Date registered: Oct 2002
Vehicle: 2006 W220 S430 and 2010 W204 C300 Sport
Location: Sacramento, CA
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New -> Old Member
New to me 2006 S430, but have been a member to Benzworld since '02. When I had my '99 E320 I was more active as things related to maintenance and upgrades. I haven't had the '99 for over 5 years now but getting the S430 seems to bring on new questions and inquires.
I like this car a lot, my wife has a 2010 C300 and I have not had to do any real upgrades since this year the audio system has built-in Bluetooth and also came with the Ipod input and Sirius Satellite. These are the main features that I would like in any car. Built in navigation??? Seems to me that maps and portable GPS technology changes very quickly. For less than $200, you can get all the bells and whistles in GPS land. All is not perfect for the C300 though, the Ipod interface is quirky and looks very primitive in the upper radio display. But all seems to work...
Now for the 2006 S430, I like it very much after a few weeks of ownership. Nicely put together, fit an finish is very eye pleasing, and I like the fact that some of the buttons and switches are similar/familiar to the old '99 E320.
CANBUS B/C/D and MOST fiber optics - I understand why these exist, every function from window up/dn to pressing the parking brake produces a unique digital string of 1's and 0's. These networks reduce the amount of copper wire connections and when everything working, simplifies the internal operation of the vehicle.
My main gripe is that while the Comand audio system was probably very nice in 2006, has really shown it's age in 6 years time. And mine did not come with the phone or satellite functions. If it had the hardwired phone feature, there would be more modern bluetooth adapter. Even the DVD setup is funny, audio only in the US. I did manage to find a newer set of maps that were being internet "shared". There were no instructions with the single ISO file, so I burned it to both a DVD-R and DVD+R disc. +R was readable, but the 6 year old navigation with new maps still looks old.
Moving forward, I here is what I want in my S430:
* Bluetooth phone connectivity
* Sirius radio
* USB drive input to play music
* New GPS functionality - need not be built into the head unit
My research has almost pushed to purchased an aftermarket solution to integrate Bluetooth and USB inputs via the CD controller section of the Command, but this still leaves out Sirius. At a cost of about $500 up/down a few bucks.
Aftermarket head units with everything included, bezels to fit into stock command opening and steering wheel button controls for vol +/- and call send/end. But no more display in the small screen for radio stations and compass headings. Also, small digital clock in the dash can not longer be set. Although seems that some newer CANBUS adapters may be able to do this now. At of cost of $500 to $1000+ for the head unit, bezel mounting kit $70 to $150, and CANBUS adapter $100 to $220. But I still cannot get clear answer where I would hook up CAN+ and CAN- in my car since the back of the command only has 3 wires and 2 MOST fiber optic connections.
Worst of all, I have not seen any aftermarket "ALL in ONE" that has both a good set of buttons for common functions, most are touch screens.
My last choice and possibly the best looking is a Chinese Comand like radio with everything I want. Hard buttons, but most likely a very quirky interface, although things look better than 5 years ago regarding offshore electronics. I would even live with something like this without steering controls, but most do have some sort of CANBUS adapter. I would also loose the Bose amplifier and still will not be able to set the clock.
Time will tell what I will do. I drive work about 30 miles each way, Bluetooth is important and I will probably get a cheapie BT speaker first until I figure something out.
Still to come, Airmatic issues??? HID aftermarket etc...