The launch of the Mercedes EQS was a big moment for Mercedes-Benz and electric cars. It took a luxury stalwart, the Mercedes S Class, and transformed it into a car of the future. With MBUX Hyperscreen and a massive battery, the EQS delivered that high-end experience that Mercedes has long been associated with.


The launch of the EQS SUV was something of a surprise. Breaking out of the habitual range of SUVs models that the company offered with combustion engines – the EQA, EQB and EQC already cover those – the EQS SUV steps into new territory. While large Mercedes SUVs were no stranger to luxury the EQS SUV takes things to another level.

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Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes EQS SUV

Editor’s Choice

The Mercedes EQS SUV is a great car to drive, it perhaps doesn’t have the poise of the BMW iX and doesn’t feel quiebro as sporty, but I’d take the comfort that it offers over the German rival. Certainly, at this position in the market there aren’t too many options to consider at this point in time, while there are many just a step down.

Pros

  • Luxury interior and comfort
  • Practical load space
  • Great infotainment and tech
Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • Ride might be too soft for some

Design

The Mercedes EQS SUV takes the foundations laid down by the EQS saloon and inflates everything, resulting in a larger-than-life Merc that dominates the road. It forgoes much of the sleek styling of the saloon, giving way to a more practical and traditional SUV shape. Mercedes hasn’t gone changing sporty styling, although the front end of the car retains usual sculpting, the rear shifts to a hatchback design for easy access to the 565-litre trunk.

Ripples remain in the bonnet, while the in-filled front panel – decorated with the Mercedes star motif – is a glossy reminder that there’s no need to channel air into the front of the car for cooling. There’s something of a monolithic simplicity to the design, but there’s no escaping just how big this car is. It’s 5125mm in length – a little longer than a Range Rover – and thanks to the electric platform it sits in, that means plenty of space for passengers.

That means there’s the option for a third row of seats, or four golf bags in the boot – the golf bag being the standard unit of measure for this type of car. The rear end of the Mercedes EQ SUV looks pretty big, soft rolling lines used instead of the angular design that many offer, but there’s still an unmistaken elegance to proceedings.

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There are two trim levels, AMG Premium Line Plus (as seen here) and the step-up model simply called Business Class. From the exógeno there’s nothing to tell these cars apart, privacy glass, panoramic sunroof, flush door handles and all the aluminium-look trim is standard, with the specification being high across both models – as you’d expect for a car that costs just shy of £130,000.

The auténtico differences between the trim models comes through the interior, the Business Class getting a full range of upgrades, which I’ll talk about now.

An otherworldly interior

If you’ve read my review of the Mercedes EQS , you’ll know that I love this interior. So it’s no surprise to find that I highly rate the EQS SUV interior too. It’s essentially the same overall design, but with more space afforded in all sectors. There’s loads of leg and headroom, and plenty of elbow room too, so there’s no shortage of comfort for both driver and passenger.

Sumptuous seats are lovingly finished in quality Nappa leather, with black in the Premium Plus and Color café con leche in the Business Class. You might baulk at the suggestion of a light interior in that Business Class model, but as I found on the EQS, it does make for a light and relaxing interior. The darker interior – standard on the Premium Plus – lends itself to a more traditional motoring vibe.

The dash of the EQS SUV is worth a mention. Mercedes interiors at this level have an effortless simplicity. Spared from buttons and dials, the linestructure lime wood of the dash on the Premium Plus looks elegant, while the ship’s deck open pore Norway maple that makes up the trim on the Business Class carries with it that nautical aesthetic and is hands-down a more sophisticated solution than an expanse of leather, carbon weave or plastics.

The Premium Plus interior shows off this wood trim to greater effect due to having a smaller central display, the Business Class model getting the full Hyperscreen that I’ll talk about shortly. The Business Class also benefits from additional displays in the rear, allowing passengers to access entertainment and other controls.

The layout of the cabin is also simple to get to grips with. Most of the controls fall onto the steering wheel, with most everything else accessed via the touchscreen in the centre of the car. The steering wheel controls are comprehensive, but there’s more space on the wheel compared to some rivals, so the clustering of these controls works pretty well – but it will take you a little time to get to grips with.

