Determining if a car has COMAND? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-04-2009
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Determining if a car has COMAND?

I've seen one car that had COMAND (had the iPod kit). However, the salesman downplayed the role of it other than being required for the iPod kit.

When looking at other cars, how can I determine if it has COMAND as an option?

Thanks for the help with this very green question.
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#2 Old 08-04-2009
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#3 Old 08-04-2009
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Ewww... I hope you're not right, but I think you might be.

Thanks a lot
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#4 Old 08-04-2009
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Originally Posted by Olivia View Post
Ewww... I hope you're not right, but I think you might be.

Thanks a lot
you dont like the way the command unit looks???
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#5 Old 08-05-2009
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No, the car I was most looking forward to driving tomorrow doesn't appear to have it, if those photos are indicative. I want COMAND, as I've got to have good iPod support and this car will be my daily driver for the next 6 to 10 years. I read an old thread where someone said their 1st SLK didn't have some of the options they wanted and that it had been a mistake.

If I'm wrong about this, please let me know. I'm trying to learn and absorb as much of this as I can.
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#6 Old 08-05-2009
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Olivia...

Are you looking at a new SLK or an older one? (older being before 2008)

I think your salesman may be a bit confused if it's the older one, as the "iPod kit" that Mercedes sells does not really interface to the Comand. The sound comes through the Comand unit, but the interface is via the steering wheel controls and displays in the multi-function display in the dash.

"Comand" is basically the screen. Note that having Comand, and hence the screen, does not mean you have Navigation if it's an older car, that was separate.

You can have an iPod interface without Comand. In the older cars it makes little difference. In the newer cars, sure, the screen looks nicer on Comand than the base radio.

Hope that helps somewhat.

Dang
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#7 Old 08-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
You can have an iPod interface without Comand. In the older cars it makes little difference. In the newer cars, sure, the screen looks nicer on Comand than the base radio.
To clarify again (could be different for people in the states) but it is not possible to connect the ipod kit to my audio 20. So for my car I would need command.
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#8 Old 08-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
Olivia...

Are you looking at a new SLK or an older one? (older being before 2008)
Older. 2005-2007.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
I think your salesman may be a bit confused if it's the older one, as the "iPod kit" that Mercedes sells does not really interface to the Comand. The sound comes through the Comand unit, but the interface is via the steering wheel controls and displays in the multi-function display in the dash.
COMAND is required for that, correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
"Comand" is basically the screen. Note that having Comand, and hence the screen, does not mean you have Navigation if it's an older car, that was separate.
Navigation is a whole separate hardrive if I'm right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
You can have an iPod interface without Comand. In the older cars it makes little difference. In the newer cars, sure, the screen looks nicer on Comand than the base radio.
So in the older cars, is there some way to just plug into an Aux In that was pretty standardized on 2005 and newer?

Is there anything I should look for to make sure there's an Aux In (if that's the worst case scenario)?

Thanks again. You guys are being really helpful and I'm really appreciative. I've wanted a SLK for over 10 years and I'm finally making the jump. It's going to be my daily driver, so I really want to make sure I get things right.

Now the teasing about black SLKs...
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#9 Old 08-05-2009
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#10 Old 08-05-2009
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I have the iPod connector in my car and actually stopped using it. I just burn a MP3 DVD and put it in the COMAND, dual layer discs hold something like 9 GB of songs. You can also put in MP3 CDs into the 6 disc changer though each CD is limited to 99 songs each.

I found it very inconvenient to plug and unplug my iPhone into the center console every time I got into the car. Also, I like controlling the music and seeing the song names on the COMAND rather than from the instrument cluster display.
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#11 Old 08-05-2009
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So for clarity :

AUX in on < MY08 requires COMAND. >MY08 all have AUX in.

Before MY08 (non-facelifted cars with A20 or COMAND NTG2.0), MB iPod integration requires COMAND. It "replaces" the COMAND AUX in, and integrates only with the MFD.

