Practical test: Mercedes EQS 580 4matic SUV: Big car

The flagship model in the electric range of the increasingly electric Swabians offers space for a big appearance.

Practical test: Mercedes EQS 580 4matic SUV: Big car

The flagship model in the electric range of the increasingly electric Swabians offers space for a big appearance. With a length of 5.13 meters, the dimensions are not such that a few more inches could not have been added, especially with a view to the luxury markets in Asia or the USA. The real luxury league is now pushing itself towards or over the 5.30 meter limit on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. It's not the case that there should be enough reason for complaints given the generous interior space. The Mercedes EQS SUV is closely related to its sedan brother EQS; However, due to its proportions, it is much more pleasing and therefore more suitable for volume than the streamlined hand flatterer with top aerodynamic values. At the front it feels extremely comfortable, perhaps a touch too much more so than in the leather-covered seats. The seating comfort is good even on longer journeys, but it doesn't come close to the formidable seating of the Mercedes GLS or even an S-Class. This applies more than ever to the second row, despite the generous wheelbase of 3.21 meters, where more than just children sit.

Here the electric SUV with a star offers a decisive advantage over the normal EQS. The extra headroom not only benefits the general feeling of space, there is also simply more space for your own hair. There are shelves and connections for drinks and electronic devices of all kinds here and there - if necessary, the rear seats fold forward and smaller people climb into row three at the expense of the cargo space. The outer rear seats are obligatory to be electrically adjusted. Unusual in this league: unlike the EQS, the SUV headrests are only adjusted manually and electric roller blinds on the side windows for maximum shading, which are just as practical as they are established in this league, are completely missing. The fact that the emergency seats in the third row do not move up from their sockets electrically may not be appropriate for a real luxury model like the EQS SUV. Depending on the seating configuration - the rear seats can be divided in a 40:20:40 ratio - the loading space holds between 565 and 2,100 liters.

When it comes to the drive, a Mercedes makes it easy, because with a curb weight of more than 2.8 tons, you don't have to seriously look at the small 450. That's a little less luxury when it comes to propulsion, a little too sparse sovereignty for the star colossus with a charging plug. The fact that the Mercedes EQS SUV 450 does not even offer all-wheel drive as standard raises questions, at least among European customers. Therefore, choosing the 580 4matic for the EQS SUV is easier than easy. The top model with two driven axles offers significantly more enthusiasm with a befitting 400 kW / 544 HP and an impressive 858 Nm of torque than the small rear-wheel drive car, which has to make do with an all-too-small 265 kW / 360 HP; as an optional all-wheel drive without any additional performance but at least 800 Nm. Despite the considerable excess weight on the ribs, the thrust of the 580 is more than impressive and goes far beyond the uninformative image sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in well under five seconds. The thrust is exhilarating from all positions and only reaches its limits when you approach maximum speed, because 210 km/h is not much of a good thing. However, it doesn't bother anyone here in the USA anyway, because even the speeders drive well below the 120 mile mark. If the Mercedes EQS 580 4matic drives differently than a combustion engine - it does and clearly does so. The power delivery is more digital, more direct and admittedly also a bit more artificial. The steering is very light and precise, although it is much more convincing than the feedback from the brake pedal, which only intervenes late in the deceleration process. You get used to it, but Mercedes can do it better with its combustion engine models, where recuperation is not that important.

The Mercedes EQS SUV feels at home on American highways with its large drive package. It travels whisper-quietly over country roads on the coast, empty interstates or even through crowded inner cities. Thanks to the excellent noise dampening, the comfort level is great and the relaxation is huge. But when it becomes more dynamic, the EQS SUV appears as heavy as it is at 2.8 tons. The good weight distribution and the low center of gravity due to the battery also change this somewhat. What it noticeably lacks at high speeds is active roll stabilization, because here it nods and sways significantly more than you would expect. After all, the rear-axle steering brings a plus in agility and casualness in the tight city – regardless of whether the test subject is traveling with 20, 21 or 22 inch wheels.

The issue of reloading remains. Since the 800-volt charging technology introduced with the Mercedes CLA will be missing by the end of next year, the petrol pump will stop at just under 200 kilowatts. Others can do it better, but some can do it much worse and so, especially with an empty battery pack in the underbody, you can cover almost 200 kilometers in twelve minutes - that's okay with potential for improvement. Also because the Mercedes EQS SUV 580 4matic can move at a good 22 kWh per kilometer - especially in the cruising country USA. With a fully charged 108 kWh battery, the Swabian American can cover around 450 kilometers. Admittedly, at a base price of more than 147,000 euros, that could be a little more in the league of the large electric models from Lucid, Cadillac and Co.