Mercedes EQS SUV review

Category: Electric car

Electric SUV delivers impressive performance and refinement with a long electric range, but some of the interior quality is disappointing for the price

Mercedes EQS SUV front left driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front left driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear cornering driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior dashboard
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior infotainment
  • Mercedes EQS SUV right driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front left driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear right driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front right static charging
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear right static
  • Mercedes EQS SUV overhead static doors open
  • Mercedes EQS SUV wheel detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV badge detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV door detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior front seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior steering wheel
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front left driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear cornering driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior dashboard
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior infotainment
  • Mercedes EQS SUV right driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front left driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear right driving
  • Mercedes EQS SUV front right static charging
  • Mercedes EQS SUV rear right static
  • Mercedes EQS SUV overhead static doors open
  • Mercedes EQS SUV wheel detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV badge detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV door detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior front seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior steering wheel
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQS SUV interior detail
What Car?’s EQS deals
New car deals
Target Price from £129,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £66,790

Introduction

What Car? says...

Mercedes may have been a little late to take its seat at the electric car table but it’s definitely making its presence known now – and the Mercedes EQS SUV is the latest example of that. 

Based on the same bespoke electric car platform as the luxurious Mercedes EQS saloon, this electric SUV is designed to offer the same comfort as the EQS while also taking advantage of the additional interior space an SUV body brings.

If that sounds tempting, you can currently have your EQS SUV in two different flavours. The EQS SUV 450 4Matic sends just over 350bhp to all four wheels and can cover up to 365 miles, while the 580 4Matic lifts the power to more than 500bhp without sacrificing much of that range.

On top of the two different power options, Mercedes offers a choice of two trim levels. They both come with loads of standard equipment (to help justify the rather lofty price tag) and the top Business Class trim will truly make you feel like you’re driving around in a decadent first-class lounge.

As promising as that all sounds, it won’t be plain sailing for the Mercedes EQS SUV. After all, it needs to prove its mettle against accomplished electric SUVs including the Audi Q8 e-tron, the BMW iX and the Tesla Model X. It's also competing against conventional luxury SUVs such as the Range Rover.

So is it as good as or better than all those rivals? That’s what we’ll find out in this review, as we pit the EQS SUV against them in all the important areas, including performance, interior quality, practicality and reliability.

When you've decided which car to buy, you can find the best prices available by searching our free What Car? New Car Deals pages. They can help you find the best new electric car deals.

Overview

Like the EQS saloon, the EQS SUV impresses with its refinement, range between charges and performance in a straight line. It then adds to that a spacious and luxuriously appointed interior that’ll make you want to go on long drives. We just wish the interior was put together a little better, especially at this price point.

  • Comfortable ride
  • No road noise and very little wind noise
  • Good range between charges
  • Infotainment could be easier to use
  • Interior finish could be better
  • BMW iX is more fun to drive
New car deals
Target Price from £129,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £66,790
See the full range

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

You can have your Mercedes EQS SUV with one of two electric motor set-ups. The range starts with the entry-level 450 4Matic, which gives you instant access to 355bhp and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.0sec. That's more than enough for any situation you can throw at it, and probably all you could ever need.

With an official range of up to 365 miles before you need to plug it in, it also goes a long way. That’s 60 miles further than the (far cheaper) Audi Q8 e-tron Vorsprung 55 and around 20 miles more than the comparatively priced – but much quicker – BMW iX M60.

Even the more powerful 580 4Matic with 537bhp can’t match the iX for pace but it has a good go, lowering the sprint time to 4.6sec, which is even quicker than the AMG A35 hot hatch version of the Mercedes A-Class. Arguably the best thing is that the power doesn’t come at the expense of much range, with the 580 4Matic officially managing up to 362 miles.

Mercedes EQS image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Whichever variant you choose, the electronic gadgetry helps make it relaxing on a motorway, with you rarely having to do anything beyond keeping an eye on your surroundings and your hands on the wheel. The car holds you steady in the centre of your lane instead of pinging between the lines, and maintains a safe gap to the traffic around you almost effortlessly.

