A major problem of infotainment in the past has been that it forces owners into one particular type of interface. If there’s a touchscreen, you use that. If there’s a knob and dial, you use that – owners use infotainment the way the engineers want them to, rather than the way that feels natural.
Rather than just one or two interfaces, MBUX has four. Voice controls are the most noteworthy, but it’s possible to never speak a word to your Mercedes and still get by without trouble. The new trackpad takes the place of the traditional COMAND knob and dial, and it’s a delight, accepting smartphone-like gestures to control the central 10.3-inch display. That same display is also a touchscreen, offering excellent response times in addition to attractive graphics. And if you’d rather keep your hands on the wheel, MBUX works via a pair of touch pads on each spoke, like those on the current E-Class.
This kind of freedom is a huge part of what makes MBUX so easy to learn – it doesn’t pigeonhole owners into one particular kind of use.