Mercedes Vs BMW Vs Audi In-Car Tech Battle Has Clear Winner

If you love gadgets, then you’re probably the type of person who spends time researching the technologies inside modern day Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audis before deciding on which of the three you’ll purchase.

The cars picked by Carwow’s Mat Watson for this comparison test matter less than their on-board tech. So the fact that two of them are midsize saloons and the other is a compact SUV makes little difference.

So, what do you go with, MercedesComand system, Audi‘s fancy new MMI or BMW’s iDrive? Watson looked at price, screen size and quality, sat-nav performance and efficiency, usability, extra features and of course, connectivity, which is key.

We’ll let you find out for yourselves how the three infotainment systems performed, though we will say that results in the real world would depend on personal preferences, since people tend to have different opinions regarding ergonomics, layouts and things of that nature.

What’s tougher to dispute are the facts, such as which of the three systems has better resolution, more processing power, more of a wow-factor and so on. We’ll also add that only convenience features were discussed, with no mention of any active safety systems.


  • An Existing Person

    That’s tough. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is undeniably the coolest one, BMW’s iDrive is the easiest to use, and Mercedes’ Command is I would say the most pleasing, but most complex. Audi takes it for me.

    • brn

      The Audi tacked on tablet display is undeniably the coolest? We have different opinions of cool.

      • Mike Sinyaboot

        If you actually bothered to both read and comprehend his comment, he says “Audi’s VIRTUAL COCKPIT” is the coolest, not the infotainment screen. The BMW also has a tacked on tablet. The Mercedes is the least “tacked on tablet” looking. I have no issue with the tablet look and actually kind of like it, but I completely understand why individuals like yourself do not like it.

        Several Audis have the ability to hide the tablet screen in the dash. The new Q7, the A3/S3, and the current A6/A7/A8 all have this feature. No BMW or Mercedes models offer this. Hopefully the upcoming A6/A7/A8 will retain this design feature as the new A4/A5/Q5 went with the tacked on tablet.

  • OdysseyTag

    Just another thing car makers gunning for the German 3 should keep in mind – pretty impressed.

  • badcyclist

    And the winner is….. Tesla, with Volvo placing a respectable second.

  • John

    rather surprised… was thinking MB would win 1st place.

  • Kash

    Yeah gonna take this review with a grain of salt when coming from Matt, the mildly avid BMW fan.

    • Shobin Drogan

      I’d say he’s more of a walking ford advertisement than anything else. Though he does make some pretty good reviews.

      • Kash

        If he’s a Ford fan then BMW is his mistress. I normally enjoy his reviews and they at least tend to be fair with the points he makes, but this one rubbed me wrong.

        • Six Thousand Times

          If neither of you is sure who he’s shilling for, maybe he’s telling the truth.

          • Kash

            I’m pretty confident that BMW is this favorite out of the Germans but where it stands against Ford I’m not sure about.

          • Six Thousand Times

            And, full disclosure: I was just taking the piss. I had no trouble getting Android Auto with my Ford, FWIW.

  • Axel Cortez

    the audi takes the cake with the map/navigation still they put the audi in 3rd

    • LeStori

      I do not know if Merc has options such as find the destinations such nearest supermarket. Now, on route, at journeys end etc in its current SatNav system but Audis is the bees-knees. Lists all the typically expected supermarkets etc. Perfect when you do not know where things are and the reason you want Sat Nav in the first place. If I know where to go, I do no need Sat Nav .

      In 2016 I had an Audi A3 Sport fastback hire whilst in the UK and their SatNav was brilliant. My next hire was a more expensive upgrade to a Merc 250 coupe that occurred at no extra cost. SatNav was a pain in the proverbial rear compared to Audi’s.

    • Infinite1

      Audi was in second place, MB was in third.

      • Axel Cortez

        not in the navigation part they only measured the speed of it disregarding any other option and placed the Audi system that is a lot more detailed last because it had longer load times…

  • Axel Cortez

    also they used the Q5 which its base is the A4 not the A6 that competes with the E class and 5 series

    • gor134

      The A6 has outdated infotainment and will be replaced later this year with newer systems.

    • Kash

      They picked cars that had the latest version of the brand’s infotainment system. The Q5 is the newest Audi and has the latest tech just like the 5 and E are the newest from BMW and Merc. Until the S was updated the E class had the better tech actually. This had nothing to do with vehicle class, the fact it was the E and 5 was just a coincidence.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Audi’s next generation MMI + Virtual cockpit are coming to the A8 Q8 A6 and A7

    • Carenthusiast

      Yes, you are right. It’s gonna have touchscreen too for the first time.

  • Tinky-Winky

    A smartphone holder would be sufficient.

    • Infinite1


  • Shtekeris

    I’m always fascinated by how you pay billions of dollars for new premium car and get pixelated, laggy and pretty bad UI/UX beaten by any few hundred dollar smartphone.

    • An Existing Person

      When you factor in the hundreds of other things a car alone could do, not mentioning what you in return could do with a car, that a smartphone cannot, the occasional lag that occurs infrequently is minimal in comparison. Much like smartphones, newer infortainment systems require updates every so often that would stop being it from being laggy. While it is apparent that you have not, actually sitting inside of and experiencing one of these vehicles will prove your claim of “pixelated” graphics otherwise.

  • brn

    Couldn’t finish the video. Bored to death.

  • Six Thousand Times

    No Android Auto on the BMW at all?

    • Infinite1

      I’m not surprised since BMW charges extra for Apple car play

  • Infinite1

    I have to admit that I’ve always like the Audi’s tech over MB. I’ve never had to use the iDrive from BMW so I can’t comment on that one. MB isn’t very intuitive and it’s just a pain to navigate to and fro within it. Audi’s layout is pretty easy to decipher, especially on the go.

  • KidRed

    Audi’s cockpit, which displays navigation is the largest screen but they only measure the smaller center console screen? Review fail. Audi also loads in satellite data, not blue and green shapes. So yea, longer to load but you’re getting actual data, not color shapes. I’d give the win to Audi on this one.

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