2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-in Shows Split Display with Nighttime Mode On

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been out testing for a while now, which is fitting considering it should come out of its box later this month, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Parading its facelifted bodywork in front of all the camera lenses pointed its way meant that, despite the people responsible for camouflaging prototype cars at Mercedes-Benz doing their job thoroughly, there's very little that the revamped C-Class still hides.

To be fair, the car isn't going to sport that many changes anyway. The exterior design is still as up to date as ever, so you should expect to see the usual touches associated with a mid-life cycle refresh: new, slightly thinner headlights, remodeled bumpers front and back, new taillights, some tinkering with the radiator grille, and that's about it.

The interior is also left pretty much alone, though some changes will still be made. Our previous shots revealed the analog clock might be gone from the central console (good riddance), and the central display on top looks to be larger and should sport a higher resolution as well.

That being said, the graphics look less than impressive. This video caught a 2018 Mercedes-Benz C350e plug-in hybrid sitting idle in traffic, and managed to get a glimpse of its display. The driver appeared to be caught up in a phone conversation - the details of their interlocutor have been blurred out - and that the battery is at 54 percent, but that's not what we wanted to talk about.

It's the user interface we're not so crazy about. The clip was shot at dusk, so the system was in night mode, which would explain the bland and gloomy tone somewhat. But it's not just that. The whole thing feels very much like a car infotainment system. Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no.

It's designed this way primarily for ergonomics and safety. The display in a vehicle needs to show the important information and do it in an easy to read manner so that the driver's attention isn't required for too long. With that in mind, the C-Class system does things right.

At the same time, people have gotten used to their mobile devices and expect their vehicles to provide the same type of interaction. Look at what Tesla is doing with its acres of touch-sensitive displays. It feels much better planted in this age of technology, but Mercedes-Benz can't afford that. It still sells its cars to people who grew up with carburetors and who are having trouble adjusting to these relatively simple systems as well. It's probably a clash of the generations thing.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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