The mbrace Connect telematics package gives owners access to a variety of vehicle functions, infotainment options, safety features and mobile apps, either through a smartphone or by using the vehicle's dashboard touchscreen.
New for 2016 is a remote-test feature, which allows Mercedes-Benz dealership technicians to run over-the-air diagnostics, saving owners the trouble of bringing their cars in for testing.
In addition, owners of electric and plug-in hybrid models will have access to a special vehicle home page, allowing them to monitor charge levels and even map out charging stations along their intended routes.
Some models — including the C-Class, S-Class, GLC and GLE — will also come with a remote-start function for the mbrace mobile app. Mercedes-Benz says remote start works with no distance restriction between car and driver and will run the engine for 10 minutes up to two consecutive times, giving drivers the ability to pre-condition the cabin based on their last climate control settings.
Three optional packages are also available for those who want to add a bit more connectivity and convenience to their vehicles.
The mbrace Secure package includes such useful features as emergency crash notification, alarm notification and a stolen-vehicle location service. After a free six-month trial, mbrace Secure will cost $199 per year.
Concierge provides non-emergency support, like turn-by-turn route assistance and location-based traffic and weather updates, while Entertain gives users access to streaming apps, including iHeartRadio, as well as an in-vehicle WiFi hotspot.
After a three-month free trial period, Concierge will run $20 per month, and Entertain will cost $18 monthly, but owners can purchase them together for $28 per month.
Mercedes-Benz notes that 2016 model-year vehicles that have already been delivered also can be upgraded to mbrace Connect. Owners who have taken delivery should contact a Mercedes-Benz dealer or call 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES.
Edmunds says: Consumers in the market for a new 2016 Mercedes-Benz vehicle now have one more useful incentive to consider.