After MY08 (facelifted cars with NTG2.5), iPod integration is possible with all of the MB heads. There are two options sold 1] Old style MFD integration and 2] Media Interface. MI interfaces with both COMAND / A20 and the MFD. 'tres nice, and I hope to be fitting one this weekend if Adam pulls a stick out.

Dension makes a device call the Gateway 500. This allows you to add iPod to any of the <MY08 cars, regardless of which head they have. Integrations is obviously better with COMAND (you use COMAND to drive the iPod), but it works with all. I have them in all three of my MB's.



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#12 Old 08-06-2009
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Olivia/Gang...

I may not have explained myself well. Now that we know what year we're talking about.....

OK, yes, you need Comand to "integrate" the iPod interface, but please be aware the iPod interface doesn't really "integrate" with Comand at all from a functional point of view.

You simply select "Aux" on Comand to hear the iPod. All other display is through the instrument cluster, and all control is through the steering wheel buttons. There is no display or control on the Comand screen at all (short of volume). You mentioned you want good integration. If you are expecting to see (for example) song names on the Comand screen, or be able to even select songs with the Comand radio, you will be sadly dissappointed. You've got to use the steering wheel buttons, and will only see anything in the instrument cluster.

I actually don't mind the way the iPod interface works, but I certainly wouldn't put a Comand in just to be able to punch "Aux" to hear an iPod. I think you will be disappointed. The reason I like the iPod interface is I like to leave my Comand on the map, and also like the fact the display in the instrument cluster is in my line of sight. I don't have to look away to use it. I'm in the minority on this, many prefer the Dension.

The Dension GW500 emulates a CD changer, so does show on the Comand screen.
Go here:
http://www.dension.com/index.php?pageID=11
then click on the Mercedes icon to see what it will look like.

The only thing that bugs me about the Dension is in the instrument cluster you don't see song name, you just see "Track 1, Track 2", etc., because it's emulating a CD changer, so for me where I like the map on the Comand, I don't get anything of value in the instrument cluster.

Best of luck!

Dang
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#13 Old 08-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
Dension makes a device call the Gateway 500. This allows you to add iPod to any of the <MY08 cars, regardless of which head they have. Integrations is obviously better with COMAND (you use COMAND to drive the iPod), but it works with all. I have them in all three of my MB's.
John....

Is that true? I thought so as well, but notice on the compatibility list on the Dension site, for SLK 2004 to 2007 they only list "Comand". For the DB2 cars they say "all". I know you've done work with this, but it's confusing based on what Dension has on their site.

Do you have it working with an older Audio 20 that is MOST based? I note the earlier Audio 20s did not support MP3, nor does the CD changer for the older Audio 20s, so thought that might be the determining factor.

Thanks for any clarification you might have!

Dang
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#14 Old 08-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dang View Post
John....

Is that true? I thought so as well, but notice on the compatibility list on the Dension site, for SLK 2004 to 2007 they only list "Comand". For the DB2 cars they say "all". I know you've done work with this, but it's confusing based on what Dension has on their site.

Do you have it working with an older Audio 20 that is MOST based? I note the earlier Audio 20s did not support MP3, nor does the CD changer for the older Audio 20s, so thought that might be the determining factor.

Thanks for any clarification you might have!

Dang
Pretty sure someone on this forum hooked up a dension 500 to his/her Audio 20 and got it working.
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#15 Old 08-06-2009
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Yep, the MOST version of the GW500 works fine with the A20 heads - personal experience here (I've now helped install a couple). There are caveats - you don't see any "text", only "CDxx TrackXX" on the HU and MFD, and it's a hell of a lot easier to control the iPod via it's controls than the A20's. Dension tech support "admits" that this is the case, and that the device works fine with the A20's but my personal feeling is it's a pain in the arse for them to support.

Steering controls work flawlessly. The BT addition to the GW500 is still pretty dodgy, and I would not want to try to get it to work with COMAND, much less the A20.



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