Review: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 SUV

There are now two body types available for the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS: a sedan and an SUV. The Sedan was one of the most impressive displays of automotive technology in 2022, according to our review. Right now, we're testing the SUV model, which is essentially the same car but has been jacked up with optional seven-passenger seating, slightly different proportions, a shorter electric driving range, and a $12,000 premium.

The EQS 580 SUV uses the same battery and the same chassis as the EQS 580 Sedan. The range, though, has decreased from 547 km to 459 km. How come? Well, the SUV weighs 2,810 kg more than the Sedan, which weighs 2,585 kg. The range is significantly impacted by this 225 kg difference. Aerodynamics is the second. The SUV is much taller than the Sedan, which is shaped like a slick soap bar and can easily cut through the air. The Tesla Model Y Performance (488 km) is within striking distance of the BMW iX M60 (463 km), Ford Mustang Mach-E (435 km), and Mustang Mach-E. It still maintains that sleek silhouette, but the laws of physics aren't so kind, reducing the range.

While we could realistically achieve the official claim of 459 km, it would require reducing the use of the cabin heaters, heated steering wheel, and massage, as well as reducing the majority of infotainment functions and screen brightness. Our testing showed a range of 402 km on a full battery. If it comes down to such austerity, what's even the point of spending almost $200,000 after taxes (don't forget the new luxury tax on top of HST) on an EQS? Therefore, we could anticipate 400 km on any given 0°C day. The amount of highway driving and city traffic that would benefit from the three regenerative braking modes must also be considered. On the plus side, the Mercedes system is shrewd enough to decipher what must be done or disabled in order to maximize battery efficiency and further increase range. The menus in the car have access to all of this.

The EQS SUV has two different power outputs: 450 and 580. The same drivetrain and motors are used once more, but with different software tuning. While the EQS 580 produces 516 hp and 632 lb-ft, the EQS 450 produces 335 hp and 590 lb-ft. With the latter, the 0-100 km/h time is reduced by a full 1.4 seconds, but the price is higher by $22,500. Both have the same estimated range.

We put the EQS 580 through its paces, and the acceleration is real and powerful. The EQS easily launches into the distance despite having a curb weight that is 160 kg heavier than a G 63 AMG. It's no turbocharged V8 from the Range Rover, but it's a close substitute that doesn't release harmful gases into the atmosphere. Like most electric vehicles, the sensation of speed quickly diminishes once you reach triple-digit numbers. And while we lament the unavoidable loss of V8 exhaust noises and the distinctive howls they produce, the EQS has us convinced that driving an electric car can also be fun. It only requires a little brain rewiring and refocusing of our expectations.

During hard braking maneuvers, when the front nose tilts noticeably forward, you can feel some of that weight, but the adaptive air suspension does its best to keep the body level. Although there is little lateral roll, the EQS is designed for a smooth, yacht-like driving experience rather than keeping up with an AMG GT R.

However, the infinitely variable 4MATIC all-wheel drive system will continuously monitor the road and make adjustments as necessary for maximum wheel grip. It can distribute torque between the front and rear axles in any possible combination. You can feel that when you steer the EQS through a sharp turn at high speed, slam on the gas, and let the undercarriage systems send everything to the inside wheel to turn the vehicle. It gives the drive a feeling of agility, and even though it never encourages you to push the envelope, it's comforting to know that the EQS is capable should you ever require speed.

Although the steering is numb and lacks feel, it rotates more naturally than the Sedan's because we weren't constantly overcorrecting our inputs. The rear wheels can rotate up to ten degrees as part of the rear-wheel steering feature, which further improves its maneuverability in confined spaces. For such a big vehicle, three-point turns become two-point turns, which is impressive. The brake pedal, however, needs improvement because it is not linear enough to smoothly modulate the vehicle and requires quite a bit of force to bite. It is tuned much better in EVs like the BMW iX.

