2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV first ride and interior review: Cushy

mercedes-benz eqs-class-suv Full Overview

Again, the EQS SUV is an electric luxury SUV first, but when the new model’s off-road chops showed up, engineers bought in. They increased the ground clearance of the EQS, added an inclinometer to measure elevation and slope angles, and added more information. an off-road geek would appreciate the condition of the suspension.

Off-road ride

Proud of the SUV’s evolution, engineers showed off its prowess during a visit to Mercedes’ assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the EQS SUV will soon go into production. We were taken for a spin in a camouflaged prototype on the off-road course used to test the GLS-Class and GLE-Class (conventionally powered) SUVs built at the same Tuscaloosa factory. The camouflage is there because the worldwide reveal of the production model isn’t until April 19; moreover, photos provided by Mercedes show the same camouflaged prototypes, albeit in Nevada during a test session in the desert.

The trail we rode in Alabama saw us go down steep hills using descent control and back up smoothly after a small splash into a creek with no slip detected. There are no differentials to lock or low gears to engage. The engineer put the SUV in off-road mode and the EQS made all the necessary decisions.

The standard rear-wheel steering proved its worth in extremely tight corners, then in a winding wooded track that mimicked a slalom course. Paint and tree bark have never kissed.

It’s time to raise the roof

The standard air suspension with electronic adaptive dampers provides a damped ride on pavement while proving its worth over rough terrain, rocks and an extremely cool log bridge that should have set a few teeth on edge. It’s essentially the same suspension used by its lower cousin, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS flagship sedan, but raised to a greater height in the SUV. We have to wait for full specs including ground clearance.

Both versions of EQS ride on the new EVA2 platform, have the same wheelbase and use the same 107.8 kWh battery. The SUV will launch with two engines to provide all-wheel-drive capability, but a single-engine model (similar to the EQS 450+ sedan) could come later, we’re told.

The range for the SUV should be close to the comparable sedan. The EQS580 with two motors is rated at 340 miles. The AWD SUV will get a bit less because it’s not as aerodynamic as the car it shares its “580” nomenclature with; it rides higher and has been designed to provide plenty of room to manoeuvre.

How about this shape

Until we see the unmasked exterior of the EQS SUV, we can tell you that it’s a big vehicle — it’s the electric equivalent of a full-size Mercedes-Benz GLS — with an optional third row. to accommodate seven passengers. The front sports a somewhat drooping nose like its sedan counterpart, with a short hood and a high overhang and bonnet, while the rear is a bit cut off.

Retaliation is expected from the new face of the EQ brand, the “EQ-Mask” which replaces the grille with a full panel with a three-pointed star pattern and integrated headlights.

Step into the EQS SUV

The interior of the electric Benz was undisguised and shared many features with the EQS sedan. Our first look shows it’s both high-tech and plush.

The EQS family SUV has an optional two-seat third row to accommodate up to seven passengers who want to travel in style. There are soft pillow-like cushions on the headrests of the first two rows of seats, but not the third, to make it easier to fold flat those seats.

Like the sedan, the centerpiece of the EQS SUV is the optional Hyperscreen with its 56-inch curved panel filled with OLED screens that extends across the dashboard. It’s actually three screens that appear to be a single unit, housed under a common glass panel and surrounded by black material to hide where one screen ends and another begins.

There is a 12.3-inch driver information display (gauge cluster) with a touchpad on the left side of the steering wheel to change the layout of information. The center screen is 17.7 inches of display space controlled by a touchpad on the right side of the steering wheel or direct touch inputs. Personalization includes shortcuts to audio favorites or seat massage. And “Hey Mercedes” triggers the car to respond to a command.

Keep your eyes off my screen

Finally, the front passenger also has a 12.3-inch screen and can give directions and then swipe them to the main screen for the driver. If the passenger wears headphones, they will be able to stream entertainment even when the car is in motion. If a camera detects that the driver is looking at the screen, it darkens instantly. During our short drive, the screen quickly dimmed whenever the driver glanced at it. This feature should get the necessary approvals to be offered in the United States and Europe by the fall, we are told.

Second-row passengers can also opt for an entertainment system, with screens integrated into the back of the front seats. Audio includes a Dolby Atmos sound system.

The screens run the latest MBUX software loaded with features that the “Hey Mercedes” digital assistant can help activate and use, while the artificial intelligence technology studies the driver’s preferences and routines to make suggestions such as driving. activation of the heated seats and the massage.

Touchscreens are haptic: the surface vibrates when you touch a digital button, and harder pressure takes you deeper into the menu.

Ambient lighting sets the mood and there are seven different interior color combinations. The cabin is a mix of traditional materials such as leather and wood, along with innovative touches such as a hybrid magnolia wood and stainless steel trim. Tiny holes in the shape of Mercedes-Benz stars are laser cut into the wood, with sheet steel pressed into them from behind for an inlay effect.

The center console below the screen appears to float freely and hovers above a useful compartment for small personal bags and other odds and ends.

For better or worse – we think for worse – the classic seat-like power controls on the door panels, a longtime Mercedes signature, are touch-sensitive, like the EQS and S-Class sedans. means that unlike other Benzes, where the buttons physically move, they stay still and only respond to finger pressure; Anyone with experience using Mercedes seat controls will invariably find themselves frustrated pressing these new controls harder than necessary, expecting them to move. They won’t. Additionally, functionality to use the touchscreen or voice command to open the door will not be available at launch. You have to grab the protruding handles yourself.

SUV water

Mercedes has already said MotorTrend none of its EVs will have a front trunk or frunk – the space that would normally house a motor is used to store the HEPA filter for cabin air quality. It’s locked, giving up the ability to use the engine-free space below for extra cargo space, as many EV competitors do. There is, however, a scent system that offers unique scents that can be infused into the HVAC airflow. A new fragrance has been developed for the SUV called No.6 MOOD mimosa and described as an “earthy scent tinged with subtly sensual notes”.

Mercedes has created the EQ brand for its growing range of electric vehicles, starting with the EQS sedan which is built in Sindelfingen and goes on sale in the US in late 2021 with a choice of the rear-wheel-drive EQS450+ or ​​the all-wheel-drive EQS580 -training model. This EQS SUV simply expands the family into the most popular SUV format and will join the smaller EQE midsize sedan in the lineup for 2023.

This seems good! More details?