The days of zero to 60 miles-per-hours acceleration times might be coming to an end, because with EVs like the Mercedes EQS on the market, it’s easy to hit 90 miles-per-hour on a highway entrance ramp. This is the age of the electric car. Not quite affordable yet, not always easy to find an EV in stock with supply shortages as automakers attempt a major shift to all-electric vehicles, but it’s in progress.
Unique features of the EQS EV
Mercedes does a great job taking care of customers looking to switch to EVs. We drove the EQS450V edition. With this EQS purchase, you can get two years of complementary charging at 30-minute, fast-charging stations on the Electrify America Network. The car comes with an enormous control panel screen that stretches across the entire dashboard (our tester didn’t have one because of the chip shortage). Seamless flush door handles pop out when you unlock the car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrations. There’s also a panoramic roof, augmented reality navigation and heated and ventilated leather seats.
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Additionally, you can get two years of complementary maintenance from Mercedes, and the EQS comes with a fingerprint scanner on the dash computer that allows the car to recognize you and reset the car to your favorite personal settings.
Wrapped in 360 degrees of safety
The EQS has cameras that create a 360-degree view around the car to avoid bumping into anything. If you get too close to the bushes while parking, it will pop up the external camera image of the problem and help you avoid it.
Parking and driver assist come with this model, too. There is also PRE-SAFE, a Mercedes safety system that braces you for impact when it senses an imminent collision. If you brake or steer abruptly in a way that tells the vehicle you are about to get into an accident, the EQS will close your windows and sunroof to keep debris out of the car, tighten the seatbelts, and adjust the front head restraints to keep you as safe as possible.
You might need safety systems, kid
Why does Mercedes pamper and insulate drivers from the road? It’s a complaint heard often in the driver and auto enthusiast community that prefers to be in complete control of the car and feeling the road beneath them. Mercedes errs on the side of safety and comfort because their customers prefer this feel, but that doesn’t mean the car is holding back.
The EQS comes with several different driver modes like comfort, sport, eco and even a personalized setting you can adjust to your favorite settings. The regenerative brakes help recuperate energy to extend the range of the EV, and each mode has a different level of energy capture. There are also paddle shifters (+ -) on the steering wheel that, instead of shifting the car’s gears, shift the level of braking regeneration manually.
Overall, it is one of the most complex systems we’ve seen in terms of driver customization. And for short trips, driving without regenerative braking doesn’t seem to hurt the range. You can go all out in this thing and not even notice, because with signature Mercedes style, you don’t hear the noise you’re making accelerating to unsafe speeds, you little daredevil. Keep an eye on your own speedometer, because you won’t notice anything when speeding except scenery going by like you’re hitting warp one.
Other models of the EQS include an all-wheel drive model, if that’s your thing. The rear-wheel drive 450 we drove gets 350 miles of range per charge, which is more than any EV available today except the Tesla Model S or 3, and the Lucid Air.
The price a Mercedes EQS EV
The price, you say? It’s in the ballpark of $102,310 starting MSRP. Ouch. But it is one of the best production EVs on the road today, a luxury brand and a car that is packed to the gills with technology. This car lives up to the name “cockpit” when you’re in the driver’s seat. Auto dimming mirrors, adjustable wraparound LED dash lighting, contrast stitching, satellite radio… we could go on and on. The official zero to 60 time is 5.9 seconds, which frankly we don’t believe. The car has 329 horsepower. Also seems a little low. Ah yes, that’s because it has 417 pound-feet of torque, which is a measure of how much power is actually getting to the wheels, and that’s a lot.
You still want this car
Trust us, you still want this car. It’s not quite as fast as the BMW i4 we just drove, but it’s really smooth and more EV than anyone really needs. More than anything, it convinces us that the time of the EV is finally now. If Mercedes can build a car like this, all we need to do is find a way to afford one. The rest is a clean future for cars that have to save us from crashing because we’re driving too fast. That doesn’t seem so bad.
Photography by Laura K. Cowan
Editor’s Note: This test drive is not sponsored by BMW. All opinions on the car are the author’s own.