2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please

The Mercedes EQS is the cream of the EV crop, and while it might be quite expensive, it blows Tesla out of the water

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The barrage of electric cars has only just begun and my internal voltmeter is pinned to the right. I love this progression of the automobile and the way it’s transforming the driving experience, and the EQS is as transformative as they come.

As of today, Mercedes offers one EV in the U.S. market, and this is it - the EQS Sedan, with a starting price of $103,360 (including destination.) This commences MB’s top-down approach to fleshing out their electric offerings; soon to be joined by an SUV of the same name, an E-Class-like midsize sedan called the EQE, and a more attainable compact SUV called the EQB (not to mention a pair of racy AMG variants.) The goal is to make every newly-developed Mercedes electric-only starting in 2025, while at the same time having an EV alternative for every model the company makes. If it has an EQ in front of its alphanumeric name it’s electric.

Overview and Pricing

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Exterior
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The EQS is sized similarly to the flagship S-Class but it’s built upon an EV-specific architecture and thus has considerably more cargo volume. Why? Because this is a hatch so the EQS flaunts 63 cubic-feet of cargo room with the seats folded - 5 times as commodious as in the trunk of the S-Class. The hood doesn’t open so this is a frunk-less EV and because of that, there’s a most unusual location of the washer fluid reservoir – in a wedge-shaped pop-out compartment above and to the right of the driver’s side front wheel.

But you’re not here for capacity analysis and clean windshields, you’re here for the curved, 56”-wide Hyperscreen – a tri-screen display that spans the entire width of the cabin…or the vibrant ambient light show with a seemingly limitless number of changeable colors incorporated into every nook and cranny of the interior…or perhaps it’s the thrust-you-into-your-seat acceleration provided by dual electric motors that generate a combined 516 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of on-demand torque; capable of a 0-to-60 mph time of merely 4.1 seconds.

2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS 580 4MATIC specifications
Motor Dual Permanently Synchronous Electric Motor with 385 kW Output
Battery Lithium-Ion
Battery Cell Type Hard Case, 216 Cells
Horsepower 516 hp
Torque @ rpm 631 lb-ft
On-Board Charger (kW) 9.6
0-60 mph (seconds) 4.1
Top Speed (mph) 130
All-Electric Range (miles) 340
2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Interior
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With an electric powertrain at both the rear and front axles, this torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system reacts more quickly than a mechanical version ever could plus there’s rear-axle steering that further enhances the EQS’s nimbleness, particularly in tight quarters where this car’s sizeable length simply melts away.

The specific model I’m driving this week is the 580 4MATIC, the range-topping EQS, in the highest Pinnacle trim with a starting MSRP of nearly $127,000. And when optioned like this, that price ballons. Options on my tester include:

  • Matte-finish paint that Mercedes dubs Magno
  • AMG Line Interior Package highlighted by more enveloping sport seats
  • Executive Rear Seat Package Plus with a Samsung control tablet stowed in the center armrest for controlling massage and climate functions
  • Windows that are laminated with an acoustic membrane to further hush the environs
  • Huge, colorful, head-up display
  • HEPA air filtration system that can remove nearly all particulate pollution
  • Rear seatbelts with integrated airbags a la Ford

The total price climbs to $142,200 or about $10,000 more than a comparable S 580 4MATIC. But the EQS resides at the upper echelon of coolness, runs even faster, and costs only about $700 per year to fuel as opposed to $4,250 for the S-Class. And with 2 years of free fast-charging at Electrify America stations, you can ostensibly reduce the fuel cost to zero, at least initially.

Charging and Range

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please
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When I’m evaluating a car with a plug, I frequent a large bank of EA fast-chargers in my town, and filling the EQS’s energy-dense battery takes less time than any other EV I’ve tested – just under 30 minutes at 150kW to reach 80% capacity in these very favorable weather conditions. Why not DC charge to 100%, you ask? After the lithium-ion battery is charged to 80% the vehicle’s onboard battery management system slows its roll, squeezing the electricity to a trickle in order to avoid overcharging and damaging the battery. So, it’s not recommended to fast-charge beyond 80% unless you’re taking a long trip and need every mile you can get.

A level II charger, whether installed in your garage or in public, adds about 25 miles of range per hour. Or if you decide you don’t need one, you can simply plug into an ordinary household outlet to add about 5 miles of range per hour. Just remember, cold temperatures have detrimental effects on lithium-ion batteries, which means longer charge times and a driving range that can drop by 40%. And with Mercedes me Charge – an all-in-one payment service that works at nearly every public charging station - it’s super easy; no smartphone app to open or card to scan. Just plug-in and the juice starts flowing.

