1,506 kilometers were on the digital speedometer when I returned the EQS 580 4MATIC after two weeks. Enough time to gather impressions and experiences with the EQS from Mercedes-Benz, which I would like to share with you on this report as a guest author on MOTION Magazine.
Before we dive into the review of the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC, it should be mentioned that my impressions are completely subjective and therefore only reflect my own opinion. However, I think that the information, impressions and photos in this article can do their part to get a first impressions of the electric car from Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz EQS: More than just the most aerodynamic production car in the world
Evidentially, the EQS was the most aerodynamic production car in the world (cW value 0.20) at the time of its launch on the global market in 2022. But the company is not resting on its laurels. Rather, the e-sedan is set to redefine its vehicle segment. Not only by changing from a combustion engine to a pure electric car. To this end, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 has been built on a new modular architecture for electric vehicles in the luxury and premium classes.
With ranges of up to 681 kilometers (according to WLTP) and an output of up to 385 kW - as in the case of my test car - the EQS meets the demands of a progressive sedan in the S-Class segment. In the meantime, it has been announced that a 560 kW performance variant is set to hit the road in collaboration with Brabus. That said, the 385 kW of my EQS 580 test vehicle is more than enough to propel the electric car forward. And that's despite a weight of 2,585 kilograms which the electric car puts on the road.
In other respects, too, the Mercedes-Benz EQS does not need to hide. It is anything but inconspicuous. I am referring less to the design than to the size of the vehicle. The EQS has a height of 1,512 mm, a width of 1,926 mm and a length of 5,216 mm. That’s what I call S-Class level. But also a bit unusual for an electric vehicle, as it made finding a parking space in the city a bit difficult at times.
Such a large electric car for sure offers enough storage space to go on vacation or a longer business trip with a group. According to the VDA standard (the German Federation of Automobiles), there is a trunk volume of 610 litres (with folded seats even 1,770 litres). The charging cable, warning triangle and first aid kit are still stored in an easily accessible flap, so that the entire storage area can actually be utilized. Several suitcases or even my Streetbooster, to commute between the charging station and home, fit in without any problems. Usually without any additional game of Tetris to find the best storage situation.
Despite its not exactly compact size, the EQS manages to glide elegantly forwards. Which is certainly due to the power of 385 kW. Much more surprising in this context, however, for me was the actual consumption. After all, 2,585 kg of the curb are a lot to move. The technical data sheet forecasts 21.4 - 18.3 kWh/100 km. A value, which is not so unrealistic, even after more than 1,200 kilometers of driving on highways and freeways - at up to 210 km/h top speed. Let me come back to that a bit later.
The acceleration capabilities of the EQS in everyday use can certainly be appreciated if you press a little harder on the electric pedal. 4.3 seconds are said to be necessary for the jump from 0 to 100 km/h. But the electric car also has power when reversing. It was only thanks to the intervening assistance systems that I didn't hit an IONITY charging station full on when I gave it a bit too much power.
The battery systems for the EQS are produced in the Hedelfingen plant section at the Stuttgart-Untertürkheim site. A lithium-ion battery with 107.8 kWh is fitted into the EQS 580. This was developed by Mercedes-Benz itself and can optionally be recharged with up to 22 kW at the AC charger or up to 200 kW at the DC charger. It is supposed to go from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 31 minutes. I tested this as well, more on this in the following sections. During recuperation, up to 290 kW is fed back into the battery of the EQS.
However, anyone who wants not only to drive fast, but above all to relax, is in good hands with the EQS, thanks to a wide range of assistance systems and "small" conveniences such as a massage function, heated and cooled seats, and ionization and/or fragrancing of the interior. For the right sound, there is the Burmester® surround sound system. This features 15 speakers with a total output of 710 watts, producing an unusually expressive, natural sound.
The built-in ambient light with 64 colours provides the background lighting. Above all, however, the 1.41-meter-wide Hyperscreen (standard on EQS 580) with three screens under a common curved cover glass catches the eye. 12.3 inches for the driver, 17.7-inch OLED in the centre and 12.3-inch OLED for the front passenger. However, this can only be switched on when the front passenger is actually sitting in his seat to minimize distraction for the driver. If the driver's gaze slides there anyway, sensors detect this and switch off the screen.
