The early days of infotainment were not pretty. Rather than helping customers manage their vehicles from behind the wheel, early versions of BMW's iDrive and Ford's MyFord Touch only really helped tank their respective brands’ J.D. Power Initial Quality Ratings. These systems were difficult to navigate, unattractive, bloated with unnecessary features, and had voice control systems that only rarely obeyed the driver.

Today, things are much better, and the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX, pronounced em-bee yew-ex – is proof of that. It boasts a stunningly pretty display and clever interfaces in spades, but some of the old problems of early infotainment remain, albeit due to the ambition of MBUX’s creators rather than a lack of understanding. This is both one of the most impressive new infotainment systems and one of the most infuriating. But that mix of traits belies one very important fact – MBUX has the most potential of any new infotainment system on the market.