Wind, road and electric motor noise are kept to a minimum, while standard four-wheel steering makes it far better at manoeuvring in tight spaces than an electric SUV of this size has any right to be. The back wheels can turn by up to 10 degrees and reduce the turning circle to just 11.0m, which is tighter than the Mercedes C-Class saloon.

The four-wheel steering also helps when the route gets a little more challenging, improving high-speed stability and making the EQS SUV dive into corners with more vigour. It really is very easy to place the car where you want it, which is helped by the adaptive dampers and air suspension keeping the body upright and minimising body roll, especially in Sport mode. 

As nimble as it feels, it's not all that much fun, and it’s hard to ignore that it’s a large and heavy SUV. Of course, it wasn’t designed to be a sports car and when it comes to comfort it excels.

With the suspension in its softest setting, it's incredibly comfortable, taking the sting out of potholes and doing a great job of turning even rough roads into something far smoother, but without bouncing you around in your seat. The relaxed driving experience is helped by the near non-existent road noise, and very low levels of wind noise and whine from the electric motors.

Mercedes EQS SUV rear cornering driving

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Standard-fit electrically adjustable seats (including four-way lumbar adjustment) and an electrically adjustable steering wheel mean it’s easy to get comfortable in the Mercedes EQS SUV. Handily, the seat and wheel have memory functions to make it easy to restore your preferred settings if someone else drives the car.

If you like to sit high above the road, you’ll appreciate the lofty driving position, which places you slightly higher than you are in the Audi Q8 e-tron. As a result, you have a great view out over the bonnet and the narrow window pillars mean you can see out easily at junctions. 

It’s a similar story when you look over your shoulder, where large rear windows and a cut out in the wide rear pillars give you impressive visibility given the size of this electric SUV. Parking is easy, thanks to the standard parking sensors front and rear, and the 360-degree camera. 

Directly in front of the driver, there’s a 12.3in digital instrument panel that’s clear, easy to read and able to display a wide variety of information. That said, it would be even more user-friendly if the control pads on the steering wheel were a little less sensitive. They allow you to switch between menus and control many of the car’s functions, but are too easy to hit accidentally.

Almost everything else is operated using a large touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. The menus are fairly easy to use after a bit of practice, and the system includes augmented reality sat-nav (where the direction arrows appear to be on the road) and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. You get a voice-control system that’s designed to recognise natural commands, although it can be a bit hit and miss.

Fancy something with a little more wow factor? Opting for any version other than the entry-level 450 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus upgrades the infotainment system to the Hyperscreen. It's actually three screens spanning the width of the dashboard: the driver’s instrument panel, a larger 17.7in central infotainment touchscreen and a second 12.3in touchscreen in front of the passenger.

When combined with the Mercedes Me service, the Hyperscreen allows the driver and front passenger to be logged into different profiles, providing each with a tailored experience and allowing the passenger to use the internet, arrange their personal calendar or adjust certain car settings. To help minimise distractions to the driver, the passenger screen only switches on when the car detects someone sitting in the seat – the rest of the time it shows a clock. 

Despite all its bells and whistles, the Hyperscreen doesn’t fix the issue of the lack of physical buttons or dials to adjust the climate control and other settings, which is fiddlier than it could be. The layout results in the driver’s instrument panel being positioned at an awkward angle, so the steering wheel obstructs the top section of the screen if it’s set too low.

Interior quality is mostly impressive throughout the EQS SUV, with rich materials such as supple Nappa leather, real wood veneers, metal inserts and squishy plastics. The few buttons and switches it does have work precisely, although some of the plastic surrounds that house them could be classier.

Mercedes EQS SUV interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Even if you and your friends happen to be basketball-player height, you’ll have no complaints when sitting up front in the Mercedes EQS SUV. The dimensions mean you’re treated to lots of head and leg room, while the width of the interior ensures you won’t be rubbing shoulders. 

Rear head room isn’t quite as generous as in the front, but it's better than in the regular Mercedes EQS and even six-footers won’t feel short-changed. They won’t have any complaints about leg room either, thanks to the sheer amount on offer. They’ll be even more spoiled if you go for Business Class trim because it comes with the Seat Comfort Package, which brings individually reclining seats with a wide range of massage programmes.