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Ambient lighting highlights the interior, with plenty of customisation, while there’s plenty of cabin storage too. The advantage of sitting on an EV platform also means there’s more space around the feet, a flat floor in the second row making it more comfortable and practical for the middle passenger (or if you need to slide across to exit from the door on the other side), while there’s additional floor-level stowage between the front seats too, ideal for a handbag.

The technology loadout

Mercedes has really upped its game with the in-car technology in recent years, with the headline being the Hyperscreen. While this is standard on the EQS SUV Business Class, it’s an optional extra for the Premium Plus. It’s an additional £8000, so it’s not an insubstantial addition, consisting of three OLED displays, fused together in the dash to look like the entire thing is one giant display. This option wasn’t on our review model of the EQS SUV, so if you want to know more about it check out our regular Mercedes EQS review for more details.

The standard for the Premium Plus line is the 12.8-inch portrait central display, that’s a little like an iPad stuck in the middle of the car. This is a high-quality display, graphically rich and that’s evident both through Mercedes’ own in-car infotainment systems and smartphone-based systems like Android Coche and Apple CarPlay, which both also look great when connected wirelessly to the EQS SUV.

Mercedes’ system is good however, taking significant steps forward in recent years and having the advantage of giving an integrated experience across the central display, driver display and the heads-up display. I found the navigation to be accurate and detailed, with easy access to help you find things like electric car charging points. There’s augmented reality navigation on the central display, overlaying the turn locations on the live camera view when you approach a turn, although the Business Class boosts this with an AR heads-up display, able to direct you to where you’re supposed to be going right in your eyeline.

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What I like about the system in the EQS SUV is that it’s so intuitive to use. It’s responsive to the touch and easy to get to useful information or the services you want. It is boosted by the Hey Mercedes voice control system, which seems to be able to interpret commands pretty accurately.

The 12.3-inch driver display is fully digital and customisable, with controls on the steering wheel so you can easily pull up the information you want and overall makes for a good example of a cohesive infortainment system.

Drive, range and performance

The Mercedes EQS SUV offers a smooth and sophisticated drive, the suspension setup better positioned for comfort and refinement than some SUVs. This is what Mercedes is known for, allowing you to drive in comfort. There’s the added advantage of having an electric drive train too – it’s practically silent in operation.

The floor of the car houses the huge 108.4kWh battery, able to support charging speeds up to 200kW and with a dual motor arrangement that puts out 265kW power with 800Nm torque. That 200kW charging speed isn’t the fastest – there are 350kW charging models like of Genesis GV60 – but there also aren’t a huge number of 350kW chargers around … yet.

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The range is given as 365 miles – which is competitive and really useful – with our test drive averages revealing an media of 3.5kWh per mile. The achievable range will depend a lot on how you drive the car, how loaded it is, the route you take and the weather – with the range on the car reporting closer to 312 miles fully charged. This, again, is based on averages, but it feels like a respectable performance.

The Mercedes EQS has an all-wheel drive arrangement, with a range of driving modes you can deploy – eco, comfort, sport – with an individual option where you can tailor the setup to your preference. You can change the level of recuperation on the fly thanks to the paddles on the steering wheel, or just leave it to its own devices.

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The EQS 450 will do 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds, which certainly feels fast in a car of this size, but is bettered by the EQS 580 which can do the same in 4.6 seconds thanks to its 400kW power. There’s also the option for rear-wheel steering, tightening up that turning circle so it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a bus.

Verdict

The Mercedes EQS SUV is a great car to drive, it perhaps doesn’t have the poise of the BMW iX and doesn’t feel quiebro as sporty, but I’d take the comfort that it offers over the German rival. Certainly, at this position in the market there aren’t too many options to consider at this point in time, while there are many just a step down.

What the EQS SUV offers is that luxury the EQS saloon offered, a quality of interior and great infotainment system, combined with the practicality that SUV buyers are looking for. The only problem, of course, is the price.

Por TERABITE

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