I’ve been very pleased with the MIB2 infotainment system in my GTI. The display size is adequate, sound quality is good, and the system introduced me to AndroidAuto. If you’ve explored my site, then you know that I’ve upgraded my system with Helix and beyond. In time, I learned that the European version of my car has an 8-inch display. I was not shocked. As a longtime Volkswagen enthusiast, I am perfectly aware that Europeans get all the best stuff in their Volkswagens. Americans want it, too. HAHA! Thankfully, someone has found a way to import the larger displays and their associated bezels and sell them as a kit. It’s an expensive upgrade, so I avoided it for some time. Then the kits went on sale, dropping in price just enough for me to make an impulse buy.
Thanks to EuroZone Tuning (EZT), I was able to upgrade my non-navigation display to eight inches, all while maintaining exactly the same button functions as the factory unit. I could have chosen one of their new glass displays, but the button layout is different (and the kit is more expensive). Call me kooky, but I also wanted to maintain a “period-correct” appearance with my upgrade. My display features a “MUTE” button. Some people hate it; some people don’t care. I love mine, perhaps too much. I use drive-thru lanes and like to simply push a button to mute and pause the music, then push it again to resume everything at exactly the same volume as before. Sure, it’s a bit lazy when compared to operating a volume knob, but I still like it. Other than size, the only difference between this European display and the factory unit is that the “BAND” button now reads “RADIO.”
The difference is pleasing. Some naysayers, probably those who don’t have the upgrade and/or despise its pricing, have pointed out that 8 inches is only 24% larger than 6.5 inches. But the increase is in both directions, so one must consider the increase in display AREA, which is 53% and noteworthy! No, it’s not as if I have a flatscreen on my dash, but it is a nice improvement. I didn’t care for AndroidAuto when I first bought the car. But I’ve played with it over time and like it even more with the larger display. Around town, I usually just stick with playing music from an SD card. For my commute, it seems I can have the best of everything by playing music from an SD card, displaying Waze on my smartphone, and using GoogleMaps on the 8-inch display using AndroidAuto. It seems like an oddball way to drive, but I like GoogleMaps’ traffic monitoring and capabilities over what’s offered by Waze. It seems like information overload to travel this way, but it’s really not since I only give the displays small glances.
Installation was fairly straightforward. My kit came with a pry tool, four chassis lock keys for display removal, and good directions. The only setback was with one of the electrical connectors on the back of the European display. It doesn’t match the keying of the factory cable. But that is easily remedied with a razor blade (see the directions). Once a key “nub” is shaved from the factory connector, the wiring goes into the European display and locks appropriately. I have no reason to believe this will be a problem in the future. I took some time to route a new USB cable for my smartphone before snapping the display into place. The new bezel was fairly easy to install, even with my new USB cord sticking out of the AC vent, but the bottom takes some finessing to get it to snap into place. To be honest, the lower edge is a total PITA!
Some may wonder why I still choose to keep my phone up high instead of simply stowing it. As mentioned above, I use it mostly as a second display for monitoring traffic. But I also have some apps that I may chose to use during brief stops when having the phone immediately accessible is convenient. Some examples include Fuelly (for fuel stops), some food apps (used in their drive-thrus), and quick glances at the weather widget. There may come a day when I don’t keep the phone out at all. For now, I’m in a bit of a transition period. I’m looking at alternative mounting solutions such as the D-Dock. My ham radio display normally blocks access to the forward storage compartment. However, I don’t mount the display very often these days. So it may still work for me. I’ll be sure to share details if I make a move.
Is it worth it? Well, that depends on you. I won’t share pricing info here since it’s subject to change. But it IS an expensive decision. The new display does not give higher resolution, more menu options, or make any changes to the system. It is simply a larger display along with its accompanying bezel. Understanding that, you must decide for yourself if it’s worth it. My eyes adjusted to having the larger screen after just a few drives. It’s sort of like getting a Stage 1 tune and then wanting Stage 2, then 2+, Stage 3, etc. I think I’m already taking my larger display for granted. BUT, I do notice a difference when I get into another VW with a standard 6.5-inch display. At that point, the other display looks small while mine is normal. HAHA! So, yes, it was worth it for me. See my related YouTube video here.
UPDATE: I bought my upgrade at a great time. As of 9/7/2018, the non-navigation 8-inch MIB2 display is out of stock for the foreseeable future.
It’s So Huge!