2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV review: The most luxurious 3-row EV yet

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV review: The most luxurious 3-row EV yet

Pros: super-luxurious interior; The most cutting edge technology you can get; plush ride; Fast Charging and Solid Range

Shortcoming: little cargo space behind the short third-row seat; crappy regenerative brakes; questionable value; sleep exterior design

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV brings a flagship, full-size electric vehicle to the Mercedes fold. It’s a large, three-row seven-seater, making it on par with the gasoline-powered GLS-Class. One look at the design makes it clear that you are looking at something very different from Mercedes, however, as this SUV adopts the design language of the company’s sleek EQ family. There are no sharp edges or chunky, bumpy touches, all in the name of reducing drag and increasing efficiency (as well as differentiating itself from its gas-powered family members).

Mercedes builds the EQS SUV on the same EV-specific platform as the EQS sedan, so it’s introducing the latest and best EV charging and motor tech the company has to offer. A maximum DC fast charging speed of 200 kW means road trip fill-ups will be quicker. Tech is everywhere with top driver assistance features standard and the Hyperscreen infotainment system available (though we prefer the base system). The base 450+ and 450 4Matic powertrains are a bit slow by comparably luxury EV standards, but the 580 4Matic fixes that—you’re going to pay a big premium for better performance. The value proposition is where the EQS SUV’s biggest hang-up resides. It has all the features and luxuries you could want, but it’s expensive compared to the competition and third-row space is limited. The more roomy Rivian R1S is going to be cheaper, and if you don’t really need that third row, the BMW iX is a relative bargain. A Tesla Model X won’t be much cheaper, but it’s a bargain comparison. Traditional Mercedes-Benz buyers will appreciate the luxury and well-executed technology, but don’t expect the EQS SUV to cross any limits from a performance or utility angle.

Interior and Technology | Passenger and Cargo Space | performance and fuel economy

how does it feel to drive Pricing & Trim Levels | Crash Rating & Safety Features

What’s new for 2023?

The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is an all-new vehicle for the 2023 model year.

How is the interior and in-car technology of the EQS SUV?

If you’ve been inside the EQS sedan (or at least seen the interior), its SUV sibling will seem powerful with a more familiar seating position. The technology stretches before you essentially determine the interior design, especially when HyperScreen (top right)—standard on the 580 and optional on the 450 model—is present. It consists of three screens in one continuous, curved piece of glass that spans a full 56 inches across the dash, pillar to pillar. This includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel in front of the driver, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen, as well as a 12.3-inch touchscreen display on the passenger side. Frankly, we think it’s overkill and really prefer the look of the standard setup (top left). Mercedes still gives you a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a 12.8-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen in the center. Oh, and instead of acres of shiny glass and piano black, you get beautiful genuine wood trim embossed with little metal Mercedes stars all over the car (pictured at bottom left). Beyond that, the main functional difference, the passenger screen pictured below on the right, is unlikely to be of use in our experience.

Despite the mid-screen size, the EQS has MBUX software with a special “layer zero” home screen that we found more intuitive than the standard MBUX setup found in other Mercedes. In addition to layout, AI programming predicts what you want at any given time, prompting you with shortcuts on the screen. Mercedes’ voice command technology is second to none these days, so you can ask it to do any number of things without having to struggle to find the setting in a sea of ​​menus.

Digitized controls dominate the experience – even the steering wheel has touch-capacitive controls that can be frustrating to operate while driving. Apart from the digital experience, the interior of the EQS SUV is still quintessential Mercedes when it comes to comfort and luxury. The lavish seats have padded headrests and are comfortable for long journeys. No surface or touch point will feel cheap or out of place, and it really does look like a six-figure luxury vehicle inside. You want to know the biggest difference between the EQS and the Tesla Model X or Rivian R1S? Of course it is.

How big is the EQS SUV?

The EQS SUV serves as Mercedes’ largest electric SUV, but it isn’t as large or impressive as Mercedes’ largest gas-powered SUV, the GLS-Class. This ultimately equates to less interior space than the GLS, but don’t start thinking that the EQS SUV is small.

It’s a three-row SUV, but the two third-row seats are acceptably tight for adults and older children. The GLS, as well as the electric Rivian R1S and plug-in hybrid Volvo XC90 Recharge, are far more friendly. The second row, on the other hand, is incredibly spacious thanks to the EQS’s massive wheelbase and offers power adjustments. Basically, the disparity in comfort between the second and third rows is as big as the EQS.

Also, if you put people in the third row, don’t expect much luggage space. Our luggage test showed the EQS SUV to have the least functional space behind the third-row seat of any we’ve tested. Fold the third row down, and you get the generous space typical of a mid-size two-row SUV. If there is no need to use the third row, then there will be no trouble in storing luggage for long journeys in the back.

What are the range and performance specs of the EQS SUV?

The EQS SUV could be had with a choice of three powertrains, all mated to a 107.8-kWh battery pack. It has a maximum charging speed of 200 kW on a compatible DC fast charger. Mercedes says it’s fast enough to charge 10-80% in 31 minutes, so maybe bring a magazine for the wait. Take a Level 2 charger at home and Mercedes says a full charge will take around 12.5 hours.

