The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is all the things you loved in the regular EQS, but doubled in size to appeal to more demographics.
In the realm of Mercedes-Benz’s automotive opulence, where the EQS corresponds to the antiquated S-Class and the EQE to the E-Class, we now have a new member in the circle – the EQS SUV.
It’s a formidable ‘off-roader’ in Mercedes speak, and the first using the German marque’s electric ‘EVA2’ architecture. Its supposed predecessor, the GLS, has fairly often slipped through the cracks of the luxury car domain, unfairly overshadowed.
The GLS was a colossal beast, and the EQS SUV mirrors this magnitude. A symphony of luxury intertwined with a plethora of standout features. Yet, the question remains: how does it measure up in the fiercely competitive luxury EV arena?
Confronting the challenge of packaging a third row of seats is no mean feat (just take a look at the overhang of the Land Rover Defender 130). The EQS SUV, however, navigates this challenge with aplomb.
Its exterior exudes strength, boasting an overall form marked by seamless contours and minimized shutlines and joints. Furthermore, its aerodynamic prowess is pretty impressive for something with an SUV stature, with a mere 0.26 drag coefficient in its cleanest configuration.
Similar to the EQ lineage, the car has the same defining fixed clamshell bonnet, albeit shaped a little more aggressively. The EQ black panel grille integrates with a 3D hexagon light and daytime running light, crafting a unique light signature that greets you each time you start it up. Mercedes’ designers, with a nod to practicality, refrained from a seamless transition into the windscreen, embracing a clever A-pillar design that enhances aerodynamics and acoustics.
The roof, donned in black, diminishes the perceived height, and unlike the frameless glass of the EQS/E, the EQS features framed glass instead. Flush door handles and optional running boards, akin to a ladder for the vertically challenged, contribute to the overall sleekness.
Opting for anything less than 22-inch wheels would be an oversight, risking their disappearance in the vehicle’s vast wheel arches.
It is big, and it certainly is bold. Although, I still find myself leaning towards the smaller EQE SUV in terms of proportions.
state of the art.
The first thing that immediately catches your eye upon entry is the vast Hyperscreen. Yes, it’s a pricey option, but it sure is a statement piece. A colossal, three-dimensionally curved screen made of scratch-resistant aluminium silicate, boasting 8 CPU cores, 24-gigabyte of RAM, and a RAM memory speed of 46.4 GB per second.
That sounds like something you usually get in a computer hardware store, let alone a car.
There’s a screen for everyone in the car. One for the driver, a massive central display, and a third for the passenger, enabling them to control items without bothering the poor sod behind the wheel.
Mercedes dubs it the ‘zero layer’ philosophy, where the system learns your routines over time and proactively displays functions just when you need them. The driver gets a 12.3-inch instrument display with 3D functionality, while the central display might require a PhD to decode fully.
No rotary controller or touchpad? Just swipe across main modes, and you’ll feel a gentle haptic buzz on the crystal-clear 17.7-inch OLED screen. Climate control is relatively straightforward, and the car even has a fancy HEPA air filter to ward off those diseases.
Once you get everything set up nicely, you’ll be blown away by the mind-blowing Burmester audio system enveloping you in a 360° surround sound cocoon. It’s phenomenal.
Oh, did I mention it ionises the air and projects a starry sky on the screen too? There’s even a signature fragrance, No.6 Mood, tucked away in the glove box. Call it either wonderful or absurd overkill – I’m leaning towards the former.
Like a technicolour dream, you can bathe the EQS in whatever ambient light combination you fancy. Front seats? Sensational, with or without the added massage function. The rear is a tad firm, but you get tons of leg and headroom.
Roomy? You betcha. Versatile? Absolutely. Second-row seats with electric adjustments, fore and aft, a capacious 565-litre cargo bay for larger objects (expandable up to 2020 litres), and even heated third-row seats. This SUV isn’t just a car; it’s a luxury cocoon on wheels.
don’t judge a car by its shape.
This sizeable goliath not only packs a punch but flaunts handling smarts that dance in tandem with its impressive speed. I’m serious, I was impressed by how spirited the car feels despite its sheer heft.
Gun the throttle, and the 800Nm of torque can whisk you to 100km/h in just 6 seconds. Keep your foot down, and you’ll eventually reach 210km/h, or the police station. Whichever comes first.
But let’s be real, tearing down the road at full tilt? Heroically daft. Maybe give it a burst or two just to confirm its prowess or unleash the power for a spirited overtake, then tone it back to refinement and mindfulness. That’s where the car shines.
In the realm of hushed rides, the EQS SUV is a standout, rivalling the tranquillity of cars like the BMW i7. High-end electric cars often battle tyre and wind noise, but this Merc handles it rather well. Acoustic foam in strategic body cavities, trick seals, specially encased motors, and double-insulated drive units make sure of that.
It’s so good that it almost disconnects you from the act of driving, leaving you somewhat… anaesthetised.
The soft suspension amplifies this as well – a four-link setup at the front, multi-link at the rear, AirMatic air springs, and variable damping control as standard. Adjustable ride height, no less.
It’s a smooth operator, but the absolute lack of noise can make things feel a tad floaty and numb – a sensation you’ve got to experience to understand.
The 4Matic setup offers continuously variable torque distribution, and can even shut off the front motor in pursuit of efficiency. Get the car on loose surfaces and the torque juggles between all four wheels for maximum traction.
Obviously, don’t mistake the EQS SUV for a mud-plugger, but it can surprisingly handle more terrain than you’d think. Plus, that optional 10° rear steering angle is a godsend when navigating multi-storey car parks and tight spots with finesse.
As with other EQ models, you get a comprehensive suite of safety systems, plus an array of cameras that make parking a breeze. And you’ll need these cameras more often than you think, as the car spans almost 2 metres in width.
The biggest gripe I have about the EQS SUV is its brakes. Brake feel is a tad inconsistent, and despite the three levels of energy recuperation (which work great), the transition between regen and actual braking is awkward.
Should you get used to the braking sensation, the EQS SUV does have pretty good efficiency for a car this size. Mercedes-Benz claims it can do up to 610km from the colossal 107.8kWh battery pack, and I managed to clock in 380km with about 40% of charge remaining, equating to 23.3kWh/100km.
With a dash of more sensible driving, that number can easily drop further, and I’m confident you can go a week without needing a charge.
the S stands for superbly posh.
The EQS SUV presents itself as a holistic package, a marriage of opulence with innovation. The Hyperscreen, adaptive AI, and spacious interior render it a compelling choice in the luxury electric SUV market.
The car really does it all, but I do get the feeling that it slightly lacks the defining character and supreme authority that made its predecessors such lodestars.
The EQS SUV caters to a specific audience, one valuing cutting-edge tech and refined luxury over traditional characteristics defining the “soul” of a car. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that or the car in particular; this is more of an individual preference.
Its polished, almost clinical demeanour might leave enthusiasts yearning for more, but for those seeking the ultimate in luxury and comfort, you should definitely keep the EQS SUV in your shortlist.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV 450 4MATIC AMG Line
Engine: Two Permanently Magnet Synchronous Motors, All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
Power: 265kw (355bhp)
Gearbox: Single-Speed (A)
0-100km/h: 6 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 210km/h
Battery Capacity: 107.8 kWh
Drive Range: 610 km
Energy Consumption: 4.9 km/kWh (claimed)
Price: S$700,888 with COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: Mercedes-Benz Singapore
Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven)