It’s the S-Class of electric cars; it’s the stunner from Stuttgart. I recently drove the Mercedes-Benz EQS almost the entire day, covering almost 300 km in the hills of Western Ghats near Pune, and sitting on a seat that felt almost like a sofa. By evening, it had enough battery charge left to do a similar road trip the next day, and I was comfortable enough to open the laptop and write this review.
What is the EQS?
While its name suggests it’s an electrified version of the S-Class sedan, in reality the EQS is far more than that (EQ is the sub-brand under which Mercedes-Benz is developing electric cars—it earlier launched the EQC, now the EQS and later this year will launch the EQB).
It’s the world’s most aerodynamic car (drag coefficient of 0.20), with one of the world’s biggest batteries (107.8 kWh), equipped with the world’s biggest car screen (called the MBUX Hyperscreen), and possibly has the world’s most comfortable electric car rear seat.
How powerful is it?
It’s got two electric motors that together produce 385 kW power (516 bhp) and 855 Nm torque, hurling this heavy car (2,585 kg) from 0-100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds. The top speed is limited to 210 km/h.
How plush is it?
Compared to the S-Class, the EQS feels cramped (especially the rear seat), but compared to anything else in the world, it feels splendid. Where it beats the S-Class is in decibel levels. If climate control is switched off and you are driving on a smooth road, the cabin of the EQS feels like the most silent place on the roads.
More than plushness, however, the EQS is about technology. For example, the entire dashboard is a screen. Called the MBUX Hyperscreen, it’s the car’s AI engine and offers personalised suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions. You can watch films or read text messages and presentations on the screen, and also surf the internet.
The EQS has a spacious boot. It can carry two large golf bags, or 4-5 large suitcases. The bonnet is fixed (it can only be opened at a service centre).
How does it drive?
It is insanely fast. It not only overwhelms you with the acceleration, it can even make some occupants nervous. This extreme acceleration is not only from 0-100 km/h, but from any speed to any speed. Brakes are equally strong, and provide that feeling of safety.
The EQS is possibly the only electric car in India in which you may not feel ‘range anxiety’. While the claimed driving range is 857 km, on full charge the tripmeter showed me 650 km of real-world driving range. That’s good enough for Bangalore to Hyderabad, Mumbai to Ahmedabad or Delhi to Lucknow, or most major city pairs in India.
Driven within the city, you might need to charge just once in two weeks.
Where can it pinch you?
Not the price. The EQS undercuts the new S-Class by Rs 5 lakh (ex-showroom), and seems like better value for money. The S-Class offers you a better rear seat, but the EQS offers you better almost everything else.
Where it might pinch you is on speed breakers. Most speed breakers in India are unusually tall, but if you drive over these diagonally, chances are the car’s underbody won’t scrape the breaker.
Not the EQS. Even driven diagonally, most times the underbody scraped and a dagger pierced my heart (even though I don’t own the car).
While it has a vehicle-raising feature (the ground clearance can be increased by 25 mm at the touch of a screen icon), every time you cross a speed of 50 km/h, the car goes back to its previous level.
Other cars like it
While the Audi e-tron GT (Rs 1.67 crore) and Porsche Taycan (Rs 1.53 crore) are similar in size and price to the EQS, these aren’t competitors in the true sense. The EQS feels more luxurious, and the others feel sportier.
Battery: 107.8 kWh
Power: 385 kW (516 bhp)
Torque: 855 Nm
0-100 km/h: 4.3 seconds
Top speed: 210 km/h
Kerb weight: 2,585 kg
Battery warranty: 8 years
Service interval: 2 years/30,000 km
Fast charging: 300 km in 15 mins
Price: 1.55 crore (ex-showroom)
Range: 677 km (WLTP)*
Range: 857 km (ARAI)**
*Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure is a lab test claimed to be close to real-world conditions
**Range certified by the Automotive Research Association of India under ideal conditions and may be different from real-world range
Audi e-tron GT (Rs 1.67 crore)
Porsche Taycan (Rs 1.53 crore)