Mercedes EQS SUV overview
With each month that passes, it seems that Mercedes' electric line-up expands even further, and one of the latest additions to the line-up is the EQS SUV. That's the full name for this new top-spec electric car and it describes perfectly what this car is: the SUV variant of the EQS electric limousine. And that also means it's the electric equivalent of the Mercedes GLS flagship SUV - there's even going to be an ultra-luxury Maybach variant, just like that model.
The EQS SUV uses the same platform as the Mercedes EQS, and that means its running gear is also shared with the slightly smaller EQE saloon and EQE SUV. Hence there's plenty of tech on board and a big 108.4kWh battery for a long range. Notably, the EQS SUV features seven seats.
The high-end electric SUV sector offers some strong competition. The Tesla Model X arguably kick-started the sector, but as of 2023 it's only available new in left-hand drive. Rivals that are more in line with the EQS SUV include the BMW iX and Audi Q8 e-tron, although neither are offered as seven-seaters, while the Volvo EX90 and Lotus Eletre are a couple of premium alternatives that are coming soon.
The Mercedes EQS SUV model range
Irish prices for the Mercedes EQS SUV start from €139,880, so that gives you an indication of its position in the market. This gets you behind the wheel of an EQS 450+ like the car tested here, and this comes with a rear-wheel-drive layout. For an extra €4,265 the EQS 450 comes with 4Matic four-wheel drive, while an extra €11,135 gets you behind the wheel of the EQS 500, which is more powerful than the 450. At the top of the range is the EQS 580 4Matic, which costs €168,265, some €28,385 more than the entry-level EQS 450+.
All versions of the EQS SUV come with a large 108.4kWh battery, so the different badges mean different power outputs. The EQS 450+ and 450 both come with up to 360hp and 800Nm of torque, which means they're good for a 0-100km/h time of six seconds exactly, while WLTP range figures of up to 639km are quoted for the rear-wheel-drive model - the 4Matic can travel up to 602km on a full charge, officially.
The EQS SUV 500 has up to 449hp and 828Nm, so it can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds, while the range figures match those for the EQS 450, with up to 602km under WLTP test conditions.
Meanwhile the EQS 580 has 544hp and 858Nm, and a 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds - seriously quick for a vehicle that weighs 2.8 tonnes - while the range figures are similar to those for the other 4Matic models, with a WLTP maximum of 601km quoted.
Since all models use the same-sized battery, charging speeds are the same for every version. The EQS SUV can accept high-power DC charging, and when plugged into a 200kW source, the battery can be taken from 10-80 per cent capacity in half an hour. A 22kW AC source will be able to take the battery from 10 per cent to a full charge in five and a half hours, but that big battery will take far longer to charge at home - from a 7.4kW power supply it'll take almost 17 hours to fully recharge the battery.
Mercedes offers two trim levels for the EQS SUV - AMG Line and the intriguingly titled Electric Art - that are available with all four powertrains. What's more, they're priced identically, so all you have to do is pick which one you like the look of the most.
All versions of the EQS SUV come with air suspension, keyless entry and starting, a powered tailgate, LED headlights with adaptive main beam and a panoramic sunroof. AC charging up to 11kW and DC charging rated at 200kW is fitted, while the cabin can be preconditioned remotely. Mercedes also fits a radar-based recuperation system, so the car senses the road and traffic ahead and slows the car accordingly, ploughing energy back into the battery in the process.
Both versions of the EQS SUV come with 21-inch wheels, but in different designs, while the main difference between the two models is a slightly more aggressive looking front bumper design for the AMG Line version.
Inside, there are plush materials, a 12.8-inch touchscreen with fingerprint scanner to load your personal settings, plus EQ-specific navigation services and wireless phone charging. Ahead of the driver is a 12.3 high-resolution digital instrument cluster, while choosing the top-spec EQS 580 adds the Hyperscreen layout. This features a vast 17.7-inch central OLED display, while the passenger gets a 12.3-inch screen ahead of them. Also included is augmented reality 3D navigation, which makes for a hi-tech feel. While it's standard on the EQS 580, it's a €12,212 option on other models in the range.