Purpose design of the EQS focuses on sensual clarity combined with progressive luxury
Based on a completely new vehicle architecture, it is easy for Mercedes-Benz to cast the EQS in the form that was envisioned for it. Nevertheless, a blank sheet of paper is not given, because the claim of an electric S-Class is somehow still placed on the electric vehicle. And the automotive company wants to meet this demand.
The highest standards of function and aerodynamics are combined with innovative aesthetics in the unmistakable "purpose" design. As the automaker also explains, care was given to ensuring that sensual clarity is reflected in generously modelled surfaces, reduced joints and seamless transitions (seamless design). You could say this is marketing language, which may certainly be true, but when you look at the EQS, you can imagine what is meant by this.
Personally, I was impressed by the EQS 580 4MATIC's departure from the SUVs you see on European roads. Instead, the electric car presents itself with a sporty, low and flat front, which results in a coupé-like silhouette with a tightly stretched bow over the roof of the car.
Its appearance is rounded off by an A-pillar that is pulled far forward and a C-pillar at the rear. This combination creates plenty of space in the interior for both driver and front passenger, as well as passengers in the second row. Not to mention the generous trunk space. The cab-forward design is also unique in this segment. This is demonstrated by the fact that the overhangs and the front end are short and the rear end is smoothly rounded.
Reduction to the essentials is what the design of this electric car stands for. This is demonstrated on the one hand by the clear, generous and surface-emphasizing modelling of the vehicle. Combined with reduced lines, precise joints and smooth transitions. It seems almost obvious that this also has a positive effect on the aerodynamics of the vehicle - for example through the smooth underbody / closed radiator louvers - and thus on the range. Official proof comes in the form of a sensational cW value of 0.20.
The Mercedes EQS is visually striking not only because of its aerodynamic silhouette with frameless, coupé-like doors and high, curved curb, but also because of its eye-catching black panel front, which combines all kinds of technology. As the face of the new luxury class generation of Mercedes EQ, one not only notices this first, but also finds various sensors of the driving assistance systems such as ultrasound, camera, radar and LiDAR (laser) reflected below it.
The round, coupe-like rear end is also presented in a modern design. This has been given a contrast in the form of a rear spoiler with a sharp breakaway edge to break up the design a little. The flush tailgate has been integrated almost seamlessly with precise joints. Hidden behind the star, protected from dirt, is the rear camera. As at the front, the EQS also has a continuous illuminated band at the rear - a distinguishing feature of Mercedes-EQ vehicles.
Let's move to the interior of the e-vehicle. The MBUX hyperscreen immediately catches the eye. This presents itself as a concave screen, which spreads out like an ocean wave from the left to the right A-pillar in front of the occupants. Nevertheless, Mercedes has succeeded in integrating the MBUX Hyperscreen into the instrument panel in an almost minimalist way. It is supplemented by a head-up display that is able to show the right way with augmented reality content.
In addition to the visually unobtrusive MBUX Hyperscreen, Mercedes also plays with the right sound, which is able to transport the occupants of the EQS into a world of their own. This is supported by specially created sound programs that are designed to help you relax and recharge your batteries. Paired with the matching fragrance No.6 MOOD Linen, which flows through the interior of the EQS if desired. Alternatively, the large HEPA filter can be switched on to filter the air very effectively from fine dust, minute particles and pollen. Special activated carbons in the HEPA filter and the cabin air filter also filter out sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and odors.
To round off the relaxation program in the Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC, I "must" mention the massage program for the driver and front passenger, which indeed promises pure relaxation on longer trips and loosens up the muscles accordingly. Personally, the pressure could be a bit higher. But that is certainly a matter of taste.
Fully electric in everyday life with the Mercedes EQS
My electric vehicle was also convincing on the road for well over 1,500 kilometers. The EQS glides along the road as you would expect from an all-electric S-Class. When needed, however, it also unleashes the full power of its 385 kW/523 hp output with a maximum torque of 855 Nm. Razor-sharp camera images and corresponding assistance systems make driving this long vehicle easier than when you have to take care of everything yourself. Its air suspension skilfully compensates for small and large bumps in the road. The EV can not only be driven in Eco, Comfort or Individual mode, but of course also in Sport mode. The response is naturally more direct and yet very precise in this mode. You also don't notice that it is noticeably stiffer on the road.
