The new 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is a brand-new arrival in the USA. It’s a two- or three-row large electric SUV with up to seven seats and comes in a 355-horsepower 450 in RWD or AWD configuration and an AWD-only 580 variant with 536 hp. Based on the same Modular Electric Architecture as the EQS Sedan, this is a luxury car, first and foremost, and among the first in the segment. Until the BMW iX7 arrives, there are no large European three-row premium competitors to the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, but the Tesla Model X and the off-road-focussed Rivian R1S are other electric three-row SUVs that merit consideration. There is a lot of scope for customization, seeing that the three models are each available in three sub-trim specifications – Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle – each more luxurious than the last. Is this the future of electric family haulers?
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 EQS SUV?
The 2023 EQS SUV is a brand-new car and is Merc’s first-ever large electric SUV. Many see the new Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV as an EQS Sedan on stilts, and it showcases the brand’s commitment to catering to the burgeoning SUV market. It leapfrogs rival marques such as BMW and Audi, beating them to launching a full-size electric SUV. The EQS SUV promises to be the S-Class of its segment.
What’s the Price of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV?
Starting at over $100k, even the base trim levels in the range are expensive. The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV’s price is $104,400 for the cheapest derivative, the 450+ model in Premium trim. The 450+ Exclusive will cost you $107,550, and the 450+ Pinnacle goes for $110,190.
Next up is the 450 4Matic at $107,400 for Premium sub-trims, or $110,550 if you want it in Exclusive trim. At the top of this line is the Pinnacle, with a starting price of $113,190. The EQS 580 4Matic’s prices start at $125,950 for base Premium models, increasing to $129,100 with the Exclusive package added. The range is topped by the Pinnacle version at $131,740. These are Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV’s MSRPs and exclude the $1,550 destination fee.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Handling and Driving Impressions
Even the lightest single-motor RWD 450+ only just barely squeaks in below 6,000 pounds, so the EQS SUV is a weighty beast. To give it some semblance of agility and prevent it from cornering on its door handles, every model has standard adjustable air suspension and rear-wheel steering. All the tech makes it effortless to pilot and is surprisingly willing to change direction for something so heavy. Still, it could never be described as sporty, and steering feedback is distant at best. Rather dial things down a few notches and revel in the superb comfort and the tomb-like silence of the luxurious cabin. An SUV worthy of the Mercedes “S” should put comfort first – and the EQS SUV does it superbly. If there’s one criticism, it’s that the suspension is not quite as adept at filtering out small ripples and high-frequency vibrations as it is soaking up large bumps, perhaps due to the big wheels fitted. Even the base 450 trims are sufficiently punchy to cover ground swiftly, and only speed freaks will hanker for the 580. None can match the performance of the SUVs from Rivian or Tesla, though.
Verdict: Is The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV A Good SUV?
There are sportier, prettier, and more off-road-capable electric SUVs around, but when it comes to three-row luxury SUVs with a premium badge on the hood, you’re short of choices. With full-size models from other premium brands not here yet, you’re down to the 2023 EQS SUV, the Rivian R1T, and Tesla’s Model X for the time being. The Rivian is perhaps the most compelling choice, with decent third-row space, incredible off-road ability, and sedan-like handling, as long as you don’t mind that it looks like the love child of a Tonka toy truck and a stormtrooper. For true Mercedes S-Class comfort and quality in an SUV format, the EQS SUV currently rules the roost – but it’s expensive, and the competition will soon be hotting up.
What 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Model Should I Buy?
The EQS 450 4Matic Pinnacle makes the most sense of all the trims. You get the luxuries of the top-spec sub-trim that include upgraded and heated second-row seating, the rear MBUX tablet, rear side airbags, and rear wireless charging to really improve the quality of life of your second-row passengers, all for less than a $2k premium over the Exclusive at just over $113k. It’s almost $19k cheaper than the $131k 580 4Matic Pinnacle, which doesn’t really offer much else besides more performance. Try before you buy, but we think the 450 4Matic is quick enough, and the best value at Pinnacle level.