2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Review

Ron Sessions, Independent Expert | Dec 21, 2021

Introduction - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

First to wear the Mercedes-Benz EQ badge, the 2022 EQS will soon be joined on U.S. roads by the EQB crossover utility and EQE midsize sedan. The EQS is at the forefront of the German automaker’s drive to electrify its products here and across the globe in the coming years. It’s probably the bones of the next-generation S-Class as well.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is an all-new-from-the-ground-up design on a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform. The dedicated battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is available with two powertrain configurations: a 329-horsepower single-motor rear-drive EQS 450+ and a 516-hp dual-motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) EQS 580 4Matic. Each is available with “base” Premium, upgraded Exclusive, or range-topping Pinnacle trim.

Mercedes-Benz calls it a sedan even though the EQS sports a hatchback offering tremendous access to the surprisingly large trunk that opens to a cavernous crossover-like cargo hold with the rear seats folded. Who says the rich aren’t practical?

What Owners Say About the Large Premium Car Segment - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

The Mercedes-Benz EQS competes in the Large Premium Car market segment. According to data collected from verified new-vehicle buyers for the J.D. Power 2021 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 83 percent of new Large Premium Car buyers are male (vs. 61 percent for the industry as a whole), and the median age of a Large Premium Car buyer is 65 years (vs. 57).

As part of the APEAL Study, owners rated Large Premium Cars in 10 primary categories. Listed below in descending order, you’ll find their preferences from their most favorite thing about the vehicle to their least favorite:

  • Driving feel
  • Exterior styling
  • Powertrain
  • Driving comfort
  • Feeling of safety
  • Interior design
  • Setting up and starting
  • Getting in and out
  • Infotainment
  • Fuel economy

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Mercedes-Benz EQS - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

In the following sections, our independent expert analyzes a 2022 EQS 580 4Matic equipped with the following options:

  • Exclusive Trim package (massaging front seats, 4-zone climate control, air balance package)
  • Laminated safety glass with thermal and noise insulation
  • Head-up display
  • Energizing air control plus with HEPA filter
  • Active ambient lighting
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Emergency 110-volt AC charging cable

The price of the test vehicle came to $123,460, including the $1,050 destination charge.

Getting In and Getting Comfortable

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Front Seats

Photo: Ron Sessions

Upon entering the cabin of the EQS 580, all eyes are drawn to what Mercedes calls a Hyperscreen that covers the entire width of the dash. It is really three displays: a 12.3-inch driver-configurable LED gauge cluster, a 17.7-inch OLED center infotainment monitor, and a 12.3-inch OLED display just for the front passenger (like the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer). All of it sits under a single, massive 56-inch-wide, door-to-door aluminum-silicate glass panel that Mercedes says is scratch- and fingerprint resistant. There’s no hard switchgear whatsoever on the dash, even for the automatic climate control that uses all-touch-sensitive controls with haptic feedback along the lower portion of the big center screen.

What, you ask, does a front passenger need a screen for? In the EQS, it allows that person to access entertainment (not visible to the driver), adjust comfort settings, and with individual access, support the driver with points of interest and other navigation tasks.

The cab-forward design of the EQS makes for a spacious interior, not just in things you can measure like headroom and legroom, but also imparting a feeling of spaciousness. The flat floor, sitting atop the vast EV battery and with no space-robbing tunnel for a transmission, driveshaft, or exhaust system to bother with, also adds roominess. It’s put to good use adding storage space, with a large bin under the high-mounted console top for a purse or small computer bag, as well as a bin housing cupholders, a wireless charger, and oddments tray under a tambour door and a deep covered bin under the bomb-bay doors of the center armrest.

As you’d expect in a Mercedes-Benz flagship, material quality, fit, and finish are top-notch with buttery-soft leather-trimmed seats and attractive Walnut or Linden wood trim accents. The multi-adjustable heated and ventilated front buckets are cushy yet supportive and available with massaging functions. Indicative of the focus on comfort, the EQ 580’s headrests, both up front and on the limousine-worthy rear bench, are also equipped with slip-on soft-foam headrest pillows.

