What is Mercedes MBUX?

Georgia Petrie

Written by

Georgia Petrie

Mercedes EQC screen

MBUX stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience — which is what the German brand calls its advanced multimedia infotainment (media and navigation) system.

The setup features a spread of information across the dashboard on two screens. It can be controlled via voice and touch input and is fitted to several of the firm’s models, having launched in 2018 on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

What can the MBUX do?

The MBUX system can do a lot. When it launched, Mercedes-Benz described it as revolutionary and we’d say that’s about right - especially if you’ve used the standard infotainment in older Mercedes models. In comparison, the MBUX is faster and more responsive than before — emulating a smartphone. 

You can change everything from the seat positions, ambient lighting and driving modes to navigation and phone calls via MBUX and its Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The two most notable features are voice control and the ‘augmented reality’ navigation. We’ll get into those more a little further down.

Mercedes GLB infotainment MBUX screen

What does the MBUX look like?

The setup includes two screens – one in the centre of the dashboard and the other in front of the driver. It essentially replaces the regular dial cluster where you’d see things like the speedometer, odometer, fuel tank reading etc. The screens are joined together with a sweeping glass panel across the dash.

The main screen in the middle of the dashboard is used to control nearly all the car’s functions. As it sits where a traditional infotainment screen would sit, it also displays things like navigation and music. The screen behind the steering wheel shows your speed and driving data, and can also show the navigation map if you prefer to see it there.

How do you use Mercedes MBUX?

You don’t use the MBUX system in the same way as previous Mercedes-Benz infotainment, which will be better or worse depending on how much you like having to change the car’s settings on a touchscreen rather than a rotary dial.

The MBUX infotainment system uses a touchpad on the centre console, as well as the screen being a touchscreen itself. The steering wheel has buttons too, so there are plenty of control options.

That said, much of the functions can be changed using the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. MBUX is also notable for its capacity for learning your personal preferences, i.e. frequently driven routes or destinations and car system settings. Just say, “Hey Mercedes...” and the virtual assistant will chime in.

Like your mobile phone’s assistant (Siri, if you’re an iPhone user), you can ask the car questions and get internet-sourced answers. Obviously, this is useful if you need to find a parking space but can’t use your phone while driving. Or you could just use it to ask what happened to Frankie Muniz after Malcolm in the Middle, or any other random questions that pop into your head. Suit yourself.

Mercedes A-Class interior dash

MBUX augmented reality navigation

When it comes to navigation, the MBUX can direct you in one of three ways: normal on-screen mapping, a nav app (like Google Maps or Waze) via smartphone or augmented reality.

The augmented reality feature shows live footage of the road ahead using a camera up front, and then overlays directions, with arrows pointing where you need to turn and the like.

MBUX navigation – including What3Words

One clever feature is the integration of the What3Words mapping system to make entering destinations simpler. Every 3m x 3m in the world has a unique 3-word address. But why?

Many street addresses are too long and complicated for easy text input, and voice systems often struggle to pull up the correct destination — especially if you have an accent that the system isn’t familiar with, or you’re pronouncing the name of a location incorrectly. 

Once you know the 3-word address of your destination, use the voice command “Navigate to what3words” followed by the three words.

The A-Class was the first model to get the MBUX back in 2018. Since it launched, some of the carmaker's poshest models get the MBUX — including the E-Class, CLA, EQC and GLB.

The MBUX Hyperscreen is an advanced new screen-based dashboard, which will be offered in the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS. It's effectively a curved, glass screen that stretches across the entire dashboard. Within it, there are three large screens - one for the instruments, one for the central infotainment and another to entertain the front-seat passenger (fancy, eh?). Using artificial intelligence (AI), it will learn the driver’s preferences and display the appropriate functions when they're needed, i.e. the radio station you usually listen to on the way home from work.

Your personal settings can be saved in up to seven different user profiles using the MBUX system.

MBUX & Connectivity in the New Mercedes E-Class

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