Driving Mercedes-Benz's flagship all-electric EQS is a joy but with a price tag of up to €180,000 is the car really worth it?
Something unusual happens when you drive the new Mercedes Benz EQS: complete strangers want to peer inside it, passers-by swarm you with mobile phones and the curiosity around it is unmatched by anything I have tested lately.
The EQS is Mercedes’ new flagship all-electric car and our test model priced at €168,000 is one of the most expensive cars they make. Available in two versions, the base price of the EQS 450+ is €129,965 and promises to reach 717km on a single charge. There is also an all-wheel-drive version priced from €180,015.
The exterior certainly divides opinion, for some it’s a well-proportioned machine, for others the design lacks the bold and innovative elements expected from a car of such importance. Mercedes are keen to stress this is the world’s most aerodynamic car thanks to its teardrop shape with a drag coefficient of just 0.20Cd. I understand why aerodynamics are so critical to the efficiency of electric cars but I have to admit the exterior could be a little more interesting, particularly given some of Mercedes’ past creations.
Inside however is a sumptuous oasis and the cabin manages to be both cool and lavish. It is awash with pampering touches including a soft pillow on the front seat head restraints. The bewilderingly impressive 142cm wide “hyperscreen” sweeps from one side of the dashboard to the next and is actually three screens: one for the driver, a large centre display and one for the passenger. Within minutes my 14-year-old had discovered the massage function and was enjoying a ‘hot stones’ massage courtesy of the ventilated seats.
The EQS is also a supremely practical car and those in the back enjoy limousine-like levels of leg room with vast space for luggage in the 610 litre boot.
On the road it is effortlessly refined and floats silently over any surface. This is not a car designed to set lap records at Nürburgring. Despite its size, it is good to drive but the sheer weight of the car is apparent and the brakes feel disconcertingly soft for such a large car. The regenerative braking, designed to recoup some of the lost energy works well and, like just about everything in the EQS, can be adjusted to suit your taste.
With a range of more than 700km, getting stranded or even simply charging the car never crossed my mind but with 200kW DC fast-charging capability this means that, in theory, you could add as much as 300km of range in just 15 minutes.
But all this reassurance comes with a hefty price tag and our test car came with an optional extras list that cost more than the average new car.
Ultimately the Mercedes EQS paves the way for a motoring future that is sustainable and exciting. And OK the price tag doesn’t even attempt to flirt with affordability but that is not what this car is about. Just like the S Class it sets new standards, the difference being only that this is the “planet-saving” version you can plug in.
With advanced technology and unrivalled comfort the Mercedes EQS makes everything else in a rapidly developing marketplace feel a bit dated.
Star rating: 5/5
Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+
Starting Price: €129,965
Engine: Electric drive
Co2/Motor Tax: 0g/km/€120
Battery Capacity: 120kWh