2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan: Luxury EV
The world doesn't need more expensive electric vehicles. It needs a far greater number of inexpensive ones with more efficient batteries for greater range that can be recharged with extension cords out bedroom windows. Not everyone has a garage with a Level 2 charger.
That said, the 2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan that I just spent a week driving is one heck of an impressive EV. It is as long as a limousine but can hit zero to 60 in around four seconds, thanks to its stump-pulling 516 horsepower and 611 foot pounds of torque. And it can go well over 300 miles on a full charge of electricity, with the added benefit of all-wheel-drive, thanks to the front and rear electric motors. And because it is Mercedes' flagship EV, it comes with incredible luxury features and more tech than I could figure out in such a short time.
Then again, the $126,645 list price could buy several entry-level Chevy Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs, Hyundai Kona Electrics and IONIC 5s, Kia EV6s, MINI SEs, and Nissan Leafs, all of which offer the fundamental benefit of EVs — electric driving without fossil fuels, albeit without as much luxury, technology or performance. Some have equivalent ranges, though.
In truth, the base 2022 EQS costs less. The 450+ comes with one motor, rear-wheel-drive, and starts at a little over $100,000. It is rated at a "mere" 329 horsepower, which is more than enough for impressive performance. Still, that is more than the cost of a couple of each of the other EVs listed above.
Mercedes has promised to go electric in a big way and the EQS is the first of a line of EQ vehicles based on specific technical platform called the MEA. It is an executive sedan, meaning the the company believes the owner will spend a lot of time in the back seat being driven around by an employee. That explains why it is so large, with the kind of leg room normally found in full size crew cab pickups.
Perhaps surprisingly, the EQS is also a lift back with an enormous amount of cargo space. This is one EV where the battery back doesn't compromise anything.
If the goal is to fight climate change, it can be argued that anyone who buys any version of the 2022 EQS is not buying a vehicle that produces greenhouse gas emissions. And creating acceptance and even enthusiasm for EVs is important if they are never going to be sold in large enough numbers to make a difference. That helps explain why the automotive press will debate the differences between the equally expensive all-electric BMWs, Porsches, Volvos, other high-end products hitting the market these days. But because their high prices limit sales, they will do nothing to fight climate change.
So the 2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan and its ilk are best appreciated for their dazzling technologies. Mercedes understands this and takes every opportunity to showcase them. The long, low and swoopy exterior stylish is designed to attract attention. The clean and spacious interior feels next generation. The full dash display screens are beyond Space Age. And the ride exceeds even those expectations. The acceleration is exhilarating, in large part because it is so quiet. The suspension absorbs all road imperfections. And even though it has a long wheel base, my tester had a form of rear wheel steering that reduced the turning radius and helped parallel parking.
Despite all that, my version still had a number of distractions. Glossy black portions of the dash panel reflected outside light that shifted as I drove. The large default map in the center screen continuously grew and shrank while driving for no apparent reason. The front mounted camera came on at stop lights, duplicating my view out the windshield on the center screen. Yes, I can see the car I'm stopped behind. I'm stopped behind it.
Mercedes has also taken to installing small pillows on the front of their seat headrests. They look and feel strange, and I'm not sure they'd provide much additional protection in case of a crash. Maybe I missed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration press release about them.
If the 2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan isn't impressive enough, Mercedes will gladly upsell you an obligatory AMG version with up to 751 horsepower. Driving it might make you feel like you can change the world. Just don't expect to do so without a lot more help.
Base price: $103,360 (base 450+)
Price as tested: $126,645 (580)
Type: Executive sedan lift back.
Engine: Dual electric motors (516 hp, 611 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
Drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual
EPA estimated mileage: 94 MPGe
EPA estimated range: 315-360 miles
Overall length: 205.4 inches
Curb weight: 5600-5800 pounds
Final assembly: Sildelfingen, Germany
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