Exactly seven years ago, Mercedes-Benz S-Class press photos were leaked around this time (I have the actual date on my Facebook memories). But this time, it is not a press photo but an Instagram photo. The notorious Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/cochespias/) for finding leaked car photos managed to find the images of the upcoming S-Class (W223). Sadly though, this is the next model! It looks like a Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan on steroids, and it has finally had its ultra-serious look removed. Yet unfortunately, the upcoming look of the S-Class reminds me of a ‘this look sells more cars’ face.
I am sure that many people will buy the new S-Class, there is no doubt about that. It is the critical player in this segment. But the interior is a bit disappointing. The new steering wheel is touch-capacitive capable, with Mercedes-Benz opting to use the touch screen features of a smartphone on the steering wheel and assumes that this is a good idea. While it means they don’t need moving buttons, this type of design will increase accidental taps and makes the learning curve too steep.
The centre console is a disaster. All touch screen trends started with the Range Rover and Audi caught this terrible virus. Now it is time for Mercedes-Benz. All touch screen centre consoles are pointless and silly – you can’t have button feedback, and you have to stop all the time to adjust the aircon temperature, or the seat heating, or whatever that can be done quickly using knobs and buttons.
Mercedes-Benz’s defence will, in all likelihood, be that it is a new technology and that the driver can use voice control. Voice control in cars has historically been rubbish and never works. Drivers need physical buttons and feedback to control basic controls while driving; otherwise they have to look at the central console to adjust minor things and stop looking at the road. This technology will work in level-5 autonomous vehicles, but we are not there yet! In the meantime, we still need physical buttons on the central console.
I think everyone agrees with you on this. So, what do you think about the buttonless touch only central consoles?