Unlike in the Audi Q8 e-tron and BMW iX you can choose to have your EQS SUV with an extra row of seats, taking the count up to seven. Those passengers aren’t quite as spoiled for leg room but they’ll still be comfortable on short journeys.

On paper, you have 565 litres of boot space to play with and, while that isn’t all that impressive, it's more than you’ll find in the iX, which managed to swallow eight carry-on suitcases below its tonneau cover. The boot floor is totally flat, even with the third row of seats folded down, so it’s easy to load up.

When you need to transport extra long items, the rear seats can be split 40/20/40 and folded down electrically by using buttons in the boot. When you do, the capacity increases to 2,020 litres and there’s no step up to the folded seat backs.

Mercedes EQS SUV interior back seats

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

There’s no getting away from the fact that the Mercedes EQS SUV wears a pretty hefty price tag, costing more to buy outright than the Audi Q8 e-tron in its top trim and about the same as the sportier BMW iX M60. 

The BMW is also predicted to depreciate slower than the EQS SUV, meaning that it should be worth more if you decide to sell. Compared with the Q8 e-tron, the EQS SUV will depreciate far more slowly, but also costs far more in the first place.

Those wanting to keep their company car benefit-in-kind (BIK) payments to a minimum will massively reduce their bills by going for the electric EQS SUV over other luxury SUVs including the Range Rover. Plus, the EQS is exempt from the London ULEZ.

As an additional bonus, ​all versions come with a year’s worth of free rapid charging at Ionity stations, something that you don’t get with any of its rivals. These are nowhere near as widespread or reliable as Tesla Superchargers though, so if you often travel long distances, you might want to consider the Tesla Model X instead.

Speaking of charging, both versions can rapid charge at speeds up to 200kW, meaning that, if you can find a charger capable of that speed, they can charge from 10-80% in just 31min. On a standard 22kW charger, they’ll take up to 5hr 30min to go from 10-100% and on a 7kW wallbox it’ll take 16hr 45min. 

To help justify the list price, the standard equipment list is pretty extensive, with even the entry-level AMG-Line Premium Plus trim getting 21in alloy wheels, wireless phone-charging, privacy glass, a panoramic sliding sunroof, heated seats on all three rows, a heated steering wheel, automatic climate control and lots of other kit. 

Upgrading to top Business Class trim adds a host of additional luxuries including a head-up display, entertainment screens in the rear, a tablet in the rear to control features of the car, wireless charging front and rear, massage seats and the impressive Hyperscreen. 

Standard driver aids include adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, in addition to the blind-spot monitoring system and rear-view camera. What’s more, the EQS is one of the safest cars yet tested by Euro NCAP not only receiving its maximum five-star rating, but also scoring more than 90% for adult and child occupant protection.

On the other hand, Mercedes didn’t perform particularly well in our 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey – finishing joint 23rd with Vauxhall out of 32 brands.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here.

Mercedes EQS SUV interior infotainment

FAQs

  • Even if you go for the entry-level AMG Line Premium Plus trim, the EQS SUV is rather pricey. At the time of writing, it wore a list price of almost £130,000, which is more than even the top-spec Audi Q8 e-tron. Check the latest prices on our New Car Deals pages.

  • The longest range EQS SUV is the 450 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus and it’ll officially manage up to 365 miles between charges. That said, even the fully loaded and most powerful version should manage up to 362 miles.

  • Yes – any trim level can be specified with either five or seven seats at no extra charge. On short journeys, those sitting in the third row will have enough space to get comfortable and even have the luxury of the seats being heated.

  • All versions can be charged up to a speed of 200kW, meaning it’ll go from 10-80% in about half an hour. On a 22kW charger, that time increases to 5hr 30min if you charge from 10-100% and almost 17 hours on a 7kW charger.

  • Our chosen entry-level EQS SUV 450 4Matic gives you 355bhp to play with and will cover 0-62mph in just 6.0sec. Those after more power will relish the 537bhp that the more powerful 580 4Matic has at its disposal.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £129,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £66,790
RRP price range £129,470 - £200,860
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)electric
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £259 / £402
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £518 / £803
Available colours