The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Outshines Its Fellow Mercedes EV Stablemates
The electrified era at Mercedes-Benz is now well underway, and to the non-initiated, the result is a seemingly incomprehensible letter salad. There’s the EQB, the EQE sedan and EQE SUV, and the flagship 2023 EQS SUV and the EQS sedan. And don’t forget the performance-tuned versions, the AMG EQE and AMG EQS sedans, and that all models can be had with varying power, showcased by either a 250, 300, 350, 450, 500, or 580 designation that’s dependent on the model. But no matter the confusing monikers, after testing all models currently available in the EQ lineup, the EQS SUV stands above them all for overall competency.
The 2023 EQS SUV stands out among Mercedes’ EV crowd
The EQS SUV, which debuted for the 2022 model year, serves as the flagship SUV in Mercedes-Benz’s electric lineup, and it excels in that role. The 2023 model is available in three flavors, starting with the single-motor 450 cranking out 355 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque with a driving range of up to 285 miles. The 450+ model has dual motors, which ups its torque to 590 lb-ft and range to 305 miles. The top-spec 580 develops 536 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque with its dual-motor setup with an EPA estimated range of 285 miles. The 580’s performance begets its large footprint, though the 450+ still provides ample grunt.
Inside, the EQS SUV is awash with Mercedes’ latest tech, including the incredible 56-inch Hyperscreen in 580 models and the newest MBUX system. The EQS SUV is also far more practical than its stablemates, with up to 31 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. But the EQS SUV truly shines against its stablemates in its overall refinement and luxe accommodations.
The cabin is whisper quiet even at 80 mph. The ride is buttery over even the most aggressively pockmarked roads. The quality feel of the cabin materials is stellar. The ample passenger space offered adds to the extravagance.
Some other EQ models can also claim some of these positive attributes, but the 2023 EQS SUV just stands above its stablemates.
The EQS sedan is stellar but far less pragmatic
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV and sedan ride on the same platform and are fitted with the same battery pack and drivetrain. Like its SUV stablemate, the EQS sedan is also supremely luxurious both in its incredible number of upscale amenities and its quiet, refined, and comfortable driving dynamics.
However, the sedan isn’t nearly as practical. Its trunk offers an impressive 22 cubic feet, but the SUV offers a notable nine more cubic feet. Of course, the SUV model can be had with a third row for hauling up to seven passengers, adding to its pragmaticism.
The sedan is lighter and far sleeker through the air, given its cab-forward and bean-like styling, and as such, it returns more expected range. Unfortunately, its sedan design is its biggest downfall against its SUV sibling.
The EQS sedan’s low greenhouse and sharply raked front and rear glass make it difficult to get in and out of. I strongly suggest any sedan buyers consider wearing a helmet of some kind for the first few weeks of ownership — because I can almost guarantee you will bash your head against the doorframe until you get used to the EQS sedan’s low profile.
The EQS sedan is just as impressively upscale as the SUV, but the latter is far easier to live with.
The EQS SUV is more supple than the EQE
Consider the Mercedes-Benz EQE, the all-electric equivalent of the E-Class. Its midsize standing is far more agreeable in terms of price and when trying to park it in a tight garage, but the 2023 EQS SUV delivers a more upscale experience. Size plays a factor here, and the EQE sedan shares the same head-bonk-inducing low greenhouse as the EQS sedan. The EQS’s longer wheelbase also provides a ride quality that is noticeably more comfortable. The EQE is supple, but riding on a stretch of highway in the EQS SUV is seemingly even more comfortable than sleeping on a budget mattress.
The EQE can be had with all the same upmarket features as the EQS SUV, but its far more ample passenger space and silky ride quality completely elevate it above the sedan. That said, the EQE is an extremely luxurious EV, but the EQS’s flagship status is obvious from behind the wheel.
The EQB is just a re-badged, electric GLB
The Mercedes-Benz EQB is the smallest entry into the EQ lineup, and it takes a far different approach to providing an all-electric Mercedes SUV. The EQE and EQS were designed from the ground up as all-electrics, while the EQB is simply a GLB Class SUV with its internal combustion engine replaced by an electric drivetrain.
That approach will undoubtedly please some Tri-Star buyers who want familiarity when making the switch to electric power, but the EQB lacks the wow factor present, in spades, in all other EQ models. Yes, you can buy two mid-range EQBs for the equivalent of a base EQS SUV, but the EQS feels special. The EQB, simply put, doesn’t.
The EQS SUV is worthy of its flagship standing
The EQS SUV is the flagship SUV for the EQ sub-brand and certainly lives up to that status. It’s not just the biggest EQ offering, it’s the best overall. The EQS and EQE sedans have their own strong appeal, and the EQB is relatively affordable compared to all other EQ models, but none can match the distinctive experience the EQS SUV offers.