2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Lands This Fall With 373-Mile Range

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV goes on sale this fall as the first electric SUV from the German luxury brand in the U.S., following the EQS sedan that was released at the end of last year. The sedan was meant to be an electric S-Class, and the SUV comparable to the GLS-Class. The two share a wheelbase and platform, which will underpin more EQ electric vehicles in the future.

The company gave some details on the EQS SUV at the opening of its EV (electric vehicle) battery plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama last month, though the car was wrapped and its exterior was obscured.

The electric SUV is a little smaller than the conventional three-row GLS. The new EV is about 3 inches shorter and the roof is more than 4 inches lower. However, it has a bigger wheelbase, meaning the wheels are pushed farther to the corners. In the EQS the third row is optional whereas in the GLS it is standard.

At the front, the grille centers the company's three-pointed logo with a star pattern emanating outward. Making the car aerodynamic was a top priority, according to the company, with clean lines stretching the length of the car from the EQS sedan-like front end. Even the wheels and tires were optimized using wind covers the company is calling "aeroblades."

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The EQS SUV is coming to the U.S. in two forms: the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ and the EQS 580 4MATIC all-wheel drive version.

A 107.8-kilowatt-hour battery and an electric motor combine in the rear-wheel drive version to deliver 355 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. On the all-wheel drive version, the same combination makes 536 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque.

Official figures on range have yet to be announced, though the company says that 373 miles is possible on the European test cycle. DC fast charging from 10 percent to 80 percent is estimated by Mercedes to take 31 minutes.

Central to the interior is the company's Hyperscreen, a panel that integrates the gauge cluster, infotainment system and an additional screen for the passenger. The Hyperscreen is optional on the 450+ and standard on the 580 4MATIC.

Mercedes designed the interior to evoke a modern living space. It is available in seven different coordinated color combinations, using colors like sable brown-neva grey or space grey-macchiato beige.

There's enough going on inside the cabin to keep everyone entertained. The passenger screen allows them to access navigation and entertainment functions, as well as media. Though if the driver glances at the screen, it darkens so as not to distract. Displays for entertainment are mounted on the rear of each front seat for second-row passengers.

For the EQS, Mercedes has developed a series of programs under the umbrella of "energizing comfort," which is meant to engage your senses and put you at ease while driving.

Three "Energizing Nature" programs, Forest Glade, Sound of the Sea and Summer Rain, import natural sounds and fragrances into the cabin to provide an antidote to the routines of everyday driving.

The car also includes Navigation with Electric Intelligence, which maps out routes for speed and convenience with charging stops included. The system is able to adapt to traffic conditions and driving styles.

ECO Charging works to preserve the SUVs battery life, reducing battery load during charging, imposing a charging limit of 80 percent and delaying charging based on a customer-set departure time.

A Driving Assistance Package is standard, which includes active driving assist, evasive steering assist, active blind spot assist and active brake assist. For navigating tight parking spaces and entrances, a Parking Assist function with a surround-view camera is also standard.

Mercedes expects to have the EQS SUV reach dealerships in the fall. Pricing details have yet to be announced. The EQS sedan starts at $102,310, with the SUV expected to be pricier.

The EQS SUV will be cross-shopped with the 2022 Tesla Model X and 2022 BMW iX, which start at $114,990 and $83,200, respectively. The segment is expected to get more crowded in the near future with the arrivals of the 2022 Rivian R1S, starting at $72,500, and the 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV, starting at $79,995.

The R1S is standard with three rows, while the Hummer only sports two.

In a recent virtual roundtable, Mercedes-Benz board member for marketing and sales Britta Seeger told journalists that the EQS SUV is not expected to take sales away from the sedan variant.

"As we are seeing this in the [internal combustion engine] world, [the segments] are not competing with each other because, as of now, we do see totally different customer needs and wishes," she explained. "And this holds true for electric vehicles as well."