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What is Mercedes MBUX?

MBUX stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience – the brand's latest infotainment system that's now fitted across its lineup.

It contains a wealth of features and smart technology that changes depending on how you use the system. Fear not, however, because it'll still navigate to your destination while banging out your favourite Taylor Swift hits – which is what most of us use these things for 99% of the time.

What is MBUX?

MBUX system in a Mercedes EQB

Mercedes felt a rebrand was necessary for its latest infotainment system – launched in the 2018 A-Class. MBUX brings together all the technology it'd developed across previous systems with a new interface and even larger screens.

As well as all the usual functions like navigation, telephony and radio/audio playback, MBUX uses today's favourite buzzword – AI – to 'learn' more about how you use the system. This allows it to recognise your routines and prompt you towards certain navigation destinations or functions you use regularly.

How do I use MBUX?

Mercedes EQS MBUX Hyperscreen close up

You use MBUX the same way you'd use any other infotainment system. The primary control method is through the touchscreen. Most key functions like the climate control, navigation and audio have small submenus displayed on the home screen allowing you to make quick changes, or you can click into them for more in-depth control.

MBUX also includes voice control as standard. It's been developed to use natural language prompts, rather than specific commands that you'd have to memorise. That means you can say natural phrases like "I'm cold" or "navigate me home", and the car will work out what you mean and adjust the system accordingly.

Which Mercedes models have MBUX?

Mercedes A-Class in yellow

Every new Mercedes model comes with MBUX as standard but it first arrived with the launch of the 2018 A-Class. The system then spread through the range as new cars were launched or as existing ones were updated.

That means if you're shopping relatively recent Mercedes models, only those based on older platforms such as C-Class cars built until 2021, or CLA and GLA models built until early 2019 will miss out on MBUX. Instead, these cars will have a version of the older COMAND system, which still includes most key infotainment functions.

What is included in MBUX?

Mercedes A-Class driver's dials

For Mercedes models in the UK, all MBUX systems include built-in navigation, although you'll have to pay extra if you want live traffic updates. It also includes the ability to link your phone to the car via Bluetooth, letting you make and receive calls, and stream audio from your device.

MBUX can also help if something goes wrong while driving. You can book servicing and maintenance directly through the system, and it offers remote vehicle diagnostics to let Mercedes figure out any issues with the car without needing to see it in person. It can also call emergency or recovery services in the event of an accident or breakdown.

Annoyingly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't standard on all Mercedes models with MBUX. Certain models like the A-Class require you to select a higher-end trim or add smartphone connectivity as an option when buying your car. If you buy a Mercedes with MBUX that doesn't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you can purchase the ability to use those functions through the Mercedes Me app.

Does MBUX include navigation?

In the UK, all MBUX-equipped Mercedes cars include hard-disk-based navigation. From new, the majority were also offered with three years of live traffic updates, which adjusts your route based on up-to-date traffic conditions. Once this three-year service ends, you can continue using navigation without the live traffic feature or resubscribe to the function via the Mercedes Me app.

What are the benefits of MBUX?

Mercedes A-Class MBUX augmented reality navigation

MBUX is a fully featured and slick infotainment system but, in practice, it offers pretty much the same range of functions as rival systems like BMW's iDrive. It does present them in a cleaner, more responsive way than previous Mercedes infotainment systems, however, and the super-large screens make it easier to spot and tap on-screen buttons.

Many of MBUX's fanciest features are locked behind additional purchases. For example, you have the option to upgrade to fancy 'augmented reality' navigation, which feeds the car's front camera output to the infotainment screen, before overlaying directional arrows and other instructions directly onto the image.

What is the Mercedes Hyperscreen?

Hyperscreen in Mercedes EQS

On range-topping S-Class and EQS models, you can optionally equip what Mercedes calls the Hyperscreen. This sci-fi-sounding gadget replaces the entire dashboard panel with a massive screen module, stretching all the way from the driver's dials, through the massive central screen and over to a tertiary screen for the front passenger.

Functionally, this is the same MBUX system you'll find on the standard screens, but presented in a much more dramatic way. The larger screens make it even easier to tap on-screen controls without taking too big a glance away from the road.

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Mercedes MBUX FAQs