Sized, shaped, and kitted out like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the new 2022 EQS is a flagship luxury sedan that proudly displays its maker’s three-pointed star.
The EQS is the first of many planned electric Mercedes-Benz models, and to start it is offered in 450+ and 580 trims with a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive as well as 329 or 516 hp. EPA range estimates are 350 miles with the lighter, rear-drive EQS450+ and 340 miles for the EQS580 with its all-wheel-drive powertrain.
The AMG EQS, meanwhile, ups the ante with 649 hp, plus a boost mode good for short bursts of an extra 102 hp.
While it has not yet been crash tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, the EQS comes with all of Mercedes’ safety features and advanced driver aids standard, including adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic emergency braking.
The 450+ starts at around $103,000. Standard fare wants for little, with heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, Burmester 3D sound system, a surround-view camera system, active parking assist, and 20-inch wheels all included at that price point.
Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels are available. The Exclusive adds massaging seats and an air ionizer, while the Pinnacle adds upgraded rear seats with heating, cooling, and power adjustment.
That sounds great, but the real star of the EQS’ show is the available Hyperscreen. This setup includes a 56-inch single pane of glass that covers an additional 12.3-inch display in front of the passenger and a 17.7-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash. This large display is used to control nearly every function, from the climate, to various seat/comfort adjustments, and navigation.
The Hyperscreen comes standard on the EQS580 for about $120,000. That model also adds 21-inch wheels. Add an optional augmented reality head-up display, upgraded leather, and a few other extras and you can push the price to around $140,000.
Topping the lineup, the AMG EQS costs $148,550 to start, which buys both more power and a buttoned-down suspension.
Stretching more than 205 inches long, the EQS makes a strong statement even though it’s a few inches shorter than the S-Class. Its sleek lines and short overhangs – at least compared to the gas-fueled S-Class – make it look a little smaller than it is, but there’s still plenty of heft here.
Up front, the EQS wears a wide black mask with a large three-pointed star and complex LED headlights. Its teardrop shape was honed in the wind tunnel rather than the design studio, and it comes to a somewhat abrupt end in the name of aerodynamics.
Two-tone paint and various wheel options allow for considerable customization, too.
Far from retro, the EQS features a gorgeous, modern interior that’s at its best with the optional Hyperscreen. It may absorb nearly every control, but this massive display vaults you into a science fiction flick.
Ambient lighting, beautiful materials, and a wide range of trim and upholstery options provide the warmth that the big screen might seem to lack.
As for comfort, the pillowy thrones up front are among the automotive world’s best. The dipping roofline cuts into rear-seat space a little compared to the S-Class, but it’s still spacious and can be fitted with heating, cooling, and power adjustment as well.
EQS450+ and 580 versions make use of the same 107.8-kwh battery pack, but that higher number corresponds to a second motor mounted up front that provides both more power and all-wheel drive.
That’s not to say that the base car is a slouch, though the EQS580 offers more highway passing power. Neither model offers Tesla-like ultra-rapid acceleration, but that’s not the point here. These cars are about serenity, with a ride quality that borders on impeccable thanks to the standard air springs and adaptive dampers. The EQS glazes over road imperfections so well that it could be the antidote to crumbling infrastructure. Hey, it might be cheaper to park one in every driveway.
Standard rear-axle steering ensures that the EQS can slip into tight parking spots with ease. The 35.8-foot turning circle matches some compact cars.
Mercedes lets drivers switch between four regenerative braking levels, but there is no one-pedal driving experience. If anything, we wish that the brakes offered a more consistent feel in normal driving.
With its flagship-grade tech, pampering cabin, and bar-setting ride, the EQS is the kind of electric car that only Mercedes-Benz could build.
–by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions by The Car Connection