Keeping up with the names of a couple hundred vehicles currently on sale in North America is hard.
It's a lot harder when someone names two different vehicles the same thing. And that's what Mercedes-Benz has done. First came the EQS, an electric sedan. Now we have the EQS, an electric SUV.
I mean, it makes sense in that the EQS 450 SUV is based on the EQS sedan platform (there's an EQE SUV version of the EQE sedan, too). But there's bound to be confusion. Mercedes seems to get that, according to a German newspaper, which reported in January that as Mercedes transitions to all-electric, the "EQ" brand will disappear and the vehicles will bear distinct names, possibly not unlike Mercedes' current gasoline-powered lineup.
In the meantime, you'll have to be specific. When you specify the EQS SUV, you're talking about a seven-seat, three-row luxury family vehicle. Believe it or not, this is the base model of this vehicle---the EQS 450+---albeit with a lot of options, which we'll get to in a minute. The upside to the base model is range---305 miles per charge.
Acceleration is, like most electrics, more than adequate, as in 6.5 seconds 0-60, from a 335-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels. For those who want more oomph, there's the EQS 580, which is an all-wheel drive twin-motor setup making 536 horsepower and slashing that 0-60 time down to 4.2 seconds. Range suffers not as much as you might think, dipping to 285 miles per charge.
The base price for the EQS 450+ SUV is $105,550, including destination. That buys an AIRMATIC air suspension with adaptive damping, 10-degree rear axle steering, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation with augmented reality, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Bumester 3D Surround sound system, a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats with memory, 64-color ambient lighting, power second-row seats, Keyless Go with seamless door handles, and a complete suite of active safety features.
Our tester had extra-cost options.
That's an understatement. Let me be more specific.
Our tester had $37,385 in extra-cost options---or, roughly what an entire Mercedes-Benz A Class sedan costs.
The MANUFAKTUR Alpine Grey paint is $1,750. The natural-grain "Yacht-Design" brown walnut with aluminum lines interior trim is $1,515. The Pinnacle Trim level (MBUX interior assist front, Mercedes star pattern logo projectors for the front doors, front multi-contour seats with massage, rapid-heating front seats, four-zone climate control and air balance package) is $3,150.
The Executive Rear Seat Package (rear wireless charging, comfort rear headrests, comfort second row middle armrest, MBUX tablet and rear side airbags) is $2,000. The MANUFAKTUR interior package (details left unspecified) is $4,750. The AMG Line Exterior Package (AMG-specific front bumper with gloss black accents, wheel arch linings and side sill panels in gloss black, A-wing trim with chrome and gloss black accents, AMG-specific rear bumper with gloss black and chrome accents) is $2,200. And the MBUX Hyperscreen package (a 12.3-inch LED instrument cluster, 17.7-inch OLED central display and 12.3-inch OLED passenger display) is $7,230.
Now comes the a la carte stuff: 110 volt household charging cable ($250). Energizing Air Control Plus with HEPA filter ($450). Acoustic Comfort Package ($1,010). Energizing Comfort Package Plus ($200). 21-inch AMG multispoke wheels with black accents ($1,100). Two wireless headphones ($400). Dashcam ($200). Illuminated Mercedes-Benz star ($500). Heated steering wheel ($250). MBUX augmented reality head-up display ($2,000), All-season cargo mat ($90). Five-zone climate control ($500). Neva Grey microfiber headliner ($1,600). MBUX second-row entertainment system ($2,990). Heated second-row seats ($500). Active ambient lighting ($590). Soft-close doors ($550). And finally, heated third-row seats ($360).
Bottom of the window sticker reads $142,935. Which pencils out to about the same money as the EQS 580 Pinnacle with the few options that don't come standard on that one. With the only penalty being 20 miles range per charge, that seems like the smart call.
Name confusion and the whole loading a base model thing aside, the EQS SUV is everything a Mercedes-Benz should be, in electric form. And one more reason for Elon Musk to lay awake worrying at night.