• Mercedes EQS OTA Updates – Literally Everything That Is Wrong With Cars of the Future

First they’ll charge you six figures for a luxury car, then they’ll nickel and dime you to death for features that should be included

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Not that long ago, the concept of over-the-air updates for cars sounded pretty cool – who wouldn’t want to have the latest and greatest software? It works great for cell phones, right? Well, when it comes to cars, automakers see it as a way of extorting more money out of you, and the new Mercedes EQS is, quite literally, the epitome of that. After paying six figures for a luxury car, should you have to pay another $105 to play Tetris? Or, should you have to pay another $59 for a simple update that makes the car more gentle to drive? Maybe a little more to make sure some Valet can’t go to fast in your new pride and joy? Well, this is the future, it’s only going to get more expensive, and the Mercedes EQS is the epitome of what’s wrong with the future of the automotive industry.

Mercedes EQS – The Car You Keep Paying For

Mercedes EQS OTA Updates – Literally Everything That Is Wrong With Cars of the Future Exterior
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Mercedes caught some negative reaction not that long ago when the world found out it would cost some €489 (about $575) to unlock the 10-degree rear-wheel steering that’s built into the EQS. And, that fee is billed annually. Or, you know, you can pay $1,376 to unlock the feature for three years at a discount. Now, as the EQS launches in Europe, we’re learning that Mercedes is taking things a step further. It’s not just about annual subscriptions for heated seats or navigation, the latter of which might make sense if there’s actually regular updates. This is about frivolous features that just seem crazy – at least in a car that costs well north of $100,000.

Mercedes EQS Customization Package - €89 ($105) Annually

Mercedes EQS OTA Updates – Literally Everything That Is Wrong With Cars of the Future Interior
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In case spending between €106,000 and €136,000 wasn’t enough spending in one day for you, Mercedes will be happy to charge you another €89 for the “Customization Package.”

This package unlocks some interesting lighting animations, the “Roaring Pulse” sound experience in the cabin, and – if you have that option passenger-side screen – the ability to play Tetris or Sudoku along with other games like Shuffle Puck and Pairs.

Mercedes will lure you in with a free 12-month trial, but after that, you’ve got to pay up each year.

Mercedes EQS Beginner Driver Mode and Valet Mode - €50 ($59) Annually

Mercedes EQS OTA Updates – Literally Everything That Is Wrong With Cars of the Future Exterior
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If you don’t think you can handle driving your brand-new, six-figure EQS, Mercedes will be more than happy to charge you another €50 to turn on Beginner Driver Mode. This mode will make it so the “driving characteristics are deliberately more gentle.”

At the same time, the Sport program is turned off and top speed is limited to just 75 mph or 120 km/h. Valet mode, on the other hand, will limit the speed to 50 mph or 80 km/h so that some unruly valet boy can’t take your new six-figure car on too fast of a joy ride.

Again, the €50 is billed annually.

Mercedes Is Trying to Make “Extra Revenue Streams” Sound Good to Consumers

Mercedes EQS OTA Updates – Literally Everything That Is Wrong With Cars of the Future Exterior
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The idea of paying for over-the-air features might make sense in some regard – maybe on cars that fall into the affordable bracket. At the same time, however, it rubs me as asinine that automakers are going to fill new cars full of tech and then simply charge you to use them while at the same time trying to make you feel like it’s a good thing they are generating more revenue. When I see automakers talk about this new form of income all I see is one company or another coming up with a way to extort more money out of you. One could argue that we already pay for options when we choose them anyway, but there’s a big difference – those options actually have to be installed. You want to opt for a navigation package with a larger display, you’re actually getting a different infotainment system. When it comes to the EQS and other new vehicles, your options will be you paying for something that’s already built into the car, and then you’ll pay for it, again and again, year after year.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS specifications
EQS 450+ EQS 580 4MATIC
Max. powertrain output HP 245 385
Max. torque transmission output Lb-ft 406 611
Acceleration 0-60 mph s 5.5 4.1
Top speed Mph 130 130
Battery energy content, usable (WLTP) kWh 107.8 107.8
Charging time10 at wallbox or at public charging station (AC charging, 9.6kW) h   11.25 11.25
Charging time11 at a rapid charging station (DC) min 31 31
DC charging capacity, max. kW 200 200
DC charging in 15 minutes12 (WLTP) km Up to 300 Up to 280
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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