Mercedes-Benz continues to expand their EQ EV portfolio, now turning their attention to the all-important family SUV market. Let’s find out if this Alabama-built battery-powered beauty will inspire more suburban families to make the switch to the EV lifestyle.

All the luxury and comfort you expect in a traditional Mercedes flagship SUV. Now combined with the brands EQ modern era all-electric drivetrain, to create the 2023 Mercedes-EQS SUV.

The EQS SUV comes as 5-passenger standard, but a 2-place 3rd row is available, though it’s not the first 3-row Mercedes electric utility, as that would be last year’s much smaller EQB.

This one is of course much bigger, sliding between mid- and full-size…so more practical for hauling a bigger family, not to mention heavier handed when it comes to outright pampering.

3 models are available; standard is the 450+ with a single 265-kW rear motor outputting 355-horsepower. The 450 4MATIC adds a small motor up front and detunes the rear unit to maintain the same 355-horsepower output, but boost total torque from 419 to 590 lb-ft. And the 580 4MATIC cranks total motor output to 400-kW producing 536-horsepower and 633 lb-ft. of torque.

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All use the same 108.4-kWh battery, which is slightly higher capacity than the EQS sedan. But, more weight and less aero SUV styling means much fewer miles on a charge, though our results were quite interesting.
Our EQS 4MATIC tester is rated at just 285-miles, which is 55 less than the sedan, but we saw as many as 374-miles available on the gauge display, and in our driving loop we were on pace for 328-miles. So, we did another loop to confirm, and were on a 327-mile pace for that loop. Max charge rate is 200-kW, which gets you to 80% charge in 31-minutes.

The SUV is built on the exact same platform as the EQS sedan and even shares its 126.4-inch wheelbase, basic one-bow shape, and aero-intensive face with Black Panel star patterned grille and Digital Light headlights with 1.3-million micro mirrors. We did not count them to verify.

But it is obviously taller and has more ground clearance, plus gains an additional off-road driving mode.
When driving on any surface, the standard Airmatic suspension, with continuous active damping, provides a smooth ride that’s big on comfort without being floaty or leaving you feeling disconnected.

Automatic Torque Shift shuffles energy flow front or rear based on calculations made 10,000-times per minute, and rear axle steering helped this 6,200-lbs. sleigh ride turn in much quicker than anticipated at our Mason Dixon test track.

Here, seemingly minor inputs on the steering wheel initiated big results that took a little getting used to. But, once we got a feel for its sensitivity, the EQS was smooth and steady through the cones with only moderate body roll.

Not much moderation when it comes to acceleration, as our 450 4MATIC gripped and ripped off the line, pushing us deeply into its plush front seats on the way to a 5.3-second race to 60 miles-per-hour.

Things smoothed from there as it steadily progressed through the ¼-mile in 14.0-seconds flat at 99 miles-per-hour. Power tapered off even more towards the end of the track.

In braking runs, we found the pedal to have a lot of travel, but once the calipers decided to clamp down, they clamped down hard, bringing his 3-ton luxury ute to a full stop in just 111-feet. Impressive!

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Now this mid-level 450 doesn’t have Benz’s ginormous 56-inch curved glass display, but it was good chance for us to experience what most buyers will get with the standard, separate 12.8-inch central touchscreen, and 12.3-inch tablet-style display for driver info.

The perforated leather front seats offer incredible comfort, and even have nice little pillows on the headrests with plenty of adjustments.

2nd row legroom was more than plentiful in our 5-passenger test vehicle, with a good 22.7 cubic-ft. of cargo space in back, maxing out at 74.2 cubic-ft. with 2nd row seatbacks folded.

Rated at 43-kWh/100 miles, the EQS 450 earns a fair efficiency rating, and there are plenty of standard safety features including active lane keeping.

Pricing starts at $105,550 with all 3 powertrains available in Premium, Exclusive, or Pinnacle trim.

2023 marks a major shift in the long and storied history of Mercedes-Benz, as years from now, it will be seen as the year the brand went all in on EVs. The 2023 Mercedes-EQS SUV is sure to be a pivot point going forward, as 3-row SUVs are truly the heart of both the mainstream and luxury vehicle markets today. For our money, Mercedes has now shown rivals how it should be done.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Horsepower: 355
  • 0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
  • Braking 60-0: 111 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: ~327 miles
  • Battery: 108.4-kWh
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.0-seconds flat at 99 mph
  • EPA: 285 miles
  • Peak Charging Rate: 200-kW