We live in a screen-infested car industry era. Nowadays almost the entire car industry is racing to provide as many screens are possible. These screens completely wipe out the need for actual buttons, which most people end up preferring after they experience these systems.
Mercedes is certainly one of them, as all Mercedes models these days come with the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system that comprises of 2 screens. One in the gauge cluster, and the other one in the center console.
These screens do offer a bunch of functionalities, including luxury and safety features, and almost all the car’s functions are controlled directly through the in-car infotainment system. Mercedes started a widespread offering of digital dashboards as much as 5-6 years ago now.
Mercedes MBUX design
MBUX or Mercedes Benz User Experience is a cutting-edge system that is aimed at futureproofing the entire Mercedes lineup. The main goals of the MBUX system are intuitiveness, ease of navigation, cutting edge graphics, and a bunch of convenience and safety features
The system is centered around the two large 10’’-12’’ screens, one in front of the driver, the other in the center console area. These two screens offer sharp and crisp resolution and vibrant colors. These systems are also equipped with advanced graphics processors that can offer a smooth, snappy smartphone-like experience.
Mercedes says that the system is able to learn as time goes by, so all of the specific features and settings that you like will always be easily accessible. Some models like the new A/CLA-Class do not offer the full-on MBUX large-screen setup.
For these models, you have to opt for the infotainment upgrade, as the entry-level screens in these models look horrendous compared to the full-on MBUX large-screen setup.
Mercedes MBUX functions
The MBUX system is not only for show, as it offers a bunch of luxury and convenience features. The system is used for climate control duties, you can also set up the ambient colors, media controls, navigation, seat massage functions, audio settings, car settings, system interference, calls menu, and even a fragrance dispenser in some models.
The system also offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto for an easy phone-to-car connection. Furthermore, the newest systems can also offer amazing augmented reality navigation functions which are surely going to help you reach your destination without making a wrong turn.
The system also offers multiple USBs, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth connection, traffic sign assistance package, a head-up display, three years of Live Traffic, Car-to-X map updates. You can also use the system to completely tailor your Burmester sound system settings to auditory-bliss perfection.
Some AMG models offer additional track-oriented functionalities such as lap timers, performance gauges, and a bunch of sporty AMG design touches and layouts.
This system is incredibly comprehensive, and one might think that it might be fiddly to operate. But, Mercedes enables you to control the MBUX in any way you desire.
The main screen is primarily controlled with touch inputs, but it can also be controlled with a few shortcut buttons or with the Mercedes Voice Assistant by saying ‘’Hey Mercedes’’. The Voice Assistant is now capable of understanding a wast array of different commands and is actually usable.
The cockpit display is controlled with the capacitive buttons found on the left side of the steering wheel. It’s also worth mentioning that you can control the main screen through the right side of the steering wheel.
Mercedes enables you to choose the layout of the dashboard from a few different options. The new 2021 S-Class even offers a 3D dashboard, which is a first in the car industry. These systems are the cutting edge of modern-day infotainment screen technologies, and Mercedes and Audi offer the best software solutions as well.
Is a digital car dashboard better than an analog one?
Well, the purpose of a virtual cockpit is not only to look cool, the main reason is the amount of configurability that comes with it. Such levels of configuration are not possible on regular gauge clusters. Some brands like BMW offer a digital dashboard, but they don’t’ offer as many configuration options as Audi or Mercedes do.
A regular analog dashboard might look a bit nicer, so some manufacturers like Porsche use a dashboard setup that is partially digital, partially analog. This set-up looks more upmarket, and it kinda blends the best of both worlds into one package.
Most of the car industry is moving towards digital dashboards as they offer a lot more functionalities, but as far as aesthetics are considered, an analog dashboard will always be nicer. In a few years from now, we might even see the return of the analog dashboards, as people are already a bit fed up with all the in-car screens.
Is the digital dashboard standard or an option in newer Mercedes models?
Some higher-end Mercedes models, like the S-Class, offer a digital dashboard as standard for years now. But, only the latest-gen E-Class is being offered with a digital dashboard as standard. Nowadays, all Mercedes models come with a digital dashboard as standard.
The only difference is the size of the screen, the resolution, and the functionalities. The large screen has become a focal point in most modern German luxury cars, so opting for the largest, most advanced screen setup will definitely appeal to the second-hand market down the line.
Which car manufacturer offers the largest in-car screen on the market, and how distracting are they?
Even though the 2021 Mercedes S-Class offers a colossal central infotainment screen, no one can match Tesla in this aspect. As the screen found in the Model S, and the Model X is absolutely huge. It kinda makes you wonder how distracting these screens can get.
And they are distracting, especially the ones found in some Tesla models that don’t offer a dashboard screen at all. The Tesla Model 3 offers only the central screen, and all the dashboard information is slightly out of your line of sight. This can pose a safety issue if you are not used to such a set-up.