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All U wanna know about COMAND - Part 1

Guest kepiting1sg

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Guest kepiting1sg

COMAND stands for MB

COckpit MAnagement and Navigation Device

The COMAND cockpit management and data system combines the control and display functions for the various audio, telematics and telecommunications components.

COMAND is an interface that allows different functions to be operated via a clearly arranged, video-compatible LCD colour screen. All the settings and selection functions are accessed via simple, intuitive menus. Depending on the car’s specifications, it can be used to control the navigation system (APS), the car radio, the CD changer or DVD player, the TV tuner and the in-car telephone.

COMAND’s brain is a 32-bit processor that controls the systemand manages the various programs. The driver or front passenger selects the desiredfunction using the keys to the right and left of the colour display. Many importantfunctions can also be controlled via the multifunction steering wheel, such aschanging the volume, accepting incoming calls, terminating calls, accessing thephonebook,and finding a radio station or a track on a CD or DVD. The information is displayedboth on the COMAND screen and on the central display in the instrument cluster,where the driver is ableto see it easily.

The North American COMAND systems are different due mainly to the software differences and radio Hz bands whereas Japanese COMAND system is completely different and will not be covered here.

The following are information on the Europe COMAND which is applicable to us in Singapore.


Comand 2 is the collective name for COMAND 2.5, COMAND 2,0 and COMAND 2.0 MOPF. These are further described below in date order of their first appearance on Mercedes Benz vehicles.


COMAND was originally introduced in the S Class (W220) Mercedes Benz in around 1998 and then in the CL (W215) when it was launched. The unit ended up known as COMAND 2.5 because it was physically 2.5 Din units high. In Europe it used Teleatlas map disks, and internally it was sometimes called 'C' type COMAND. I have no idea what A and B type were.

In late 1999 the system was upgraded to 'D' type and then after a software upgrade it was able to read the better DX type disks. This happened at chassis number A078551 for the S class (W220) and chassis number A001434 for the CL.

The systems all had a Casette drive, a CD drive purely for the Navigation disk, FM/AM tuner, in-built 4 channel amplifer (left/right for front & rear)and TV inputs (although it is not clear whether the C type COMAND ever worked with the TV tuner as it was only made to work sometime after the vehicles were inititally launched if you had ordered the TV pre-wiring.

The Navigation section (with CD drive) was actually a completely seperate of the COMAND connected to the rest of it by a cable.

COMAND 2 has a fibre optic network called D2B (developed by C&C electronics and partially by Philips Electronics NV. It is used to pass audio and control the optional CD changer, Telephone system, voice recognition system (known as linguatronic or VCS) and the premium amplifier made by Bose.

The units were made by Bosch. (who also own Blaupunkt), although the other units on the D2B bus were made by other manafacturers since D2B is a reasonably open standard.

The Mercedes 'option' code for COMAND 2.5 (and 2.0) is 352

In Model Year 2003, the S/CL COMAND was replaced by COMAND 2.0 MOPF (see below), and in Model Year 2004 the S/CL COMAND was replaced by COMAND-APS.

The DX map disks currenlty only support 5 digit post codes in the UK.


COMAND 2.0 is the same technology as the D type COMAND 2.5 except that everything is in one double-din height device, the casette drive was removed (and an AUX input added) and the navigation drive could also be used for audio CD. Again the COMAND is made by Bosch, and the Mercedes option code is 352.

The units (after an early life software upgrade in 2000) use DX type mapping CDs.

These devices first appeared on the W210 E class, and then on the W208 C class. These were rectangular units. After that they appeared on the W163 ML (2001), W203 C class, W209 CLK, W463 G class, R230 S class. The last 4 types were curvy units, but the R230 class unit was shaped differently and has more detailed mapping ability.

The initial W210 units used discrete wiring to obtain ignition, lights, reversing (backup) and speed signal. They did not support connection to the car's CANbus network and can be identified easily because the telephone keypad does not have letters on it. When the facelift W210 was released with steering wheel controls then the units connected to the CANbus and required only a discrete speed signal connection and used CANbus network for the other signals mentioned above.

