2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV new car review

There will soon be a new pinnacle of electric luxury from Mercedes-Benz: the made-in-America EQS SUV.

The SUV shares its underpinnings, electric smarts and extensive connected technology with the sedan of the same name that went on sale earlier this year, adding a large wagon body with seating for up to seven people.

Whereas the sedan plays to the brand’s limousine heritage, the EQS SUV parks EV thinking in suburban driveways.

At least it will for those with plenty to spend, because the EQS SUV won’t come cheap when it hits the market in the third quarter of 2023.

In Australia the first model to arrive will be the EQS450 4Matic, which is powered by two electric motors making a combined 265kW and 800Nm and driving all four wheels. Expectations are it will cost upwards of $250,000. It’s a circa-$80K step up from the GLS that currently occupies the brand’s larger SUV space.

You’ll be able to spend plenty more if you delve deep into the list of options. The EQS is available with heated and ventilated front seats, massaging seats, rear entertainment screens, a panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable front and second-row seats, a head-up display and a 15-speaker Burmester sound system with the first automotive application of Dolby Atmos surround sound.

There’s also leather and a voice assistant with artificial intelligence designed to learn your preferences.

Over-the-air updates promise to add improvements and additional features over time.

Other Mercedes electric SUVs have been built on existing petrol vehicle platforms but the EQS is the brand’s first SUV on a dedicated EV design.

A sizeable 108.4kWh battery lines the flat floor while electric motors are placed at either end, allowing front and rear wheels to be stretched further apart. That frees up cabin space and delivers a limo-like second row that’ll make adults feel as though they’re at the pointy end of a plane.

Even the optional third row is brimming with gear, including storage areas, air vents, leather-lined arm rests and a quartet of USB-C ports. Things are tighter back there, but there’s still respectable foot space and enough knee room to keep the tribe content. The boot is huge, although there’s no storage upfront (owners can’t even pop the bonnet).

The EQS SUV rides on air springs for a plush ride and a lowered ride height above 110km/h. There’s also an “off-road” mode that raises the car by 25mm for those brave enough to head off the beaten track without a spare wheel.

It’s generally serene and plush, expertly absorbing large bumps and subduing sounds with impressive refinement that stretches to double glazed windows. Engineers even quietened the indicator clicking to keep things hushed.

Various drive modes adjust the dampers to stiffen the ride and improve stability, which is excellent through corners courtesy of a flat stance. Rear-wheel steering makes parking easier while also tucking the tail around through tight corners but there’s no hiding the heft. A large bluff dashboard, tall centre console and large bonnet are a reminder you’re in something big. And as it settles into a corner the circa-2.7-tonne body takes the edge off agility.

Despite weighing more than a LandCruiser, the EQS SUV’s prodigious torque delivers effortless acceleration (0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds) and near-instant responses.

The EQS580 model has the same motors and batteries but revised software increasing outputs to 400kW and 858Nm, although it’s undecided if that model will make it to Australia.

In the 450 the big battery provides a claimed range of up to 610km, although larger tyres (likely to be fitted to Australian cars) lower that. Our experience on 21-inch wheels suggested something closer to 450km was more realistic.

That’s still very good, as is the 10-year/250,000km battery warranty.

A wallbox providing 11kW can charge in as little as 10 hours or half that if you option the faster 22kW on-board charger. DC fast charging can be done at up to 200kW, adding more than 200km of range in as little as 15 minutes.

The EQS SUV will bring a new level of space and luxury to the EV market but its dimensions will not suit everyone and the price tag leaves it out of the reach of many.


Limousine opulence and seven-seat space with a price to match.


PRICE From about $250,000 (estimated)

WARRANTY 5yrs/unlimited km

SAFETY 10 airbags, auto emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, exit warning, front and rear cross-traffic alert, occupant presence reminder

POWER Dual electric motors, 265kW and 800Nm

RANGE 511-610km (WLTP)

SPARE Repair kit

LUGGAGE 565-645 litres

Originally published as 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV new car review

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