Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is a three-row vehicle in that it literally has three rows of seats, but to lump it in with other large, luxury three-row vehicles would be generous. Quite simply, that third row and the amount of cargo space behind it are barely usable. Mercedes’ own GLS-Class is far more functional, which means that the EQS SUV is hardly the all-electric answer to the biggest Benz SUV.
In terms of cargo area specs, I have absolutely no idea what the EQS SUV supposedly provides. The official specs show only the 5-passenger version and even then lists 22.7 cubic-feet “behind rear seats.” There’s WAY more space behind Row 2 than what 22.7 cubes would usually indicate, and WAY less space behind Row 3. This wouldn’t be the first time Mercedes seems to be using a different measuring method, though. Either way, it just validates this whole luggage testing exercise.
Since I usually only test the areas behind the third row of three-row vehicles, let’s start there. My guess is we’re looking at 11 cubic-feet here or less, but regardless of figures, it’s really small. It was immediately obvious that it was going to be in the running with the Kia Sorento and Mitsubishi Outlander for smallest third-row vehicle I’ve tested.
As in every luggage test I do, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
We have a new leader! Or loser! Or whatever!
This is the least amount of luggage I’ve been able to fit behind a third row to date. These are the three smallest bags, and as you can see, the fancy bag must be totally smashed just for this to work. So yeah, you’d better buy a roof box and racks if you’re planning on going anywhere for an extended period of time with a full load of people on board.
That said, those people had better be really small, cause there just isn’t much head- or legroom back there. Realistically, the EQS SUV is a five-passenger SUV with a bonus third row available.
As such, and given the odd cargo numbers, let’s at least take a look at how many bags can fit behind row 2.
All of them, easily, no tricky Tetrising needed, I just chucked them in. This goes to prove that there’s WAY more than 22.7 cubic-feet back there, but it also illustrates why I don’t do luggage tests behind the second rows of three-row vehicles or midsize SUVs in general: I’ll run out of bags from my garage before I can fill the thing.
Therefore, as a two-row midsize SUV, the EQS is totally normal with a very comfortable and spacious back seat. Now let’s take a look at some cargo details.
Here is the under-floor storage area. It isn’t remotely as large as the deep bin found in the EQS sedan/hatchback, but it’s still plenty useful. That briefcase-looking thing is the charge cord, and there’s obviously space around it. The photo above right shows the handy strap Mercedes includes that lets you keep the storage area lid open while loading.
The underfloor storage area can accommodate the cargo cover when not in use, which is always an appreciated feature. It does boot the charging briefcase out, but you can probably live without that in the car or just find a place for it in the rest of the very large cargo area.
To lower the third row, you must press that square bit on the top of the seat (upper left). Fine. The trouble is, you also must press it to bring the seat back up, meaning you cannot do it from the cargo area. Bad. You have to walk around to the rear door, press that square button and flip the seat up from there. The double trouble is, to do that, you have to fold the second-row using the totally acceptable button on its seat top (above right). This is annoying. Maybe a big old strap would be unsightly to hoist the seat up, but at least it works.
Yet another way in which the EQS SUV isn’t much of a three-row SUV.