Price: From $102,310 (U.S.); £105,610 (U.K.); £121,990 as tested
Power: up to 751 hp
Battery range: 350 miles
Charging Speed: 200kW
Top Speed: 130mph
0-60: 3.4 seconds
Smarts: MBUX Hyperscreen, ambient lighting, dynamic power delivery
There are already some gorgeous options out there in all-electric vehicle land, especially if you’re in the market for a big, executive-style sedan. The likes of Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron GT are two EVs that immediately spring to mind. Tesla’s Model S is another fine contender, but the new Mercedes Benz EQS takes things to another level.
What we’ve got here is a big and reasonably bulky executive saloon, which blends fantastic design, inside and out, mountains of technology, performance and range combined into one dazzling package. Naturally, this being a masterpiece of German engineering, there is a great driving experience.
Mercedes Benz EQS review: Price and availability
Various trim levels are on offer for prospective EQS buyers, and prices start at $102,310 for the Mercedes Benz EQS 450+ Sedan. Also available is the EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan (from $125,900) and the performance-tuned Mercedes AMG EQS Sedan (from $147,500).
The three cars are available in Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle trims, with each one being more expensive than the last.
In the U.K. prices start at £105,610 for the EQS 450+ AMG Line, which is also available in Premium and Premium Plus trims. The EQS 450+ Luxury starts at £112,610, with a pricier Exclusive Luxury trim on offer for £7,000 more. Finally the performance-heavy Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 is available in two trims, Touring and Night Edition, which both start at £161,860.
The Mercedes EQS is available to order in both regions. U.S. drivers should remember that this car is one of the few still eligible for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, but it won’t stay that way for long. From January 1 price caps are being imposed that will push all EQS models off the eligibility list.
While prices are high, it does feel like you get an awful lot for your money.. Better yet, the Mercedes Benz EQS is the car that keeps on giving, even when you think you’ve seen and heard the best it’s got to offer.
Mercedes Benz EQS review: Design and performance
If you’re into sleek saloons, the Mercedes Benz EQS will tick all of the right boxes. Although it’s a sizable thing at 205.3-inches long and wide too, with a 83.66-inch girth, the sweeping roofline keeps it reasonably low on the road, with a height of 59.5-inches. This is also helped by the way the big 22-inch alloy wheels cut up into the body line of the EQS, though lowlier models of the same car get 20-inch rims.
The outside of the car is as smooth as silk, save for when you’re getting in and out. The door handles pop out gracefully and are illuminated for ease of entry after dark. The Mercedes Benz logo puddle lamps are wonderfully crisp and clear too. Aside from that, the EQS is smooth pretty much all the way around, presumably to aid its aerodynamic performance.
Meanwhile, the interior is where the real magic happens. There are fabulous, full leather seats, with the front feeling like your favorite armchair and the back ones boasting the softest headrests your head will ever touch.
There’s a panoramic sunroof, an awesome Burmester surround-sound audio system and ambient lighting that really pops after dark. This can also be customized to the color of your choice, and can change dynamically. That means your driving atmosphere is akin to being in some kind of spaceship.
Our test car was a Mercedes Benz EQS 450+ AMG Line Premium Plus edition, a European model, which meant that it featured all of these design and trim treats, along with plenty of performance to match. These extras do add to the overall price, but if you can’t do without the likes of a head-up display, remote parking functionality and even a gesture controlled cockpit then it’s worth stumping up the extra cash for.
For a car that weighs almost 5,500 lbs the Mercedes Benz EQS feels more than capable — much of which is down to the 107.8 kWh battery and motor setup. The way the power delivery is managed is also hugely impressive, as is the smart way the car can dynamically adapt to road conditions if you wish. There’s the option to drive it as is, or you can effectively train it to meet the needs of, say, a daily commute with all that entails. The EQS is so smart that it actually learns routes and remembers them for successive journeys.
Mercedes Benz EQS review: The drive
Given the premium price tag and dazzling array of tech and driving aids available in this car, it’s well worth giving yourself a primer before you actually drive the EQS. Drive modes — Eco, Comfort, Sport as well as Individual options, are selected easily enough, with a column mounted shifter allowing you to get into gear.
