If you like the prestige value that comes with ownership of anything with a three-pointed star and you’re ready to take plunge into the all-electric world, but want the size and practicality of the brand’s largest crossover – meet the 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 4Matic SUV.
Not to be confused with the AMG EQS 53, which is currently Benz’ flagship EV sedan and considerably more expensive than its battery electric SUV sibling, yet offers considerably less people-moving capacity.
The EQS 450 SUV gets three rows of seats for up to seven occupants, combined with top-level luxury and all the cutting-edge technology that Mercedes-Benz can cram into the family chariot.
Measuring more than 5.1m in length, almost 2.0m wide and nearly 1.8m in height, this flagship EV SUV is a big heavy unit. It’s also longer, wider and taller than the five-seat EQE Sedan which shares the same EV platform.
Crucially, though, it gets a longer wheelbase (by 180mm) to better accommodate its additional passengers by offering stacks of headroom and legroom – at least for the first and second rows.
It’s also a proper, ground-up EV, too. One that’s built on Benz’s dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA), just like the EQS and EQE sedans, thereby maximising interior space and packaging.
Mind, it’s not the most stylish of luxury SUVs, with its bulbous silhouette and innocuous styling, but at least Australian examples come with the ‘AMG Line’ styling package that adds an AMG front bumper with high-gloss black inserts, wheel arch linings, side sill panels and a rear apron.
Capping off the styling is a set of 21-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, which while not giving away any clues to its all-electric power, still look smart.
However, if money is no object and you simply want the ultimate electric SUV while still staying within the brand’s stable, you might want to hold out for the Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV due to lob here by mid-2024 – though pricing is still unconfirmed.
The EQS 450 4MATIC SUV is the only full-size crossover from Mercedes-Benz in Australia from launch, and is priced from $194,900 before on-road costs.
There are also three options packs offered; the Exclusive Package ($4300), the Comfort Plus Package ($11,700), while the tech-heavy MBUX Hyperscreen Package costs $6700 (CarExpert’s pick)
Additionally, buyers can choose the $2900 rear-axle steering upgrade, which increases the standard rear-axle steering angle from 4.5 degrees to 10.0 degrees. If you don’t mind a sedan and have quite a bit more to spend on a battery-electric family chariot with AMG-levels of poke, take a look at the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+. It’s yours from an eye-watering $328,400 plus on-road costs.
Nevertheless, rivals to the EQS 450 SUV include the BMW iX xDrive50 Sport ($174,900) or you can have the ballistic M60 xDrive from $222,900. Audi has the Q8 55 e-tron Launch Edition priced from $165,900 – all prices exclude on-roads.
Inside the EQS SUV it’s all about space, tech and first-class luxury and there’s oodles of all three – except for those in the third row, at least when it comes to legroom. It can be a bit tight in that area.
Nevertheless, small kids will enjoy being out reach of parents, but long-legged teens and full-size adults won’t find it nearly as comfortable back there, especially during longer drives.
However, depending on your people-moving requirements, the EQS SUV offers good flexibility with the second row able to slide fore and aft by as much as 130mm at the touch of button. Additionally, middle-row passengers are also able to recline their backrests for added long-haul comfort.
It’s got plenty of stowage capacity, too, thanks to a large boot with up to 2100 litres of load space available when the second and third rows folded down. Even with the third row in its upright position, there’s still 195 litres of capacity – more than enough for the weekly grocery shop.
Importantly, the EQS SUV also has one of the widest and unencumbered apertures for easy loading.
Climb aboard and you’ll immediately find the EQS 450 SUV is a luxurious place to be. You won’t quite believe how comfortable those leather-wrapped, multi-contour front seats can be – especially when you lean your head back and experience the softest down-filled headrests. It’s all so, so plush.
Cold mornings won’t be an issue either with the EQS SUV given there’s heated and cooled seats for all three rows should you choose Comfort Plus Package. Nevertheless, even standard fare includes heated and cooled front pews.
The standard tech in the EQS 450 SUV is truly something to marvel. Mercedes-Benz does some of the best big screens in the business; distinguished by their super-sharp colour and graphics, not to mention the quick touchscreen response rates.
There’s a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display that’s endlessly configurable, which from behind the wheel always seems larger than the measurement suggests. The clarity and colour of this unit is simply outstanding, though working out which touchpad you need to use to change stuff can be sometimes challenging for new users.