There is room for improvement when you step on the brakes. Because it seems to only go “all or nothing” here. At least that's how it seemed to me. Personally, I'd like it to be a little smoother when I want to brake on the EQS… or perhaps, I just need a little bit more practice.
I would like to positively mention both the head-up display and the MBUX Hyperscreen, especially when driving the Mercedes EQS on roads previously unknown. The two indicate the route in an easy-to-read manner. In combination with the augmented reality content, which is visually superimposed on the road, you should never get lost again.
The optional DLP headlights with beamer technology also are eye-catching. Especially since you no longer have to worry about anything as a driver. The camera detects other road users and signs at an early stage and dims accordingly section by section. The only drawback in terms of light: drive-in cinema. Here you should make sure to stand at the edge and switch to parking lights, which are ideally concealed to the rear.
It is rather the case that you come into contact with the touch elements in the vehicle every time you drive. That's not so bad in itself. But at least on the steering wheel itself, I would have liked to find one or two haptic switches / buttons. Adjusting cruise control speed, increasing or decreasing volume, skipping ahead a song, etc... Little things - but all of them not quite as hands-free as you'd like. Less touch, more buttons… at least in the right place.
With "Hey Mercedes", the EQS responds to voice commands surprisingly well. If you want to give it a try, you should try "Hey Mercedes, activate the ejector seat". Let's say the top goes up and the countdown starts. What happens to the passenger is something you should test yourself.
Range, consumption and charging options in a glance
In the previous sections, I have already gone into some aspects of all-electric driving with the Mercedes-Benz electric sedan. In terms of overall appearance, it has already been convincing, so it is time to take a closer look at the topic of charging. First the facts about my test vehicle.
- All-wheel drive with 385 kW/ 523 hp, with maximum torque of 855 Nm
- Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds
- Top speed of 210 km/h
- 107.8 kWh lithium-ion battery (net)
- Energy consumption per 100 km (weighted) 21.4 - 18.3 kWh/ 100 km
- Range (combined) 681 km according to WLTP
- 0 g/km CO2 emissions, combined
I usually cover distances of around 350 to 500 kilometers with test vehicles. With the EQS it was a little different. It was with me at just the right time and longer day trips were on my agenda. In the end, this resulted in 1,506 kilometers covered on the digital speedometer. With an average energy consumption of 23.6 kWh/100 kilometers.
To my surprise this average turned out to not be that far away from the technical data sheet, especially while considering that I spent around 1,200 kilometers with the EQS on the German Autobahn. In Comfort mode, it also approached the top speed of 210 km/h quite often. All in all, for a vehicle of this size and weight, I think consumption is acceptable. Especially since the consumption in the urban environment rather slipped below the 20 kWh / 100 km.
Nevertheless, it would have been rather difficult to achieve the range of 681 km according to WLTP. But I can well imagine that 530-550 km are possible in everyday use with the EQS. However, since the battery eventually runs out of energy, there is no way around recharging. And the EQS 580 can do that quite well. 26 minutes and 38 seconds were enough to charge the electric car from 23% to 80%. 66.13 kWh were fed in, with a peak charging power of 200.6 kW at a fast charger. Which was certainly due to the fact that I drove to the charging station via the onboard navigation system and the battery was pre-tempered accordingly. A nice gimmick is that the cover for the charging port also opened once the vehicle is parked.
I was completely convinced. But even at the home wallbox or public AC charging station, the EQS achieves a charging speed of 22 kW. Of course, this is also necessary if you want to refill a 107.8 kWh lithium-ion battery with energy.
Charging time wallbox 11 kW (to 100%) - 10 hours
Wallbox, 3-phase, AC, type 2 From 10 to 100 percent
Charging time wallbox 22 kW (to 100%) - 5 hours
Wall socket, 3-phase, alternating current, type 2 From 10 to 100 percent
Fast charging station 200 kW - 31 minutes
Public fast charging station, direct current, DC From 10 to 80 percent
In addition to AC and DC charging, however, it is also possible to supply energy to the battery again through recuperation. Intelligent recuperation is situation-optimized with the help of ECO
Assistant and acts with foresight, taking into account traffic conditions or topography, among other things. As the driver, you can also manually set three recuperation levels and the sailing function via shift paddles on the steering wheel: D Auto, D+, D and D-. Recuperation takes place with up to 290 kW.