For reversing duties the 360-degree camera is a boon given the smallish rear window of the car and its overall size. Even parking up close to kerbs frequently requires a button press to deploy the side-view cameras, just to ensure you don’t grind those expensive rims against the concrete.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the cockpit controls though, the EQS turns out to be a breeze to drive. The steering wheel is big, thick and initially you wonder whether it might not be much fun to use. Drive for any amount of distance though and the wheel becomes a joy, as do the seats and general driving position.
You can, of course, move everything electrically to suit your size and preference. The hood does tend to drop away in front of you though, so it’s worth either raising the seat a little more or keeping your 360-camera options to hand if you’re looking to park up close to another vehicle.
Considering its bulk, the Mercedes Benz EQS also turns out to be hugely rewarding to drive at speeds across the spectrum. It’s got the tendency to make you take it easy, simply because the ride is so silky smooth. You can select Sport mode and get some thrills from the drivetrain, and it’ll do 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds — reaching 130 mph should you need to. If you need faster acceleration, the Mercedes AMG EQS 53 model cuts that time down to 3.4 seconds, which makes it one of the fastest electric cars.
However, the real fun aspect of this car is just cruising around at legal limits and enjoying the ride. Four-wheel steering makes the car feel very nimble too, with a turning circle that is impressive given the size of the car.
As amazing as it seems, we actually found it quite hard to get the battery to run down over the course of the four days we had the EQS. Nevertheless, we regularly employed a range of drive settings, including Sport mode, as well as tinkering with all of the tech inside the car.
In Europe the car is rated up to 453 miles, but in the U.S. the EPA testing cycle lowers that number all the way down to 350 miles. Even so, that still makes the EQS one of the longest range electric cars.
The Mercedes Benz EQS can be recharged at speeds up to 200 kW, but find something like a more common 110 kW charger and you can be from 10% to 80% in a respectable 31 minutes.
Mercedes Benz EQS review: Technology
A major part of the appeal with the Mercedes Benz EQS is the technology that comes with it, most notably via the incredible dashboard. Central to this is the way you can personalize everything about the car to suit your own taste and requirements. The same goes for anyone else you might be sharing the car with you, such as your spouse. This is done with an initial sign-up process that lets the car ‘familiarize’ itself with you and other drivers.
So, the first time you get into the car you’ll ideally want to spend some time going through the creation of a Profile. Once you’ve done this, the EQS will recognise you and tailor settings to suit. You’ll even get a greeting when you get in and start the car up or, in another instance, benefit from a polite reminder if you get out of the car and leave your phone behind. It’s all done using a very soothing voice too
There are plenty of options in this respect, with the car able to handle facial recognition, voice recognition and there’s a fingertip panel on the center console if you’d rather sign in using biometrics. It takes a few moments for the car to digest your details, such as inputting samples of your voice, or building up the fingerprint data. However, the process is worth doing if you like having your EQS specifically tailored to your needs and interests.
Once setup, you can revel in the delights offered up by the Hyperscreen; a series of touchscreens that run across the length of the dashboard, including a 12.3-inch driver display and 12.8-inch OLED central screen.
There are seemingly infinite options inside the menus here, with sumptuous graphics and an ease of use that puts many rivals to shame. The passenger side section even has its own area that can be used independently of the main central infotainment area. In front of the driver, there’s another customisable screen, all topped with a tweakable head-up display.
Mercedes Benz EQS review: Verdict
The Mercedes Benz EQS is a real success, especially in the 450+ AMG Line Premium Plus edition we’ve been driving. Thanks to a huge list of interior and exterior features, this is a car that just got better and better, each day we got to drive it. Our time with the EQS might have been relatively short, but it was certainly long enough to leave us with the conclusion that this is one of the best premium EV saloons out there.
There’s so much to like about it. From the aerodynamic exterior curves through to the brilliant interior. Better still, the EQS is a real driver’s car, with plenty of performance and a range of settings that can be tweaked to let you enjoy its charms even more.
And, while this might be an exotic, luxury vehicle and despite the size, it’s also very practical. There are four doors, plus hatchback access to a sizable trunk that can handle 21.5 and 62.5 cubic feet. In that respect, the Mercedes Benz EQS should tick all the boxes for anyone wanting a premium saloon-style highway cruiser. While pricey, it still an exceptionally special car.
Next: Electric cars and winter tires — here’s how they affect your range.