Last year the Mercedes-Benz S-Class took home Wards 10 Best UX and Interiors hardware for being a multi-sensory feast, so it’s no wonder its all-electric cousin, the Mercedes-Benz EQS, is in the winner’s circle this year.
Our 2022 EQS 580, priced at $135,000, sets the bar extremely high for flagship battery-electric-vehicle interiors and in-vehicle technologies. And while it’s a visual extravaganza, it remains a functional and comfortable cabin, too.
Climbing inside the EQS reveals an attractive and smooth “Biscaya Blue” Nappa leather with taupe stitching covering doors and the instrument panel. The way the upper doors and upper instrument panel meld to create one continuous curve is a thing of beauty.
Also beautiful are aluminum vents and speaker grates, and matte-walnut wood trim with aluminum lines embedded in the wood.
Soothing light ivory covers the lower cabin, contrasting the blue and offsetting huge, high-res display screens and bold ambient lighting that creates Vegas-like bright illumination.
Comfort comes in the form of front seats that offer a menu of massages and head restraints with pillows – a feature we think every vehicle should offer. The EQS’s enormous rear seat, big enough for Shaq, raises the comfort quotient for backseat passengers.
Features helping the EQS score high on user-experience measures include quick and easy phone pairing and access to wireless Apple CarPlay. There also are natural conversational responses to the now-famous “Hey Mercedes” command and a head-up display with industry-benchmark augmented reality.
The 55-in. (141-cm) MBUX Hyperscreen, nearly seamlessly merging three display screens into one, is a showstopper, with judge Dave Zoia liking the touch-sensitive nature of the 17.7-in. (45-cm) central display. The cover glass of the display screen, thanks to actuators, vibrates and pulses with the touch of a fingertip.
Like the S-Class, the EQS has Energizing Comfort programs, an immersive experience pairing visualizations with specific audio and HVAC settings to match various moods.
A Power Nap mode is available for rest stops, helping a driver relax and recharge. Upon activating it, side windows and blinds close, the driver’s seat reclines, soothing sounds are played on the audio system and a starry night is depicted on the central display screen. For the wake-up phase, the EQS pipes fragrance into the cabin, subtly massages the driver while ventilating his or her seat and opens the shades. The suite of programs is stunning and unmatched in the auto industry.
“The Mercedes EQS is the benchmark for ultra-premium BEV interiors –competitors would be wise not to try to imitate it,” says judge Drew Winter.
Summarizes judge Bob Gritzinger: “This vehicle is futuristic, but functional in every way.”