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The luxury electric SUV market is growing quickly, but few new vehicles offer three rows of seating. The Rivian R1S is one of the few all-electric SUVs with seating for seven across three rows. Standing virtually alone, we search for a true competitor for this luxury SUV and find one in the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV. Although the Merc is priced higher, it matches the R1S in most size comparisons. The competition between these two luxury all-electric SUVs can get fierce as they go head-to-head. Let’s compare and see how the EQS SUV stacks up against the R1S.

Does the 2023 Rivian R1S have more power than the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV?

The 2023 Rivian R1S is a capable luxury SUV with a dual-motor layout that enables it to enjoy the benefits of AWD on and off the road. This standard power layout delivers 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque through a single-speed transmission. The 2023 Rivian R1S can tow up to 7,700 pounds, making it a strong, impressive, three-row luxury SUV.

For comparison, the base version of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV uses a single-motor layout in the base 450+ model. This single motor drives the rear wheels with 355 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque routed through a single-speed transmission. In order to have an EQS SUV that challenges the R1S, the 450+ 4Matic has a dual-motor layout with AWD. The horsepower remains the same, but adding the second motor increased torque to 590 lb-ft.

Cargo and passenger room in the EQS and R1S

The passenger and cargo comparison between the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV and the 2023 Rivian R1S, provided by Edmunds, shows us which of these models has more room for your passengers. These measurements are:

 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUVRivian R1S
Front headroom40.7 inches41.1 inches
Front legroom40.6 inches41.4 inches
Front shoulder room61.7 inches60.6 inches
Rear headroom40.6 inches39.7 inches
Rear legroom41.3 inches36.6 inches
Rear shoulder room59.6 inches58.2 inches
Cargo space23.0/74.0 cu-ft17.4/104.7 cu-ft

From these measurements, you can see the Rivian R1S has more overall cargo space but a slightly smaller area for passengers in the vehicle’s rear. The front area of the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is slightly smaller than the R1S, but rear passengers will enjoy a little more space.

Does the EQS SUV or R1S have more driving range?

The 2023 Rivian R1S has a driving range of 321 miles on a full battery charge. Using a 240-volt at-home charger, this Rivian SUV takes 13 hours to recharge. With fast charging capability, that time is reduced to 40 minutes to bring the batteries from 20-80%, making it easy to continue the drive.

When the single-motor 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is chosen, the driving range is 305 miles when full. This SUV takes 12.8 hours to recharge using a 240-volt at-home charger. When plugged into a Level 3 DC fast charger, this Mercedes-Benz SUV takes a little more than 30 minutes to charge to 80% of the battery capacity.

The dual-motor AWD EQS SUV adds a second motor for more power and capabilities, but the driving range is reduced to 285 miles on a full charge.

The MPGe rating for the single-motor EQS SUV is 85 MPGe, while the Rivian R1S is rated at 71 MPGe. This makes the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV more efficient than the Rivian R1S.

Which of these luxury EVs is the least expensive?

The more affordable of these two electric SUVs is the 2023 Rivian R1S, which starts at $78,000. A larger battery pack is available, increasing the driving range to 340 miles and tacking $6,000 onto the base price. A Performance Dual-Motor R1S costs $89,000, while the Quad-Motor configuration begins at $92,000. While not cheap, none of these prices reach the starting point for the EQS SUV.

Consumers choosing the luxury-laden 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV will pay at least $104,400 for the base model. This version uses one electric motor and only has five seats. Adding a third-row seat costs an additional $1,250. Additionally, the dual-motor version begins at $107,400 but only has five seats, requiring you to pay even more for the third row.

Which luxury electric SUV is better?

The 2023 Rivian R1S starts with more power, a more spacious cabin, and a much lower starting price. This EV is made for fun on the trails, giving easy access to the open wilderness. Additionally, the R1S comes standard with three rows of seats, unlike the EQS SUV.

On the other hand, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is the flagship electric SUV from this lauded luxury brand. The high-quality features of this luxury brand could make it worth the price difference compared to the R1S. So, you’re in for a far more luxurious experience with the EQS, but don’t expect it to be as practical as the R1S.