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19 Aug 2022

What We Dislike
Require time to get used to the touch control buttons on the steering wheel
Rear seats are not super comfortable
Close, but not quite the full-on towkay experience

The new EQS stands out for its refinement, comfort and luxurious nature - core Mercedes competencies made better with electrification.


This is the brand new Mercedes-Benz EQS, the brand's flagship all-electric sedan that I've been really looking forward to drive. It's not Mercedes first go-around making an EV (they made one all the way back in 2011), and it's technically not even the first modern EQ-badged model.

However, importantly, it is the first EQ model that's been developed from ground up as a dedicated BEV model. Unlike the EQC and EQA prior, which were based on existing petrol models (and thus came with certain carryover compromises that were slightly underwhelming), this is a truly bespoke EV that promises the best of electrification and luxury.

So, how does this fare, and is this truly the future of luxury electric mobility?

Space and ship

The liftback tailgate opens up to a sizeable 580-litre boot
From a design perspective, the EQS certainly looks futuristic. It has a smooth front fascia similar to the EQC and EQA, but I do like how it flows naturally into the rest of the body form, sweeping neatly all the way to the rear.

There's a cohesiveness to the design where you can immediately tell that it's not simply just an electric 'conversion' of an existing car.

And while it certainly exists in the traditional four-door executive sedan segment (with the S-Class being the obvious equivalent), the sweeping shapes make it more visually outstanding.

Cabin is a spacious and pleasing space to be in
Surprisingly, that doesn't impede interior space, and that's to do with the packaging that an EV platform offers. The rear, in particular, has tons of legroom thanks to the cab-forward design. Headroom is also very agreeable considering the tapered roofline.

Most people might also know the EQS model to be the debut of the brand's MBUX Hyperscreen... which you don't see in this particular car. It's a cost option (and a pretty sizable $38k one, at that), and our test car is fitted with the standard MBUX system.

Wrap around ambient lighting and rose gold accents help the EQS feel quite futuristic
It's not quite the futuristic showcase of the Hyperscreen, but it still offers plenty of functionality and accessibility. One thing I do like is that the digital instrument cluster has been simplified with fewer menus and functions. This means there's less need to use the touch controls on the steering wheel, which in this current iteration I still don't particularly like. 

Even sans the Hyperscreen, the EQS still exudes sci-fi spaceship vibes - from the way the door handles pop up when you approach the car, to how a specific section of the wraparound ambient lighting flashes red in tandem with the blind spot alert. It's cool, not a term often immediately associated with Mercs. I also really like the rose gold finishing in the cabin, like the stitching and detailing in the venting that extend across the cabin. It is certainly a sophisticated and well-executed cabin, which is what you expect from Mercedes.

Yes, Mercedes has a sense of humour after all - you can play Tetris in the car! 
Does it feel like a luxury flagship? I would say as it is, it feels 90% there, though this might be just a case of specification. The rear seats are not as comfortable as I would have liked - the seat bottom has a slightly domed shape and it feels slightly short. As a result, you feel like you're sitting more on the seat than in it. And, of course, you can spec the car up with even more amenities for an even more luxurious space. 

So, it doesn’t feel exactly as towkay as an S-Class, though it's not miles off either.

Comfort and silence

The EQS cruises along in effortless comfort and serenity
Another quality that Mercedes excels at is luxurious comfort, and here the EQS feels exactly the part. The suspension is nice and soft, bumps are negotiated with effortless smoothness, and on the go it feels exactly like what you want an expensive Merc to feel like.

It's also really quiet. Compared to segment rivals like the Audi e-tron GT and the Porsche Taycan, the EQS has notably better NVH dampening - road and tyre noise especially is kept out much better. And if you're the sort of person that likes your EV quiet (like me), then you can even turn off the electric soundtrack, which gives you an even more serene experience. It's lovely.

The rear wheels can turn up to 10 degrees, which significantly reduces the car's turning radius
It's also surprisingly easy to drive. The rear wheel steering has a shocking amount of angle (the optionally fitted 10 degrees of rear wheel steering is quite stark to witness in person), which really helps in reducing your turning radius. I'm not sure it's an A-Class' turning radius as Mercedes claims, but it's significantly tighter than you would imagine. As a result, the car feels smaller than it actually is when u-turning or going through carparks. 

Admittedly, the EQS doesn't hide its sheer weight as well as the e-tron GT or Taycan. The overall body structure doesn't feel quite as stiff, so you can feel some shuddering when going over poorer tarmac or big humps.

With cruise control on, the car will keep you in the middle of the lane, as well as a fixed distance from the vehicle ahead of you
Power? In this EQS450+ guise, there's 245kW and 565Nm of torque being sent to the rear wheels. Not shockingly quick, but still quicker than you'll ever really need in most driving situations. Certainly enough to get some wheelspin on damp roads. More importantly, it's a pleasingly smooth powertrain (its an EV, after all).

You can also toggle between three regenerative braking settings - Normal, Strong and Off. It should be noted that drivers who like the 'one-pedal drive' sensation will be slightly disappointed. In the Strong setting, while the braking force is significant, there is a slight gap between when you come off the throttle and when the car starts decelerating. It is akin to you lifting off the throttle, then gradually stepping on the brakes. This means that you cannot actually modulate the braking solely on the throttle pedal. 

Driven reasonably, you can achieve over 640km on a full charge
In terms of range, you're unlikely to get the 762km that Mercedes quotes, but I managed to do 5.02km/kWh, which adds up to an impressive 642km on a full charge. That is currently still the most that you can get in any EV here in Singapore.

Taking charge

Mercedes has already announced plans to go fully electric by 2030. That's only seven years away, so it's probably nearer than most people anticipate. This EQS helps to chart that way forward, and the signs are certainly good.

Yes, the EQS has huge range because the battery pack is pretty massive (107.8kWh is currently the largest in the market locally), but the battery tech is real. It's one of the more efficient EVs we've tested. And even with all the new tech, the interior retains its classiness and sense of luxury.

Capable, refined and undeniably comfortable, Mercedes' first bespoke EV is a real success
Most importantly, the EQS excels at Mercedes' core competency - comfort and refinement. It is especially in this regard that the benefits of electrification appear most immediately acquitted to, offering improved drive refinement and serenity that I'm eagerly looking forward to being trickled down to the brand's more core models like the equivalent electric C-Class and E-Class models.

Is the EQS the most captivating EV? Perhaps not quite. But there's no faulting its capability, effortless comfort, and that it is a luxury Merc through and through. I think it's a real success.

In the market for a luxury four-door electric sedan? Here are some other choices to consider: 

The Audi e-tron GT is a beautifully-styled grand tourer with impeccable performance credentials

The BMW i4 is a wholly impressive electric sedan that delivers ample functionality, electric efficiency, and sporty dynamism

The Porsche Taycan is a highly digital, outrageously fast and impeccably capable electric car
Car Information
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Mercedes-Benz EQS Electric EQS450+ AMG Line 107.8 kWh (A)
Rate it

Price

: $534,888

Engine Type

:

Permanently Excited Synchronous Motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

245kW (329 bhp)

Torque

:

565 Nm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.2sec

Top Speed

:

210km/h

Energy consumption

:

5.5km/kWh

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Tags :  

mercedes  eq  eqs 450  electric  ev  electric car  bev  battery  mercedes-eq  s-class  eqs