In the early days of the automobile, cars were meant for the wealthy and luxury was opulent — at least by the standards of an era when even air conditioning wasn’t a thing — and Mercedes-Benz was there for it.
Today, Mercedes-Benz is still delivering state-of-the-art vehicles with opulent luxury, and the EQS 580 all-electric SUV is a perfect example.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 is the all-electric version of the GLS SUV. You get two rows of seating for five or three rows for seven passengers, 285 miles of range, and 536 horsepower to play with.
The interior treatment of the EQS 580 is all opulent luxury and the ride is cloud-soft. Everyone’s got their own entertainment screen, and the Mercedes driver assistance tech is getting better all the time. The future is officially here.
From the outside, the EQS looks more or less like a regular Mercedes-Benz SUV. You can tell it’s electric by the somewhat strange disc wheel design that features perforated discs that probably do something with airflow, since brake cooling isn’t as important on an EV. Also, Mercedes gives the EQS a typical EV grille area, with a nice symmetrical pattern — again emphasizing the futuristic nature of the vehicle.
The inside of the EQS is where you’ll really feel like you got something special. The test vehicle was trimmed in white leather, with a large console wrapped in lovely open pore wood, as is the fashion now, with little tri-pointed Mercedes-Benz stars spangled all over it.
My wife pointed out that with no transmission tunnel, there’s an expansive storage spot right underneath the console that seems designed for a woman’s purse. This is a feature missing from most vehicles, and highly desired by half the buying public. I noted the funny little extra soft pillows on the headrests, which seem like an odd addition until you find yourself craving their pillowy touch on the back of your head because they’re so, so comfy.
Given that I live in a small town on the Oregon coast, where we’re constantly tracking mud and rainy yuck into our cars about 9 months of the year, the white interior seemed like an invitation to disaster, but it’s also attractive. It’s like a glimpse of heaven.
The EQS 580 is all-wheel drive, in the usual EV way of having dual motors. Combined you get 536 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque. That ends up being pretty good performance, given the weight of the whole package.
Like most EVs, the EQS is direct drive, so there’s no transmission, just a computer. It’s good enough to rocket the EQS to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and it will tow 3,500 pounds. The bigger news is the range, which is a lovely 285 miles. The EQS will fast-charge at 200 kW so your 10% to 80% charge time is 31 minutes. About enough time to grab a nice espresso or a quick lunch.
Safety and Technology
As you expect, the EQS is a forward-looking technology center. All the standard safety features are present, but what you care about is Mercedes’ Distronic driver assistance. This has been dramatically improved, as it used to be one of the more intrusive systems on the market, dealing out harsh punishments for drifting too close to lane markers. Now it’s just a gentle nudge to keep you on track.
The Mercedes system also implements adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera system. We used the active parking assist to have the EQS parallel park itself, which it did with great accuracy.
On the dash, you have an impressive spread with the Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) “Hyperscreen” that stretches the entire width of the dashboard with a 12.3-inch LED instrument cluster, and two organic LED touchscreens measuring 17.7 inches and 12.3 inches behind a single 56-inch span of gently curved glass.
The second 12-inch screen is directly in front of the passenger, so they can entertain themselves without disturbing the navigation display. You also get a very nice head-up display with augmented reality giving you navigation instructions and visual lane edge instructions.
The EQS SUV driving experience is honestly going to take a little getting used-to. The accelerator behaves more or less normally for an EV, but the braking is unusual. I found that I could drive the EQS very normally when I used the paddle shifters (yes, they’re present) to disable regeneration entirely, or when I selected maximum regen for one-pedal driving.
However, the middle setting had me feeling like I wasn’t getting enough braking action from normal brake pedal pressure, and then more brake than I wanted. I’m sure I could adapt my style as one does with any new car, but it was disconcerting. Play with the regen settings on your test drive before you make a decision.
As mentioned, the perceived power level is perfectly adequate, and the EQS will move out smartly when you need to. The ride is floaty-soft in the default mode, but here again, it’s all adjustable. The Airmatic air ride suspension with adaptive damping can be tightened up at the touch of a button. The EQS also offers 10 degrees of rear-steer assistance, making it substantially more nimble than you expect from an SUV of this size.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic SUV Specifications
|Dimension||Dimensions: L: 201.9 inches/W: 84.9 inches/H: 67.6 inches/Wheelbase: 126.4 inches|
|Powertrain||Dual permanently excited synchronous electric motors; |
direct drive transmission, AWD
|Fuel Economy||77 mpg-e/285 miles range|
|Performance Specs||563 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $125,950; As tested: $138,580 including $1,150 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The EQS 580 4Matic starts at $125,950, but with a number of options ours came to $138,580, including the very reasonable $1,150 destination fee. Major options that bumped up the bottom line included $2,990 for the rear seat twin-tablet entertainment system, $3,150 for the trim level package that gets you front seat massage with rapid-heating seats, $2,000 for the augmented reality head-up display, and $1,010 for an Acoustic Comfort Package, plus a bunch of smaller charges for things like heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.
The truth is, you should plan on spending something north of $130,000 for this EV, because by the time you’re into six figures, why not spend a small percentage more and get the full experience? Unless you have kids or executive passengers, you can save some money on the rear seat entertainment package, but you really want the seat massage.
The bottom line on the EQS SUV is that it’s a Mercedes-Benz in the classic style, with opulent luxury and state-of-the-art technology.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 SUV — Frequently Asked Questions
Does the EQS qualify for a Federal tax credit?
No, it’s too expensive. Check your state laws for a possible state credits.
Does the EQS qualify for a Section 179 write-off?
Yes, the EQS comes under Section 179.
What is the warranty on the EQS 580 battery?
It is 10 years or 155,000 miles.