The shift to electrification is in the works at Mercedes-Benz. The new S-Class is amazing, but it didn’t make the final cut this year because it was upstaged by its future replacement: the EQS.
A full-size electric hatchback, the Mercedes-Benz EQS is a tour de force even the S-Class can’t match as it lays the groundwork for the German automaker’s future. The EQS earned its spot on the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2022 finalist list as the market’s first true electric luxury car (sorry, the Tesla Model may be expensive, but it isn’t a luxury car).
Based on Mercedes’ new MMA platform, which will underpin many of the upcoming electric Benz models, the EQS looks like nothing else on the road today thanks to its cab-forward design and fast roofline that creates a slippery coefficient of drag 0.20. Its design is about efficiency and the futuristic look is a side benefit.
The EQS’s cabin is a tech showcase highlighted by the optional Hyperscreen, which comprises three dashboard screens covered in a single 56-inch pane of glass. Nearly every touchpoint in the pillowy interior is covered in either glass or soft leather. At night, the ambient lighting makes the interior feel like a high-end night club.
The base EQS has adequate power, and the other models are downright quick. The base 450+ model uses single rear motor that provides 329 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque and launches the car from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The dual-motor EQS 580 model adds a front-mounted motor that ups total output to 516 hp and 631 lb-ft while also providing all-wheel drive. The 0-60 mph sprint drops to 4.1 seconds and makes highway passing more confident.
Every EQS draws its power from a 107.8-kwh battery pack; single-motor cars have 350-miles of EPA-rated range, while the dual-motor EQS 580 has 340 miles of range.
The suspension is the EQS’s secret sauce. An air suspension paired with adaptive dampers comes standard and allows the EQS to glide over the road while dismissing bumps. In Comfort mode, it can wallow at times on the highway, but around town it’s sublime. Between the isolating suspension and the near-silent powertrain, it’s sometimes hard to tell just how fast the EQS is moving down the road. Rear-axle steering helps shrink the EQS around corners, too.
While the EQS upstages the latest S-Class, which is a feat in itself, it isn’t perfect. We take issue with the brakes, which feel mushy when first applied but get better after the handoff from regen to friction braking. The design makes the car look like it landed from outer space, but it’s certainly not as pretty as the S-Class, and the proportions elicit thoughts of the not-so-upscale Chrysler LH models of the 1990s and early 2000s. The Hyperscreen’s high-set gauge cluster almost obstructs the view ahead, and the sheer amount of information on the numerous screens can feel overwhelming.
Luxury cars rarely make it to the final round in Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy competition because we value fun behind the wheel. The EQS is so good, though, and such a game-changer in the electric-car market, that we have to consider it.
Will the Mercedes-Benz EQS’s combination of technology, ride comfort, power, and electric luxury be enough for it to win Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2022 competition? Check back on Jan. 3 when we announce the winner, along with the winners from our sister sites, The Car Connection, and Green Car Reports.