All-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS is the drive of the future

The first Mercedes-Benz created as an all-electric vehicle

Dale JohnsonIf you want to check out the future, drive a Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Here’s a vehicle with all of the possible luxury touches and newest technologies – along with an all-electric drivetrain that has a range of an amazing 547 km.

I recently test-drove an EQS. It’s the first Mercedes-Benz created as an all-electric vehicle, rather than simply adapting existing gas-powered models with an electric drivetrain. The traditional, gas-powered S-Class is still available.

My tester has a base price of $146,500, and with such options as ambient lighting, the Nappa leather package, the night package, the premium package and the dash cam, the price came in at $162,150. After having the car for a week, I would say the price reflects the luxury, performance and drivetrain.

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Mercedes-Benz-EQS-side-view
There’s no mistaking the new EQS: it’s a large, flagship Benz sedan. 

Mercedes-Benz-EQS-dash
The full-width dashboard includes a huge navigation screen that’s easy to read
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It’s big and it’s fast. It sits on a 3,210 mm (126.4 in.) wheelbase and is 5,265 mm (207.3 in.) long. It’s a four-door sedan with a huge hatch at the back. The dual electric motors, front and rear, produce 516 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft of torque, sending the big EQS from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds – quite something for a vehicle that tips the scales at 2,584 kilograms, or 5,698 pounds.

As I slide in behind the wheel, the first thing I notice is the huge display. Unlike other makes that often appear to have iPads stuck on the dashboard with a glue gun, the EQS has just one screen. It’s immense and stretches across the entire dashboard. Mercedes-Benz calls it the Hyperscreen.

In front of the driver are such indicators as speed, RPM and how much juice is left in the battery. In the centre is the largest and best navigation screen I have ever seen. The huge size makes it easier to display a larger area and provide more details. The image is crystal clear. In front of the passenger area are more displays, which can be configured for such things as a compass or the audio system. The image is brilliant. The controls are very intuitive.

The inside air quality is monitored and a Hepa filter ensures the cabin air is clean, with activated charcoal layers to reduce the impact of air pollution. The system also reduces unpleasant odours caused by industrial fumes or agriculture.

On the road the EQS is smooth, quiet, comfortable and fast. Sure, I’ve used those words to describe lots of other test vehicles. But the EQS is really smooth. It’s also really quiet. (Turn the sound system and fan off and the only sound is the tires rolling.) It’s really comfortable, thanks in part to the ultra-adjustable seats and the soft pillows on the headrests. And it’s really fast, as I found out.

Part of the Premium Package is rear-wheel steering which shortens the turning circle and makes it easier to manoeuvre this 17-foot-long vehicle. The rear wheels turn by up to 10 degrees, reducing the turning circle to 35.7 feet. It makes pulling a U-turn on a narrow street much easier.

Mercedes-Benz Canada says the EQS can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in about 31 minutes at a fast charging station. The very long range of 547 kilometres means the EQS will appeal to wealthy car buyers who don’t want range anxiety.

For those shopping for a luxury vehicle over $100,000 – especially if they want to stop buying gas and skip the routine maintenance of gas vehicles – the EQS is worth checking out. It starts at just $1,500 more than a gas-powered S 580 4MATIC Sedan. Nowadays, a Ford Mustang Mach E can go for around $70,000, and F-150s can be over $100,000. In that context, the EQS – at $162,150 – is a fair price and offers good value and a chance to see what driving will be like in the future.

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. While the manufacturer provided Dale with a vehicle to test drive, the content of this review was not reviewed or accepted by the manufacturer.

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