~ A DriveWays Review ~
by Frank A. Aukofer
Mercedes-Benz has produced excellent vehicles for nearly a century, so there’s reason to expect that it would do the same with its all-new electric 2022 EQS 580.
It’s the German company’s first battery electric vehicle for the United States, and comes in two versions: the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ with a starting price of $103,360, including the destination charge, and the EQS 580 4Matic, with all-wheel drive. The latter came with a base price of $126,050 and, as tested for this review, $137,725.
This is a stylish performance luxury sedan, designed to compete against such expensive overachievers as the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT and Lucid Air.
The EQS 580 entices with ingredients including twin motors with a total of 516 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque, or twisting force; adjustable regenerative braking controlled by steering-wheel paddles, the all-wheel drive with four-wheel steering and an air suspension system to enhance the handling and ride; and other comfort and convenience features a customer might covet.
As such, it offers a peek into a future where almost everyone on the planet who drives will be in an automobile or truck powered by electricity, although the EQS 580’s orientation is toward customers with deep pockets.
That’s not to disparage the other electric offerings also vying for attention, including a good many already competing at reasonable middle class prices. Think Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen iD4, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kona, Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, Kia EV6 and Niro, and Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra.
The Mercedes EQS 580 stands out because it is fundamentally an S-Class Mercedes. It is the company’s flagship sedan, although this model features a hatchback design instead of a trunk. Of course, it differs from the gasoline-engine S-Class but still delivers and, in some respects, betters the performance of its gasser sibling.
Its zero to 60 miles an hour rocket-like acceleration has been clocked in independent tests at between three and four seconds. It’s an adrenaline-induced sensation that should be attempted only on a traffic-free straight road with firm hands on the steering wheel and the right foot hovering over the brake pedal.
It’s exhilarating but occasionally illustrates a brief heart stopper. In a couple of braking tests at different regeneration levels (Mercedes calls it recuperation), the brake pedal was not consistent in engagement, sometimes grabbing high and other times a bit lower. The braking consistently stopped the EQS but sometimes with a bit of anxiety.
The EQS 4Matic comes with an advertised range of 340 miles and can accomplish a recharge from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes on a commercial DC fast charger. On a 240-volt level 2 charger, it takes 11 hours 15 minutes from 10% to 100%.
Luxury abounds in the interior with perforated leather upholstery, exotic wood trim and a sweeping side-to-side so-called Hyperscreen that incorporates the driver-oriented instruments, including the head-up display, the infotainment and navigation functions of the customary center screen, and a separate right-side touch screen that allows the passenger to control some of the functions.
Artificial intelligence is at work in the Mercedes-Benz MBUX (for M-B User Experience) Hyperscreen. It can, for example, program the navigation system to schedule or avoid stops for battery charging along the selected route, or even change the route. Other functions are part of the required learning experience.
In the tested EQS, the dominant interior theme was white: all carpeting, even in the cargo area under the hatchback, and underfoot front and rear. The white also carried on in the perforated leather upholstery, and the interior door and dashboard trim were done up in light gray. If this is your choice, check out other interior colors unless you have an enthusiastic chauffeur with a penchant for daily cleaning. At least someone was thoughtful enough to include brown floor mats.
Comfort for front seat and outboard rear seat occupants is first rate with seats that deliver support with good bolstering to grasp the torso. Rear seat passengers sit low, though with generous head and knee room.
A good way to think of the EQS 580 is in a German social context. It’s as smooth as a potato dumpling, zesty as sauerkraut and sweet as schaum torte. And yes, gemütlichkeit.
- Model: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic Pinnacle four-door sedan.
- Motors: Electric, front and rear; combined 516 hp, 631 lb-ft torque.
- Transmission: Single speed direct drive with all-wheel drive.
- Overall length: 17 feet 1 inch.
- Height: 5 feet.
- EPA/SAE passenger/trunk volume: 103/35 cubic feet.
- Weight: 5,888 pounds.
- Range: 340 miles.
- Charging times: On 240-volt level 2 charger, 11 hours 15 minutes from 10% to 100%. On DC fast charger, 31 minutes from 10% to 80%.
- EPA city/highway/combined miles per gallon equivalent fuel consumption: 92/99/95 MPGe.
- Base price: $126,050.
- Price as tested: $137,725.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review. Photos © Mercedes-Benz