As with the exterior, the differences between AMG Line and Electric Art are subtle. Both feature heated seats front and rear, multi-colour LED ambient lighting and swathes of synthetic leather across most of the dashboard and doors. The big difference is that AMG Line models feature sports seats and open-pore lime wood trim for the dashboard, while Electric Art cars have comfort seats and fine black trim instead.
Mercedes also offers upgrade packs that bundle lots of extras together. The €7,929 Advanced Plus package adds active ambient lighting, park assist with 360-degree cameras, digital projector multi-LED lights and the Driving Assistance Package Plus, which offers a higher level of autonomous driving.
The €13,136 Premium package comes with all that plus a Burmester sound system, head-up display, automatic climate control, a panoramic sliding roof and MBUX interior assistant, while the €13,646 Premium Plus package adds leather trim and projected Mercedes logos around the car.
The Mercedes EQS SUV interior
From the outside, there doesn't seem to be much difference in appearance between the EQS SUV and the smaller EQE SUV. However, at 5,125mm the EQS is 262mm longer than the EQE SUV, and it's 17mm wider, too, so there's more cabin space on offer.
Our Electric Art test car didn't come with the Hyperscreen layout, but it still looked stunning, and the large expanse of black plastic running across the passenger side of the dashboard didn't detract from its appeal. There are other finishes available.
The big touchscreen has all the functionality you could possibly need, and comes with the high-resolution graphics that are familiar from all of Mercedes' most recent models. The MBUX user interface is easy to get along with, although the touch-sensitive controls on the double-spokes of the steering wheel do take some getting used to.
Cabin quality is first rate, too. There are lots of plush materials used throughout, from the artificial leather on the top of the dashboard - Mercedes's Artico trim is an excellent substitute for real leather - to the comfortable seats, soft-touch plastics and metal air vents.
Access to the interior is simple enough, although the running boards seem like an unnecessary addition since the EQS SUV sits low enough that they're not needed.
One of the main differences between the EQS SUV and the smaller EQE SUV is that the former comes with a seven-seat layout. Access to the rearmost row is via the middle row, which all adjusts electrically.
Space in that rearmost row is best suited to kids. You can fit adults in there at a push, but the middle-row occupants will have to compromise legroom for adults to get comfortable in the back. At least the floor is completely flat courtesy of the car's electric powertrain.
When the rearmost row isn't in use, there's a vast 645-litre boot on offer, making this a practical luxury car, as well as a hugely comfortable one.
Cabin storage elsewhere is similar to that of the EQE SUV, with a flip-up lid on the centre console opening to reveal the phone charging pad and cup holders, while the large, soft armrest features a deep storage bin beneath it, too. There's no glovebox, thanks to the need to make space for the Hyperscreen set-up, but the door bins are deep to compensate.
The Mercedes EQS SUV driving experience
Backing up the highly luxurious interior is a serene driving experience. Standard air suspension sets the tone for the EQS SUV as it allows for an incredibly comfortable ride. Sure, you can change the driving mode for firmer damping, but that really isn't what this car is about. Indeed, it handles a sequence of tight corners quite well given its considerable weight and size with solid body control and decent steering, but it's more at home being driven in a relaxed manner.
Do that and you'll notice the lack of wind roar over the aerodynamic body, the lack of tyre and road noise though the chassis and the utterly silent electric powertrain. It certainly lives up to comparison with the Mercedes S-Class, for example, which is high praise indeed.
In terms of efficiency, we averaged very close to the official energy consumption figure, regularly seeing better than 19kWh/100km and, even with motorway use this EQS SUV should cover well over 500km on a full charge.
Our verdict on the Mercedes EQS SUV
Thanks to understated exterior design the EQS SUV doesn't shout about its place in the Mercedes hierarchy, but it takes mere moments in the cabin to realise that this is a serious luxury car. Other models in the line-up convey this feeling, too, but the EQS SUV adds space and practicality to the equation, making it a more attractive option than the Mercedes EQS saloon if passengers are to be carried regularly. What's more, it's one of the few seven-seat electric cars on the market.