The EQS 580 test car was also optioned with an ionizing HEPA cabin air filter. It sweetened the interior air quality on a particularly windy and dusty day and did a remarkable job scrubbing the oily stench from the bluish smoking exhaust of a late-model pickup truck the EQS was stuck behind for several miles in gridlocked traffic.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS MBUX Infotainment System Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Interior Dashboard

Photo: Ron Sessions

Mercedes equips the 2022 EQS 580 with the latest and greatest components of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. Standard elements include:

  • 56-inch wide Hyperscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring
  • Voice control with natural-language understanding and keyword activation
  • AM/FM stereo with SiriusXM satellite radio and HD Radio
  • Embedded navigation
  • MBUX Augmented Reality
  • Burmester 3D surround-sound premium audio system
  • Six 100-watt USB-C ports
  • Console-mounted wireless phone charger

The defining feature of the EQS 580 is the super-wide, three-display Hyperscreen with a sizeable 17.7-inch center monitor that includes infotainment, climate control, and other functions. There’s no console-mounted remote touchpad anymore as in past Mercedes-Benz models for navigating around on the screen. In fact, with the big Hyperscreen, there’s no hard switchgear on the dash at all, and what little does exist in the car is on the console, steering wheel, and doors. The center navigation display is so large the driver has to peek around the steering wheel to see the left side of the map. The map detail is sensational, like a live video feed or Google Earth image from 1,000 feet up, complete with rooftops, driveways, shopping centers, hills, forests, and bodies of water. When planning routes, the system takes into account weather, topography, traffic, and even the availability of charging stations along the way.

One oddity with the system is the big Hyperscreen map gets replaced by a smaller Google Maps one with far less detail when Android Auto is connected, so if you want the big map, turn off Android Auto or your phone.

The big screen keeps icon tiles for the most frequently used and most important system functions such as audio, cellphone, navigation, or vehicle settings at the lower part of the big screen instead of hidden in scrollable menus and sub-menus, saving time and minimizing distraction while driving. And it uses artificial intelligence with context-sensitive awareness that displays icons based on the surroundings and user behavior. The only downside to the big screen is its tendency to collect annoying reflections in bright sunlight.

In addition to the touchscreen and touch controls on the steering wheel, front-seat occupants can access audio, phone, and system content for the MBUX via the keyword-activated natural language-enhanced voice control. After giving the system a name (the default name is “Mercedes”), you can ask it to do things like select an audio source by station, artist, or genre, check the weather in any city around the globe, or adjust the climate control settings. The artificial intelligence in the system knows where you are on the map and even where you are sitting in the car, so if the driver says, “Hey Mercedes, I’m cold,” the MBUX system will increase cabin temperature by 2 degrees on the side of the vehicle from which the voice came.

Augmented Reality is another neat standard EQS 580 feature. When navigation is active, it provides a split-screen display of the selected route and, using the front camera, shows a wide-screen, real-time view of the road and traffic ahead. Then, layered on top of the camera view, Augmented Reality adds animation showing navigation instructions, lane guidance, major cross streets or highways, and the direction of the upcoming turn. A smaller version of it also appears in the head-up display, appearing directly in the driver’s field of vision.

The top-of-the-line Burmester 3D audio system has lots of power, but what’s key here in a car that’s so quiet on the road is its superb fidelity and separation. It puts the listener on-stage, immersed in a landscape with individual instruments or voices coming from different places as they would if you were literally on the sound stage.

What It’s Like to Drive the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Side Profile View

Photo: Ron Sessions

In a word: refined. With two electric motors producing 516 hp and 631 pound-feet of torque, the EQS 580 is a lively performer, and despite a curb weight of 5,888 pounds (nearly 3 tons), can whoosh nearly silently from rest to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. The EQS is relaxed while threading through traffic in town and at higher velocities, where it offers impressive stability and composure. Although its prime tuning focus is luxury, a near 50/50 front/rear weight balance and low center of gravity from the underfloor-mounted high-voltage battery give the EQS a planted feel on the road. The grippy 265/40R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires help in this regard, too, and introduce no unwanted tire noise.

The Airmatic air suspension with adaptive variable dampers provides excellent body control and remains pleasingly compliant while taking the edge off rough patches of pavement. In Sport mode, the Airmatic suspension reduces ride height nearly an inch when the speedometer rises above 80 mph to aid aerodynamics. The speed-dependent steering is lightly boosted and precise in a way that allows the driver to place it exactly where it needs to be. At low speeds, rear-axle steering with up to 10 degrees of opposite lock enables the 17-plus-foot-long EQS to execute a U-turn in a compact-sedan-like 35.7 feet.

The EQS’s standard 4Matic AWD responds instantly to traction demands, and a torque-vectoring function further fine-tunes power to each of the rear wheels as needed. Scrubbing the speed off are huge-diameter, Autobahn-ready 4-wheel disc brakes with predictable bite and progressive pedal action, bolstered by regenerative braking. A pair of steering-wheel paddles allow the driver to custom-tailor the regenerative braking to three different levels, the strongest of which almost enables one-pedal driving that will dramatically slow but not completely stop the vehicle when the accelerator is released.

