Multifunction Display – Explanation and Use

2016 Volkswagen Golf cockpit

VW’s Multifunction Display (or “Driver Information Display“) is where you can see everything your VW has to tell you about its condition.

We aim to help you get an understanding of what Multifunction Display shows and how to navigate it.

This information applies to newer VW models, 2012-2018, including the fine new Golf Alltrack. (Shameless plug there because we have one!)

Multifunction Display top-level pages
Multifunction Display – top-level pages

Your VW Is Saying Something

Think of the Multifunction Display as a collection of messages about warnings (seldom) or information (always). It’s not where you adjust any settings, that’s for the Infotainment system, but rather where you can quickly see what’s going on in your VW.

You page through them using the controls on the steering wheel. See below:

Multifunction Display - how to use the steering wheel buttons to get to the page you want
Multifunction Display – how to use the steering wheel buttons to get to the page you want

Use the Left Page/Right Page button circled in blue above to cycle through the five Parent pages. Use the up/down button circled in orange above to move through the Child pages within any Parent page.

In some cases in Driving Data, the information available to display is more than the Parent/Child hierarchy can show, so Grandchild pages become available. Grandchild pages are cycled by pressing the OK button, circled in green in the illustration above.

Here are the five top-level Multifunction Display items (Parents), in order:

Driving Data

Driving Data page in the VW Multifunction Display
Driving Data page in the VW Multifunction Display

Driving Data is the most complex but the most useful of the Multifunction Display pages. It holds information like fuel economy (MPG), average speed, distance travelled, driving time, oil temperature, current speed, and more.

It has 9 child pages, and 4 of those have grandchildren. We’ll make a dedicated post on Driving Data’s children and grandchildren soon.

Navigation/Compass

Navigation/Compass page in the VW Multifunction Display
Navigation/Compass page in the VW Multifunction Display

Information displays for the navigation system (if equipped). When route guidance is active, turn arrows and proximity bars similar to the symbols shown in the navigation system are displayed.

If navigation is not equipped, it shows a 3D compass with the car image pointed in whatever direction it’s currently facing.

Audio

Audio page in the VW Multifunction Display
Audio page in the VW Multifunction Display

You guessed it! Audio page shows… what’s playing. How did you know?! Station display or station list in radio mode.

Telephone

Telephone page in the VW Multifunction Display
Telephone page in the VW Multifunction Display

Information about the connected telephone.

Vehicle Status

Vehicle Status page in the VW Multifunction Display
Vehicle Status page in the VW Multifunction Display

Current warning and information messages.

This menu item only appears when warning or information messages are available. We’ve never seen any messages in it in the 2017 Alltrack test-ship. Zero, none, nada.

And That’s How You Pick Up What Your VW’s Putting Down

That’s the Driving Information Display, from a “10,000 foot view”. Later this week we’ll post about the Driving Data parent and its children and grandchildren. The rest don’t need much explanation, but Driving Data has more information than all the others combined, so it deserves its own post.

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I Test Drove a 2017 GTI Last Week

2017 GTI

It was a gorgeous 2017 GTI S 4-door manual in Night Blue Metallic, and interior in the only color available on GTIs — Titan Black. Here’s the build link.

What I don’t like:

  • The 3-flash turn signals (even if you blip it, it still completes 3 cycles)
  • The shifter knob looks strange and feels cheap

What I like:

  • Price… they wanted $22,xxx for it
  • The fantastic, traditional GTI Tartan seats!
  • While this one was only a 210-hp S trim (no LSD, big brakes), it is a quick car

Buying Experience (incomplete)

I went to Emich Volkswagen in Denver and had an hourlong meeting (including test drive) with the very helpful John (sales). He ran my info through a preliminary credit check (660, not as good as I’d like), and a VW Financing approval request. I qualified for a lease, my choice 3 years or 4.

I chose a 4-year lease to make things easy and that put the payment just at $400/month. At that point it was getting too real and I said I needed to think it over. I didn’t plan to go in and buy a car, cold. It’s just now how I roll.

I went in wanting to buy, not lease, but John said that after the typical 3-year lease and buyout, buying and leasing are within $100 of each other. I was skeptical, but I rolled with the lease because it is the more flexible of the two avenues.

I’ve read a lot of posts on car sites saying to lease a new VW instead of buying, because of reliability concerns. Maybe I was letting paranoia creep into my thought process. Whatever the case, I explored the lease option with my sales rep, and I must admit, I like the flexibility it offers. I like the idea of leasing and turning it in if the car is not reliable.

TO BE CONTINUED

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