cars why did you buy them?” The speedometer issue is not a “deal-breaker” it is just a something that I think makes a car less safe. As I mentioned earlier, most other automakers also do this, so the option for other cars are far and few between…

I bought the Toyota first and it really did not become an issue during my extensive test-driving. Later, when we bought the Honda Fit, I was fully aware of this, but the wife wanted the Fit. It’s doors open very wide, the back seat does some “magical” configurations to give you lots of storage space, the hatch has plenty of room for groceries, and the thing that really sold the wife, the Honda has a camera located below the passenger-side mirror to display an expanded rear view of the passenger-side roadway through the Display Audio screen. Besides she thought the Fit was a really cute car…

Additionally, besides the issues with the speedometers with the two newer vehicles, I still have the '85 Toyota, the 2001 Ram, and my '84 Ironhead Sportster to drive and truth be told, I seldom look at the Harley’s speedometer, since I like to putz on it. I usually “short-shift” it so it really gives a low, guttural growl. It also has over 150,000 miles on it and although it’s a “rocket sled” on wheels, I want to keep riding it for years to come…

Here is a view of its speedometer…

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I hear you, luckily the car has a display with speed that shows up on the windshield along with other stuff!

Yeah I forgot my Rivieras had the digital dash with the large letters showing speed. Easy peasy. But then the digital dashes were around a $2000 option. I don’t even know if that’s an option anymore. I wish I could find my old phone that I took a picture of the dash when it hit 500,000.0. Something to tell the grandkids about.

Why? Simply because you spend too much time trying to read it? Stop that.

Drive within the speed of the traffic around you. There is no safety loss or gain within a 10 mph speed difference. The only effect are law enforcement fines… or not. If you are all alone on a road, there is ample to read the speedo.

Seems like this is a case of just getting used to reading the new design gauges.


When I drive my friend’s new Forester, I really l like the large digital display of the vehicle’s speed, in addition to the analog speedometer. I couldn’t even tell you what the increments on the analog speedo are, simply because the large digital display is so prominent and easy to view.

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Your grandkids can probably use them with no problems . Our 2010 Volvo is in 20 mph increments and it is not a problem .

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I find the 20 mph increments irritating, because they’re pointless. Why my car has a 160 mph speedometer is beyond me. I now much prefer big digital readouts.


Agree with @texases on digital speed displays.

Rapid speed changes that make digital displays harder to read are not consequential to the driver… if you are rapidly slowing down or accelerating, your attention should be elsewhere!

Analog gauges for RPM, however, are critical. Digital gauges for RPM are useless, IMHO.


If your eye is not drawn to the large digital display of your speed instead of the analog appearance speedometer then retrain your eyes. That seems like A LOT less work than a letter writing campaign to NHTSA (that will have no effect).

Many cars, my current one included, have a “heads up” display on the windshield that is always visible, easily readable, and show your speed in a large easy to read digital display. My eyes never leave the road and I can always see my current speed, the speed limit (and a warning if I am more than 10 mph over), if anyone is in my blind spots, and if the car thinks my following distance is unsafe or not. When cruise control is activated it also indicates my cruise control speed and the radar cruise following distance setting.

My vote would be to make such displays mandatory since it allows safe operation of the vehicle without the operators eyes leaving the road. When I am dealing with hazardous road conditions in snowy Western NY it is a boon to keep my eyes on the road all the time, especially at night.


My Corolla also has numbers every 20mph and no digital display, and guess what? I don’t have any trouble figuring out how fast I’m driving. I’ve owned the car for 10+ years and I can tell you from experience, you get used to it. My watch only has four numbers, not counting the date, and I can still figure out what time it is.



You can get used to a lot of things, for example . . .

Bad back . . . exercise certainly helps, but it doesn’t fix everything

Bad eyesight


broken fingers that heal but aren’t ever quite the same

And so forth

Heck, every time I get new glasses, it takes awhile to get used to them, even if the actual prescription hasn’t changed

Yup, us human beings are pretty good at adapting to new things

Remember that movie “Heartbreak Ridge” . . . ?

At one point in the movie Clint Eastwood’s basically said the way to succeed was to “Improvise, adapt, overcome” . . . :smiley:

Not one of his best movies, imo, but there were a few memorable scenes


But you need to remember, Clint as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway also said, “It’s my will against yours, and you will lose.”


But all of those things are considerably worse than a speedometer with a few missing numbers, no?


They’re only considerably worse if you choose to see it that way

There are 2 ways to approach situations . . .

Improvise, adapt, overcome and realize that things are actually pretty good, in the grand scheme of things

Or be whining, be miserable and possibly make everyone else miserable



As I have seen many times in this forum, some folks are just not good at adapting to change. Several years ago, we had a thread created by a woman who was not happy with her new Toyota Yaris, and was adamant that it was inferior in every way to her ancient, incredibly primitive, and underpowered Geo Metro. After much back and forth, she finally conceded that she is just not able to deal with any changes in her life.

As we age, life is going to throw us a lot of curve balls regarding our health and other important issues.
If somebody can’t deal with a simple dislike of a speedometer readout, how is he/she going to deal with significant life changes?


Ah yeah, I rented one of those a couple times. Anything is better as long as it has a roof.

I do remember when we first adopted electronic typewriters. I’d bought about ten of them to start. One lady very against any change in her routine did not want one even though with the work she did she really needed one. We went slow starting with just typing and making corrections and eventually boiler plate paragraphs. It took a month but then she had discovered a lot new helpful features and she loved it. Just have to take a step at a time. This was a good change and helpful to her daily work, but there is often bad change where people try to screw up things that worked well. So its not a matter of being against change, it is determining whether it is good or bad change. In my humble view.