Why Mercedes Gear Shifter On The Steering Wheel?

Why Mercedes Gear Shifter On The Steering Wheel? 5 Reasons😲

As technology is evolving day by day, Mercedes is also trying its best to facilitate its users. In this struggle, they evolved its feature of gear shift. Yes, now you don’t need to take off your hands from the steering wheel to change your gear. Because the Gear Column is on your steering wheel.

What a Surprise for the drivers. Like most other Systems, the Gear shifter also starts running on the electrical supply. So, you can get rid of your manual gear column, which is between the car’s front seats. 

Here, we discuss why the Mercedes took this action of shifting the column shifter from the floor to the steering wheel. Is shifting the gear column beneficial for the driver or not? If your car has this new gear shifter, I will guide you on using the column shifter behind the steering wheel in a few easy steps. 

Mercedes Gear Shifter On The Steering Wheel

Why Did Mercedes Decide to Shift the Gear Column on the Steering Wheel?

Mercedes-Benz began using column shifters in some of its models in the early 2000s. Today, most Mercedes-Benz models come with standard column shifters, except for a few sports cars and SUVs.

Mercedes-Benz has said that it switched to column shifters to improve safety. The company believes that having the gear shifter on the steering wheel makes it less likely that the driver will accidentally bump it into the wrong gear.

But safety is the only concern for this big change of putting the gear shift next to the steering wheel. Not at all. There were definitely other benefits for the drivers as well. But what are those? Let’s discuss 

Benefits of the Mercedes Gear Shifter on the Steering Wheel:

The Mercedes-Benz column shifter offers a number of benefits over traditional center console shifters. Let’s have a Look at each benefit step by step. 

1. Enhanced Driver Control: 

The gear shifter on the steering wheel allows the drivers to change the gear without taking their hands off the steering wheel. This mostly helps in fast driving, braking, or parking the car. The driver can easily shift the gear in seconds as it is near to his hands. 

Enhanced Driver Control  by gear shift on steering

2. Quick Response: 

Paddle shifters typically offer rapid gear changes. You can say it is often quicker than traditional automatic transmissions. This responsiveness can be beneficial when drivers want to downshift for added power or upshift for improved fuel efficiency.

3. Space Optimization: 

Placing the gear shifter on the steering wheel frees up the space in the center, which can be used for storage as a cabin. You can store your important documents, laptops, tablets, chargers, etc. Moreover, the auto accessories like cleaners, tissues, sprays, whatever you want. You can also fit the cup holder in the free space in the corner.

Space Optimization due to gear shift on steering

4. More Engaging Driving Experience: 

For drivers who enjoy a more engaged driving experience, column shifters can provide a more direct connection to the car and its transmission. This is because the shifter is located right on the steering wheel, where the driver’s hands are already positioned.

5. Safety Benefits:

Drivers can keep both hands on the wheel during gear changes, which enhances control and reduces the risk of accidents. This design choice aligns with the brand’s commitment to safety and driver assistance technologies.

How to Use the Mercedes Gear Shifter on the Steering Wheel?

To use the Mercedes gear shifter on the steering wheel, follow these steps:

1. Locate the Paddle Shifters:

 Paddle shifters are typically mounted behind or on the sides of the steering wheel. There are usually two paddles: 

  • Upshifting – The “+” (plus) paddle is used to upshift
  • Downshifting – The “–” (minus) paddle is used to downshift.

2. Understand the Gear Modes: 

Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with paddle shifters often have different driving modes. These modes can include 

  • D” for Drive (automatic mode) 
  • M” for Manual (manual mode).

3. Enter Manual Mode (if necessary):

 If your Mercedes-Benz has different driving modes, switch to Manual mode by moving the gear selector or using a button or dial on the center console. This will enable manual control of the gears.

4. Shifting Gears:

  • To upshift (shift to a higher gear for more speed), pull the “+” (plus) paddle towards you.
  • To downshift (shift to a lower gear for more engine braking or power), pull the “–” (minus) paddle towards you.

5. Pay Attention to Gear Display

Many Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with paddle shifters have a display on the instrument cluster or the center console that shows the current gear or gear range. Keep an eye on this display to know which gear you’re in.

Pay Attention to Gear Display

6. Use Paddle Shifters Responsibly:

 Paddle shifters can be fun to use, especially for sporty driving or situations where you want more control over gear selection. However, remember to use them responsibly and within the recommended speed and RPM ranges to prevent engine strain or damage.

7. Return to Automatic Mode: 

When you’re done using the paddle shifters or want to return to automatic mode, simply switch the transmission back to “D” (Drive) mode or the appropriate automatic mode. Some vehicles may also automatically revert to automatic mode after a period of inactivity with the paddle shifters.

Video Guide:

How to Use the Mercedes Gear Shifter on the Steering Wheel?

Optimizing Your Drive With Paddle Shifters: Additional Tips for Mercedes Users:

Driving SituationHow to Use Paddle Shifters
OvertakingPull the right paddle shifter to downshift into a lower gear for more power and quicker acceleration.
Driving on Winding RoadsManually shift gears using the paddle shifters to keep the car in the right gear for better speed and cornering control.
Driving DownhillUse the paddle shifters to downshift, engaging engine braking to slow down the car and reduce brake wear.
Driving in Snow or IceKeep the car in lower gear using the paddle shifters to improve tire traction and prevent wheel spinning.

User Feedback on Mercedes Gear Shifter on the Steering Wheel:

Most Mercedes users have positive feedback, like this modern Mercedes Benz shifter on the steering wheel. It frees up the space and makes to approach the gear with only movements of fingers. 

Some Users also said that This Mercedes column shifter improves their adaption to the new coming electrical vehicle and their features. This shows that the Effort of Mercedes is also fruitful for the drivers. 

But on the other hand, as all fings of the hand are not same, some users are not happy with this change. You can read such reviews on this forum about gear sticks on the steering wheel. Some People are more happily with their traditional manual gear shifters. 


Mercedes-Benz’s decision to place gear shifters on the steering wheel is for safety and convenience. So the driver can shift the gear with no more distraction. But you should know how to use it in the best way to take maximum benefit from this new feature.

So, follow the guidelines carefully. You can also Share your Reviews about Gear Column Shifter with us. We will be proud to share your experience or answer your question regarding the Mercedes gear shifter on the steering wheel.

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