Mercedes-Benz has introduced its latest silent additions to its EQ fleet, and instead of an introduction as quiet as the cars, the newcomers arrived with a bang! Siya Mbaduli was at the launch to get behind the wheel of the EQS 450 4MATIC.
After a demanding week of jet-setting between cities, immersing myself in the symphony of V8 and V6 engines and basking in the adrenaline of motorsport events, the moment had come to wrap up the week with a dose of serenity and stillness. Allow me to introduce you to the latest addition to the lineup – the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV.
Mercedes EQS 450 4MATIC SUV Fast Facts:
- Price: R2 726 100
- Battery: 108,4 kWh
- Range: 616 km
- Power: 265 kW
- Torque: 800 N.m
- Transmission: 1-Speed direct drive
- 0-100 km/h: 6 seconds
- Top speed: 210 km/h
- Rivals: BMW iX M60, Audi e-tron S Sportback and Jaguar I-Pace
What are we driving?
At daybreak, attired in my hand-me-down grey Tom Ford trousers, crisply ironed, I laced up my gleaming black Crocket and Jones shoes. Clad in a navy shirt paired with a dark grey two-tone knitted blazer, I was fully suited-up and ready to embark on my journey, anticipating a comprehensive Mercedes luxury experience.
Upon touchdown at O.R. Tambo, a fleet of neatly arranged EQS 450 4MATIC SUVs greeted me, poised and ready for the road. The 2023 EQS SUV marks Mercedes’ latest addition to their expanding electric vehicle lineup, falling under the EQ sub-brand. It stands as the inaugural SUV built on Mercedes’ versatile modular electric vehicle platform, which also serves as the foundation for the EQE and EQS sedans.
Our initial encounter with this particular model took place at the newly opened dealership in Constantiaberg. Regrettably, the opportunity for a test drive eluded us on that occasion. Maintaining a close kinship with its sedan counterpart, the interior exuded a sense of familiarity while generously offering additional space. Under the metal, the EQS SUV produces 265 kW of power and a formidable 800 N.m of torque. What truly sets it apart is its substantial 108,4 kWh battery, promising an impressive range of up to 616 km.
Why is the EQS 450 4Matic SUV significant?
These days, SUVs are a hot commodity in the luxury car market, while big sedans still have their appeal. This shift in consumer preference explains why Lamborghini decided to create the Urus instead of the Estoque sedan. Bentley, too, opted to offer an extended-wheelbase version of the Bentayga SUV rather than continuing with the Mulsanne sedan. Mercedes-Benz, keeping a close eye on market trends, wasted no time in introducing the EQS SUV shortly after launching the EQS sedan.
As I mentioned earlier, the EQS SUV closely resembles the sedan version in terms of its design, both inside and out. However, it stands taller and boasts a more refined interior. Inside, you’ll find a wealth of cutting-edge technology to enhance your driving experience.
What’s new on the EQS 450 4Matic SUV?
The lighting on the EQS adds a touch of uniqueness to its overall look and feel. Take, for instance, the lightbar that spans the tailgate, creating a visual connection with the taillights. Up front, you’ll spot the three-pointed star nestled within a glossy, closed-off grille, flanked by a pair of headlights linked by yet another luminous strip. Depending on the model, that prominent Mercedes emblem also illuminates.
As you step inside, the EQS SUV offers a sense of spaciousness that belies its compact exterior dimensions, though it’s not as large as the GLS. The dashboard closely resembles what you’d find in the GLS though, featuring a dominating presence of screens. You can opt for the three-part Hyperscreen or go with the standard digital instrument cluster paired with a sizable central unit that’s shared with the S-Class.
In models like the 450, the Hyperscreen is an optional feature, while it comes as standard in the 580. This piece of tech is a single curved sheet of glass that spans the entire 56 inches across the dash, stretching from pillar to pillar. It houses a 12,3-inch digital instrument panel in front of the driver, a generous 17,7-inch central touchscreen, and an additional 12,3-inch touchscreen display on the passenger side.
What does the EQS 450 4Matic SUV cost?
- EQS 450 4Matic SUV: R2 726 100
- EQS 450 4Matic 7-seater SUV: R2 759 300
What are the EQS 450 SUV 4Matic Rivals?
Vehicles that offer stiff competition to the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV include the BMW iX M60, priced at R2 975 000. The iX M60 packs a punch with its 455 kW of power and a hefty 1 015 N.m of torque. Another contender is the Audi e-tron S Sportback, which comes in at a price of R2 425 000 and boasts a formidable power output of 370 kW and 973 N.m of torque. Additionally, the Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD R-Dynamic HSE presents itself as a worthy competitor to the EQS SUV as well, with its price tag sitting at R2 455 000. While it may have slightly more power at 294 kW, it delivers less torque at 696 N.m.
What is the EQS SUV 450 4Matic like to drive?
The EQS SUV offers a range of energy recovery options through its regeneration system. Drivers have the flexibility to manually select their preferred deceleration level from three choices: D+ (allowing for a coasting-like experience), D (standard regeneration for balanced driving), and D- (enhanced regeneration for increased braking effect). This can be conveniently controlled using paddle shifters positioned behind the steering wheel.
Surprisingly, the large Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV displays impressive agility. It retains that characteristic electric vehicle swiftness and seat-pinning acceleration, while also delivering exceptional handling. This remarkable performance can be attributed to several factors, including the four-wheel steering system and its responsive suspension. These elements contribute significantly to the overall driving experience and make the EQS SUV even more appealing in its segment. It’s worth noting that the ability to make nearly 90-degree turns at lower speeds in such a large vehicle is quite astonishing. Welcome to the new age…
The EQS 450 4Matic SUV excels as a companion for long, uninterrupted journeys, offering a lavish cabin experience that redefines luxury. Spending time within this interior imparts a tranquil sensation while driving. The standard air suspension sets the stage for the EQS SUV, ensuring an exceptionally comfortable ride. While it is possible to adjust the driving mode for firmer damping, this isn’t really the primary focus of this vehicle. It handles tight corners competently, considering its substantial weight and size, with commendable body control and respectable steering response. However, its true forte lies in its ability to be driven in a relaxed, unhurried manner, where it truly comes into its element.