The EQS injects true luxury into the world of electric vehicles. Mercedes swings big with the EQS electric vehicle that’s billed as the eventual successor to the ultra-posh S-Class sedan, with a fully electric powertrain and a futuristic interior. Rivals at this level of electric luxury and price are few, and include the Lucid Air and the Tesla Model S.
Everything is new for this all-new model, starting with its platform. The EQS rides on the Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA), which will underpin many of the forthcoming EQ electric vehicles from Mercedes. What’s on top of that is eye-catching, mostly because of its shape. Mercedes started with the goal of a 0.20 coefficient of drag, the lowest of any production car, and designed the exterior around that goal. Wheels range from 20- to 21-inches in a wide array of futuristic designs.
It depends on where you’re seeing it from. The EQS’ exterior looks a bit awkward at first. At 205.4 inches long, it’s about 3.0 inches shorter than the S-Class but looks significantly shorter to the eye thanks to its shape and tiny overhangs. Its shape will be divisive. The teardrop profile was a necessity to hit the aerodynamic numbers that Mercedes wanted, but it doesn’t have the stateliness the S-Class does.
The all-electric EQS uses the same 107.8-kwh battery pack in each of its variants, but it powers a different number of motors. The RWD 450+ features a single 245-kw rear-mounted motor that provides 329-hp and 419 lb-ft of torque, and power just escalates from there The EQS’s straight-line performance and excellent ride quality. The 580 and AMG models add a front-mounted 140-kw motor to give them AWD, and that extra motor gives it a much higher total output in both models.
While the single motor in the EQS 450+ unlocks a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds, the extra motor in the 580 ups output to 516-hp and 631 lb-ft while dropping the 0-60 mph time to 4.1 seconds. The AMG EQS model has 650 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, and a Race Start mode ups that to 751 hp and 752 lb-ft for short stretches to cut the 0-60 mph time to 3.4 seconds. The difference off the line can also be felt while passing. The 450+ starts to run out of steam at above 75 mph, while the two-motor models are far more confident at highway speeds.
The EQS doesn’t compete with Tesla’s gaudy acceleration times (though the EQS is still lightning quick), but that matches its character. The ultra-luxurious feel of the car makes you drive it in a smoother fashion, but it never feels slow (with either powertrain) and the EQS is still instantly responsive as is the case in other EVs.
Where the EQS excels is ride quality, which is impeccable. An air suspension with adaptive dampers comes standard and helps the EQS glide over the road, dismissing bumps and road seams without a care. Rear-axle steering is also standard; it can turn the rear wheels by 10 degrees (9 degrees in the EQS) opposite the fronts at speeds under 37 mph and gives the big sedan a compact-car-sized turning circle of only 35.8 feet. It’s surprisingly easy to park and maneuver the EQS in tight urban spaces.
The AMG model gets dampers from the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, stiffer stabilizer bars, and beefier front subframe to go with stronger control arms and wheel carriers. The stiffer structure and firmer suspension tuning make the car feel more tied down to the road and better control the slightly wobbly feel of the other models. Its ride, however, remains buttery smooth.
There are four different regenerative braking levels, but none that offer a true one-pedal driving experience. With the regen turned up however, the setting does something weird to the brake pedal. The amount of regen that the EQS is using moves the brake pedal down by an equal amount, so you reach for the brake with your foot and find air.
The EQS tops out at 350 miles of estimated range. While the EQS’s EPA ratings may not have reached the lofty estimates that were first rumored, it still earns a perfect 10 on our Green rating. The EQS 450+ with rear-wheel drive gets 350 miles of range, while the heavier, 580 with AWD comes in slightly behind that at 340 miles. The EQS has yet to be rated, but it’s expected to have just under 300 miles of range.
