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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz EQS review

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Published: 18 Aug 2021
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Buying

What should I be paying?

Right now Mercedes hasn’t confirmed EQS prices, merely hinting that the EQS 450 will start from around £100,000. So no, you’re not going to get a government grant to ease that sting and you’ll need to do many, many miles to offset the cost versus say, an entry-level regular wheelbase S-Class, which starts at around £75,000. But if you’ve got a central London commute and need to dodge the ULEZ charge, this beats the Tube. And Mercedes will throw in a year’s worth of free use of the Ionity charging network, which is reliable, fast and extremely expensive. Enjoy those 365 charges. 

Who are the key rivals?

You could argue the EQS doesn’t actually have any. There are lots of other £100k EV saloons: the Audi RS e-tron GT, toppy versions of the Porsche Tacyan, and of course Tesla’s Model S are established and all excellent contenders. But those are much more on the sporty side of the spectrum, whereas the EQS is an out-and-out luxury limo, existing on its own peninsula of decadence. 

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Lagonda is dead in the water (again). The Lucid Air isn’t here yet, BMW’s i4 is two sizes smaller, and Bentley has only just got round to doing a plug-in hybrid, so there’s very little on the horizon that purports to merge e-motoring with the palace-on-wheels vibe. Your move, Rolls-Royce. 

What specs should I look for?

Standard kit includes the regular MBUX touchscreen, tinted double-glazing, heated front and rear seats, keyless go, a glass roof and 20-inch rims. You also get 4.5 degrees of rear-steering – the full ten-degree wunder-steer is an optional extra. 

You unlock it by upgrading to an EQS Premium, which also enjoys matrix-LED lights, semi-autonomous driving assistance for low-speed traffic situations, the joyous ambient lighting, a 360-degree parking camera set-up, a quite sensational Burmester hi-fi which appears to have been nicked from a Wembley stadium tour, and handsome 21-inch rims. 

Premium Plus adds the invisible butler doors, remote parking, a comprehensive heads-up display which can overlay video game-spec arrows onto the correct turning or exit in the road ahead, and the MBUX interior assistant. It’s always listening…

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Finally, the range-topper is the EQS Luxury, complete with 22-inch rims (look great, bad for range), the nautical-themed wood trim seen in this test car, a heated steering wheel (bit stingy) and the pillows on the headrests which are worth the price of entry alone. Note to self: don’t offer lifts to anyone who wears hair gel. 

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