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz EQS
Let me finaly focus a little on the interior of my electric test vehicle. The EQS is the first Mercedes EQ to be based on a purely electric platform. For the designers, this was accompanied by a vision of consistent digitization of the interior. Main evidence is found in the space-consuming MBUX hyperscreen, which extends from left to right across the entire width of the vehicle interior. The individual screens appear to merge into one another under a cover glass.
The optional active ambient lighting may seem like a gimmick at first glance, but it certainly has its raison d'être. Driving, boosting and recuperation are impressively staged with the help of around 190 LEDs. Beyond that, and in my view the far more relevant use, is that the Active Ambient Lighting can be integrated into the driving assistance systems and visually support their warnings. The Active Brake Assist, for example, warns with a red illumination of the instrument panel when there is a risk of collision. With Active Blind Spot Assist, too, a red light in the door signals a dangerous situation.
The EQS provides practical storage areas in places you would not expect in a combustion engine. The front section of the middle console, for example, adjoins the instrument panel and stands freely in the space. The exciting thing is that you don't have to tell the EQS what you want it to do. On the contrary, it learns. As an example, Mercedes cites: "If the EQS driver regularly uses the hot-stone massage function in winter, the system learns and automatically suggests the comfort function for winter temperatures." Certainly not a must-have, but a fine detail that makes a difference when you think about it.
With the help of cameras in the roof control unit and learning algorithms, the MBUX Interior Assistant recognizes numerous different operating wishes of the driver or passengers. It interprets head direction, hand movements and body language and responds with appropriate vehicle functions, as the automaker explains. Conversely, this means that the EQS learns more from you, drive by drive, to enable a better driving experience.
Back to the interior and the advantages of a stand-alone e-platform. In the first row - as driver and front passenger - one effortlessly takes up to a size of two meters. The rear, for its part, is designed for passengers up to 1.90 metres tall. Conditioned by the large wheelbase in combination with the already mentioned short overhangs. With a trunk lid up to the roof and a folding rear seat, the EQS offers between 610 and 1,770 litres of storage space, according to Mercedes. An announcement and well equipped for any larger trip or vacation.
In detail, the Mercedes EQS offers so much more, but you should experience it for yourself. Or just ask, and I can go into more details about the interior and exterior.
Information about my test vehicle
Let's talk about the test car. It came in the EQS 580 4MATIC variant, with the optional design of diamond white bright paint and the upholstery in macchiato beige / space grey nappa leather. The rear seat package, front ENERGIZING package, Premium Plus package and the MBUX augmented reality head-up display were also included.
In addition, the test car had the optional AMG Line exterior, ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL Plus, Night package, URBAN GUARD vehicle protection Plus, 2 wireless headphones as well as rear-axle steering for a fee. Together with:
Remote Services Premium
Radiator grille with Mercedes-Benz Pattern
Extendable sun visor
Heat- and noise-insulating as well as infrared-reflecting laminated safety glass
MBUX Interior Assistant
Alternating current (AC) charging system up to 22 kW
Heated windshield washer system
Active ambient lighting
Conclusion on the test of the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC
What can you say, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC plays in its own league. It has to, if we look at it objectively. For a list price of over € 170,000, e-car drivers should be able to expect an all-round carefree package. And that's exactly what the EQS delivers. Convincing range, fast charging times and an interior that invites you to stay longer in the e-car than is actually necessary.
Nevertheless, even in this price range you can find small flaws that could be eliminated. However, they may only be perceived subjectively by me. For example, the touch control on the steering wheel, in contrast to the volume control in the center console, which appears to be a touch, but "only" reacts to firm pressure.
For its part, the MBUX Hyperscreen makes you want to spend an evening watching TV in the EQS. This is also possible with the optional TV tuner. It's a gimmick, but it's quite understandable that such a feature is installed in the company's own electric flagship. The Mercedes-Benz EQS does many things right. However, I am sure that it will find even more appeal as an e-SUV.
The Mercedes-Benz 580 4MATIC was provided free of charge by Mercedes-Benz for my test report over a period of two weeks. However, this has no influence on my honest opinion written here.
Photos courtesy of Sebastian Henssler.