We've driven the Mercedes-Benz EQS, and written about it quite a bit, but this electric sedan is one where the interior gets as much attention as the range or performance. Usually, the focus is on the intense Hyperscreen, but there's more to the EQS interior than just the tech ... and it all takes some getting used to.
But, sure, let's start with the elephant in the car. That array of displays is a bit intimidating at first. After a week of driving, I was still fumbling our way through it, wanting to pull the car over to navigate my way through. There's just a lot going on, especially when you to make some setting adjustments. Eventually, once you have all your settings configured and saved to your driver profile (which is accessed with a biometric fingerprint scanner on the center console) you might have a lot less to fiddle with on a regular basis. It takes time, though.
That said, it's all artfully integrated into the interior — indeed serving as a showcase piece — feeling like it deserves its place in this luxurious EV. Your passenger will probably appreciate having a screen of their own, so long as they aren't prone to screen-induced motion sickness.
If you don't want the Hyperscreen, though, you don't have to have it. While it comes standard in the EQS 580 and and AMG versions, it is a $7,230 option in the 450+ that otherwise comes standard with the same interface as the S-Class. We wouldn't exactly call that a step down.
And of course, the shiny Hyperscreen is complemented by a generous amount of interior ambient lighting. This is something we've come to expect from Mercedes interiors, and it only seems fitting in this futuristic cockpit. When not driving, it's pleasant just to sit inside the EQS and unwind a bit in the luminescence before entering that harshly-lit grocery store or cacophony of kids and pets waiting behind your front door.
Also, take a look at that "Natural Grain Yacht-Design Brown Walnut with Aluminum Lines" on the center console above (a $1,515 option). It shows up on the door armrests, too, but it would be nice to see more of it throughout the cabin.
The seats, upholstered in supportive, high-quality perforated MBTex faux leather, are successful in their mission of being both comfortable and luxurious. Heating and ventilation are standard. Ours also had an optional (in this Premium trim — standard on higher trims) massage function, which was honestly a bit underwhelming, but could help for sustained comfort on a long tour.
The little pillow things on the headrests, though, were annoying. They always felt unnatural when touching the back of my head. Unnerving, even, when you lean back after forgetting their presence. They're easy to quickly adjust without fiddling with any belts or buttons — they simply slide up and down — but they also easily fall back out of place. A tug of some Velcro can remove them altogether.
Another thing that gave us trouble over the entire week were the controls for the "Panorama" roof (actually two panels) with power tilt/sliding front panel. The roof and sunblinds are controlled with a single bar that serves as both a slider and press-button. I could never get it to do what I wanted. Try to open the blinds? The thing would tilt open, and vice versa. After many frustrating attempts to get the hang of it, I just stopped using it, to the chagrin of my young passenger in the rear.
Moving to the back seat, the passengers have it good, so long as they're not too tall. Ours weren't, so the sloping roofline wasn't an issue, even with a high-back booster seat installed. The rear seats aren't heated or ventilated unless you spring for the top Pinnacle trim. Still, while simple, they're quite luxurious, especially if you consider legroom a luxury.
As for storage, there's a bit. That trunk space is big, and versatile as James Riswick observed when he took a road trip in an EQS 580. Up front, the center console bin is generous, and there's an open storage space below the console bridge. The cupholder space is versatile, with the ability to remove the cupholders completely in order to stash more items. You'll also notice USB-C ports in the storage bins, as well as in a little pop-out on the rear of the center console for backseat passengers.
One final thought: the aural experience inside the EQS is fantastic. For one thing, the car is ridiculously quiet as it glides down the road. You feel safe, secure and serene inside this luxury EV. Furthermore, the Burmester surround audio system that's standard in the 450+ is a treat for the ears, whether you're listening intently to an audio book, opera or your favorite rap album. The sound is crisp and enveloping. Just another reason to linger in the driveway before heading back through your front door.
CHRISTOPHER MCGRAW: Everybody, senior producer Christopher McGraw here, sitting inside the Mercedes EQS 450+. Let's talk about the cupholders. So these are the front cupholders here. Let me close this. So that's what it looks like closed.
Open it up here. It stays open. You'll notice that there's a little switch here. You can actually remove these cupholders. So if you don't need them, you can remove them. Just make sure to lock them if you're going to put them back.
Now, right now, it may look like it's not going to really hold much. There's nothing holding the cup in there. So let's take a 12-ounce can here. And once you put the can in, the weight of the can actually closes the cupholder.
So you can take it back out. But just the weight of the can. I'm not doing anything other than pressing down. You can see it has a little push lever there. So if you pushed it down just with your finger, it would do the same thing.
Let's see what'll fit in there. So let's get both of them there. We've got a 12-ounce can. That'll fit. And then, let's see. Let's move on to a 20-ounce insulated mug. That fits pretty well.
Let's move on from there. A 30-ounce insulated mug. This one doesn't fit as well. It's a little big. But it does fit in there. It's not the most stable thing ever, but it does fit.
As far as coffee mugs with handles on them, that's just not going to happen. The Yeti coffee mug especially is just way too thick to fit in there. And then, everyone's favorite, the Nalgene test.
No way. No way will a Nalgene fit in there. But I'm not shocked at that. There is one way that you might be able to store a Nalgene, and for that, we're going to have to actually move underneath the center console. So let's check that out.
All right, so now we're looking at underneath the center console here. Let's see. There's this piece of elastic here. If I can get my Nalgene under there.
Yep. It looks like it'll keep it pretty secure. So this is a 32-ounce Nalgene. And yeah, it looks like it'll keep it pretty secure for a drive. Will it be easily accessible if you want to drink something? Not at all. But it is nice to know that you can keep it from rolling around all over the place.
Let's hop in the back and see what we're looking at in the back when it comes to cupholders. All right, so now I'm in the rear of the EQS 450+. And you might think to yourself, where are the cupholders? There isn't a pull-out for cupholders here.
Now, there is this middle armrest. Pull that down. It is nice and flat here. No cupholders. To find the cupholders in the rear of this vehicle, first you press this once. And what pops out is a little pen holder, which is maybe helpful if you're signing contracts in the back of your EQS 450+.
Not something that I would think to use. Then again, I don't sign contracts that often. If you press it just a little more than halfway but not all the way in, that's when the cupholders pop out here. And let's test these cupholders to see what they will fit.
First of all, we'll go with our trusted Yeti 12-ounce can. This is just a normal 12-ounce can, like a can of Coke. And that fits in there pretty nicely. As you can see, it kind of pushes down the bottom of the cupholder.
All right, moving on. A cup of coffee. Now, this is a Yeti mug. It's going to be thicker than a lot of mugs. And there's just no chance of that fitting in there.
A smaller mug here, also no chance. So, if you're going to go with coffee, maybe get it in a skinnier cup. Here we have a 20-ounce insulated cup. And that fits in there pretty nicely.
It doesn't go all the way down to the bottom, actually. It's just kind of resting in the circle here. But it does fit. Super stable. And drink your coffee out of that.
Moving up from the 20-ounce, we have a 30-ounce. Wow, the 30-ounce insulated cup fits really well. Kind of similar to the 20-ounce, where the bottom isn't exactly resting on the bottom of the cupholder. But that doesn't really matter. It is in there pretty-- I mean, it's pretty stable. Yeah.
And finally-- I mean, I can tell you right up front that the Nalgene is just not going to fit in here. Yeah, there's no chance the Nalgene will fit in there. But I am pleasantly surprised at the fact that it will fit three out of the six options we had here.
It fits a 12-ounce can really easily. It fits the 20-ounce insulated mug, the 30-ounce insulated mug. So, not too bad.