As for putting the juice back in the battery, owners can charge the EQS in several ways. With a 240-volt, 32-amp AC charging system like what you might have at home, the EQS can get from 10- to 100-percent charge capacity in 11 hours and 15 minutes. On the road, popping into a fast-charge station like those at Electrify America stations where Mercedes-Benz offers new EQS owners free unlimited 30-minute DC fast-charging sessions for two years, a 400-volt, 110-kW DC fast-charging system will take the big Benz from 10- to 80-percent charge in 31 minutes.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Driver-Assistance Systems

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS ADAS Menu

Photo: Ron Sessions

With the EQS 580’s status as a Mercedes-Benz flagship, it comes standard with a full suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Content includes:

  • Distronic adaptive cruise control with active steering assist and speed adaptation ahead of curves, exits, and tollbooths
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function (upgrades the standard automatic emergency braking to include cross traffic at intersections)
  • Active Speed Limit Assist (automatically adjusts to the posted speed based on navigation map data)
  • Active Lane Change Assist (can execute a semi-autonomous lane change with Distronic activated on a 4-lane highway if the lane is clear with turn signal application)
  • Active Blind-Spot Assist (can pulse single-side braking if the driver attempts an unsafe lane change)
  • Active Steering Assist (lane-centering based on lane markings and vehicles traveling ahead)
  • Active Lane-Keeping Assist (can buzz the steering wheel if the vehicle drifts over lane markings and pulse single-side braking to pull the car back into its lane)
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist (can detect a disabled driver and slowly bring the vehicle to a stop)
  • Automatic high-beam headlight assist
  • Surround-view camera display (gives a 360-degree overhead view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings)
  • Active parking assist (can semi-autonomously move the EQS into a perpendicular or parallel parking spot while operating the steering, gearshift, and brakes)
  • Driver drowsiness detection
  • Intelligent driver hands-off detection (flashes a warning and sounds a chime if it detects the driver’s hands are off the steering wheel for more than a few seconds)

The great thing is that Mercedes equips the EQS with an extensive array of systems that work in the background to keep the driver from making serious mistakes that could imperil driving safety. If the driver fails to apply the brakes, drifts out of traffic lanes, doesn’t slow for curves, or becomes inattentive, one or more of the systems can intervene. Only on rare occasions do the systems fail to respond or react when they need to, take action when they don’t need to, or take the wrong action altogether.

There were two such instances with the EQS. With the Distronic adaptive cruise control set, the driver attention warning kept flashing on long, straight stretches of remote Arizona highways, even though I always kept at least one hand on the wheel. It was harmless enough but annoying. The other instance involved the Active Speed Limit Assist function, which on one occasion, after leaving a construction zone with freshly paved asphalt, resumed to 80 mph instead of the posted 65 mph limit right after passing an Arizona state route 80 sign.

So, the bottom line is driver-assistive tech is a great tool and absolutely a stress reducer most of the time, but it’s always wise to stay alert behind the wheel.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS FAQ - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Cargo Area

Photo: Ron Sessions

How much cargo space does the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS have?

The EQS may look like a sedan with a fastback roofline, but an artfully concealed liftgate grants easy access to 22 cubic feet of trunk/cargo space, and with the rear seatbacks folded flat a midsize crossover-like 63 cubic feet.

What is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS driving range?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 329-hp single-motor EQS 450+ has a 350-mile driving range, and the 516-hp dual-motor EQS 580 4Matic offers 340 miles of range. Both models feature a large 107.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. That range tops European competitors such as the Porsche Taycan 4S and Audi E-tron but falls short of the range offered by the Tesla Model S Long Range and just-introduced U.S.-built Lucid Air Dream R.

The long range allowed a worry-free 220-mile round trip from Tucson, Arizona, to historic Bisbee, Arizona, over a picturesque, high-desert landscape with no obvious electric charging stations along the way, not something I’d attempt in the 227-mile-range Taycan or 238-mile-range E-tron. Upon reaching home, the EQS 580 still displayed 120 miles of range.

Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS safe?

As of the posting of this review, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had published crashworthiness ratings for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

How much is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS?

Prices for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS range from $102,310 for the 329-hp, single-motor EQS 450+ Premium to $125,310 for the 516-hp, dual-motor EQS 580 Pinnacle. The destination charge is $1,050.

What are the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS competitors?

In the 2021 APEAL Study, the BMW 7 Series ranks highest in the Large Premium Car segment. The BMW 8 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class are the next highest-ranked models.

Other competitors to the 2022 EQS include the Genesis G90Lexus LS, and Audi A8.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Rear Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

Sporting a radically different cab-forward profile, limousine-like cabin, a massive 56-inch-wide Hyperscreen dashboard, 516 hushed horsepower, 4Matic AWD, and an impressive 340-mile driving range, the 2022 EQS is the flagship of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ electric-vehicle lineup. The battery-electric EQS sedan brings true luxury and craftsmanship as well as leading-edge technology to the premium EV space.

Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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