When fully charged this EQS is rated at 340 miles of driving range; a huge number by today’s standards but one, that like all EVs, will fluctuate in both directions depending *mostly* upon the ambient air temperature. With this kind of range, I haven’t bothered to plug into my garage outlet overnight which is good because Mercedes doesn’t even include a 120V charge cable with purchase…but they’ll sell you one for $250.

Technology and Ease of Use

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Interior
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At this lofty price, the EQS obviously lives at the upper crust of the EV world, and even for me, who lives and breathes this stuff every day, learning this torrent of technology has been a bit challenging. There is A LOT going on in the cabin and there’s seemingly nothing the EQS can’t do. Sure, we’ve seen some of these cutting-edge features before, but the difference here is that they are evolved, smarter, and better executed.

Whether it’s the amazing Surround View System with high-res, 3D imagery of the car’s position – super helpful when parking - the mind-blowing interior ambient lighting that steals the show after dark, or the level of control given to each and every occupant, the EQS is next-level incredible. After all, it’s the S-Class of their electric lineup. As such the standards are extremely high and the EQS not only meets them, it exceeds them.

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Interior
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Keep in mind not every EQS gets the sprawling Hyperscreen; the base, rear-wheel drive, single motor 450+ goes without, so if this electronic dash takeover appeals to you – and why would it not? – you’ve got to take the EQS all the way to the 580 level. It’s as much an aesthetic spectacle as it is advanced; the conduit to just about every marvel the EQS harnesses. You can simply say “Hey Mercedes” and speak to the car, a voice control feature improved upon this year in the EQS, which now has the capability to learn and recognize individual voices for a tailored user experience.

You can also use the fingerprint scanner on the center console to access your personalized vehicle setup. But for me, the easiest method for interacting with the EQS is to simply use the center touchscreen which is far more intuitive than it appears. It’s just that there’re so many options and features within this new generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) that you can get lost in a rabbit hole of information and personalization. And the front passenger has access to all of this awesomeness right in front of them with their own smaller touchscreen.

Within the myriad of menus are the controls for the rather amazing 15-speaker Burmester 3D Surround Sound System with a personalization wizard, preset soundscapes, and vehicle noise compensation technology. And many of the most popular music streaming apps are pre-loaded into MBUX for greater convenience though not my beloved Napster. But that’s where wireless CarPlay leaps into action. Android users are covered, too.

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Interior
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Those in the front seats don’t have a monopoly on comfort, however. With the optional Executive Rear Seat Package Plus there are full-power, massaging seats with rapid heating and even neck-level heating as you rest your head on the soft pillow. Most of these functions are controlled via a small, detachable Android-based tablet in the center armrest which can also be used outside of the vehicle. And this is the first car I’ve tested with a wireless device charge pad in the rear – a very nice touch.

It’s a first-class experience, all the way. But I’m disappointed that this car isn’t equipped with the ENERGIZING Comfort with Energizing Nature feature that coordinates climate control, lighting, sound, fragrance, and massage to recreate various nature settings. It’s only $200 so it’s a no-brainer. But I find this tidbit to be a bit disturbing - through over-the-air updates Mercedes wants to sell you stuff…special driving programs, games, and even driving sounds. Most of us have already reached subscription overload with our streaming services and now it’s coming to our cars. Yikes!

Mercedes EQS Driving Impressions

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Exterior
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The quietness, the agility of electric 4MATIC and rear-wheel steering, and the breathtaking acceleration all culminate into a driving experience is crazy good. And there’s 340 miles of range here with a smart approach to charging that makes that sometimes complicated process much simpler. You can use the steering wheel paddles to choose a level of brake energy recuperation that’s comfortable for you – the intensity of slowing down as you let off the accelerator - right down to one-pedal drive that rarely requires the brake pedal at all.

Sporty yet eco-minded, fast but comfortable; the EQS is really the best of all worlds rolled into one. But there’s something I still can’t comprehend: how does Mercedes still not offer a hands-free driving experience akin to Cadillac’s Super Cruise? It’s mind-boggling that they didn’t introduce the U.S. market to it here. There is a bevy of driver assistance and parking features in the EQS including stellar camera views but frankly, if you’re not doing hands-free it’s yesterday’s news.

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please Exterior
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With the air suspension, even these max-performance 21” summer-use run-flats can’t ding the luxurious ride quality. Goodyear has engineered these tires with low rolling resistance and SoundComfort technology befitting an EV. And with various drive modes, the EQS can be every car from comfort cruiser to spirited sedan, always performing in quiet with the exception of some futuristic auditory stimuli. It’s a heavy car at over 5,800 pounds, but from behind the wheel, you’d never know it.

I’m all-in on EVs – I’ve leased one now for over a year and love it – and this car, though neither as stately nor as attractive as the S-Class it mimics, is an amazing start to Mercedes’ all-electric future.

Steven Hammes
About the author

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