- Superb 450-mile driving range between charges
- Gorgeous design inside and out
- Beautifully refined to drive
- You will need £100k-plus for the entry-level model
- It does feel quite large on narrower lanes
- The stunning MBUX Hyperscreen adds £7,995 to the cost
The Mercedes-EQ brand is the side of the German carmaker’s business responsible for the all-electric vehicles and the latest car to join the ever-growing line-up is the flagship EQS.
With a driving range of up to 453 miles, customers can choose between trim levels called AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus, Luxury and Exclusive Luxury.
There are all manner of packs and options to fully personalise the car (for a fee), but all versions are beautifully styled and feature one of the most premium interiors on the planet that is packed with high-end technology.
On The Road
We opted for the range-topping EQS 450+ AMG Line Premium Plus model with its 107.8kWh lithium-ion high voltage battery. It delivers 333hp and this powerhouse of a four-door saloon can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds (that’s hot hatch territory) and tops out at 130mph.
It is a heavy car weighing in at almost 2.5 tonnes, but there is a constant supply of power on tap and the acceleration, via the single-speed automatic transmission, is seamless and instant.
Everything about the EQS seems effortless. It cruises at 70mph, takes twisting hill climbs in its stride, is perfectly balanced as it powers through tight corners and offers impressive agility too for busier city centre settings.
Models above the entry-level AMG Line gain 10-degree rear axle steering for added manoeuvrability and this makes the EQS agile in its handling. Standard models have a 4.5-degree rear axle steering system.
There are Dynamic Select settings called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual that alter the reactions and characteristics of the vehicle. Comfort is the default setting each time the car is started.
Steering wheel paddles can be used to change the levels of regeneration to help boost the battery along the way. There are four levels and in the highest setting, the braking is quite sharp when you take your foot off the accelerator.
Our car had a WLTP-tested driving range of 439 miles, while the entry-level car has a rating of 453 miles. The Exclusive Luxury drops slightly to 407 miles.
For such a large vehicle, stretching 5.2 metres in length and 2.1 metres across, the EQS is well poised and delivers impressive ride and handling qualities.
But it is worth noting that, while the EQS is no slouch, just like its sibling the S Class it is more geared towards sublime comfort rather than blistering pace and G force readouts.
The steering in the rear-wheel drive EQS is perfectly weighted with ample driver feedback and there is a simple-to-operate active lane keep assist with active steering system that can be used with the adaptive cruise control set-up. This will keep you safely planted in the centre of the lane and accelerate, brake and do everything apart from make the tea (that’ll probably come in the second generation model!)
When it comes to refinement, the EQS is virtually on a par with the S Class. It pulls away in near silence and even at motorway speeds, barely a sound filters through into the cabin.
Air suspension smooths out the roughest of surfaces and when set to Comfort, this is a luxury saloon that ticks every box on any CEO’s wish list.
Our vehicle was riding on 21-inch wheels which perfectly suited the car’s ride quality
The EQS has real road presence thanks to its beautiful streamlining and gorgeous curves. This is a car that will certainly turn heads as it glides by in virtual silence.
Design cues include AMG body styling, acoustic privacy glass, a panoramic roof, digital lights with a light band, a blacked out front grille housing the Mercedes badge and stunning 21-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.
There are soft close doors with handles that are flush to the body and a powered tailgate. Move inside and it’s impossible not to be wowed by the level of luxury and on-board technology at your disposal.
Our test car featured the optional and innovative MBUX Hyperscreen with multiple displays that merge seamlessly behind one piece of curved glass to create a screen that stretches 141cms in length. This adds £7,995 to the cost, but looks amazingly futuristic. It also allows the driver and passenger to be logged into separate profiles so they can get on with the distracting stuff while you concentrate on the driving. The Hyperscreen package also adds a head-up display to the mix.
There is full Nappa leather upholstery, active ambient lighting, wood veneer inlays and jet engine-styled air vents. It is pure class through and through.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
Powered seats and a powered steering wheel mean finding the perfect driving position is a doddle inside the EQS and one of the first things you will notice is the lack of physical buttons. The main focal point and nerve centre is the massive Hyperscreen that almost stretches the width of the dashboard and there are touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.
