Dacia Offers Center Screen-Free New Cars

Other car companies following suit.

The excessive dependence on screens has become a pressing issue in terms of safety. Many of us are guilty of diverting our attention from the road in order to navigate through various submenus to access commonly used features. This has been brought to light by Euro NCAP, the independent safety organization in Europe. In fact, starting in 2026, Euro NCAP will impose penalties on automakers who do not incorporate physical controls for specific functions by downgrading the safety rating of their vehicles.

This choice sparked our curiosity – do cars without center screens still exist? By that, we’re referring to vehicles that have no display at all. While there are a few cars that come with non-touch screens surrounded by buttons, we’re specifically interested in car interiors that completely omit the center screen. And the answer is yes. Dacia offers the Sandero hatchback, Logan sedan, Jogger wagon, and Duster SUV without a central display if you opt for the most basic model.

Although the Sandero, Logan, and Jogger have been in production for several years, the latest Duster is a completely new model that has just been released for sale. With configurators now available in a growing number of European countries, customers can see that the entry-level version boasts a beautifully minimalist interior. This budget-friendly design approach is not exclusive to Renault’s subsidiary, as Fiat also offers a no-screen option for their affordable Panda. Despite being in its third generation since 2011, the charming city car has had its lifespan extended to 2026. Joining the trend, another brand under the Stellantis umbrella, Fiat, has recently introduced the ë-C3 with the option to forgo a screen altogether.

According to recent reports, the Volkswagen up! has officially ceased production, and like its predecessor, it was available in a basic trim without a center display. Although, owners had the option to connect their smartphones to create a detachable infotainment system. Similarly, Dacia also offers this feature for vehicles that are ordered without a touchscreen. This innovative feature, known as Media Control, essentially acts as a “pocket screen” as it utilizes the smartphone that is already in your possession. Here’s a breakdown of how it operates:

The New Dacia Sandero: the screen comes out of your pocket | Groupe Renault

Adding to this compilation are the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ, both originating from Japan. Additionally, we can also include prestigious automobiles such as Bugattis and Ferraris. Interestingly, there are some commercial fleet options like the Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo that still don’t possess a display screen. Despite having been introduced in 1999, these vans are still available for purchase in certain markets.

As previously mentioned, VW has been affected by the microchip shortage in 2021, causing them to make adjustments to their products in Brazil. As a result, both the Nivus crossover and Fox hatchback were sold without a center display. This was an unusual move for the Nivus, as it featured an all-digital instrument cluster but lacked a touchscreen. In the past, it was common for VW Brazil to offer a base version of their cars without a central dashboard display.

Indeed, it is undeniable that a car interior without a screen in the year 2024 appears obsolete. However, the absence of an infotainment system actually offers something even better – traditional buttons and knobs. Despite any claims made by an automaker’s marketing team about the superiority of large touchscreens, old-fashioned controls are ultimately more practical. The financial advisors working for an automaker will never openly acknowledge that it is more cost-effective to use identical screens throughout the product range than to design separate switchgear.

Although there is no perfect middle ground, certain automakers like Hyundai are making efforts to satisfy both sides. With the release of the new Tucson, the company has maintained its use of two screens, yet has increased the number of buttons. Furthermore, Hyundai has stated its dedication to physical controls in the long run, asserting that hard keys are more user-friendly while operating a vehicle.

BMW has taken a new approach by removing the iDrive controller from its X1 and X2 crossovers, as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer minivan. When the next generation of these models arrive later this year, the rotary knob will also be absent from the 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe. And to make matters worse, even future electric vehicles on the Neue Klasse platform will not feature it.

If you know of any other current models of cars being sold without a screen, please let us know. However, the Audi TT cannot be considered as it is no longer in production, and the same will soon apply to the R8.

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