One thing is clear from the brand with the three-pointed star – they put 100% into every vehicle they build. Indeed, the world’s oldest automaker has built desired motorcars over the 139 years since the first Benz, the Patent Motorwagen was built.
For the 2023 model year, Mercedes offers up the stellar EQS Sport Utility Vehicle, the first all-electric Mercedes electric vehicle built in the U.S., and joins the current stable of EVs: the EQB and EQE SUVs, and the EQE and EQS Sedans.
Mercedes-Benz is on a course toward selling only carbon-neutral vehicles by 2039. Their so-called Ambition2039 plan applies to all Mercedes vehicles sold worldwide. Working towards that goal, the new EQS SUV is produced in a completely CO2-neutral way at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which has been the production plant for large Mercedes SUVs since 1997. EQS SUV and batteries are produced at a new battery factory in Bibb County, Alabama.
EQS SUV Models, Trim Levels, and Pricing
The 2023 EQS SUV is available in three models: EQS 450+ (355-horsepower), EQS 450 4MATIC (also 355 hp) and EQS 580 4MATIC (536 hp). Three well-equipped trim levels are available: Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle.
Premium trim for all three models starts at $104,400 for the 450+, $107,400 for the 450 4MATIC, and $125,950 for the 580 4MATIC.
Premium trim highlights include:
- Driver Assistance Package
- Heated & Ventilated Front Seats
- Leather Upholstery
- Power Tilt/Sliding Panorama Roof
- 20″ Wheels (21″ on EQS 580)
- Burmester 3D Sound System with Sound Personalization and Dolby Atmos
- 10-Degree Rear Axle Steering
- 64-color Ambient Lighting
- Parking Package with Surround View System
Exclusive trim for all three models starts at $108,650 for the 450+, $111,650 for the 450 4MATIC, and $130,200 for the 580 4MATIC.
Exclusive trim highlights include:
- All features of Premium Trim
- Head-Up Display
- Rapid Heating Front Seats
- MBUX Interior Assistant Front
- Front Multicontour Seats with Massage
- Four-Zone Climate Control
- Air Balance Package
- Mercedes-Benz Star Pattern Logo Projectors
Pinnacle trim for all three models starts at $110,650 for the 450+, $113,650 for the 450 4MATIC, and $132,200 for the 580 4MATIC.
Pinnacle trim highlights include:
- All features of Premium and Exclusive Trims
- Executive Second-Row Seat Package
- Second Row Middle Armrest with Wireless Charging
- Comfort Rear Headrests
- MBUX Rear Tablet
Add a $1,150 destination and delivery charge for all models.
EQS SUV Exterior
Unlike some other electric vehicles, including some made by Mercedes-Benz, the EQS SUV doesn’t scream “look at me, I’m electric!” It’s quite the handsome SUV, with crisp, flowing lines and a commanding presence. Up front, there’s a lot going on, but all of the design details meld harmoniously. The front “grille” is a black panel adorned with three-pointed Benz logo stars. The large center-grille star is illuminated at night and looks great. Three lower grille intakes provide air cooling for brakes and EV components. An upper LED light band connects full LED headlamps.
The side view highlights long and lean EQS SUV muscularity, enhanced by front and rear fender haunches that add visual width. Blackout trim on the B, C, and D pillars, along with factory-tinted side glass, gives the impression of a single piece of glass from the B-pillar back.
EQS SUV Interior
Mercedes-Benz is at the front of the EV pack when it comes to interiors. Step inside the EQS SUVs, and you and up to six passengers are greeted with a visual display that makes these new Benz electrics my favorites for interior design. For the base EQS 450+ and 450 4MATIC, a pair of 12.8” screens highlight the dash, with the driver’s display and a center dash OLED multimedia touchscreen portrait display; while the stunning MBUX Hyperscreen with three displays under a single 56-inch curved glass surface is standard on the EQS 580 4MATIC. The Hyperscreen uses what Mercedes-Benz calls “Zero Layer” technology, which uses artificial intelligence to bring features and commands to the surface of the Hyperscreen glass as you need them. No matter which model you choose, it will coddle you full-luxe style, and dazzle you with high tech, including a super impressive interior LED lighting system that’s bright enough to be seen even during daylight hours. Depending on trim level, the second row can be outfitted with a pair of touchscreen monitors that offer individual entertainment, along with a removable armrest tablet that also controls comfort settings.
A premium Burmester 3D Surround Sound/Dolby Atmos audio system sounds and looks great as the metal speaker grilles add to the luxurious interior layout. For the comfort of every passenger, up to five climate zones are available, with HEPA air filtration and the ability to pre-purify cabin air while the EQS SUV charges.
As you would expect in a high-line Benz, the finest leather, wood, and metal adorn the interior. The EQS SUV is also a suitable hauler, with 74.2 cubic feet of storage space with both rear rows folded flat.
EQS Drive Experience
If you’ve never driven an electric vehicle, you simply cannot understand the kinetic, visceral energy of EV propulsion. Hit the “go” pedal hard, and the car rockets ahead. There are no multi-gear transmissions, you either go forward or in reverse, and going forward in any of the EQS SUV models can happen at a very rapid clip. For example, the EQS 580 4MATIC accelerates to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds — impressive in a vehicle that weighs over 6,200 pounds. EQS 450+ models hit the 60 mph mark in 6.5 seconds — 5.8 seconds for 450 4MATIC models.
No matter the quality of the road surface, all EQS SUV models are serenely quiet. Self-leveling Airmatic suspension can adapt to road conditions and driving modes, including an off-road mode that can raise the ride height and optimize the powertrain based on trail conditions.
EQS SUV Safety
If I were to list all of the safety features that are standard or available on any Mercedes-Benz vehicle, this review would be quite a bit longer. Rest assured, the Mercedes EQS SUV lineup is among the safest vehicles on the planet. Key safety features include brake assist, lane keeping assist, dynamic cruise control with automatic braking, blind spot assist and Pre-Safe, which utilizes sensors to prepare the car for imminent collisions.
EQS SUV Range
The EQS SUV’s MBUX system features a new navigation system that incorporates Electric Intelligence. This EQ-specific navigation system helps drivers plan the fastest and most convenient route, including charging stops, and factors in topography, route, ambient temperature, speed, heating, and cooling requirements. The Mercedes me Charge network offers more than 60,000 charging points in the U.S.
EQS SUV customers receive two years of complimentary Mercedes me network charging, as well as an unlimited number of 30– minute DC fast charging sessions on the Electrify America network at no cost for the first two years.
Estimated range for the 450+ model is 305 miles. Expect 450 and 580 4Matic models to return 285 miles of range.
As the auto industry races towards full electrification, Mercedes-Benz, based on the quality and features of its current EV models, is certainly a luxury brand you should consider. The new EQS SUVs are the complete package and are available for sale now.
Pursuitist automotive and lifestyle contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, web and television for over 47 years. Brian has traveled to 79 countries. He is a North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Juror.