The new Mercedes EQS SUV is a true luxury car and is packed full of clever tech, but it comes at a price

Verdict

The new Mercedes EQS SUV is an extraordinary luxury car. It’s imposing, quiet, refined, full of clever tech and premium features. It’s a great cruiser and offers a truly cavernous interior. But at this price you want a car that can do it all, and at times the EQS off-roader feels like it lacks the talent in some areas that a car like this needs to be impenetrable. We’d wait for the forthcoming all-electric Range Rover.

The Mercedes EQS SUV is arguably one of the most exorbitant and ostentatious new cars of 2022. Not without merit – and we’ll come to that in a moment – it launches just as the country prepares for what looks to be the most significant cost of living crisis in a generation.

But to dismiss it as a fancy, frivolous and irrelevant stagecoach for the world’s super-rich would be unfair. Mercedes’ very own S-Class has always been seen as a springboard for new technology, and the EQS is no different. Kit trialled here will filter down to more affordable models in time.

Take it at face value and the numbers – price aside – are compelling. A huge 120kWh (108.4kWh usable) battery that is good for, Mercedes says, 379 miles of range. Speaking of charging, the EQS can replenish its cells at speeds of up to 200kW – all without the even more expensive 800-volt electrics that underpin cars like the Porsche Taycan and Kia EV6. Or looking at it another way, at this level of the market, maybe that should be standard?

Either way, it means a 10-80 per cent charge takes just 31 minutes. There’s a caveat, of course; tipping the scales at more than 2.7 tonnes, the EQS SUV isn’t particularly efficient. Mercedes claims between 2.5 and 3.0miles per kWh, though in reality we saw figures at the lower end of that range. Still, that should be enough for 250-270 miles without too much cause for concern.

Then there’s the cabin – even without the circa-£8,000 Hyperscreen (exact specifications have yet to be confirmed) – the EQS represents the very best of Mercedes craftsmanship. It feels genuinely luxurious, from the woods, leathers and metals used to trim the centre console, to the armchair-like seats and pillow-soft headrests. No corners have been cut when it comes to fitting out the brand’s flagship SUV.

large suvs, suvs, electric cars, luxury cars

It’s the set-up you see in these pictures that we’d actually recommend. Sure, the three-screen layout is the EQS’s party piece, but few will ever truly utilise the myriad functions – and the passenger display feels like little more than a gimmick. The standard two-screen set-up will save you thousands, and it’s still full of trick features, while also being responsive and relatively intuitive to use.

But luxury can’t simply be defined by the materials used or the number of screens offered. A car’s high-end feel runs deeper than that, and the thing that makes the EQS appear more premium than any of its rivals is refinement. The EQS SUV, despite its size, bulk, and bluff front end, is unquestionably one of the quietest cars we’ve ever driven.

At 70mph, the cabin is all but completely silent. Even on 22-inch wheels, there is very little road noise. Wind noise isn’t noticeable until you approach three-figure speeds, and the ride – save for the odd sharp jolt or pothole – is sublime. Comfort is what the EQS SUV does best.

That’s true in both the front and middle rows of seats. You get a commanding driving position, and where the EQS saloon loses out on headroom in the rear, the SUV’s taller roofline offers rear-seat occupants all the space they could ever wish for. Sitting three abreast should be no trouble at all.

The EQS will be sold exclusively with seven seats here in the UK, though the 450-badged test model we tried was fitted with the five-seat configuration offered in other markets. We did manage to take a seat in the third-row of another car, however, and while space is more generous than in, say, a Tesla Model X, it’s still best reserved for children or smaller adults. Fit and finish, even in the rearmost row, remains immaculate.

large suvs, suvs, electric cars, luxury cars

Boot space is generous too – as it should be for something measuring 5,125mm nose to tail. There’s 565 litres with the very back seats folded flat, expanding to 2,020 litres all told. That’s significantly more than you’ll get in an Audi e-tron.

Given the EQS SUV’s strong refinement and supple ride, it’ll come as no surprise that this is a fantastic long-distance cruiser. The quiet cabin, teamed with all the standard-fit safety and driver assistance tech, gives the EQS perfect motorway manners.

Those who want to experience the any-speed instant torque often associated with high-power EVs might want to take a look at the top-spec EQS 580. The 355bhp 450 4MATIC is brisk from a standstill, but performance tails off at higher speeds. It’s still capable of quick overtakes, but it won’t pin you to your seat like the range-topper will.

Yet whereas it’s easy enough to disguise the car’s weight while going in a straight line, it’s not so simple through the corners. And actually, the way this car handles is all the more impressive because of that. Indeed, the EQS SUV trims a neat line – without too much in the way of pitch or body roll.

It’s just never that exciting. At upwards of £100k, you almost want a car that can do it all. Luxury, practicality – even fun, should the mood dictate. But the EQS SUV feels numb for the most part, in a way a BMW iX does not.

large suvs, suvs, electric cars, luxury cars

In fact it’s that car that really shows the EQS’s failings. Even fully-loaded, BMW’s iX xDrive50 undercuts the Merc by almost £20,000 – and it’ll match it for luxury, range and charging tech. Yes, the iX only has five seats, but if this isn’t an issue for you, then it’s a far superior car to drive.