Front and centre is a 12.8-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen with OLED technology just like those expensive TV screens you might have at home. It’s simply superb, especially when you’re using smartphone mirroring.
And while the standard equipment inventory is generous in EQS SUV, you’ll probably want to go ahead and check the optional ‘Hyperscreen Package’ box, if only for its larger 17.7-inch OLED central display. Part of the package also provides the front passenger with their own 12.3-inch OLED display with haptic feedback.
While Mercedes-Benz infotainment infotainment technology has been overly complex in the past with far too many screen layers to navigate before you actually got to the function required, the second-generation MBUX interface features ‘zero layer’ presentation – meaning all of the essential controls and functions are located on the main screen instead of having to deep dive into sub-menus.
There’s also plenty of processing power behind the Hyperscreen, not the least of which is a computer with 24GB of RAM, as well as eight CPU cores to process over 46GB of memory – it’s very impressive.
And it’s not just the tech you want here, it’s as much about the aesthetic values this package delivers. Without the full array of screens across the dash, you’re simply left with a huge slab of wood trim that looks… well, a bit naff.
Not only does the EQS SUV offer the full gamut of platforms including AM, FM, DAB+ radio, but there’s also online radio streaming, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications take up the entire display when wirelessly mirroring. It’s very impressive and a great user experience.
And, for your ultimate listening pleasure the big Benz comes with a fabulous 15-speaker Burmester sound system complete with Dolby Atmos surround – no better place to experience this audio triumph than in the all-quiet EQS SUV.
Well, there’s no thumping AMG V8, that’s for sure.
Instead, the EQS SUV features a dual-motor all-wheel drive set-up with combined system outputs of 265kW of power and 800Nm of torque – and all of that from the get-go.
Powering the electric motors is a 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, while it claims a range of up to 592km according to more lenient NEDC standards.
The EQS 450 SUV has a maximum DC fast-charging rate of 200kW, and a peak AC charging rate of 11kW or 22kW using three-phase power. The difference in charging times between the two power units is either 10 hours or 5 hours.
Using DC power at the maximum charging rate of 200kW, charging time for a 10-80 per cent charge is around 31 minutes. An 11kW onboard AC charger is standard fitment, while a 22kW unit is optional for those with access to three-phase power at home.
The first thing that hits you when you climb aboard the EQS SUV is just how stupidly comfortable the front seats are. I truly doubt Fanuli’s high-end furniture establishment in Sydney’s elite suburb of Cremorne would stock a more luxurious pew than those in this electric Benz.
Then when you take off down you’ll quickly realise just how insulated you are from the outside world – and not just in the normal EV way, it’s like you’re in a soundproof recording studio.
It’s dead silent. No tyre roar or indeed the sound of wind bouncing off the side mirrors. You simply can’t hear anything – not even the B-Double beside us. Clearly the ‘Acoustic Comfort Package’ isn’t just a marketing spin.
The driving position sees you perched relatively high for what is a truly commanding view of the road ahead, but not so much as to feel disconnected. You’re still very much sitting in the vehicle rather than on top – again, put that down to the sumptuous armchair seats, which just envelop you.
It might stretch almost 5.2 metres in length but thanks to its rear-wheel steer feature the EQS family hauler is an absolute breeze to manoeuvre in tight spots at low speeds.
In standard guise it allows up to 4.5 degrees, but select the optional version and it widens to 10 degrees angle of adjustment. That makes light work of mid-city U-turns.
That same tech that enhances low-speed manoeuvrability also improves the handling. Instead of the rear wheels turning in the opposite direction to shorten the turning radius, at higher speeds they turn in the same direction which improves rotation and general stability though turns.
Even though our time behind the wheel of the EQS 450 SUV was slightly condensed, it didn’t take long before you felt the car shrink around you. It’s still enormously spacious inside, but it feels a lot less gargantuan than it looks to drive.
But while it’s no slouch off the line, it’s not the quickest luxury EV barge we’ve driven either. BMW’s similarly-sized but less expensive iX xDrive50 Sport makes way more power with similar torque output, but it’s hundreds of kilos lighter and crushes the punishingly heavy Benz out of the blocks.
Nevertheless, it’s punchy enough around town and displays sound body control at local speed limits through the twisty bits when in Sport – doing well to disguise its massive 2.8-tonne heft.
That said, the EQS 450 SUV isn’t the sort of vehicle that cries out to be driven spiritedly, it’s more about first-class luxury and enjoying one of the best sound systems in the business in a total noise-cancelling space – it does that brilliantly.