The W208 units all used CANBus network, and in fact W210 units can be made to work in the W208 cars.

The W163 units, whilst looking like W208 and W210 units have the 4 signals mentioned above wired discretely and have no CANbus connection.

The curvey units on the W203 C and W209 CLK are interchangeable, but none of the others are. The W463 G class unit is the same shape but it needs a seperate speed signal. The R230 SL unit is unique.

W163 ML Comand 2.0 unit: -


W203 C class COMAND 2.0: -


R230 SL COMAND 2.0: -



A widescreen version of COMAND 2.0 (with identical features) was available for model year 2003 only in the W220 S and W215 CL class vehicles.

The option code for the European COMAND was changed to code 527 for this system - which can be confusing as it is still the old CD based technology.


The W211 E class was first introduced in 2002 where the audio system was completely revamped. The D2B audio network was replaced with a new faster system called MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) which in theory could carry video.

With the introduction of the MOST bus based system, the name was changed to COMAND-APS and the option code 527 is now used for COMAND. To add confusion, the COMAND 2.0 MOPF also had option code 527 and was known as COMAND-APS, then Mercedes started calling even the older COMAND2.0 COMAND-APS.

It was introduced into the W220 S class and W215 CL class for Model Year 2004, the R230 SL for Model Year 2005 and the SLK from launch.

NTG1 COMAND-APS in the W220 S Class: -


The NTG1 was the first DVD based system, and thus the map disk carries a whole region (for instance Europe) on a single DVD. This makes life simpler, but the disks are about twice the cost of purchasing a single country DX disk for the COMAND 2 systems.

The MOST system (and thus the NTG1 system consisted of 3 seperate devices, the AGW (Audio Gateway), the head unit (COMAND) and the navigation processor. The AGW contains the FM/AM tuner(s), the amplifer, the MOST bus master controller and the diagnostic gateway for diagnosis and configuration.

The telephone system. voice recogntiion, CD changer, Harmon Karden premium sound system and TV tuners also connect to the MOST bus to route audio in/out of the system. In the case of the HK sound system, the HK amplifer contains the AGW and replaces the standard AGW.

The navigation processor is always in the boot (trunk) of the car, and the AGW is also often hidden in the boot of the car or under passenger feet in the SLK.

NTG1 was fitted up until Model Year 2009 in the W220 S, W215 CL, R230 SL, W211 E, W219 CLS, R171 SLK vehicles.

The NTG1 head unit (COMAND) can play DVD and MP3 loaded CD/DVDs also.

Most parts of the NTG1 system are made by Becker (for European vehicles). However, in the S/CL/SLK/SL it is made by Siemens (and North American systems are made by Siemens).

The W211 E, W219 CLS, R171 SLK have auxilary audio inputs but the W220 S, W215 CL, R30 SL do not and thus the Mercedes iPod interface will not work in the S/CL/SL.

The NTG1 uses proprietary map disks, which although the maps are made by Teleatas and Navteq have to be supplied via Mercedes benz. Mercedes use a coloured flash on their map disk packaging, NTG1 disks have a Green stripe. Currently the map disks only support 5 digit post codes in the UK.


Mercedes Benz then produced a cost reduced system which it introduced into the W203 C and W209 CLK for the mid 2004 facelift (approx March 2004 production onward) and then was released with the new model A, B, ML, GL and R class vehicles, it is also fitted to the Smart forfour, and the W639 Vito/VIano vehicles.


This system put all the components into one double-din height unit, significantly simplifying the wiring.

The NTG2 system, however, lost its ability to play DVD and MP3 disks, and of course as there is no seperate navigation drive playing a CD and navigating with a full map requires a CD changer.

All NTG2 systems have an auxiliary input.

Like NTG1, the NTG2 uses proprietary map disks, which although the maps are made by Teleatas and Navteq have to be supplied via Mercedes benz. Mercedes use a coloured flash on their map disk packaging, NTG2 disks have a Blue stripe. Currently the map disks only support 5 digit post codes in the UK.

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