The EQS can quick charge at up to 200 kw on a DC fast charger, which can bump the battery up from 10-80% in just over 30 minutes. Mercedes is seeking to simplify the charging experience by routing all of the different charging networks through one single account, powered by ChargePoint. Additionally, Mercedes has a collaboration with Electrify America to provide owners an unlimited number of 30-minute charge sessions on its network for the first two years of ownership (after that it will charge the rack rate). Plug-and-charge capability is also offered on the Electrify America network.
The EQS has not been crash tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, so this rating may change in the future. EQS comes standard with Mercedes’ entire suite of active and passive driver assistance systems. That includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, a surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitors with steering assist, and even obstacle detection for the doors.
Once inside the EQS, how the exterior looks doesn’t really matter because the interior is an absolute gem. With the Hyperscreen equipped, the dashboard is unlike any other vehicle out there with that single pane of glass and the three screens making for an unrivaled futuristic showpiece. Ambient lighting piped in under each tuck and crease in the interior contributes to the screen’s ample glow. It feels like the S-Class has jumped a decade into the future.
The EQS’ luxury bona fides are not in question. A pair of remarkably comfortable front seats, large cargo area, and whisper quiet interior set it apart from everything else except for its S-Class stablemate. The front seats come with heating and cooling standard, with available massage functions as well. Calling them seats sells them short, these are pillowy thrones that swallow you up and make you feel regal. Materials are fantastic; each touchpoint is finely crafted and soft fabrics cocoon the whole interior.
Removing the gas engine from the equation makes the EQS even quieter and more serene inside than the S-Class. The car can make some artificial powertrain noises but if you shut those off, it’s hard to tell how fast the car is moving or what’s happening in the outside world. Conversations with rear passengers can be had at barely above a whisper.
Where the EQS falls short of the S-Class is its backseat, which feels less spacious thanks to the dipping roofline and a higher floor that lifts the back of the legs off of the seat bottom. It’s more comfortable than 99% of cars out there, but that 1% is what makes it an S-Class. The EQS doesn’t quite make it there as a car to be driven in. The rear seats do offer heating and cooling, but the S-Class’ rear accommodations are on a different level.
The “base” 450+ comes with a 12.8-inch portrait style touchscreen and a 12.3-inch display for the driver, but the real star is the available Hyperscreen. A 56-inch single pane of glass covers an additional 12.3-inch display for the passenger and a 17.7-inch touchscreen in the middle that serves as the car’s hub. This large screen is used to control everything, from the climate, to various seat/comfort functions, and navigation. It’s remarkably sharp and clear, even in bright sunlight (though reflections off the glass can be piercing as well).
Standard EQS features include heated and cooled front seats, a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, a Burmester sound system, and Mercedes’ various active safety features. Both the 450+ and 580 are offered in Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle feature levels. If you don’t need AWD, it’s easy to save a bunch of money and go for the 450+. Even in Pinnacle form ($109,560) it’s still about $10,000 cheaper than the cheapest 580. The Hyperscreen is standard on the 580, but available on the 450+.
At $148,500, the AMGEQS is the most expensive model. In addition to unique dampers and more power, it features front sport seats upholstered leatherette and microfiber and adorned with red stitching, a chunky AMG steering wheel, AMG-specific information for the Hyperscreen that show performance information, a front splitter, gloss black side sills, a rear diffuser, and 21-inch wheels.
The EQS comes with a basic and powertrain warranties of 4-years/50,000, without any scheduled maintenance. However, the battery pack gets its own robust 10-year/155,000 mile warranty with a remaining capacity of 70% is guaranteed.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is impressive, purely for what Mercedes has been able to achieve. While Mercedes is somewhat new to electric vehicles, they have definitely hit the ground running with numerous new models about hit the market. Over 100 years of pedigree pays dividends as the new 2022 EQS is a pinnacle of automotive EV engineering. The new EQS is one of those stunning vehicles that does everything well; cutting edge technology, efficient powerful powertrains, and driving dynamics that usher in the next generation of electric vehicles.