Mercedes EQS SUV first look: just what the doctor ordered

Angled front view of a white EQS SUV parked in a studio
(Image credit: TechRadar / Myriam Joire)

By now you've probably read our Mercedes EQS review, Mercedes' flagship all-electric luxury sedan, and our first drive of the Mercedes EQE, the company's all-electric executive sedan. 

Well, there's more to Mercedes' all-electric EQ brand than sedans. The company recently revealed the EQS SUV, and we had the opportunity to check it out in person while in Germany. This EV is just what the doctor ordered, so let's take a look.

Familiar specs and an off-road mode

Spec-wise, there are two EQS SUV models. The EQS 450+ is single motor RWD and delivers 355hp (264kW) and 419lb-ft (568Nm) of torque, while the EQS 580 4Matic is dual-motor AWD and boasts 536hp (399kW) and 633lb-ft (858Nm) of torque. 

Both models pack the same 107.8kWh 12-module battery pack found in the EQS sedan and support 200kW DC fast charging (with plug & charge) plus 9.6kW AC charging.

The EQS SUV weighs about 300-400lbs (136-181kg) more than the EQS sedan, but Mercedes is confident that it will achieve a range of at least 373 miles (600km) WLTP – vs. 416 miles (671km) WLTP for the EQS sedan. 

While the company didn't provide official acceleration figures, we expect the EQS SUV will reach 60mph (96km/h) in four to six seconds, depending on model. That's not too shabby.

Mechanically, the EQS SUV is pretty much identical to the EQS sedan. This includes the battery, motor(s), wheelbase, air suspension, brakes, and even rear-wheel steering, which is standard on US models (up to 10 degrees). 

In addition to the usual driving modes, the AWD model gains an off-road mode that optimizes the accelerator response, suspension height, traction control, ABS, and ESP for light off-road driving.

Aero running boards, wheels, and tires

It's no secret that Mercedes' new "one-bow" design language is polarizing. We think it gives the EQS sedan odd proportions and an unflattering egg-like appearance. But it actually works on the EQS SUV, which looks much better. 

The roof is 7.8 inches (20cm) higher than the EQS sedan, and while the SUV is also 3.4 inches (8.6cm) shorter than the sedan, it offers 11 cu-ft (311 liters) more cargo space with the seats down.

Like with the EQS sedan, aerodynamics played an important role in shaping the EQS SUV’s design. For example, the running boards – which are standard equipment – are sculpted to reduce underbody turbulence. 

The wheels and tires are also optimized to improve aero, with some wheels having "aeroblades" (aka. cladding) and tires having specially designed sidewalls. Even the A-pillars are more streamlined.

Sadly, there's still no frunk (front trunk) here. Like with the EQS sedan, the space under the hood (bonnet) is taken up by a massive HEPA filter. But overall, we think that Mercedes has done a great job on the EQS SUV's exterior. 

Unlike the EQS sedan, this design is sleek but relatable – it's unmistakably a Mercedes SUV. Here in the US (and especially in EV-friendly California), we predict it's going to sell like hot cakes. 

Three rows and a custom fragrance

Inside, the EQS SUV is almost a carbon copy of the EQS sedan, with one major difference: seating for seven. The interior design is Mercedes at its best – opulent and sophisticated, yet spacious and welcoming. 

It features best-in-class amenities, like the optional 5-zone climate control with aromatherapy. In fact, Mercedes developed a custom fragrance just for the EQS SUV. It's called No.6 Mood Mimosa.

While power-adjustable second-row seats are optional on the EQS sedan, they are standard on the EQS SUV, and help with third-row ingress and egress. Speaking of which, that third row accommodates two additional passengers in comfort, thanks to dedicated air vents and optional heated seats. 

After sitting in all three rows, we can confirm that the EQS SUV is a lovely place to be, no matter which seat you nestle into.

As you'd expect, build quality is superb, and premium materials abound. For example, some EQS SUV trims feature Mercedes' star pattern as a stainless steel inlay into laser-cut open-pore magnolia wood. As you can see in our photos, the craftsmanship is just exquisite. 

While we're mostly impressed with the EQS SUV's interior, we're not fans of the high cowl, which carries over from the EQS sedan, and restricts forward visibility. 

Hyperscreen and Dolby Atmos

Mercedes' futuristic 56-inch Hyperscreen dominates the EQS SUV's interior – just like on the EQS sedan. It's standard on the EQS 580 4Matic, and optional on the EQS 450+. 

As a refresher, the Hyperscreen incorporates three separate displays behind a huge curved glass panel – a 12.3-inch instrument display for the driver, a 17.7-inch center touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen for the passenger.

By default, the EQS SUV features a 12.8-inch OLED infotainment touchscreen and a separate 12.3-inch LCD instrument display. No matter which screen configuration you get, there's haptic feedback, and support for Mercedes' AR (augmented reality) navigation. 

AR navigation is also available on the larger of two heads-up displays (HUDs), which offers a projected virtual size of 66ft (20m) vs. 33ft (10m) for the basic HUD.

The rest of the EQS SUV's technology matches the EQS sedan's and includes matrix LED headlights, self-parking, a 360-degree view, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Qi wireless phone charging, internet audio streaming, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant, LTE connectivity, WiFi hotspot support, OTA (over-the-air) software updates, phone-as-a-key functionality, and phone remote control via the "me Connect" app.

In addition, the EQS SUV packs a comprehensive set of standard driver assistance and safety features, including a Level 2 ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) that's on par with Tesla's Autopilot. 

The 15-speaker Burmester audio system now features Dolby Atmos, like on the Maybach S Class. A rear-seat infotainment system with dual 11.6-inch touchscreens is optional. Hundreds of LEDs further enhance the sensory experience via interactive and configurable interior ambient lighting.

While Mercedes has not shared trim levels and pricing for the EQS SUV just yet, we know that the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4Matic are coming to the US this fall. We expect both models will be available in three trims – Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle – just like the EQS sedan. 

Based on the market's current appetite for SUVs, we think the EQS SUV will be significantly more popular than the EQS sedan, and just as wonderful. Stay tuned for our first drive and review in the coming months.

Myriam Joire
Freelance Contributor

Myriam Joire (tnkgrl) was born wearing combat boots and holding a keyboard. Moments later she picked up a soldering iron. On weekends, she rally-raced with her father. She's been stomping, typing, hacking, and driving ever since. After spending years being a code-monkey in the video game industry, she joined Engadget as Senior Mobile Editor and later Pebble as Chief Evangelist. Today she hosts the weekly Mobile Tech Podcast, makes videos on YouTube, writes about tech and cars for TechRadar and other major publications, and advises startups on product/media strategy. She's based in San Francisco.