Mercedes Benz takes electrification very seriously. Since the arrival of this limousine EQS, the automaker has launched an all-electric offensive through its EQ family of vehicles. We drove the mid-size EQE sedan in its AMG version at the start of the summer – a model we expect next year – and recently we got our first taste of the EQS SUV. And next month, the German manufacturer plans to unveil the next electric chapter with the EQE SUV.
The famous manufacturer from Stuttgart is rushing at high speed in the electric field. But none of this would have been possible without EQS. Captivated by this very exciting model, I tested it over a period of one week.
Eroded like a rock
At first glance, the design of the EQS has fishy features. Curvaceous, smooth and streamlined, this large sedan displays strange proportions, but for some reason that escapes me, still manages to remain beautiful and elegant.
It is probably because his appearance is not accidental. Like a rock eroded by the sea over time, the EQS cuts through the air thanks to its aerodynamics. Since it only has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.20, it is also the most aerodynamic car on the market.
But if this Mercedes-Benz design doesn’t do anything to draw attention, the Night Package ($5,000) certainly didn’t help make it stand out. Personally, I would have appreciated a little more character in this design, especially at the front and rear, so that the car could really assert itself as Mercedes-Benz’s flagship electric model. No one knew I was driving one of the most important vehicles in the manufacturer’s history.
True to its habits in terms of price, Mercedes-Benz does not give a gift to its potential customers. It is, after all, a luxury sedan that will eventually replace the S-Class at the top of the automaker’s lineup. Mercedes-Benz is therefore asking for the sum of $146,500. My copy cost $162,150.
A cabin that reflects the times
If the EQS has a sober and understated appearance, its interior is the complete opposite. This limousine welcomes us into a high-tech and oh-so-luxurious lounge. My copy had a white leather-trimmed interior and wood trim in the center console and inside the doors.
It probably wouldn’t be my first choice due to its cluttered nature, but I have to admit that this color scheme gave my sedan a classic look.
Mercedes-Benz spares no expense in terms of build quality and finish in this cabin. Everything is well put together, the materials are of exceptional quality and we feel this vehicle is designed to last. Up front, highlighted by vibrating features and a cushion in the headrest, the heavy, padded leather seats are extremely comfortable.
The dashboard impresses with the MBUX Hyperscreen multimedia interface that stretches from one side of the cabin to the other. It’s actually three screens hidden behind a single window. There is a fully customizable instrumentation in several themes, a multimedia system with navigation map in the center and even a screen for the passenger. This makes it possible to manipulate certain vehicle functions such as air conditioning, audio and navigation, or even to display a wallpaper.
Although it is intense at first use, it gets used to this system very quickly. I especially appreciated the Zero layer feature, which allows you to manipulate system applications while remaining in the main menu. It facilitates the user experience and reduces distractions while driving.
Although the EQS is a large sedan, its rear seats do not provide the expected level of comfort. It is especially in terms of ground clearance that this car suffers due to its sloping roofline. I can’t fault the legroom though, but the lack of amenities is disappointing considering the high price.
Ready for long journeys
Beneath the streamlined bodyEQS 580 lives a battery with a usable capacity of 107.8 kilowatt hours. It drives two electric motors – one on each train – for a total combined output of 516 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. The EQS 580 therefore receives four-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering technology.
In this configuration, which is the only one currently offered in our market, the EQS promises a range of 547 kilometers according to Natural Resources Canada. The sprint from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour would be done in just 3.7 seconds, according to the manufacturer’s statements. In a compatible fast terminal, this car shows a charging speed of 200 kilowatts, while the built-in charger is 9.6 kilowatts.
Peaceful, efficient but a bit clumsy
Let’s get the facts straight: In this price range, there are large electric sedans that are much more efficient and flamboyant. I’m thinking of the Tesla Model S Plaid or even the Lucid Air, among others. In a drag race, the EQS would therefore be completely demolished by these two models. If performance is one of your priorities in this niche, I suggest you look elsewhere.
Rather, it was the overall experience of EQS that charmed me. From the first laps, it’s hard to ignore the quality level of this vehicle. The EQS is quiet as a monastery, no matter what surface it rolls on. Its cabin never made any squeaks or body noises during my entire test drive.
Its super solid structure is surprising, as is the softness of its suspension on our damaged roads. This car insulates us from the noise and stress of outdoor life, a quality that goes very well with its oath of great luxury.
Although slower than its main competitors, the EQS remains very quick, especially on take-off, where it instantly crushes you in your seat. This speed will not release until you exceed the maximum of the advertised speed limits. In short, it’s moving forward!
When cornering, the structural rigidity of this sedan, combined with a battery installed very low in the vehicle and the steerable rear wheels, allows the EQS to exhibit remarkable stability and precision. The steering is responsive and this large sedan responds to our commands without delay.
That said, it doesn’t take long for her to reveal her rigid net mass of 2,634 kilograms (5,806 pounds). Everything is accentuated by soft suspensions, which give the car an unpleasant clumsiness when you get too close to its grip limits.
My other complaint is the feel of the brake pedal. It is spongy to the point that it gives the impression of swallowing a large mushroom. It is all the more frustrating to see the same pedal move when we activate the regenerative braking, a strange feature that forces us to always press the pedal, leading to a break in the mechanics. I will add that this regenerative braking does not even allow the vehicle to be fully immobilized, rubbish in this price range.
For consumption, a trial during a hot week in August allowed me to do a little better than my colleagues during their attempt at the RPM show. Where they recorded a consumption of 21.8 kilowatt hours / 100 kilometers, I managed to manage on average 19.7 kilowatt hours / 100 kilometers during a round trip of 210 kilometers between Magog and Chambly. This corresponds exactly to the autonomy of 547 kilometers announced by the manufacturer.
A successful first attempt
Aside from its few faults and the fact that it faces new and rather tough competitors, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 is nonetheless impressive. As a first attempt at electric, Mercedes-Benz comes with a well-built, high-performance and technologically excellent product, while maintaining its reputation for great luxury, comfort and quality.
We now need to observe its reliability to decide on a recommendation. We will get back to you with our analysis as soon as possible.
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