Some touchscreens are really distracting and even a simple task such as lowering the cabin temperature means navigating overcomplicated drop down menus. The screen inside the EQS is very easy to use on the fly and there is the ‘Hey Mercedes’ personal assistant system that is intuitive and can be used to plot navigation routes, check traffic updates, open the sunroof, increase the temperature and lots more besides.
Creature comforts are plentiful and high-end too with a pitch perfect Burmester surround sound system, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay with wireless charging, heated and cooled seats, a fingerprint scanner, sat nav and plenty more.
The driver visibility is good but not great with wide pillars slightly blocking the over-the-shoulder view. That’s the price you pay for such a dynamically styled vehicle though.
Press an EQ button and you can view everything EV-related such as the range or charging rates, and a smartphone can be used to set up charging the vehicle at certain times and to varying levels of power to suit your needs.
Space & Practicality
Up front there is oodles of space for the driver and passenger to stretch out and soak in the luxury of their surroundings. In the back, the legroom also impresses, but the sloping roof design and rising waistline result in quite small windows which could be a little claustrophobic.
The back seats slope backwards for added comfort and the outer seats can be heated to fend off the winter blues.
The boot can swallow 610 litres of kit, a limit that increases to 1,770 with the rear seats dropped forward. And there are plenty of storage compartments scattered throughout the EQS. These include a massive storage space beneath the main central console, a glovebox, door bins, trays, a central cubby, plus front and rear cup holders.
Charging the 107.8kWh battery from 10-100 per cent takes about 15 hours and 30 minutes hours from a domestic wallbox or a 10-80 per cent charge can be achieved in 31 minutes via a public rapid charge (110kW) point.
The Mercedes EQS line-up starts at £102,160 for the EQS 450+ AMG Line model and rises to £116,160 for both the AMG Line Premium Plus (as tested) and Exclusive Luxury model.
As is the premium way, there are all manner of packs and optional extras to fully kit out the car, but to be honest, it is amazing in its standard guise. That said; the MBUX Hyperscreen looks fantastic and will leave any onlookers feeling green with envy. That costs an extra £7,995 and was the only optional extra fitted to the test car.
As the EQS is purely battery-powered and emits no CO2 during driving, it qualifies to be exempt from any Vehicle Excise Duty or road tax. It can also be driven free of charge through any Congestion Charge or low emission zones.
For company car drivers, the EQS in all trim levels has a very appealing Benefit in Kind rating of just 2 per cent.
The insurance group rating for the test car is 50.
Quality & Reliability
Mercedes has an enviable reputation when it comes to reliability and the EQS should deliver years of trouble-free motoring.
Everything about the EQS looks and feels top quality in its design, build and layout with Nappa leather upholstery that has been chosen not only for its luxury, but also its longevity.
And while the EQ technology may still be in its infancy, Mercedes has ensured everything has been tried and tested with prototypes put through their paces in the most extreme conditions before anything is brought to market.
While the huge Hyperscreen could prove slightly prone to fingerprint smudges over time, it is easily wiped clean and the optional voice activated personal assistant can be used to operate many on-board functions without taking your hands off the steering wheel.
For added peace of mind, the EQS comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, plus three years of roadside assistance. The battery warranty covers eight-years or 100,000 miles.
Safety & Security
The Mercedes EQS was awarded a maximum five-star rating when it was tested by Euro NCAP with a 96 per cent score for adult occupant safety and 91 per cent for child occupants.
Our car featured Mercedes Driving Assistance package Plus as standard and that included active blind spot assist, active brake assist with cross-traffic function, active distance assist, evasive steering assist, active speed limit assist, emergency stop assist, a congestion emergency braking function, along with a Pre-Safe Plus and Impulse Side with body-raising function. This clever set-up will initiate preventative measures when a rear-end collision is likely. These include warning following vehicles and locking the brakes on standstill.
Digital light headlamps work similarly to a projector with in excess of one million pixels per headlight and these respond with brilliant lighting to changing traffic, weather or road conditions.
To be honest, the list of safety kit and driver assistance aids is extensive and the car features remote door locking, Geofencing, a parked vehicle locator and remote finder (free for three years) along with all the alarm and immobiliser systems to keep the car safe and secure.
It seems fully electrified vehicles will be our future no matter how much driving purists and good old V8 fans protest. However, if the EQS is a sign of things to come, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom. As they say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.