What Is Instrument Cluster With Extended Content? (Benefits Explained)

You know very well how important the instrument cluster or dashboard is because it allows you to see what is happening to the car while you are driving.

But while there are basic instruments that need to be on any instrument cluster, different car manufacturing companies have added their own different extended content on the instrument cluster.

So, what is an instrument cluster with extended content?

An instrument cluster with extended content is just an instrument cluster that comes with more instruments that are not usually part of the basic package. The extended content can be anything such as your navigation tools, cruise control, music, and other similar instruments that can be useful for the driver.

Gone are the days when instrument clusters were seemingly basic and boring.

Today, because of how cars have also been improving tech-wise, more and more instrument clusters are improving and have extended content that can be quite neat and useful for certain drivers but isn’t really necessary.

Still, there are some instrument clusters with extended content that can make life so much easier for most drivers out there.

What is an instrument cluster with extended content? 

If you have driven a car before, you would know for a fact that one of the most important parts of a car is the entire instrument cluster.

The reason for such is that it houses all of the necessary instruments you need to look at while you are driving so that you would know the status of the car while you are on the road.

For example, the speedometer and the fuel gauge are there to tell you how fast you are going and how much fuel you have left respectively.

And while an instrument cluster is as essential as it is, there are some car manufacturers that have been adding more and more useful tools and instruments to the instrument cluster as technology has been growing and improving.

Today, a lot of drivers are no longer content with the basic instruments on their instrument cluster because of how the everyday demands of most people are now changing with the times.

Luckily, technology has also been improving in line with the demands of most drivers.

Depending on the manufacturer of the car, there are now instrument clusters with extended content.

As the term implies, “extended content” means that there are now more tools and instruments on the instrument cluster or the car’s dashboard.

The extended content can be anything depending on the manufacturer of the car, so there really is no way of telling exactly what’s going to be included in an instrument cluster with extended content.

In most cases, instrument clusters with extended content come with the basic package that is required on any instrument cluster.

This includes the usuals such as the speedometer, fuel gauge, tachometer, odometer, and other basic instruments that any driver needs.

As such, the extended content part of the instrument cluster really is just an extended part in the sense that the additional content isn’t really necessary but can be quite helpful and useful for any driver.

That said, most instrument clusters with extended content come in the more premium variants of certain car models.

Some manufacturing companies include this in the more expensive variants of some of their car models as one of the packages that would entice the buyer to choose the more expensive variant over the more affordable one. 

It really isn’t necessary for the driver to go with an instrument cluster with extended content but there are some who are enticed by the extended content because of the additional features the instrument cluster comes with.

What usually comes with an instrument cluster with extended content?

Now that you know what an instrument cluster with extended content is, you might be wondering what usually comes with the “extended” part of the instrument cluster.

Well, the truth is that it would really depend heavily on the car manufacturer and the model of the car because some manufacturing companies include different extended content on different models and variants.

However, in most cases, an instrument cluster with extended content comes with a navigation system on the digital screen that you can find on the dashboard.

Some variants still have this digital screen but it may lack the navigation system that can be found in the more premium variants of a certain model.

Another example is an information display that you can find just somewhere below or close to the speedometer and tachometer.

The information display isn’t really necessary but it can be quite useful because it shows you certain information that may be helpful to you such as the outside temperature and certain onboard computer functions you may need while you are driving.

It can also show you what song is currently playing on your playlist if media is one of the most important parts of your driving experience.

Some of the other useful parts can include lane departure, which can be helpful as information will show on your dashboard when you are about to stray away from your lane, and collision warnings, which should be one of the best safety features you may want from your car because of how it allows you to brace for impact or avoid impending collisions as soon as the warning shows up on your instrument cluster.

In most cases, if you opt to choose affordable variants of certain car models, the part where the extended content should be is left blank probably as a way for the manufacturer to really make it apparent that your car lacks the extended content that can be found in the more expensive variants.

How does an instrument cluster with extended content work?

An instrument cluster with extended content works in the same way as any instrument cluster.

However, the extended content may be able to allow you to actually change what you can see on the instrument cluster depending on the model and variant of your car.

For example, some instrument clusters with extended content have digital speedometers and tachometers instead of making use of the usual gauges that you can see on the instrument cluster.

The purpose of this change is to make more room for the extended part of the instrument cluster such as the information display and even a map that could help with your navigation.

In the more expensive cars, instrument clusters with extended content can have swappable instruments depending on your preferences.

But the basics should still be there because of how important certain instruments are such as the speedometer and the tachometer. In most cases, the instruments that can be swapped or switched are the less important ones but are still very much useful depending on the preferences of the driver.

Sources:

Full Extended Black Panel Display real-life pics on F10

Instrument Cluster w/Extended Contents

CNET: BMW’s new instrument cluster design looks mighty slick