The base model is the EQS 450+, with a single electric motor on the rear axle good for 335 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It is the slowest EQS SUV with a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds. Range for the 450+ is 305 miles.

Step up to the EQS 450 4Matic, and Mercedes adds a motor to the front axle for all-wheel drive. Output to this dual-motor model is 335 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to go from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Range drops to 285 miles.

The top-dog EQS 580 4Matic adds more powerful electric motors, bringing output up to 536 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque. This version of the SUV is positively quick, as it is capable of 4.5-second 0-60-mph sprints. Range doesn’t hurt compared to the less powerful 450 4Matic, as it retains its 285-mile EPA rating.

EQS SUV owner trying to go off-roading or the hiking trail parking lot is full? You decide!

What is it like to drive the EQS SUV?

Your acceleration experience will vary by trim, but every EQS SUV gives you the same cushioned glide on the road you’ll find with the EQS sedan and S-Class. It handles road imperfections and speed bumps with ease, but it’s also not soft enough to wallow through corners. Perhaps the most surprising trick available is the rear-axle steering. Offering 10 degrees of rear wheel motion (4 degrees is typical), this is vital to the driving experience, as it makes the EQS SUV maneuver and corner like an exponentially smaller vehicle (the Honda Civic feels smaller). We appreciate this most for turning in tight corners quickly and making parking lot navigation super easy, but it also stabilizes the vehicle for smooth highway lane changes.

We still haven’t driven the single-motor 450+ version, but the dual-motor 450 4Matic proved to provide enough acceleration to satisfy. Despite peak torque being available from the outset, the accelerator is smoothly modulated – unless you want the passengers to be distracted by the acceleration. When driven calmly, its acceleration glide is similar to that of any other quiet SUV that doesn’t have to shift gears. Stepping into the 580, gentle acceleration is easily accomplished, but you also have the option of swatting the occupants back into their seats with a full boot of the right pedal. This is useful for getting up to highway speed, passing a slower vehicle, or pushing out of a turn in the mountains. Various sounds can be played on the speakers to keep you entertained, but the silent cabin of the EQS SUV did not prefer simulated sounds for maximum silence.

The main dynamic issue, and this is possibly a dealbreaker, are the brakes. Like most other EVs, the EQS offers several levels of regenerative braking which at its strongest can excess Braking for the driver. Unfortunately, unlike most other EVs, it won’t go all the way, providing “one-pedal driving” in most scenarios, which involve bringing the car to a complete stop. The bigger issue, however, is that the brake pedal automatically moves in concert with the amount of braking applied. Mercedes is the only car brand that does this. The pedal is in a different position than usual, and it turns out that taking your foot off the brake to apply the brake is frustrating, and there’s a different initial brake feel because the car has already taken the pedal further than the normal starting bit Has gone We wouldn’t call it a safety issue, but it does lead to a lot of jerky, rude stops that will leave your passengers wondering if you’ve ever driven a car before. Other EVs do it much better, including ones that are far less expensive.

What other EQS SUV reviews can I read?

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV first drive: Better because it’s bigger?

Our first drive of the EQS SUV where we dive into the engineering behind the vehicle and give you our initial driving impressions.

Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV luggage test: How much space is there behind the third row?

Senior editor James Ryswick breaks down the suitcases and tests the EQS SUV’s luggage capacity in the back of the third row and in the back of the second row.

What is the price of 2023 EQS SUV?

The EQS SUV starts at $105,250 for the 450+ base premium model. Each powertrain is available in three trims: Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle. From there, Mercedes-Benz allows you to choose from a long list of additional options.

Key features on the base Premium include 20-inch wheels, Mercedes’ Digital Light technology, a panoramic sunroof, 10-degree rear-axle steering, air suspension w/ adaptive dampers, keyless entry, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Burmester 3D included. Surround sound system, wireless phone charger, 64-colour ambient lighting and all-inclusive driver assistance package.

Step up to the Exclusive trim, and Mercedes adds puddle light projectors, four-zone climate control, a heads-up display, “rapid heating” front heated seats, massaging front seats, MBUX interior assistant, and a unique air filtration system. The top-shelf Pinnacle trim adds the executive second-row seating package, padded rear headrests, wireless charging in the back, and a tablet in the rear to control system functions.

All prices below include a destination fee of $1,150.

EQS 450+ Premium: $105,250
EQS 450+ Exclusive: $109,800
EQS 450+ Peak: $111,800

EQS 450 4MATIC Premium: $108,550
EQS 450 4Matic Exclusive: $112,800
EQS 450 4Matic Pinnacle: $114,800

EQS 580 4Matic Premium: $127,100
EQS 580 4Matic Exclusive: $131,350
EQS 580 4Matic Pinnacle: $133,350

What are the safety ratings and driver assistance features of the EQS SUV?

Mercedes, in a novel twist, makes all possible driver assistance features standard on the EQS SUV. Typically, Mercedes likes to bundle its various driver assistance features into packages, then charge extra for them. Now, they’re all baked into the base vehicle. Listed below are adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go assist), lane keeping, lane-centering, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic assist, 360-degree parking sensors, 360-degree cameras, traffic Sign included. Assist and Mercedes’ suite of “Pre-Safe” assist systems such as raising its air suspension when an impact is imminent.

The EQS SUV was not independently crash-tested till the time of publication of this story.

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