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Old 02-22-2012, 10:29 PM
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DISCTRONIC

Can I get some review of the adaptive cruise control?

Does it work if there is a motor cycle in front of you?

If some-one cuts you off does it SLAM the brakes on? I know there was someone talking about NJ traffic activating the system.

Please share your input.


Thanks
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:00 AM
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It was probably me talking about the system in NJ traffic. I've been using the system for the past year and a half and I really like it. It works wonderfully the highway and more or less in bumper to bumper traffic. It also plays nice with my radar detector which is a plus.

In a nutshell when you turn your cruise control on the car will maintain the speed you have preset; like a normal cruise control system. However, when you come upon a slower moving vehicle your car will reduce your speed by cutting down on the throttle or actually breaking for you to match the speed of the vehicle in front of you. You can predetermine the following distance on the cruise control stalk by turning the a cap on the stalk itself. On the instrument panel you have a screen for DISTRONIC Plus where you can see a graphical representation of the car in front and the distance to said car. The screen updates in real-time.

Pros:
The system works awesome on the highway and it makes long trips less fatiguing. Yes, it works with motor cycles and bicyclists also. Someone told me it works with animals too (like following a rider on a horse) but I haven't had first hand experience with that myself. The system is really useful when there is fog on the highway. If you set your range long enough the car will be able to see through the fog and slow for other vehicles before you can see them. Very comforting.

Cons:
When setting the following distance to the shortest setting the system still leaves a space that is about 1 and 1/2 car lengths between your vehicle and the one in front of you. In Jersey some people take this as an invitation to merge into your lane which will force the DISTRONIC system to apply the brakes to maintain the preset gap between you and the newly merged car. Also in bumper to bumper situations I've noticed that accelerating from a dead stop is not "natural". Meaning its not how a human would do it. From a dead stop when the car in front of you starts moving your car will leave a gap, of about 2 car lengths, before it starts to slowly roll. Then it will accelerate too quickly to catch up with the car in front. It works but its just not as smooth as you and I would do it.

Links:
Auto Spies Test the DISTRONIC PLUS system
Some Random Video about the DISTONIC PLUS system
Laser Frankie on the Autobahn with an S-Class
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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I've been in a vehicle with it while functioning. I think it's pretty cool and worked as it intended to; with the brief exposure I had to it.

Having said that, I'm not paying almost $3k for the package that includes the adaptive CC. I did however, order the blind spot detection package.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:31 PM
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Laiceps, regarding radar detectors, do you have a hard-wired unit installed or a window mounted device?

The K40 people tell me that I would have to block the K band in their hard-wired device if it is to work with adaptive cruise control, rendering it largely useless. Escort says they have had "mixed results" with MBs with Distronic and Parktronic. Apparently these features utilize part of the K band.

I am hoping a portable detector will work when mounted on one of those windshield rectangles that are free of UV inhibitors.

Last edited by Shrdlu; 02-23-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:19 PM
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If someone cuts you off it does not slam on the brakes. Unless the person cuts you off and slams on their brakes. When someone gets in front of you the system instantly figures out how fast they are going. It then adjusts the space between you and the vehicle by applying the brakes or letting the vehicle in front continue to speed up and thus opening the gap. Its all done in the blink of an eye. Most people that pass you are going faster than you and system sees this and just lets the space open up normally. Otherwise it would constantly be on the brakes and you would be a nervous wreck.

As for the $3k cost. It also includes the active lane keep assist and the active blind spot monitor. The blind spot monitor save my vehicle already. No I did not try to change lanes with someone in my blind spot. What happened was there was a car in my blind spot on the drivers side and it started to come into my lane. The active blind spot system "saw" the vehicle and moved my vehicle out of the way. It also saw that there was no vehicle on my passenger side so it allowed my vehicle to go over there. It happened so fast I was just amazed.

The $3k also includes the active Pre Safe Brake. Where the system looks ahead and if it sees an impending collision it will actually apply the brakes to help reduce or avoid the collision.

Is it worth the $3k? To me it is. Its totally a personal decision. My theory was that as I get older I will take all the assistance I can get to make sure that my family and I arrive safely. Plus its a really nice option to have. :-)
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by katiesdad7 View Post
The blind spot monitor save my vehicle already. No I did not try to change lanes with someone in my blind spot. What happened was there was a car in my blind spot on the drivers side and it started to come into my lane. The active blind spot system "saw" the vehicle and moved my vehicle out of the way. It also saw that there was no vehicle on my passenger side so it allowed my vehicle to go over there. It happened so fast I was just amazed.
To the best of my knowledge, Blind Spot Assist will not steer your vehicle to avoid a collision, only apply the brakes. However, applying the brakes on one side has the effect of steering the vehicle. Just a subtle clarification.

"Blind Spot Assist warns the driver when vehicles are detected in the area of poor visibility, the so-called "blind spot". Additionally, Active Blind Spot Assist can counteract a possible collision by specific application of the brakes on one side of the vehicle, if the driver does not react to the warning."
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Shrdlu View Post
Laiceps, regarding radar detectors, do you have a hard-wired unit installed or a window mounted device?

