These Cars Have The Coolest Gauge Clusters

Photo: Blueck at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Blueck at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Gauge clusters: you look at them every time you’re behind the wheel, but you’re usually focused on mundanities like speed or fuel economy. Yawn. Today, we’re here to talk about gauge clusters from a different perspective: The perspective of art.

Earlier this week, I asked you all what car had the best factory gauge cluster. You turned in a wealth of responses, so today we’re looking through some of the best. Let’s dive in.

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My vote is the Lexus IS300. Love the design and its elegance

The IS300 cluster was meant to look like a fancy watch, and my brief time considering buying one of these cars (before eventually picking up my FR-S) is the closest I’ll ever get to owning a Rolex.

Submitted by: boneheadotto

Chrysler AstraDome

Chrysler’s astrodome.

Runner-up would be the ‘58 Edsel.

I, for one, am a sucker for anything with the word “electroluminescent” in it. Remember when EL wire was big? I was all over that.

Submitted by: Garland - Last Top Comment on Splinter

Subaru XT

Hard to argue with the Subaru XT’s entire cockpit setup. It’s just amazingly bizarre and futuristic.

At the same time, I’ve always had a soft spot for the simplicity of the cluster on the Chevy Sonic. It’s like someone took a bike’s gauges, and put them in a car...

The Subaru XT pioneered a Pole Position-like dashboard that wouldn’t be perfected until — of all things — the Kia EV6. Not kidding.

Submitted by: Skamanda

Lancia Delta Integrale HF

’m sure it will show up elsewhere here, but I love the Lancia Delta Integrale HF dash. It’s overwrought, but I love it.

In terms of simplicity, though, I love the old 70s BMW 2002tii dash. It’s clean and neat and super useful. I would prefer to have the tach front-and-centre, but that honestly seems pretty easy to do since the gauge pods are the same size.

More is more, you see. More gauges? More better.

Submitted by: TheSchrat

Lexus F-Sport

It’s definitely a little dated now, but I’ve had several F-Sports and always like the moving bezel thingie.

More cars should have gauge clusters that move physical elements around like a Dave and Busters attraction. As a sidenote, I hadn’t really thought about how long ago 2014 was until I started scrolling through decade-old car videos for this slide. They are rough, and I am old.

Submitted by: J-BodyBuilder

Saab 9-3

I’m gonna say the saab 9=3 because it had fighter jet mode

I can’t vouch for the quality of the Rick Astley remix this driver is listening to, but damn if all those green lights don’t make me feel like Maverick.

Submitted by: darthspartan117

Eunos Cosmo

I just loved the futuristic simplicity of the Eunos Cosmo interior. Great match for its crazy tri-rotor engine and elegant styling.

Take five minutes out of your day, right now, and watch this full video describing the features of the Eunos Cosmo. Yes, the video is in Japanese. No, I’m not expecting that you understand it. Just listen to the music and relax a little. You deserve it.

Submitted by: GTO62

Honda Prelude

The 4th-gen Prelude one-upped that by not breaking the display “stripe” with A/C vents.

Should I have bought a Prelude, back when I picked up my old Miata? I was looking at fifth-gen cars, sure, but this is bringing me right back to that mindset.

Submitted by: d3v

Aston Martin DB9

I always liked Aston Martin 2000's analog gauges. Substantial and elegant.

LostItsWheel said Aston Martin 2000, but posted a photo of what appears to be a DB9's gauge cluster. I can’t get behind most of this interior, but the gauges go hard.

Submitted by: LostItsWheel

Scion xB

Scion xB Offcenter and everything

More cars need off-center gauges, I think. It would boost the economy or something. Create jobs. Whatever the right keyword is to mandate them in all cars.

Submitted by: Bob

Toyota Celica

The 7G Celica, especially the GT-S with that high redline had the right mix of color, dials and gauges right where you could read them. Some might say it should have had the RPM in the middle with the speedo to the side, but in a $20k little coupe, it just worked and the colors were great at night.

Speaking of Toyota features that more cars should add, let’s bring back weird serif italic fonts in gauge clusters. For too long have we all been stuck with boring sans-serif beigeness. No more, I say.

Submitted by: PotbellyJoe and 42 others

Nissan Maxima

95 Maxima. Ultra Simple. Only what is needed. A minimalist’s dream. This one has the red dials but the white dials are even better.

White gauges always make a car feel sporty, particularly when the off-color backdrop is used to differentiate one specific gauge. I’m not saying that’s why I bought my old FR-S, but I won’t say it wasn’t a factor.

Submitted by: RiddldedTomcat

Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220

10 Gauges, to tell you everything from fuel to Oil Temps.

6 Gauges right in front of you, easy to see and read.

I understand, logically, that most gauge clusters are pretty flat. The XJ220, though, seems somehow flatter — there’s nearly no dimensionality at all. I assume this is for weight reduction. Dimensions add mass.

Submitted by: Knyte

Camaro Berlinetta

As a kid, I thought the instrument panel in my older sister’s 1984 Berlinetta was unbelievably cool. A fascinating amalgam of Knight Rider and arcade racer cabinets. I remember going out and sitting in it just to play around and push buttons. Everything else about the car sucked, but that panel was dope.

You might be wondering why I’ve decided to throw videos in all these slides, when pictures would get most of the point across. Well, if the F-Sport didn’t clue you in, cars like this are why: Sometimes, you just need to see a gauge in motion to truly understand how wild it is.

Submitted by: Hankel_Wankel

C4 Corvette

Hey, I loved these. And I also loved the 4+3!

I can’t speak to the 4+3, but I do think these gauges get a bad rep. I have no earthly explanation for why the speedometer has that specific shape, or why the oil pressure and coolant temperature get outlines, but I’m so thankful for every choice GM made with this one.

Submitted by: AngryBob-VA

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