What’s more, Mercedes still hasn’t mastered the art of regenerative braking. The EQS gets an adjustable set-up, and while the most aggressive mode isn’t quite strong enough for one-pedal driving – unlike in the smaller EQA and EQC, oddly enough – it’s the brake feel in conjunction with the regen system that sets the most significant alarm bells ringing. At times, the left pedal gives the sensation it’s being pulled away from your right foot, as the car struggles to juggle the two systems seamlessly.

One area where the brakes did impress though, was on a short but challenging off-road route. The EQS’s dedicated Off-Road mode and clever Downhill Speed Regulation (DRS) system manages to control descents in complete silence. Few owners will ever use it, but it bodes well for the forthcoming EQG electric G-Class.

We’ll have to wait a little longer for full transparency on EQS SUV prices and specs, but taking the EQS saloon as a benchmark, it’s likely UK buyers will get a choice of Luxury and AMG Line trims, plus the usual Premium and Premium Plus packs – with the more expensive models adding items such as bigger wheels, a 360-degree camera, a Burmester sound system and a head-up display.

One option box worth ticking will be the 10-degree (4.5 degrees as standard) rear-wheel steering system, which reduces the SUV’s turning circle to that of a Volkswagen Golf. The ability to turn so tightly is a little disconcerting at first, but when a car is this big and near-impossible to park, every little helps.

Model: Mercedes EQS 450 4MATIC
Price: £130,000 (est)
Engine: 108.4kWh battery, 2x e-motors
Power/torque: 355bhp/800Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive
0-62mph: 6.0 seconds
Top speed: 130mph
Range: 379 miles
Charging: 200kW, 10-80% in 31 mins
On sale: October

Next Steps

Find a dealer

TECH NEWS RELATED

2023 Ford Ranger Scores 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating

The next-generation Ford Ranger joins the Isuzu D-Max/Mazda BT-50 twins in getting a coveted perfect 5-star safety rating in the European New Car Assessment Program or Euro NCAP. Considered as the one of toughest to ace globally among safety tests, the Euro NCAP has exacting standards, especially when it ...

View more: 2023 Ford Ranger Scores 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating

An Acclaimed Animation Studio Could Be Taking One-Punch Man Season 3 From Zero to Hero

For the last three years, the series has laid dormant. However, a popular anime news leaker seems to suggest anime giant MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen) might be the currently unknown animation studio brought on for the third season. Despite a truly awesome ...

View more: An Acclaimed Animation Studio Could Be Taking One-Punch Man Season 3 From Zero to Hero

Where's our Warrior? The latest on the most hardcore Patrol ever as Nissan takes aim at the Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport

The Nissan Patrol Warrior is coming soon (image credit: Thanos Pappas) Work on Nissan’s first-ever Patrol Warrior continues, with the brand to finally launch the home-grown hero variant in 2023. And in good news for those already in the queue for the regular version of Nissan’s Toyota LandCruiser 300 ...

View more: Where's our Warrior? The latest on the most hardcore Patrol ever as Nissan takes aim at the Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport

Wordle is the most searched word in Google and even made it to Malaysia's top 10 list

As we move towards the end of 2022, Google just released its annual Year in Search 2022 results. Not only is it available globally, but each country gets its own top 10 lists as well. Before we show you Malaysia’s top searches in Google, you would be surprised to ...

View more: Wordle is the most searched word in Google and even made it to Malaysia's top 10 list

Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept: Everything We Know

Our exclusive rendering based on official teaser images shows how the electric truck might look.

View more: Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept: Everything We Know

Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen among featured designers in new Peterson Museum auto design course 

Franz von Holzhausen, the chief designer at Tesla, is among several featured designers guiding an online automotive course launched by the Petersen Automotive Museum and Yellowbrick, which focuses on online education and career exploration. The course Auto Design & Sketching is self-paced featuring three modules: Design Principles & History ...

View more: Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen among featured designers in new Peterson Museum auto design course 

The New Integra Is Killer, But the Type S Could Topple a Kia Stinger

The new Acura Integra adds modern sports sedan credentials to the beloved namesake. Better yet, Honda announced that the new Acura Integra would boast a Type S model. The Type S promises to be more powerful and sharper than its 200-horsepower base model, but can it go toe-to-toe with other ...

View more: The New Integra Is Killer, But the Type S Could Topple a Kia Stinger

iCloud backups will now be end-to-end encrypted

Apple has just made a couple of significant security announcements. The most noteworthy is that iCloud backups will now be end-to-end encrypted. This is part of a larger security initiatives that Apple is calling Advanced Data Protection which will see the number of data categories being end-to-end encrypted rising ...

View more: iCloud backups will now be end-to-end encrypted

New solar powered car can travel up to 60km on sunshine alone

Out now: Summer 2022 issue of 4X4 Australia

10 Sensors You Can Use With an Arduino Board

Huawei Watch D Price in Malaysia & Specs

McLaren Headphones From Bowers & Wilkins Offer Supercar Beats For $799

The Best Action-Adventure Game of 2022: Nominees

The Best Performance in a Game in 2022: Nominees

Owner Review: Sweet and Grit, My 2007 Mercedes C200

Waka Kotahi trial using more invasive road safety cameras snaps nearly 200,000 offences

Subtle art: Brad McGill's 1968 bumpside F100

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X review

This 2023 Pickup Truck Won an Environmentally Friendly Award Without Being an EV

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News