Mercedes-Benz has a new tech interface and it’s called MBUX. In this video, we dive into how it’s different from the outgoing interface, COMAND, the various features it brings with it, and the four different ways that it allows you to control the car.
There are some commonalities to the outgoing COMAND system, specifically the touch-sensitive control pads on the steering wheel and the ultra-wide dual-screen display. From there, things diverge. The touch-sensitive control pad on the center console is larger, flatter and covered in a leather-like surface that’s more conducive to fine inputs than the COMAND pad’s glossy black plastic finish. The COMAND knob is gone, but the control redundancy it provided has been replaced by touchscreen functionality for the right-side display (both screens are a standard seven inches, but can be upgraded to 10.25 inches).
Like other touchscreens, it responds to sliding and pinching motions as on a smartphone — motions you can also make on the touchpad. The new menu layout results in an altogether more user-friendly experience than the occasionally overwhelming and confusing final version of COMAND. It’s also highly customizable, with different designs and color schemes.
The fourth and final way to control MBUX is through enhanced voice commands that feature natural speech recognition. There’s no need to memorize specific commands and you don’t have to press an engagement button. Just say "Hey Mercedes," much as you would Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri, which is actually included as part of the standard Apple CarPlay.
This may sound pretty overwhelming, but providing such redundancy allows drivers to choose their preferred way to accomplish various tasks. Some things may be controlled better with a touchscreen, others with the touchpad and others with voice.
You can read more about how MBUX works in our 2019 Mercedes A-Class first drive.