The K40 people tell me that I would have to block the K band in their hard-wired device if it is to work with adaptive cruise control, rendering it largely useless. Escort says they have had "mixed results" with MBs with Distronic and Parktronic. Apparently these features utilize part of the K band.

I am hoping a portable detector will work when mounted on one of those windshield rectangles that are free of UV inhibitors.
I have an Escort 8500 Blue that I have window mounted with suction cups when I need it. No issue with either the radar detector or the DISTRONIC system; both play nicely.

However I did notice an interesting phenomenon. People who don't have an Escort of Valentine 1 at times get affected by my DISTONIC plus radar signals. If I'm in the middle lane and have my cruise control set to 70 (DISTRONIC turned on) and people speed past me they slam on their brakes about 1/2 a car length ahead of me. My DISTRONIC system trips their radar detector and they get a false alert. But like I said it mostly only happens to non-Escort and Valentine 1 detectors.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MD Boy View Post
Having said that, I'm not paying almost $3k for the package that includes the adaptive CC. I did however, order the blind spot detection package.
You got the passive system then. Your blind spot detector with only warn you if someone is in your blind spot. In the active system the car will actually apply the breaks to prevent you from colliding with the vehicle in your blind spot. The same goes for the lane assist; for solid lines the car will pull you back onto the road. I haven't experiences the passive systems yet. Let us know how they work out when you get your car.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
To the best of my knowledge, Blind Spot Assist will not steer your vehicle to avoid a collision, only apply the brakes. However, applying the brakes on one side has the effect of steering the vehicle. Just a subtle clarification.
You are correct sir.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by katiesdad7 View Post
The $3k also includes the active Pre Safe Brake. Where the system looks ahead and if it sees an impending collision it will actually apply the brakes to help reduce or avoid the collision.

Is it worth the $3k? To me it is. Its totally a personal decision. My theory was that as I get older I will take all the assistance I can get to make sure that my family and I arrive safely. Plus its a really nice option to have. :-)
to Pre-Safe Braking ! We actually had a thread about this on the E-Class forum. The Pre-Safe Braking has saved my butt twice already. You don't know how nice it is to have until you experience it in action. But at the same time it scares the living daylights out of you until you figure out what is going on.

Last edited by LaicepsYdobon; 02-24-2012 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
To the best of my knowledge, Blind Spot Assist will not steer your vehicle to avoid a collision, only apply the brakes. However, applying the brakes on one side has the effect of steering the vehicle. Just a subtle clarification.

"Blind Spot Assist warns the driver when vehicles are detected in the area of poor visibility, the so-called "blind spot". Additionally, Active Blind Spot Assist can counteract a possible collision by specific application of the brakes on one side of the vehicle, if the driver does not react to the warning."
Correct.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:16 PM
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Awesome analysis!

Thanks for the reviews!

Looking forward to it. I drive something like 75 miles a day!
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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does anyone know if distronic plus can be added later, after you have the car, if you didnt order it originally?
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:20 AM
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Distronic Plus

Originally Posted by mainly View Post
does anyone know if distronic plus can be added later, after you have the car, if you didnt order it originally?
No, it can't.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:54 AM
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Distronic Plus can be retrofitted- it's been done on the W204 C Class before it was offered as an option on the facelifted models. MBenzNL on this forum has done it many times. With that said is very costly, it involves the hardware which is a couple grand from the dealer and then there's the software side of it where everything has to talk to each other. Most dealers won't be comfortable doing this/ not knowing how to do it so you'll have to find someone who knows what they're doing and be willing to do it. Often times this doesn't mean there's anyone local that can do it. I highly recommended to buy a car with it already.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xxGenericSNxx View Post
Distronic Plus can be retrofitted- it's been done on the W204 C Class before it was offered as an option on the facelifted models.
Well, I meant reasonably. Almost anything can be done if you throw enough money at it!
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LaicepsYdobon View Post
I have an Escort 8500 Blue that I have window mounted with suction cups when I need it. No issue with either the radar detector or the DISTRONIC system; both play nicely.

However I did notice an interesting phenomenon. People who don't have an Escort of Valentine 1 at times get affected by my DISTONIC plus radar signals. If I'm in the middle lane and have my cruise control set to 70 (DISTRONIC turned on) and people speed past me they slam on their brakes about 1/2 a car length ahead of me. My DISTRONIC system trips their radar detector and they get a false alert. But like I said it mostly only happens to non-Escort and Valentine 1 detectors.
Thanks there, very useful info. Just curious, the Escort 8500 Blue is the 8500 x50 Blue, correct?

Very curious as I didn't realize the 8500 is immune to K band distronic plus interference. Trying to pinpoint which version of the 8500 is distronic plus friendly, as apparently, the newer 9500ci is affected by the interference and needs a Mid City Engineering module to resolve this problem. Wondering if the current 8500 x50 Blue we buy now will be similar to yours or if the newer wider K band coverage means it will also have problems with distronic plus!

Last edited by W210; 06-17-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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