Mercedes-Benz goes big on electric with new seven-seater EQS SUV

Mercedes-Benz’s ever-expanding EQ electric vehicles (EV) line-up has just received yet another addition, this time a large seven-seater SUV, called – quite uninspiringly – the EQS SUV. Just like the “regular” EQS, the new SUV model is also built on the marque’s new dedicated EV platform EVA (for Electric Vehicle Architecture), and is set to go on sale in the second half of this year.

Since the two models share the same platform, they also have the same elongated wheelbase of 3,210 mm. With that being said, though, the SUV measures a tad shorter (-91 mm) than the EQS sedan in overall length, due to the lack of a boot compartment at the back.

In terms of looks, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV appears to have taken the general design of the sedan model, and stretched it upwards into an SUV silhouette. The unique “One-Bow” shape is still present here as seen from the A-pillars, but it appears less obvious (and less odd) thanks to its taller stature.

Other design elements are fairly coherent with the rest of the EQ line-up, including the covered-up gloss black front grille flanked by sleek LED headlights (optionally the Digital Light matrix system), the smooth pebble-like side profile with retracting door handles, as well as the 3D helix taillights as seen on the EQS sedan.

The standard EQS comes with a set of more civilian-looking bumpers, with faux skid plate elements finished in chrome, and a simpler front fog light enclosure design. Step up to the AMG Line however, and you’ll get the signature bone-shaped wide air intakes up front, larger two-tone aerodynamic wheels, more gloss black elements, and faux exhaust tips at the back for some reason.

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On the inside, the dashboard of the EQS SUV is essentially a carry-over from the sedan, which means it’s also a complete tech-fest in the cabin, highlighted by the massive MBUX Hyperscreen consisting of three individual displays housed inside a single pane of glass that spans 141 cm across the entire dashboard from door to door.

The Hyperscreen set-up is standard on the range-topping variant (and optional on others), but lower variants are not short-changed either, with a 12.8-inch portrait-oriented central display doing most of the heavy lifting, while a separate 12.3-inch display serves as the digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

The screens are all powered by the second-generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which now comes with a wider range of connected service, including a digital voice assistant that uses artificial intelligence to provide context-aware suggestions relative to the occupants’ behaviours and patterns.

For even more screens, buyers can also opt for the MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus package, which adds two 11.6-inch touchscreens for the second-row passengers, plus a dedicated removable tablet in the centre armrest to control almost every little function within the cabin, all without getting out of their seats.

Speaking of seats, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV can be specified in either a five- (2-3 layout) or seven-seater (2-3-2 layout) configuration. The second-row seats are electrically-adjustable by up to 130 mm fore-and-aft, and up to 18 degrees incline.

Going with the five-seater layout, with the second row seats moved to the most forward position, Mercedes-Benz says that the boot space is large enough to fit four golf bags – they certainly know their market well. In terms of numbers, that’s 880 litres of space, and 2,100 litres with the second-row brought down as well.

For those who want to carry more passengers sometimes, you’ll get 195 litres of boot space with the third-row seats up, or 800 litres when they’re folded flat into the load floor.

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The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV will be offered in three powertrain options at launch, all of which sound very familiar if you’ve peered through the EQS sedan’s spec sheet before – although, power output is higher across the board on the SUV.

Kicking off the variant line-up is the EQS 450+, which gets a single electric motor on the rear axle that make 360 hp (265 kW) and 568 Nm of torque. An all-wheel drive EQS 450 4Matic option is also available, which adds another electric drivetrain (eATS in Mercedes-speak) on the front axle, bringing the torque figure up to 800 Nm (horsepower unchanged).

At the top of the gradewalk is the EQS 580 4Matic, which similarly gets a dual-motor set-up, but with a much higher power output of 544 hp (400 kW) and 858 Nm.

All three variants are powered by the same floor-mounted 107.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which offers up to 660 km of range (WLTP cyce) on the EQS 450+, and 613 km on the other two all-wheel drive models. The battery takes approximately 10 hours to charge with the on-board 11 kW AC charger, but an optional 22 kW charger halves the charging time to five hours.

On the go, all three variants of the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV also support DC fast charging of up to 200 kW, which translates to a 10-80% SoC charge in approximately 31 minutes.

Unique to the all-wheel drive models is a new Torque Shift function, which according to Mercedes, “ensures intelligent, continuously variable distribution of drive torque between the rear and front electric motors and thus the use of the most efficient eATS in each case.”

As standard, the EQS SUV comes with a four-link axle at the front and an independent multi-link suspension at the rear. Airmatic air suspension with adaptive ADS+ dampers are standard, too, which enables the ride height to be adjusted from -15 mm to +25 mm to reduce drag or increase ground clearance, depending on drive modes and surrounding conditions.

As usual, you can also expect the most up-to-date list of advanced driver assist features on the EQS SUV, with functions including adaptive cruise control, Active Lane Keeping and Steering Assist, autonomous emergency braking with cross-traffic function, and Intelligent Park Pilot, depending on the boxes you tick at check-out.

No official pricing information has been provided just yet, but the EQS SUV is scheduled to go on sale later this year to rival the likes of the BMW IX and Tesla Model X. The EQS SUV will also be joined by a Maybach version in the future, which was already previewed by the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS last year.



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