MBUX or Mercedes Benz User Experience is a modern-day in-car infotainment system by Mercedes. This system debuted in the entry-level A-class in 2018, and since then, it has been offered with every new Mercedes model.
This is the first time that cutting-edge technology started in an A-class, rather than S-class. This was mostly due to Mercedes wanting to please the younger tech-enthusiastic customer base. The MBUX is widely regarded as one of, if not the best infotainment system currently offered in the entire car industry.
MBUX: More than just an infotainment system
This system is aimed at completely changing the way you interact with the car, and it incorporates many entertainment and safety features as well. Many modern-in car infotainment systems are lacking in processing power, and are usually slow and last-gen feeling, but the MBUX offers an experience akin to a modern-day smartphone.
As standard, the MBUX comes with a driver’s display, and a central screen, both are measured at 7-inches. This version of the MBUX is not as exciting as the upgraded version that comes with the Premium package and offers two 10.25-inch screens behind a glass panel that gives a next-gen infotainment experience.
The MBUX system offers beautifully designed fonts and sharp graphics that give a premium impression. The MBUX, BMW’s iDrive, and Audi’s MMI are the three industry-leading systems when it comes to infotainment systems, and the rest of the car industry is trailing way behind.
MBUX is able to control pretty much every aspect of the car. You can control your usual navigation, audio, and calls systems. You are also able to control the seat options, and in some of the higher-end Mercedes models, you can also control the massaging seats.
On top of that, you can set-up your driving profiles, ambient lightning, safety system interference, and much more.
The previous-gen Mercedes COMMAND system had a central console control wheel which enabled you to control the system. The MBUX, however, does not come with a central control wheel and is controlled with touch inputs, gesture controls, steering wheel buttons, and voice control.
The system is also able to recognize frequent music, route, and destination choices that make it easier to enjoy your journey.
MBUX Artificial Intelligence
One of the most impressive MBUX features is the LINGUATRONIC artificial intelligence virtual voice assistant. This system is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes” and it enables you to control many different aspects of your infotainment system by using everyday phrases.
This system is also able to learn as time goes by, and is surely going to improve with future versions. The current system works via the cloud and is somewhat similar to Siri or Google assistant. The MBUX system requires a connection to the mobile network and can help you decide which restaurant to go to or what route to take.
You should check your user manual about all the functionality the system offers so you can make the most out of it. The MBUX system is always listening, with or without the network connection, and you are able to control the ambient lighting, seat positions, climate controls, massaging, seat heating, and ventilating options.
MBUX Augmented Reality
MBUX AR is also one of the impressive features of the new MBUX system. MBUX AR enables you to clearly project the guidelines onto your heads-up display and the driver’s cockpit, which makes it impossible for you to take a wrong turn.
This system provides clear, unmistakable directions that feel incredibly space age. The MBUX navigation system is as advanced as the rest of the system. If you are used to using Apple Car Play or Android Auto, the system also enables wireless CarPlay in some markets.
Which is better, Mercedes MBUX, Audi MMI, or BMW iDrive?
All three of these systems are amazing as they offer comparable features, and choosing any of the three is good enough. However, there are some differences. Even though all three systems offer AI voice assistants, the one in the Mercedes is the most advanced.
As far as gesture controls are concerned, BMW offers the most gesture control functionality. The design of these three differs quite substantially. BMW’s driver’s cockpit is not as customizable as the other two and sometimes can feel a bit dark.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is the best drivers gauge system out of the three, but the central screen might seem a bit basic compared to the MBUX. Audi and Mercedes do seem a better choice than BMW, but not by much.
Is it worth it upgrading to the Premium MBUX system?
In short, yes, it is. The basic MBUX system looks bad and offers thick bezels and limited functionality. The full-on MBUX system comes as part of the Premium package, and the Premium package is generally considered as “a must” when it comes to secondhand buyers.
The basic system just is too simple for a modern-day Mercedes, so it is highly advisable you upgrade the system to the full-on MBUX experience. It offers much more functionality and is all-around more pleasing to the eyes.
Does the AMG version of the MBUX offer any additional functionality?
AMG versions of regular Mercedes cars usually offer “more of everything,” and that’s partially true with the MBUX. The MBUX in modern-day AMG versions offers some specific performance oriented-gauges and information. The MBUX in an AMG is also equipped with a sportier design incorporating shift-light for hassle-free gear shifting.
How much does the full-MBUX system cost?
As mentioned previously, if you want the full-on MBUX experience on your A-class, you will have to opt for the premium package, which costs $2,950. You also have to keep in mind that the in-car Wi-Fi hotspot comes with 1GB for a trial period. After that you have to pay $35 for 4GB a month or $70 for 10GB and $200 for 20GB per year.
Modern-day data usage plans from your cellphone are your best bet, as they are usually less expensive, and the car is able to connect to an external Wi-Fi hotspot at any time.