Mercedes-Benz EQS Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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What is it like on the inside?

A question for the future: will anyone buy a £100,000+ EQS and not tick the box marked 'Hyperscreen'? The single-pane multiplex inside the EQS is in fact an option, replacing a DIN radio. Only kidding. As standard it's a more conventional raked touchscreen as found in the S-Class. Expect it to cost several thousand pounds. 

And what do I get for my money?

In return for this enormous investment, you actually get three screens encased in a 141cm (55-inch) glass façade that contains enough processors to mine a fortune in Bitcoin and run a small space programme. 

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Two are 12.3 inches across, with one acting as your fairly conventional digital instrument display behind the steering wheel. This display misses out on the 3D rendering offering in the S-Class, because the glass itself is slightly curved in the EQS, whereas it needs to be flat for the perspective shift to work. We didn’t miss it. 

Bookending the dash on the passenger’s side is another 12.3-inch readout which looks simply like a normal Mercedes MBUX infotainment screen. The passenger can view the nav, choose radio or media to listen to, watch television, or play a handful of relatively primitive games. However, because the screen can be easily seen from the driver’s seat, many of these functions are locked when underway to avoid distraction. 

And yes, the car knows where you’re looking. There are some 350 sensors in the EQS measuring your attention level, what you’re touching, and where you’re looking. Case in point: the mirrors. You don’t have to press a button to select Left or Right before adjusting them. Just look at the mirror you want to dip, prod the adjustment toggle, and the correct mirror will obey. This is luxury car design by telepathy. 

Back to the screen burn. The passenger can operate their touchscreen readout independently by speaking to it via ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assist – there are separate microphones which can detect where the voice is coming from. Likewise, if the seat is vacated, the screen enters a standby mode showing a fanciful Mercedes concept car, a sort of ‘here’s what your EQS would look like if we didn’t need to worry about cost or crashing’. 

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Overall it’s a ‘nice-to-have’, but most passengers will give up on it and return to their swifter, better-connected smartphone within minutes. Try again when you’ve built-in a selfie camera and TikTok, Mercedes.

What about the biggest screen of all?

And so to the main event: the 17.7-inch central screen. Here lie the (permanently rendered) heater and A/C controls, a home button which defaults to the huge map (nice touch) and a set of widgets that change depending on what you happen to use most often – the seat massager, or drive settings, for instance. 

On the whole the screen is fast reacting, only stuttering if you many-tap the back ‘button’ and ask it to burrow out of sub-menus in a hurry. Reflections aren’t an issue and even with direct sunlight beaming in, the screen remains easy to read. It also doesn’t get as warm to the touch as a Tesla’s screen when working hard. 

Does it still feel like a traditional Benz inside?

The rest of the cabin is exquisite. Real metal and unpolished wood meet with tight shutlines and soft leather. The turbine vents would grace any Pagani or Bugatti hypercar, and the animated ambient lighting walks the tightrope of garishness expertly. At night, it’s a true cyberpunk experience. 

It really is a beautifully built machine, and despite being so minimalist, feels lavish and expensive instead of sparse and office-like. The pillarless doors swing open with a stroke of the pop out handle, and the driver can close their door by simply squeezing the brake pedal. All of the doors can be opened and closed via the touchscreen, which will be rather useful on the school run. 

What if I need to carry other important businesspeople?

In the back, it’s not as vast as an S-Class, because of the sweeping roofline and shorter rear door, but there’s still room for a semi-reclined adult passenger behind a tall driver, in an airy and equally well-finished environment. 

The EQS is a five-seater as standard (though the middle rear perch is extremely narrow) but this can be folded down into an armrest, featuring an optional tablet to control rear-seat entertainment. You’d happily be chauffeured back here, nestling into the pillow-show headrests and marvelling at the lack of disturbance from the outside world. 

Being a hatchback, cargo area access is easier than the saloon S-Class, but not as roomy, though the split-folding seats increase room for those runs to the tip all EQS owners will doubtless spend their weekends attending. Visibility is commendable besides the enormous front pillars. Oh, and don’t go looking for a bonnet latch – there’s no front boot here. In fact, the clamshell nose is entirely sealed for better aerodynamics – so you top up the washer fluid via a pop-out gutter on the car’s flanks. 

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