I also don’t like the fact the EQS’s voice assistant only has a female voice. Why not a male or gender neutral one? I asked Mercedes why this was the case and they had no official answer. This is not good enough in 2022. Even though the car industry is still comparatively very male, it should have moved on from the general conception that such a servile device would automatically sound like a woman.
After time the car does supposedly learn your habits, such as if you call someone at certain times, what sort of seat heating you usually like, etc. But there are some niggles here too. The seat heating automatically turns on the steering wheel heating as well. You have to dig down deep into the menus to find the toggle to turn this off, and all for the lack of a dedicated button.
There are considerable bright spots, too, of course. Aside from the exemplary ride and build quality, the interior is plush in the extreme and a very comfortable space to be in for hours at a time. The AR satnav that combines with the car cameras to overlay navigation info on your real-world situation is the best I have used yet, with also the largest and clearest HUD. The super-bright digital headlights have 1.3-m pixels—the same as a cinema projector. You can have Level 3 autonomy built-in, should you wish, but Germany will likely get this Drive Pilot system first. The top-spec Burmester stereo system is indecently loud and very, very good indeed.
I like the fact you cannot open the bonnet even if you wanted to. I mean, are you really going to try to service what is effectively a giant computer on wheels? All you get is a flap behind the front wheel that gives access to top up fluids. The boot is genuinely cavernous. It can manage 610 liters of cargo, or 1,770 with the rear seats folded. You could, in fact, sleep in there when the seats are down.
What Mercedes has here with its first electric car to have a proper EV architecture, rather than a converted combustion platform, is an exciting look at how good its battery-powered vehicles could be once its engineers get over the initial excitement of what is possible in an EV and start concentrating on what is actually beneficial.
For much of the time in the EQS, I almost felt as if the car was trying to show off. And what it can do is very clever, but it also makes a few missteps along the way that it needn’t have done. If you’re looking for a oneupmanship Uber-limo that can best all-comers on the gadgetry front and wears its tech on its sleeve, the EQS is for you. But for the money, and it’s a considerable outlay, I would prefer something a little more understated, and a touch more grown up. Now, you’ll have to excuse me as the EQS has just finished washing my underpants.