Mercedes EQS SUV front dynamic
Hardware of talented EQS saloon is used to create an electric equivalent of the GLS

Mercedes was a relatively late arrival to the electric car ranks, but after a cautious start, it has firmly established itself among the premium-brand competition and now offers an impressive range of EQ-badged cars over a wide range of segments.This Mercedes EQS SUV is its eighth EV to date and the third based on its EV-dedicated EVA2 architecture. Shared with the Mercedes EQS saloon, this aluminium-intensive, skateboard-style structure has the battery – here a sizeable 108.4kWh unit – mounted within the flat floor for maximum interior packaging benefits and the scope for either five or seven seats.The big SUV now sits at the top of the EQ line-up as an electric alternative to the Mercedes GLS. At 5125mm long, 1959mm wide and 1718mm tall, it’s 82mm shorter, 3mm wider and a good 105mm lower than the combustion-powered GLS. Its wheelbase is 75mm longer, being the same as that of the EQS saloon for added production efficiency.The interior is mostly shared with the EQS saloon too, so while there is some hard black plastic, most notably around the steering column and the lower parts of the doors, most surfaces reflect the upper-luxury positioning Mercedes is aiming for. To this end, a standard panoramic roof floods the expansive cabin with light when the blind is wound back.Mercedes will sell a pair of four-wheel-drive, dual-motor EQS SUV variants in the UK. One is the EQS 450, with 355bhp and 590lb ft of torque, and the other is the EQS 580, with 536bhp and 632lb ft. Both manage a range of up to 318 miles and can be charged at rates of up to 200kW.Whether you choose the 2730kg EQS 450 or the 2735kg EQS 580, you will find no lack of traction or performance. Both provide strong and linear acceleration, considering their considerable weight. Mercedes claims respective 0-62mph times of 6.0sec and 4.6sec, while the top speed of both is governed at 131mph.It’s at a constant cruise where they really excel, though. The dual-motor powertrain is silent in operation. There’s no telltale whine, just an instant deployment of power. Rolling refinement is also truly exemplary, tyre noise and wind buffeting being terrifically well isolated. This is one of the most refined cars that money can buy.It’s intuitive enough to drive too. The steering is light at urban speeds, enhancing manoeuvrability in tight spaces, then weights up nicely when you pick up the pace on the open road, providing precise turn-in, if little in the way of proper feel. The majority of the car’s weight being within its floor structure helps matters, ensuring a low centre of gravity that provides the basis for safe and predictable handling.With the rear wheels able to turn at up to 4.5deg, the EQS SUV is far nimbler at low speeds than you might expect – even more so when fitted with the option that extends the rear’s assistance to up to 10deg. At higher speeds, meanwhile, car’s ability to provide a varying amount of drive to each individual wheel means it always has plenty of grip and purchase. The self-levelling qualities of the standard Airmatic air suspension also help to counter pitch and lean.Less spectacular is the brake feel. As in other EQ cars, the weighting is inconsistent. There’s no doubting the stopping power, but a more reliable pedal feel would be welcome at times.While it’s doubtful that many will take their EQS SUV off road in any serious way, it does optionally offer an Off-Road driving mode, which raises the ground clearance by 25mm and primes the 4Matic four-wheel drive system. Additionally, there are off-road graphics and images from a 360deg camera, including a so-called Transparent Bonnet view.Overall, then, the EQS SUV is a deeply satisfying car, particularly for its comprehensive smoothness, responsiveness, comfort, refinement and, thanks to its enormous size and considered packaging, practicality. Be prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege, though. Pricing has yet to be finalised, but Mercedes says the EQS 450 will cost from about £130,000 in the UK – more than double the Audi E-tron and £50,000 more than BMW’s outstanding iX – and the EQS 580 will be closer to £150,000.


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