Our car came with Nappa black leather along with AMG Carbon Fibre Trim - a real fingerprint magnet. You also get Black Leather and Brown or Grey Leather and Brown Interiors. There is the option for Anthracite linestructure Limewood which might be less sporty but more presentable. Tesla created a storm with the Portrait LED screen and Mercedes provided something similar in the S Class but in the EQS, it needed to leap ahead and that's where the Hyperscreen comes in to create some visual drama. It is standard in the AMG EQS 53.
Much has been hyped about the Hyperscreen. It is merely 2 OLED screens along with the driver's LED Binnacle. This is cleverly integrated to look like a single unit hence a lot of visual drama. Surrounding the massive screen is a silver front frame. The lower part is highlighted with ambient lighting to give the impression that the whole display is floating.
Behind the screen, one will find eight CPU cores, 24 gigabytes of RAM and 46.4 gigabytes per second of RAM bandwidth. The purpose is to power the artificial intelligence requirements. The EQS will learn about your habits, identify who you are and suggest things like - a comfortable route, when to raise the car on a bad road section, whom to call at a particular time of day, and suggest a particular drive mode and charging habits. It will flash a virtual tile with a suggestion and you decide. Our time with the car was too short to see this in action. To get the most out of this, one needs to set up the system using facial, fingerprint and voice recognition along with the Mercedes Me app. Click on the "All Setting" and one can set up everything from the safety, comfort (not available on the AMG), drive modes etc.
The Hyperscreen will make a great talking point but at the end of the day, the AI component and the charging options excepted, the interface is almost like the "standard" S-Class W223. When the plain vanilla EQS is launched, prospective owners would do well to spend time with the screen to understand if the extra outlay is worth it. One factor to note is that without the HyperScreen, the remaining dashboard surface will be mainly hard plastics which might not be very impressive looking as I experienced in the EQE. To discuss this in depth requires an article in itself. It also requires a good couple of hours to get oriented:
The steering is similar to the S-Class and is busy and fiddly. This comprises four spindly spokes and within these spokes are 4 sets of controls.
• Upper Right Spoke -
This handles the instrumentation functions. You can select via the touchpad amongst other instrument styles. The Classic works best. Central information displays navigation, vehicle data, travel info, heads-up display options (the menu came up but setting it up was fiddly), and vehicle status (mainly temperatures of the motors and radiators)
• Lower Right Spoke -
Handles the cruise control and active safety functions
• Top Left Spoke -
Controls main central screen views and options
• Lower Left Spoke -
All basic audio functions
The two smaller circular controls towards the bottom of the wheel are a bit like Ferrari's Manettino system. The right one controls the drive modes - 'C' stands for 'Comfort' mode and the other contains two toggle switches to switch off traction control and the other switch to toggle through the piped engine noise. Behind the wheel are a couple of paddles to adjust the power recuperation:
The heads-up display is supposed to be adjustable from the steering wheel but it was so fiddly and we couldn't activate it at first. I muttered, "Hey Mercedes, switch on the heads-up display" and hey presto! It came on. We did not get to explore how to configure the unit. The display you see gets a little confusing as you see the speed and the power consumption rate both increasing/decreasing at the same time. It was amusing to see the power generation happening as one slowed down and braked:
The main instrument binnacle can be configured to various styles, this is the 'Classic' face. Most comprehensive of the lot:
The handbrake and lighting switch are placed below. The dashboard angle makes it a little fiddly to set and access intuitively. The light switch has very little haptic feed. In my Audi, one can feel the various steps, i.e. it is a proper switch, not an electronic selector. I guess Mercedes prefer that you leave it on automatic. The handbrake is meant for a long stop. I missed the ability to quickly activate the handbrake at traffic lights. I tried using this and I think there have been a few cuss words in Navi Mumbai when I found it a challenge to release and held up traffic (Mercedes expects you to toggle between Park and Drive!):
The frameless driver's door contains seat controls. It contains seat heating & ventilation controls and one can also control the passenger seat:
Love the technical attention to detail, the tweeter is angled towards the A-pillar window and the grill serves as a classy embellishment:
Passenger door at night illuminated with one of 64 shades!
Pedals are a work of art:
The steering lowers into place once you close the door. Seating is low and one feels cocooned in. This, plus the high waistline might find this a challenge with the claustrophobic folks. The front seats have limited adjustment. They are snug but the lack of lumbar support meant that I had a slight backache after a couple of hours. The steering wheel was set a little high. I would need some extensive trial and error to get to my position but adjustable lumbar support, squab and bolsters are missed:
The central screen contains various menus including navigation, drive mode settings and settings for the MBUX entertainment system. This controls the impressive Burmester® lettering. The Burmester® surround sound system comprises 15 powerful speakers. The two subwoofers are integrated into the body shell in the bulkhead on the driver and front passenger side. Two sound presets allow for different listening enjoyment. It also enables seamless operation of streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn or TIDAL via the central display, the steering wheel or the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant.
Some of the active safety settings don't seem to be present and nor are the Comfort Settings - read massaging seats, lumbar control etc. A bit of trivia. The snow chain mode will turn off the four-wheel steering:
Content can be shared between the central and passenger screens. The passenger screen by default displayed a compass but if someone is sitting in the passenger seat, it can show navigation, audio, and charging functions among others. A great advancement for backseat drivers. You can set the time, charging speed, duration and top capacity limit:
Below the large screen is a large console which contains cupholders, and 2 USB ports. There is an additional small shelf below this. The shortcut menu is on the centre console. Consists of the camera activation, the charging, car settings, the Start/Stop button (size was so unassuming, it took me a while to find it!), the fingerprint sensor and essential audio controls. Note the grime accumulated below the switches:
The glove box is minimal, i.e. best for storing the manual. However, there is plenty of oddment space elsewhere
Here's a look at the overhead console. Sliding the touch control, retracts the blinds and press the control hard to open the roof. It took a while to figure this out:
The panoramic sunroof lets in plenty of light in the cabin:
The sloping roofline does not impede access:
The rear bench is wide and the angle is a little upright. Two people can sit in comfort and the third is okay for short journeys:
There are no adjustments available as the 'Rear Seat Package' is not available in AMG models except for seat warming. The seats are a little flat and short on squab. This might be S-Class in size but not in the rear seat experience:
The boot is well shaped with 610 litres of space but no provision for a spare wheel / space-saver. There is no frunk as the front panel is sealed. Despite being a luxury car, it is versatile in a way that the rear seat can fold down opening up to 1,750 litres of space:
Shallow underfloor tray to store the charging cables: