We are recruiting! Apply now!

4.9 out of 5 27,049 reviews

Mon to Fri: | Sat:

Mercedes-Benz EQS Review

Introduction

When Tesla launched the Model S, many people thought about buying one until they discovered its asking price was north of a hundred grand. Then they realised leasing one was a more affordable alternative.

Porsche has since got in on the act with its Taycan. And Audi has also decided to jump on the bandwagon with its e-tron GT sports saloon.

So, not to be outdone by the Americans and its German rivals, Mercedes-Benz has decided to launch its own insanely expensive all-electric luxury car: the EQS. But fear not, leasing from us might be a saner way forward.

Select's rating score* - 4.4 / 5

At A Glance

Anyway, those familiar with Mercedes nomenclature will know that EQ is simply the name the Bavarian manufacturer gives to its electric range. So, the S, presumably, is the electric S-Class? Not quite, although there is more than a slight resemblance.

The car looks like the lovechild of an S-Class and a CLS via a brief journey into the future in a time machine.

There is no grille, so it's filled in with a gloss black panel which is a wide hexagon. You don't notice the hexagonal shape, though, as it blends seamlessly into the two headlights that sit towards the sides, tapering to a point. 

The bodywork curves upwards, and a lower grille sits underneath, leaving space on either side for two sizeable air intakes. The model looks aggressive and sporty – possibly a little flashy for some – but it's very smart overall.


From the front, you'd swear this Mercedes-Benz was a sports car. But, from the sides, you realise the boot barely sticks out from the rear wheels. Consequently, this makes the vehicle look taller than it is, almost like an SUV crossover. 

The heavily curved roofline swoops down from midpoint towards the rear, with typically Mercedes windows shaped like a giant semi-circle above the doors. A modest but noticeable crease lower down the doors adds more character.

The rear is super futuristic. It looks like a next-gen version of the latest Jaguar XJ, with all the lights housed in a single strip that spans the width of the boot, getting thinner towards the middle.

A large Mercedes three-pointed star badge sits in the centre, and only the lower part, which is black, detracts from the minimalism. Then two slots mimic where the absent tailpipes would be on a fossil-fuelled version of the car, along with the strakes of a rear diffuser.

It is different, but it's classy, cool, and rather in-your-face. The car is hardly something you could call subtle. But, in our opinion, it’s not excessive, either – it’s just a bit different to the norm.

Mercedes-Benz markets this as a saloon. But it’s a five-door hatchback, to be precise. To be honest, we don’t care. All we know is that we want one based on our first impressions.

Key Features

The Mercedes-Benz EQS features five main trims.

AMG Line includes 20-inch black alloys, a panoramic sunroof, keyless go and an AMG sports steering wheel. The grade also contains a 12.3-inch digital driver display, a 12.8-inch infotainment screen with navigation, a Driving Assistance Package (which features lots of safety tech) and heated front and rear seats.

AMG Line Premium increases the size of the wheels to 21-inches and adds a 360-degree camera, surround sound system, ambient lighting, and acoustic glass.

AMG Line Premium Plus throws in a head-up display, remote parking and MBUX interior assistance. This tech can recognise your hand gestures to help operate certain things inside the car.

Luxury increases the alloys to 22-inches, adding some interior and exterior styling touches, a heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, more comfortable seats and ship deck wood trim.


Exclusive Luxury adds 22-inch ‘aerodynamically optimised’ alloys, Nappa upholstery, climate control, multi-contour seats and even an ‘energising coach’. This gives you simple stretching exercises to do while driving to keep you alert.

All trims come with the same electric motor, which produces 333PS. Like its fossil-fuelled counterparts, the powertrain is identified by a number: the EQS 450+.

There will be other versions, too. Notably, a more powerful 580 version with 516PS (0-62mph will be under 4.5-seconds, we’re told), but that's not yet available.

There is, however, a super-duper-powered AMG version called the EQS 53. So instead of 333PS, you get a whopping 658PS, along with a 0-62mph time of just over 4.0-seconds. This is thanks to a second electric motor, which means you get four-wheel drive.

Furthermore, Mercedes is proud to claim that the EQS has officially knocked the Tesla Model S off its perch as the most aerodynamically efficient production car today.

Range & Batteries

The Mercedes EQS 450+ has a large 108kWh battery.

This provides for plenty of performance, but Mercedes also claims it’ll manage 453 miles on a single charge, which is superb.

That is nearly 50 miles more than a Tesla Model S and approximately 150 miles more than an Audi e-tron GT and a Porsche Taycan.