However, despite its outstanding refinement, stopping this luxurious high rider in a smooth manner in stop/start traffic requires some getting used to, given the not-so-linear brake pedal feel at the top of the travel.
There’s also varying levels of regeneration available – the strongest is applied in Sport, but it won’t bring the vehicle to a complete stop, which some might find more comfortable at this end of the market.
Ride comfort over generally poor road surfaces is generally outstanding in Benz models equipped with its proprietary AIRMATIC air suspension – and mostly that’s true of the EQS tested here, but while bigger bumps and broken road are summarily crushed, it’s the initial compliance that can sometimes make the suspension feel overly busy.
Despite its weight, the EQS SUV is surprisingly efficient. Over a distance of around 130km, we averaged 23kWh/100km, which included our fair share of spirited driving.
While we didn’t end up driving at night, it’s worth noting that the EQS SUV gets digital headlights that use 1.3 million LED pixels that won’t dazzle oncoming traffic.
EQS 450 4Matic SUV highlights:
- 21-inch AMG alloy wheels
- Airmatic air suspension
- Rear-axle steering (up to 4.5 degrees)
- AMG Line exterior
- AMG-specific front bumper
- High-gloss black lower bumper, wheel arch linings and side sills
- AMG-specific rear apron
- Digital Light headlights
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen infotainment system
- Head-up display
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 15-speaker Burmester surround sound system
- 64-colour interior ambient lighting
- Nappa leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
- Leather Comfort seats
- Electric, memory, heated and cooled front seats
Comfort Package: $11,700
- Dual 11.6-inch front headrest-mounted displays
- Wireless headsets
- Comfort armrest
- MBUX rear tablet
- Rear wireless charger
- Second-row pillow-style headrests
- Heated second-and third-row seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Energising Package Plus
- Air Balance Package
MBUX Hyperscreen Package: $6700
- 17.7-inch central touchscreen
- 12.3-inch passenger touchscreen
Rear-Axle Steering: $2900
- Up to 10 per cent rear steering angle
- Polar White
- Selenite Grey metallic
- Emerald Green metallic
- High-Tech Silver metallic
- Sodalite Blue metallic
- Velvet Brown metallic
- Obsidian Black metallic
Manufaktur Alpine Grey solid costs an extra $2230.80, while Manufaktur Diamond White Bright carries a $1691.80 premium.
The EQS SUV hasn’t been crash tested and therefore doesn’t get an ANCAP safety rating. However, the EQS Sedan which shares the same platform scored a five-star Euro NCAP rating in tests conducted in 2021.
It scored 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 91 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 80 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety features include:
- 8 airbags
- Active steering assist
- Active lane-change assist
- Adaptive cruise control
- Route-based speed adaption
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Junction assist
- Blind-spot assist incl. exit warning
- Lane keep assist
- Pre-Safe Plus crash preparation
- Traffic sign assist
- 360-degree cameras incl. park assist functions
Effectively the EQS SUV can steer itself through highway bends and matches the speeds of the vehicle ahead. For context, Mercedes is also rolling out Drive Pilot Level 3 autonomous tech in Europe, using the EQS as its first model to offer the technology, so it’s capable of more.
More impressive still is Mercedes-Benz’ battery protection protocols. Using an extruded aluminium process, the carmaker created a strong underbody housing around the battery pack described as a “crash protected area in the underbody, embedded in the body shell” with energy absorbing structures fully encasing the battery pack.
The company also tested the battery’s durability during both heavy shock loads and in the case of a foreign object penetrating the casing. Extreme temperature and overcharging conditions were also tested, and software monitoring ensures the battery switches off if temperature, voltage or insulation faults occur.
The EQS SUV is covered by a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
Service intervals are 12 months or 25,000km (whichever comes first), with service plans covering three, four and five-year terms.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV service pricing:
- 3yr plan: $2350
- 4yr plan: $3695
- 5yr plan: $4280
It’s not your typical electrified four-wheel rocket ship like some of its rivals, nor does it profess to go head-to-head with the likes of a Porsche Taycan or even BMW’s flagship iX in the handling department.
Some might say it lacks character or is devoid of genuine automotive soul – but that’s only because its level of refinement and unadulterated comfort are simply off the charts.
No other luxury EV blends such sublime luxury and high-tech immersion as well as the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 SUV.
Mind, it can still be hustled along a quiet mountain road at a good clip with solid composure, if required.
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