In-Car Tech

10 coolest high-tech features of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MBUX system

The improved MBUX system has new features for the 2021 model year S-Class.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The newest version of Mercedes-Benz's flagship model will have new ways to keep its driver and passenger safe, and keep passengers occupied, all thanks to a tech infusion. And there's a new level of security that helps you keep your information safe.

You can open and close the sunroof with a hand gesture.

No need to press a button! New convenience features include the ability to preposition the driver's seat and outside mirrors according to body side, operate the rear roller blind by glancing over the shoulder, and using a hand gesture to open and close the sunroof of the S-Class.

There are five screens.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MBUX features tech

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets five screens including one at the center of the car, lower than the traditional setup and orientated portrait-style, that is a 12.8-inch OLED screen with haptic feedback. Buyers can get up to three screens in the rear. A standard screen sits in front of the driver.

Your preferences can be transferred to any seat. 

Want to switch drivers? Change seats after a quick stop? Now there is no fuss. Simple scan a QR code with the Mercedes app and the vehicle is automatically connected to the Mercedes me account. Personal preferences such as a favorite radio station and preselected settings can be transferred to any seat via the personal Mercedes me profile (up to seven can be saved). These setting can be used in other Mercedes vehicles as well.

This setting could be especially helpful for fleet drivers who ferry around "regulars". They can save their clients' seat settings and preferences then apply them to the vehicle before arriving for pickup.

Fingerprint, face, and voice recognition is used for security.

In addition to the use of a PIN, new authentication methods are available in the 2021 S-Class. The MBUX system now features fingerprint, face and voice recognition, which allows access to individual settings or verification of digital payment processes from the vehicle.

The driver's information screen has four appearance styles and three modes.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MBUX features tech

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The driver's information display features a three-dimensional effect. Drivers can choose between four different appearance styles of the screen: Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, and Classic. The screens also function in three modes: navigation, assistance, and service.

The car warns you about your safety.

The car's exit warning function uses cameras to recognize that an occupant wants to leave a vehicle. If another user is approaching in the blind spot, the active ambient lighting becomes part of the exit warning system and flashes red. The system can slo check whether a child seat is correctly attached to the front passenger seat. Additionally, there is a driver attention monitor.

The voice assistant is capable of chit-chat.

This technology appears to work in a similar fashion to Amazon Alexa or Google Home. The new Chit-Chat function can answer a number of general domain questions, start a dialogue with a real person, connect to and control home appliances, and more.

Your Mercedes is listening to everyone.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MBUX features tech

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The car's voice assistant can be operated from each seating position. Using the "Hey Mercedes" voice command to activate the microphones within the car. However, "Hey Mercedes" isn't always necessary. For example, "Accept call" will answer a ringing phone call. The system now supports 27 languages.

The head-up display has augmented reality content.

The system doesn't just show you which way to turn. It shows lanes and overlays the lanes with arrows to show which way to go. Mercedes calls these arrows "fishbones".

The HUD's display area corresponds to the area of a 77-inch diagonal televisions.

Content can be shared among screens.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MBUX features tech

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Content presented on screens throughout the cabin can be shared with other passengers. Selection and amendment of navigation is now possible from the rear seats.

More information about the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

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EQS buyers will have access to two years of free charging.

Electrify America

The Mercedes-Benz EQSis set to start hitting dealers' lots in just a few months, and the automaker is working drum up excitement for the all-new EV. Today, Electrify America announced that it will partner with Mercedes to offer charging services to buyers of the upcoming vehicle.

The agreement means that EQS owners will have two years of free charging, which includes 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America locations. The services go a step further, however, and will include the ability to plug and charge. This means that EQS owners who have activated their Mercedes me Charge accounts can start a free charging session just by plugging the vehicle into the charger. Electrify America says that no authentication or initiation steps will be required.


2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS is due to hit the market in late 2021.Mercedes-Benz


The agreement between Mercedes-Benz and Electrify America will also extend some services to future EQ battery-electric vehicles, as well as future Mercedes plug-in hybrid vehicles. The company notes that there may be costs to charge for those vehicles, but drivers will still be able to use the Mercedes me app to initiate sessions.

As more automakers jump in the EV game, free charging partnerships are becoming a bigger deal. Just last month, Hyundai announced that buyers of its Ioniq 5 EV will receive two years of free charging from Electrify America, and Ford offered free charging to its Mustang Mach-E customers, also through Electrify America, though The Blue Oval's offer only extended to 250 kilowatt-hours.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS The partnership with Electrify America will provide access to chargers across the country.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS itself is Mercedes' first vehicle in what will become an electric sub-brand for the automaker. It will hit the market as a 2022 model late in 2021, and will be offered in two models. The entry level machine features 329 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while the up-level EQS 580 4Matic will see 516 horsepower and 611 pound-feet of torque. Beyond its electric powertrain, the EQS will offer several advanced tech features, including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 17.7-inch touchscreen. Even the passenger gets a display in the new car, as a second 12.3-inch screen will be positioned on the right portion of the dash.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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