Recently retired and wanting something less expensive to operate, my Audi A8 was no longer under warranty and would be expensive to repair. After1 month I can say that this is a nice driving car but the COMAND system and voice recognition is vastly inferior to the Audi MMI. Such systems have become integral to todays driving experience
defining to a large extent how the driver interacts with the car. MB COMAND requires much more input to navigate the menus than Audi. The voice recognition seems less intelligent and reliable compared to my past Audi experience. COMAND may have a shorter learning curve but will require more effort to operate than MMI. Miss parking assist.
I like that the electronic shift is located on the steering column as it frees up console space for my phone. The gas economy display is great as it helps provide the driver with feedback which can be used to improve MPG. The overall look of the cabin is high quality. The cars drives and handles nicely. The Harmin-Kardon sound system is very nice. I
appreciate the blind spot warning feature. Being able to access music both stored and streamed from internet through my BT smartphone is wonderful (available on many cars today). USB ans SD sources provide lots of music storage (but music register only records music CD's and is slow to record. Useful to those who may not use MP3s)
Mercedes should improve their cumbersome COMAND system. Initially it may be easier to comprehend than Audi MMI but it is clunky by comparison and requires much more input and focus to navigate the various menus. Needs single screen for ALL radio presets which would store satellite, AM and FM stations together like Audi. Improve MB voice recognition which seems less intelligent and reliable than Aud's system. Traditional sedan style not as pleasing as many of the current offerings by other makers (ES350/Avalon). I am not a fan of the dark wood used and prefer the materials Audi uses. Though there is a backup camera, audible tones should be included. Cruise stalk easily confused with blinker