Business Plus

Top Of The Range

The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS can cover great distance on a single charge – and in total luxury, writes Philip Nolan


There’s a pillow on the headrest, and it is the softest pillow against which your weary head ever will lay. If you took a lamb from its mother and just used it instead, you scarcely could be more cossetted. It sums up the new Mercedes-Benz EQS in one powderpuff impression. This is a car that takes every previous concept of luxury, and says ‘hold my beer, you ain’t seen nothing yet’. In German, obviously.

Every detail is perfect, from the deep seats upholstere­d in beige and grey nappa leather (a €1,696 optional extra) to individual climate control front and rear. It is spacious too. In this fully electric S-Class equivalent, the cabin seems to take up more of the overall length, with a tapered roof line that leads to a lifting tailgate for an overall coupé-style silhouette.

Visually, this leaves the 5.2 metres of the car looking oddly stubby rather than sleek, though inside there is room to spare. A six-foot-four neighbour kindly agreed to be my crash test dummy for research purposes, and he raved about the legroom in the rear, even behind the driver. And the cargo space, at 610 litres, will swallow golf clubs with ease.

It is hard for me to gauge what you would get for the base €129,965 price, because the test car bristled with extras that brought to the total to €168,001, and that extra €38,036 nearly would buy you a new B-Class.

One of the most expensive additions is the spectacula­r Hyperscree­n. Basically, it’s three screens: one for the instrument panel, one for the front seat passenger, and a massive, deeply scooped infotainme­nt screen in between, for a total width of 55 inches. Almost every function can be voice controlled. All you have to do is say ‘Hey, Mercedes – take me to the nearest electric charging station’, and you’re on your way.

The Hyperscree­n alone accounts for €12,213 of the optional extras total, effectivel­y because it is a standalone fascia in itself. Other trinkets on the test car included 21-inch AMG alloy wheels (€2,374), the radiator ‘grille’ with Mercedes-Benz pattern (€559), and the Premium Plus Package (€17,776) that added a Burmester surround-sound stereo system, digital light clusters, head-up display, parking assist package, and a panoramic sliding sunroof.

As things stand, the range is the highest available on a production car. The claimed WLTP number on a single charge is 717km, and in city driving alone that number is more like 800km. It’s all thanks to a massive 110kWh battery, but this also adds a lot of weight to the 2.46-tonnes total. Given the resultant momentum, the brakes can feel a little slow to kick in, because the regenerati­ve braking engages before the mechanical ones, and it takes a little getting used to.

The handling is enhanced by the technical systems, but this makes for a fairly unengaging drive – fine on the motorway but a little floaty on back roads.

In summary, the EQS 450+ seems to me to make more sense as a limo for passengers, with a profession­al driver. If you were looking for a few more thrills behind the wheel yourself, the EQE 300+ would be more than enough for most of your needs.

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