The actual range will depend on various factors, including temperature, weather, road conditions and driving style. Nevertheless, the hope is you can top it up at home each night, so it's always full. You will never have to worry about running out of charge if you do.

Performance & Drive

We are testing the standard 450+ in Luxury trim.

Thanks to the 568Nm of torque thrusting us off the line, initial acceleration is lightning quick. Mind you, taking 6.2-seconds to get up to 62mph isn’t especially fast in a powerful electric car, especially when Tesla’s Model S will do it in half that time. Nevertheless, it’s more than satisfactory.

It does feel enormous, though, when driving around town, and twisty B-roads aren’t its cup of tea. The Mercedes EQS handles well for a motor of its size, but it weighs nearly two-and-a-half tonnes. This means it doesn't feel all that agile if you're trying to zip about on narrow country roads.

Despite this, the extra weight isn't that noticeable, and it still handles well. The Benz remains fun, if a little hairy, to drive at the limit. The heft does mean you’ll get quite a bit of oversteer on exit if you floor it too much, especially with its rear-wheel drive. However, suppose you dial your driving style down a notch. In that case, the responsive and accurate steering, combined with the Airmatic suspension, does an excellent job of limiting lean and helps point the car in the direction you want to go.


You can customise various aspects of the car individually, so putting them all in Sport mode is quite entertaining.

Comfort mode, though, is where the heart is on the EQS – and the motorway is where it’s in its element. Here, the EQS cruises in style, comfort, and luxury, always with power in reserve and a never-ending supply of electric charge.

You would imagine that you’d be able to feel the weight loss if you floor it as all the used-up electrons depart from the batteries. But no – it handles a brisk pace well without the battery usage shooting off the scale.

The long-range also limits 'range anxiety', so you don't need to give it a second thought if you keep it charged up. It is quiet, too, even at speed.

Regardless of the driving mode, the ride comfort is sublime. In addition, choosing a lower trim means you'll get smaller alloys, which will only add to the serenity.

A neat feature also helps the agreeable ride – a small camera mounted in the windscreen, which scans the road ahead for potholes. When it detects one, it readies the suspension to act in a certain way as the car goes over it, minimising the impact. Bliss!

Charging

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is quick to top up the electrons, going from 10 to 100 per cent in just over half an hour - and can be charged at up to 200kW. Need to know more about how kW translates? We've pulled together a guide to talk you through exactly what kW and kWh means.

However, a standard 7kW home wall box will still take around 17 hours to charge from empty to full. So it’s best to keep the Merc topped up each night if you regularly travel long distances. We've got a guide to help you pick your ideal charger, for reference, but if you travel a lot, or simply can't charge at home, we've got the solution.

Mercedes-Benz wouldn’t tell us how long it takes to charge from a regular three-pin socket, probably because there hasn't been enough time to test it. However, if you try and charge it from a standard home plug, it'll likely have reached 100 per cent by the time the replacement EQS comes out in a few years.

Running Costs & Emissions

One advantage of leasing an all-electric car is that the day-to-day running costs are meagre.

It also means that it'll be attractive to company car owners, as its long-range and zero emissions keep it in the lowest band possible for benefit in kind tax.

In terms of maintenance, though, with massive wheels sized between 20 and 22-inches, don’t expect a new set of tyres (or a replacement set of brake pads, for that matter) to come cheap.


In addition, expect steep servicing costs – we’ve seen quotes of around £400 a year!

The EQS is too new to know how it will fair in terms of reliability, and Mercedes-Benz has long since lost its reputation as one of the most dependable manufacturers.

However, a few models from the EQ range have been with us for a while now, and early signs are that there are no significant areas of concern. It will be some time before a definitive picture emerges, though.

Interior & Technology

Stepping inside the Mercedes-Benz EQS is quite an experience.

The cabin is bathed in lovely luxurious ambient lighting. At night, it’s like walking into an exclusive cocktail lounge. Staring at you is an all-digital dashboard, almost as if it's one giant screen.

It is actually three screens positioned next to each other but behind one sheet of glass. That said, it’s an optional extra on all models. It is called the MBUX Hyperscreen, and it's costly. It is undoubtedly incredibly cool, but it's a tad distracting as there’s so much to look at.

The luxurious steering wheel is a joy to use, and, in our test car, the interior is a creamy white colour, with patterned seats and air vents that look like jet engines. It also houses a beefy centre console that extends from the bottom of the infotainment screen.

