2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC: Tesla Eat Your Heart Out

Strong points
  • No $$ at the pumps
  • That fully digital dash!
  • Luxury beyond luxury
Weak points
  • The price tag
  • What happens if one of those screens decides not to work ...
Full report

It’s taken a few years, but it seems like I am finally warming up to the idea of high-powered, luxurious EVs. I guess it just took a near $150,000 Mercedes-Benz to really turn that leaf …

After spending a week behind the wheel of this technological marvel, we find it hard to believe that buyers in the market for a high-end electric vehicle would look anywhere else. And while it’s not as performance-driven as the Mercedes-AMG EQE we had the pleasure of driving in France a few months ago, it is definitely up there in terms of drive experience and interior luxuries.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

A Step Above

From the moment you open the door to the Mercedes EQS you are overrun with a feeling of opulence, style, and sophistication. Now, our particular model featured a very light cream leather interior which is absolutely stunning to look at, but oh so difficult to feel comfortable in. Passengers were afraid to touch surfaces and we even felt hesitant about bringing bottles of water into the car, for fear of spilling on the immaculate surfaces.

Light colours aside, everything else in the EQS 580 4MATIC is beyond amazing. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the 56” - yes, you read that correctly - fully digital dash that stretches from the driver’s door all the way to the passenger. The absolutely massive MBUX Hyperscreen is an engineering and design marvel and is most definitely one of the main talking points in the EQS.

Not only is the screen intuitive and easy to navigate, but even the passenger gets their own screen and they can access navigation and entertainment or even hook up their own Bluetooth speakers and an HDMI cable to watch their own entertainment on the drive.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Oh, and did we mention the 64 colour combinations available for the ambient lighting? Trailing all around the car in the dash and doors and even in the seats, the lighting is a spectacular display at night and passengers have access to the ambient light options (note: it can occupy them for lengthy trips!).

The only real “downfall” to the EQS’ interior design is that it lacks a frunk. Instead, there is a large HEPA filter there to ensure cabin air is appropriately filtered (and you can even choose specific scents to be blown into the space). However, the trunk is plenty large enough, thanks to the coupe hatch in the rear.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Stepping All Over Tesla Territory

Now, of course, Teslas have owned the market in terms of range and luxury - until now. And yes, we know, the majority of parts inside a Tesla are in fact from the Mercedes factory bins. Yet, somehow, once behind the wheel of the EQS the Tesla felt like an econobox in comparison.

With 547km of range (a huge amount that will rarely see drivers experience any sort of anxiety between stops, especially given the extended charging station infrastructure now in place in major cities and along major national highways), the Mercedes-Benz EQS is equipped with Advanced Permanently Synchronous Electric Motors that produce a combined horsepower output of 516 ponies along with 631 lb-ft of torque.

The beauty behind all this power? It’s instant and linear. And as aggressive as those numbers might sound, the EQS is nothing but controlled and civilized, even when pushed.

Now, charging is done best with a Level 3, at least, due to the size of the batteries. But, as long as you have access to that, you’ll be golden when it comes to charge times and keeping your electric Benx fully topped up at all times.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

At first, we didn’t care at all for the exterior look of the EQS. It really is reminiscent of the Tesla Model S as it has the same silhouette, sloping front nose and large hatchback coupe trunk opening. But the longer we had it, and the more we looked as it as we walked away, the deeper we fell in love with the overall shape.

Now, this is Merc’s flagship electric, so it is the largest and therefore quite long and wide, but that doesn’t show in the overall outside design. We could do without the flat-front snout in front (a terrible design flaw on most EVs), but the overall look of the Benz EQS is one that’s quite classy and likely to last for years to come.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

The Mystery of the Ghost Pedal…

Our main gripe about the drive? It’s an odd thing, so bear with us: the brake pedal.

Electric vehicles offer something called “one-pedal driving” which basically means you never have to press the brake pedal (if you don’t want to), because the vehicle will use regenerative braking to slow the car down instead. This is amazing for recuperating energy and charging your battery while you drive. I have used this feature in countless other EVs and adore it.

However, in the Benz EQS it was a little bit shocking and took some getting used to because the vehicle actually depresses the brake pedal. This means, as I took my foot off the throttle the Merc started to brake, actually MOVING the pedal down. Because I didn’t need to have my foot on the brake immediately it wasn’t there to feel the pedal move, but when I DID need to press the brake (stopped at a light or a stop sign) my foot instinctively moved over to where the pedal SHOULD have been (muscle memory) and it wasn’t.

It shocked me enough to make me question my sanity and look down in the footwell under the steering wheel as I thought the pedal had all but disappeared.

All that being said, once you are used to how it behaves and know that happens, you can adjust where your foot travels to engage the brake pedal (just a little lower down).

Falling in Love with Gas-less Cars

I think I can finally admit that I am very rapidly falling in love with battery-powered vehicles - something I never believed would happen. Obviously, the level of luxury in the EQS helps with the attraction immensely - and I personally haven’t driven the Porsche Taycan yet to compare … (just saying, *cough*Porsche Canada*cough*). However, it was more about the ease with which the EQS drove daily and interacted with the world. It was like any other car out there, and yet so much more. A true engineering and design feat on four wheels, this thing is impressive in so many ways.

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