Suspend your prejudices for a moment: whatever you expect from the photos, trust me, your eyes will be on stalks not long after you stride up to the EQS, pause as its door automatically pops open upon sensing your approach and your bum hits the gloriously - and appropriately - luxurious seat.
Is. That. For. Real? Measuring 141cm from left to right, it’s the Hyperscreen, an optional three-in-one display that arcs across the dashboard in place of two standard (but still large) screens. If wow factor is your defining requirement of a car, buy this one. Captain Kirk would pass out from all the excitement.
But, alas, there is a crucial yang to the ying delivered by its sheer scale. While it's relatively intuitive to use at a standstill, we found it better to use Mercedes’ impressively effective voice control than our fingers, both to avoid taking your eyes off the road and to avoid leaving greasy evidence of your hit and miss efforts. Experience would no doubt help. What's more, even on this greyest of days, there were also enough occasionally distracting reflections to make us pause to yearn for simpler times.
So it is that the abiding impression of real substance left by the EQS is instead just how capable it is on the road. It has prodigious pace, even in this lower-powered form, delivers impressive poise and control, despite its near 2.5-tonne weight, and has a mind-boggling, if likely slightly optimistic, official 484 miles of range, boosted by its slippery shape – reputedly the most aerodynamic ever to feature on a production car. A 10-80% rapid charge can be done in as little as 30 minutes, although a more common 50kW charger will take about an hour-and-a-half.
All of this is, of course, delivered in near silence, bar some wind noise at higher speed, and in ultimate comfort (the supportive, massaging seats and loads of space all round stand out). It's also impressively agile, with rear-wheel steering boosting its manoeuvrability at low speed and stability at higher speeds. In these respects, it's immersively and seductively luxurious.
However, the EQS can’t altogether defy physics. While the direct, impressively feelsome steering does much to disguise this big car’s dimensions and the body control is sublime on all but the most pockmarked roads, some of the UK’s bigger, more repetitive bumps simply can’t be flattened, while the tyres run out of grip rather earlier than you might find in a regular S-Class if you enter a corner or roundabout too eagerly.