Test: Mercedes Me - a car controlled by a smartphone

Be prepared for such emails as you use your smartphone app every time you open or close the door of your new Mercedes. This is not a joke. It's reality. At least in Mercedes.

Mercedes E-Class - W213

Everything should go smoothly

For several days in November, I intensively used the new Mercedes Connect Me solution and the E-Class, which became a kind of testing ground. In other words, I was testing the car and the car management app. The test required proper preparation. You needed a compatible phone, an application, a user account and a car assigned to it. So much and so much.

Mercedes Me. Application menu

Everything went very smoothly. Downloading the free app from the Apple App Store takes a short time. Similarly, creating an account. Mercedes assigned the car to my user profile almost instantly. In total, it took several minutes to become a user of the company's new service.

Is a key better than a smartphone?

Initially, the reflex of reaching for the smartphone instead of the key was not so obvious. Unless, being far from the car, I want to check the fuel level, tire pressure, estimated range, average fuel consumption, information about brake pads, fluids (brake, coolant, washer), windows, sunroof, trunk, battery or handbrake. I can even see the estimated range before I have to show up for a mandatory inspection. Beautifully. However, there is one flaw. Despite such detailed information, I cannot check one thing: the position of the parked car. So far, the service has not been available in the test copy of the E220 d. Eventually, however, it will appear.

Mercedes Me - control of locks and tire pressure

Messages with the content as in the first paragraph of the test became everyday, when every time I reached for the smartphone instead of the key. Needless to say, it wasn't easy to break through. Opening the car is much more convenient thanks to the keyless system - just walk up to the Mercedes and pull the door handle. As a last resort, you can use the remote control in the key. Reaching for the smartphone every time to open the door is ... a waste of time. However, it must be admitted that the Mercedes opens and closes slightly faster via the application than the Opel with the OnStar system. Good and that.

Test: Mercedes Me Smartphone Controlled Car

Don't get tired of programming navigation

The one who claims that the application is just a gadget for forgetful people who want to remotely check if they closed the windows and locked the locks is wrong. The program is also useful for other applications. A great solution is the service of sending the address to the car. Instead of wasting time programming the navigation in the car, you can search for places in advance via Google and click the "share address" icon. The transfer takes a while. Usually, after starting navigation in Mercedes, the received address was already visible.

Mercedes Me. Sending the address to the car

An ingenious and quite practical gadget is the function of reminding you to leave for work. Only on the face of it, it's nothing extraordinary. The program will not only notify you of the need to leave, but also determine the approximate travel time based on current information about traffic jams.

You can also switch on the auxiliary heating (if available) and air conditioning via the app. And these are no longer gadgets, but quite a useful facility. Cooling the interior works on one condition: that the battery charge level is greater than 15 percent.

How much does it cost?

Mercedes uses beautiful slogans when advertising the Connect Me service: "The essence of dialogue", "The road is not always the best connection", "You will become part of an intelligent network". Beautifully. It's time to come down to earth. For the first three years, Remote Online is free of charge. Later, you have to buy an extension for PLN 389. You can do it without leaving your home. Just use your home computer and log in to the Mercedes online store. Payment by credit card and PayPal.

Mercedes Me - user portal

The Remote Online function is not the end of the expenses. You have to pay separately for the possibility of checking the current position of the car (monitoring). Also PLN 389. You have to pay PLN 539 for the remote parking remote control (the possibility of entering and leaving the car on your own from the parking space - control via telephone). Information about traffic jams for 3 years costs PLN 539. The whole thing - over PLN 1,800. Basically, not much considering the price of the new Mercedes E-Class. I wonder how many Mercedes customers will decide on individual options. However, the sales results will have to wait until the E-class is better established on the market.