It just screams perfection. The systems are superb to operate, and you could easily spend hours playing around with the infotainment offering before driving the Benz.

Practicality & Boot Space

There is no shortage of room inside the cabin. The front seats are spacious, supremely comfortable, and fully adjustable via buttons on the doors. Headroom is good, too, and finding a suitable driving position is straightforward.

In the back, it's much the same, with lots of space to spread out, helped by the lack of a hump in the floor, meaning you can put your feet where you want. However, headroom will be a fly in the ointment for taller passengers due to the sloping roofline. This is even more of a problem if you have a panoramic sunroof.


There is plenty of storage space, too, including large cubbies within the centre console and two wireless phone chargers. There are also cupholders, with more storage space underneath near the floor. The glovebox is a bit on the small side by comparison, however.

In the front and rear, the door bins are a generous size. There is also another wireless phone charger in the rear armrest, which pulls out from the middle seat.

The boot is very roomy, too, with 610-litres offered. This expands to 1,770-litres with the rear seats folded. Furthermore, the boot lid is electrically operated.

There is no storage space under the bonnet, though. Indeed, the bonnet is only intended to be opened when the EQS is being serviced.

Safety

The Mercedes-Benz EQS was tested by Euro NCAP, which stringently crash-tests most new cars. It was awarded a five-star safety rating, scoring a whopping 96 per cent for adult occupants, 91 per cent for children and 80 per cent for safety assists.

This is made even more impressive because most other cars you'll read about on the internet had their crash tests done before 2020 when Euro NCAP made its criteria even more stringent. In fact, this makes the Mercedes EQS officially the safest electric car and the safest executive saloon ever tested.

Front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, remote parking, Park Assist, a head-up display, an Energising Comfort package (which helps keep you alert), and drowsiness detection are offered. Even more safety equipment is available as an optional extra.

All EQS models come with the Driving Assistance Pack, which comprises blind spot assist, braking assist, and distance assist (adaptive cruise control). Other kit includes emergency braking assist, automatic speed limit assist, steering (lane-keeping) assist and automatic speed adjustment before curves, roundabouts, and junctions.

Options

One thing that’s quite nice is that you get a choice of paints without it costing you extra, unlike with so many manufacturers. However, specific colours, such as diamond-bright white and hyacinth red, are pretty dear. At the same time, the curiously-named ‘selenite grey magno’ (basically a mid-tone grey) costs four figures for some reason.

The MBUX hyper screen costs the same as a decent second-hand car, too.

Rival Cars

If you’re in the market for one of these, then lucky you.

The obvious alternative to consider is the Tesla Model S. It is lovely and great to drive but not as luxurious, despite having an impressive interior and a plethora of technology. But Tesla is the king of the castle as far as electric performance is concerned.

Audi’s e-tron GT and Porsche’s Taycan are the other primary all-electric challengers.

All are excellent, but the Merc’s luxury takes some beating.


Verdict & Next Steps

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is a car with the ‘wow’ factor.

It’s head-turningly attractive, the interior is to die for, and it's so comfortable and lovely to be in at night that why bother having a house?

The only problem is, most of us would have to sell our houses to buy one, as even the entry-level model costs a shade over a hundred grand to buy outright, though Mercedes says it does plan to bring out less powerful versions that will bring the costs down a bit. Luckily that’s where we at Select Car Leasing come in – leasing an EQS from us will be a lot less of a hit on your pocket (and house) than purchasing one.

Moreover, company car owners will love the zero emissions, especially when the taxman knocks on the door. And the level of technology on offer puts even the best-in-class fossil-fuelled rivals to shame.

The EQS is practical, spacious, lovely to drive, and has a long-range for an electric car. But it feels big to drive unless you’re on a motorway, and there’s so much going on in the cabin that we found ourselves having to make a concerted effort to keep our eyes on the road.

Nevertheless, once you’ve leased the EQS, you can take comfort by settling back into those mattress-like seats and enjoying the beauty of this lounge-like lap of luxury.

Where to next?

View our latest Mercedes-Benz EQS Leasing Deal - from just £1,288.34 per month inc VAT**

Looking for a great leasing deal? Check out our incredible range of Special Offers

New saloon? Read our latest Car Reviews and find the right model for you

Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive Leasing Guides

Interested in everything motoring? Why not catch up on all the latest Car Leasing News.

*Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Mercedes EQS

**Correct as of 28/04/2022. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £11,595.06 Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.

Useful links

Other reviews