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Does the Mercedes-Benz S-Class still have the same appeal in a world that's going electric? Or is the EQS now the compelling option? Two editors duke it out!

15 Sep 2022

When it comes to flagship limos, few would disagree that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the segment's benchmark. It is the saloon of choice for many company bosses, captains of industry, and world leaders.

Today's increasingly eco-conscious world, on the other hand, demands a new type of model, and that's where the brand new EQS comes in. It is Mercedes' flagship electric fastback, and it offers both luxury and performance in equal measure.

So, does the EQS outshine the S-Class? Or does the S-Class remain the 'S-tier' segment's standard-bearer? Our two editors drove both models for a few days to discover how they stack up. Here's what they had to say. 

Desmond delights in the S-Class' ability to deliver the ultimate backseat drive
The S-Class' rear seats are the ideal space for working even when on the move
I really enjoy driving the EQS. It disguises its large footprint hilariously well, it's a highly capable EV, and the absolute serenity of the experience is delightful. It's electric luxury through and through, and sets a high benchmark as far as a luxury EV is concerned.  
But, when it comes to luxury, the only thing that beats driving a luxury car is being driven in one. And in this regard, there are few cars that outmatch a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.  

There's a gargantuan rear cabin lathed in the highest quality leather, which delivers all the space and comfort that you need.
The supple ride makes every journey highly comfortable and relaxing 
Whether it's taking a Zoom call on the go, filling up yet another spreadsheet, or sneaking in a quick nap between meetings, the S-Class is the ideal lounge space for it.  

It also helps that the car is so comfortable. The air suspension soaks up bumps in the road so well that you feel like you're floating on clouds. Add to that the car's excellent soundproofing, and you really feel insulated from the world outside.  

And as you expect from a top-of-the-line Mercedes, the car also comes fitted with the best quality materials and equipment that exemplify its classiness.
For consummate luxury, the backseat of the S-Class is where you want to be
From the sleek ambient lighting to the stellar sound system, from the supple leather to the wood grain trim, the S-Class exudes quality and luxury.  
And sure, it drives well enough (aided by the driver assistance features and sweet engine), but like I said, I much rather be driven.  
So, if it is moving from place to place in absolute comfort and luxury, I want to be in the S-Class - in the backseat of the S-Class. 
Jeremy is compelled by the EQS' seamless performance and modern luxury
The EQS' swanky detailing gives the cabin its modern and luxurious feel 
The S-Class remains a benchmark for flagship limousines, and yes, being chauffeured in one is truly an experience. But as someone who still enjoys driving more than being driven, I find the EQS450+ even more appealing than the S-Class. 
Its design has real presence. The EQS has a distinctive curvy silhouette, and a grille that's different from the other Mercedes models. It arguably looks even more attractive at night, thanks to the unique light signatures. 
The interior is equally compelling, with eye-catching, turbine-inspired air vents. Like the S-Class, soft-touch surfaces abound in the EQS, and everything feels well-assembled. That said, I like how getting in and out is a bit easier here, thanks to the higher hip point. 
If you prefer being in the driver's seat, then it's the EQS that will appeal to you
It's the drive, of course, that seals the deal. While the Mercedes straight-six is known for its smoothness, the electric motor in the EQS, with its whisper-quiet performance, is even more refined. 

Generating a maximum of 329bhp and 565Nm, the EQS450+ zips from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds. The only indication of its speed is the rapidly blurring scenery outside. 
The EQS is a luxurious oasis. In here, I'm shielded from road noise and traffic jams don't feel as stressful.

EQS has a stunning silhouette, seamless propulsion and a well-sorted ride
Being able to enjoy both my music and conversation is a welcome respite from long days at the office.

Yet at the same time, it's reassuring to know that powerful acceleration merely requires a flex of my right foot. 
The S-Class may have the edge in cosseting backseat passengers, but when it comes to spoiling the driver, it's the EQS that I would turn to.

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mercedes  benz  mercedes-benz  eqs  s-class  flagship  limousine  electric  ev  german  luxury