Mercedes EQS review

Mercedes' electric flagship doesn't disappoint when it comes to interior quality or on-board technology, although ride comfort can't quite match that of the traditional S-Class

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Massive range
  • Interior quality
  • Impressive technology

Cons

  • £100,000 starting price
  • Slight firmness to the ride
  • Styling may be too futuristic for some
ModelOfficial rangeHome wallbox chargingRapid charging
EQS 450+453 miles17hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 200kW)
EQS 580 4MATIC*420 miles17hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 200kW)

* Not currently available in UK

Mercedes is embracing the electric future, with plans to introduce an EV in every segment by 2025, before transitioning to an electric-only brand by the end of the decade. To usher in the zero-emissions era, the company has launched what it believes is the ultimate luxury EV: the completely new, designed-from-the-ground-up EQS.

While more variants are expected, there are currently two versions available in the UK: the ‘entry-level’ EQS 450+ gets a single 324bhp electric motor powering the rear wheels only. Then there's the EQS 53 4MATIC+, cooked up by the AMG performance division, with two electric motors (one on each axle) producing 751bhp and 1,020Nm on tap; we’ve reviewed it separately here. There's also a non-AMG EQS 580 4MATIC that produces 516bhp, but it's not currently available to UK buyers.

None of them are Tesla Model S Plaid quick, likely due to weighing between 2.4 and 2.6 tonnes, but the considerable torque of even the 450+ model is enough to surprise. What’s more impressive is the EQS’ range, which is thanks to both a very aerodynamic body and a gigantic 107.8kWh battery. 

The result of a battery that enormous is a Tesla-troubling 453-mile range for the rear-drive 450+ model and around 420 miles for the 580 4MATIC. For reference, the latest Tesla Model S Long Range is capable of just over 400 miles, while only top-spec Porsche Taycan variants can crack 300 miles.

But it’s not just about headline-grabbing figures – what helps the EQS stand out from the rest, including all other modern Mercedes, is its interior. The centrepiece is the 1.41-metre-wide 'Hyperscreen', which is standard in the AMG 53, but a near-£8,000 option on the 450+.

Under a huge single piece of curved glass are three separate screens: a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, another 12.3-inch unit for the front-seat passenger and a 17.7-inch central infotainment screen. It’s exceptional to use, allowing you to operate everything from media and phone connectivity, to seating configurations and driver-assistance systems.

While somewhat overwhelming at first, the system is surprisingly intuitive. And there's no need to worry about getting distracted by the Hyperscreen while on the move, as versions of the EQS fitted with the three-screen system also feature a camera that monitors your attentiveness, so the car will display a warning if it thinks you’re not focused enough on the road or need to take a break.

As you’d expect from Mercedes' electric flagship – and the zero-emissions alternative to the S-Class – the interior features the finest materials money can buy covering every surface you see and touch, and even some you don’t. The cabin is solidly built, and while there's a familiarity to the switchgear, even minute details like those have been upgraded to some degree from what's in Mercedes’ petrol-powered flagship.

Overall, space in the EQS is very generous, but it doesn't have quite as much rear-seat room as the S-Class, due to its shape and low roofline. There's just enough headroom for a six-foot-tall adult to sit comfortably and legroom is no problem whatsoever. There’s loads of space for your feet, too, thanks to the almost completely flat floor, plus you get a 610-litre boot on top of all that.

On the road, the EQS’ rear-axle steering does take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, the optional 10-degree setup on our test car (a 4.5-degree setup is standard) makes the five-metre-long limousine feel incredibly agile and surprisingly nimble, with the light steering further emphasising this sense of agility. 

The EQS’ air suspension, on the other hand, isn’t perfect. Ride comfort is very good 90% of the time and overall this is a very comfortable car, with only deep potholes capable of upsetting its composure. But it also doesn’t provide the cloud-like softness some may want.

Still, the EQS offers unrivalled refinement, and is near-silent at lower speeds, with only a tiny amount of wind noise around the A-pillars manifesting itself once you approach motorway speeds. All of which makes for an incredibly pleasant driving experience – it’s just not the most engaging.

Overall, the EQS is ideal for those who value comfort, luxury and refinement above all, with its huge range and wealth of technology placing it well above its rivals in certain respects. The Porsche Taycan is a better car to drive and a Tesla Model S boasts better charging capability, but neither can match the EQS’ sublime cabin and spacious rear seats. For more on the Mercedes, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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