Expert Insights

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS Road Test

Dave Nichols
August 7, 2023
The EQS is the new flagship electric sedan fro Mercedes-Benz. As big and as expensive as the gasoline S-Class, it's packed with tech and luxury. Does it live up to the Mercedes reputation? Read on to find out.
New Mercedes-Benz EQS parked outside a garage at night

The Mercedes-Benz EQS combines the daring world of all-electric travel with a legendary nameplate. It’s an exciting new entrant to the luxury market, and we take it for a spin.

Mercedes EQS: Design

Just take a look at this car. It’s the result of when some of the best designers and engineers in the automotive business imagine the ultimate luxury sedan, that poised bringing on the future of personal transportation. The Mercedes-Benz EQS is elegant and stylish, the top-of-the line flagship in a show-stopping fleet of new all-electric vehicles from the famous automaker.

The EQS combines indulgent comfort and incredible performance in a sleek four-door body packed with mind-blowing technology. If you’re looking for an ultra-advanced executive sedan you’ll be proud to drive, look no further. The EV equivalent of an S-Class sedan, the EQS has a laundry list of incredible new tech. It includes rear wheels that turn up to 10 degrees for tight cornering and easy parking, driver setups that respond to your fingerprint, and a jaw-dropping 56-inch Hyperscreen that wraps the entire dash in seamless touch panels to access gauges, infotainment, safety and driver assistance systems. Did we mention there are six USB-C ports in the cabin to keep you connected and your devices charged?

The luxurious interior includes a wide, flat floor with no transmission tunnel, which means plenty of room for five. You’re wrapped in premium leather seats that will massage and caress you with headrest pillows that can even heat your neck and shoulders.

Mercedes EQS Interior

EQS Powertrains and Trims

You have many choices when it comes to choosing the EQS that best fits your needs. There are three trim levels and three different powertrains. The “base” EQS model, the EQS450+, features a single electric motor for rear-wheel drive, producing 329 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The EQS450+ 4Matic adds a second motor for more power – 355 hp and an impressive 590 lb-ft of torque – and also provides all-wheel drive capability. The high-end EQS580 4Matic has an electric motor at each axle for standard all-wheel drive, and a mighty 516 hp and 611 lb-ft of torque. In terms of performance, the EQS450+ will zip from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while the EQS580 will do the same feat in just 3.7.

All models of the new Mercedes EQS have adaptive air suspension for a cloud-like ride, and are available with 19-, 20-, or 21-inch wheels. There’s also a rear-axle-steering system, which angles the rear wheels up to 4.5 degrees, while an optional upgrade can rotate them 10 degrees – great for a tight turning circle in the city and increased stability on the highway.

With it being an EV, the EQS offers adjustable regenerative braking which can slow down the big sedan just by taking your foot off the accelerator. All models have a large 107.8 kWh battery. The EQS450+ has an EPA estimated range of 350 miles, while the more performance oriented EQS580 has slightly less EPA-estimated range, 340 miles. Mercedes-Benz claims that the EQS’ DC fast charging capability will fill the battery from 20 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes. The EPA rates the EQS450+ as the most efficient version, with 97 MPGe in the city and on the highway.

The Pinnacle trim is the ultimate package for the EQS. It includes heated front and rear seats, for front seat massagers, a heads-up display, and four-zone automatic climate control.

EQS Features and Technology

As you might expect from Mercedes-Benz, the EQS’ lavish interior is filled with rich, high-quality materials packed with luxury amenities. You’ll notice beautiful walnut trim, a choice of ambient interior lighting colors, and plush headrest pillows fore and aft. The Executive Rear Seat package also includes an individual tablet to control the infotainment features, adjustable back seats with a massage function, and neck and shoulder heaters. There is also an awe-inspiring panoramic sunroof. In addition to the spacious cabin, you’ll also discover plenty of room under the rear hatchback: 22 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 63 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded.

Up front, the most prominent feature is the expansive 56-inch Hyperscreen. This digital dash includes a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch passenger screen. Besides having a fingerprint scanner for the driver profile, the EQS also has voice controls, augmented-reality navigation, and an exquisite Burmester sound system.

The Hyperscreen runs Mercedes’ MBUX operating system, which in addition to infotainment functions, gives you access to driver assist features like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane keep assist, as well as self-parking assist.

Behind the Wheel of the EQS

We managed to get some time on the road with the EQS580, and driving this 205.4-inch-long land yacht is a special experience. Despite its luxurious appointments and its substantial weight, the EQS is a rocket – if an extremely quiet one. The air suspension gives a smooth ride, even when you punch it.

Choosing sport mode tightens up the air suspension for improved cornering. Thanks to the EQS’ low center of gravity, body roll is kept to a minimum and this big car feels very light and nimble. All-wheel steering makes it feel like a smaller car, and the steering is very precise. We were impressed with the braking as well. The brake pedal is firm, solid, and smooth.

Mercedes-Benz EQS parked and 3/4 view

Mercedes-Benz EQS: Final Thoughts

While the Mercedes is without a doubt the most technologically advanced luxury sedan on the market, it is definitely on the spendier side, with a starting MSRP of $105,550.

Other luxury EV sedans such as the Lucid Air have a starting MSRP of $89,050, and the excellent Porsche Taycan starts at $88,150. Also keep in mind that the all-wheel drive EQS450+ 4MATIC starts at $108,550 and the top-of-the-line twin motor EQS580 starts at $127,100.

All things considered, we’d probably opt for the EQS450+. Though it only produces 329 horses, the electric powertrain is still more than quick enough – after all, this is luxury executive sedan, not a performance car. The EQS450+ also has an estimated range of 350 miles (EPA estimated), which demolishes any thoughts of range anxiety. It’s a tech-laden all-electric luxury sedan more than good enough to wear the Mercedes badge.