Late last year Mercedes-Benz did a massive update to its A-Class which, in my opinion, really didn’t appeal at all. The small hatch kind of struck me as a little runty in the technology department. It had the same vanilla infotainment, a lost chance to innovate in the smaller hatch style cabin.
The announcement though has changed mile – just look at the mega dashboard. Silly stick, dials and knobs are nowhere to be found, just one large slab of screen. Surfacing relevant info plus the standard instrument clusters It’s really refined. It’s not often I need to see my engine temperature so it’s logically not shown unless there is something important to show.
A much-touted feature I read is called “Ask Mercedes” which is a next-generation voice assistant. Interfacing with Google and Alexa drivers can ask it a rainbow of questions plus info on the car or the current routing. Annoyingly, and like 700 million owners worldwide, I have an iPhone which is not supported. The press release notes Apple’s Siri service is not supported which is really disappointing but likely related to the car’s infotainment being clearly custom. Apple would likely be pushing the ever popular CarPlay feature. There is a precedent for running it alongside stock infotainment like BMW currently offer in parallel to their iDrive tech.