Mercedes EQS SUV review: a palace on wheels

Despite some criticism of the exterior appearance, the interior of the EQS SUV is impossibly stylish and crammed with automotive creature comforts
Mercedes EQS SUV review: a palace on wheels

Mercedes EQS SUV

Mercedes EQS SUV




from €139,880 - €146,038 as tested


an electric motor produces a very healthy 360 bhp


a massive 626 km range

The Spec

you’re talking palatial here, seriously palatial


technological and engineering masterpiece, 

whatever you think about the looks

It is quite possible to spend more money on a car than what you might have to outlay on an S-Class Mercedes. In fact, depending on how much gelt you’ve got to splash, it is possible to lay out the equivalent of the GDP of a small African nation on a set of wheels.

But, when something like the S-Class is available – and at quite a considerable amount less than, say, an Aston Martin Valour (anywhere between $1.5 and $2m ), or a Ferrari Daytona SP3 ($2.3m), or a Bentley Mulliner Batur (€2.1m) – why would you even consider anything other than one of the machines from Stuttgart?

Now I know that with a price tag of a smidgin over €146,000, few will consider the Mercedes to be a bargain basement purchase, but when you consider the quality on offer for the price and then start shopping around in the executive stratosphere, you’ll come around to the point of view that perhaps it’s something of a bargain.

This might seem a bit ridiculous for anyone living on the breadline but, sadly, that’s life and while this week’s tester will only appeal to a small coterie of wealthy punters, the fact of the matter is they will be able to bask in the sort of luxury that is generally only available to the well-heeled.

That this fact might put a lot of people off their dinner, such is the inequality of these issues, is not something we have to consider here. What we do have to consider is merely whether it is worth it or not. Even at this early juncture, I can assure you, dear reader, it is.

The car in question is the headline model of Mercedes’ all-electric EQ range and, as such it has quite a lot to live up to and that’s simply because of the ‘S’ designation that is attached to it.

The S-Class has traditionally been in the vanguard of Mercedes’ raison d’etre (as well as a role model and standard-setter for the rest of the industry to judge itself by) and the company places a lot of stock in it being, at any given time, the leading technological edge of where the industry is at any given moment.

EQS SUV stylish interior
EQS SUV stylish interior

Traditional S-Class models, therefore, are seen as the bell-weather for pretty much everything that car makers can and will do in terms of what can, in reality, be done with ‘normal’ production cars We know that everything is pretty much possible if you throw enough money at it, but the S-Class traditionally has been in the vanguard of what is possible mechanically and technologically.

And so it is the case with this car, the S-Class EQS SUV 450+. We’ve already given a five-star rating to the saloon version of this car, the EQS, simply on the basis that it brings a level of engineering excellence hitherto unseen to the executive class.

Unbridled comfort levels and assured on-road excellence are the twin pillars of the EQS and now Mercedes as applied the same parameters to the EQS SUV to make what is, in truth, a stunning tour de force.

Having said all that, it would be unreasonable – factoring in that great imponderable known as ‘the human condition’ which brings out in us an improbable ability to find fault with absolutely anything – not to be able to find things which displease our critical senses and, in this case, it is the exterior look of the EQS SUV.

During my time with the car, that need which people seem to have in abundance of finding fault with anything overtly expensive or elite and the definite necessity to tell you about it, came to the fore and consequently I was left in no doubt that the school of public opinion felt this was an ugly car.

Now it is interesting that when you have a small, cheap, but ugly car, people then to be kinder in their assessment: “Well, it’s not the prettiest, is it?” But as you move up the scale, they get more strident: “That’s one goddam ugly car you got there.” So it was with the EQS SUV.

People seem to have a need – and particularly so the less likely they are ever to own one – to get the boot in to certain cars. This was definitely the case here, but when I countered that while it might not be pretty from the outside, the inside was like the Palace of Versailles, they were taken aback.

And while Louis XIV might not like the comparison with his masterpiece, the unadulterated luxury on offer here is genuinely gob-smacking and whatever other brickbats might be thrown at the car, it cannot be accused of slacking on the comfort front.

The same is true of the driving experience, which – and especially so given the size of the vehicle – is equivalent to being aboard a liner on the seven seas, but with sharper handling and a nicer, smoother ride.

Mercedes EQS SUV
Mercedes EQS SUV

On the fact front, the EQS SUV has a massive 626 km range and its electric motor produces a very healthy 360 bhp and 568 Nm of torque to give you a 0-100 km/h time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 210 km/h. There’s not too many electrics can claim such figures.

The adoption of Mercedes’ AIRMATIC air suspension system with adaptive dampers give the car a suitable armoury to tackle pretty much any roads and the fact there is rear-wheel steering makes really tight roads something of a hoot and parking much less of a chore than you might have thought.

Home comforts abound from the delightful twin screen MBUX infotainment system and instrumentation, to the electric tailgate, the huge sliding panoramic sunroof, high beam assist LED lights, the macchiato beige/slate grey leather upholstery, sophisticated climate controls, ambient lighting and a pile of other stuff that would fill an encyclopaedia.

Put it this way, the fact the rear seats are electrically adjustable tells you everything you need to know about the luxury on offer. Given its size too, the car is truly practical – as evidenced by the third row of seats which make it a seven-seater.

The range of technologies on show here is hugely impressive and will take time for prospective owners to compute fully, but simply to say the EQS SUV is bristling with kit is doing it a disservice.

Some might not like the look – the M-B patterned grille in particular, coming in for repeated criticism – but you cannot argue with the quality on offer overall, both in terms of the interior comfort and the driving chops.

It might cost a lot, but then it is an S-Class and it’s supposed to. Thing is, though, you do actually get a hell of a lot for the money.

And, aside from the divided opinion about the car’s looks, we have one small quibble. Why is it, for a company of Mercedes size and history, it would not be beyond them to come up with a better way of differentiating it from the EQS, other than calling it the EQS SUV? Strange that.

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