The EQS SUV provides wide-ranging views to the front, sides, and even above because it is positioned at a similar height to a Range Rover Sport. It is noticeably superior to the Sedan. Excellent seating is provided, and you can rest your arms on the wide door sills. A new Off-Road feature that is exclusive to the SUV raises the air suspension and modifies the powertrain tuning to provide the best traction and grip on less-than-ideal terrain. Although we doubt that 99% of owners will ever use this mode, we assume that the majority will prefer to have the option than to use it. The numerous off-road settings on the Range Rover and the three differential locks on the Mercedes G-Wagon are both unfortunate dust bunnies.

The SUV is more aesthetically pleasing and seems to be more balanced and cohesive than the SUV. It has the identical pop-out door handles, which require a strong pull to engage but feel firmly glued in place and are noiseless. On the rear passenger side, where a typical gas cap would be, there is only one charging port. The front 'grill' also has Mercedes stars embedded in it, and even though the headlights aren't as sparkly and diamond-like as those on the BMW iX or i7, they still have their own distinct signature when it's dark.

The EQS SUV's interior is the star attraction. Many of our passengers would refer to the 56-inch expanse of glass embedded in the dashboard, housing three separate screens that extend from the driver's gauges to the passenger display, as feeling like being inside a spaceship. We adore the dramatic visuals and aesthetic presentation of it all, but the functionality leaves something to be desired. Given the steep learning curve, we wouldn't describe it as ergonomically sound. It takes some time to navigate through the menus to find the desired function, and it's not as simple as the systems in BMW, Tesla, or Land Rover. The 'Hey Mercedes' voice command is the best because it has excellent speech recognition.

The rounded and curvaceous design of the dashboard is enhanced by the tasteful use of leather stitching and ambient lighting. It's also clear that Mercedes knows how to dress up an interior when Biscaya Blue and Neva Grey leather are paired with what they refer to as Ship's Deck Walnut wood. It's even more impressive than an Aston Martin DBX and on par with the best Range Rovers. Be aware that although they refer to this leather upholstery as Neva Grey, it appears more off-white beige with a hint of gray undertone.

No matter which of the seven seats you select, headroom is more than adequate, much like the Mercedes GLS. Adults of average size can sit in the third row, but due to the restricted legroom, don't anticipate them to be comfortable or complaint-free. However, short trips should be more than manageable, especially with such big sunroofs above. The Range Rover's second-row cabin is more opulent and filled with amenities than the Ford Escape's. While the BMW i7 and the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 both come with first-class lounge seating, massage functions, and even rear sunblinds, the Premium Rear Seating Package ($4,500) does not. Instead, it offers heated seats, a wireless charging pad, a removable Samsung tablet to control the infotainment features, and even two entertainment screens. Perhaps Mercedes is considering an upmarket, more upscale version of the EQS.

We would pick the SUV over the Sedan because of its increased functionality, capacity for hauling passengers, and higher ride height. The Sedan will, however, perform better if range is your top priority or if you don't have access to a home charger. Want a more interesting drive? The BMW iX M60 performs a better job of making the driver happy. Need more comforts and amenities in the backseat? instead, look up Range Rover. Nevertheless, the EQS SUV remains one of the most inventive and cutting-edge vehicles we have ever driven from Mercedes, and we can't wait for all the screens, gadgets, and gizmos to eventually filter down to the more accessible C- and E-Class electric models.


  • Model: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 SUV
  • Paint Type: Sodalith Blue (Twilight Blue)
  • Base Price: $158,500
  • Price as Tested: $186,000
  • Wheelbase(mm): 3,210
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,126 / 1,958 / 1,717
  • Curb weight (kg): 2,810
  • Powertrain: Dual permanently excited synchronous electric motors, 107.8 kWh battery
  • Horsepower: 516 combined hp
  • Torque: 632 combined lb-ft
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
  • Claimed Range: 459 km
  • Observed Range: 402 km
  • Tires: Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance; 275/45R21

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