With the rising cost of petrol and the feud between manufacturers trying to cater for the market EV requirements, Tesla has been the name at the top of the pile for a while now. The big German brands, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi have been heavily developing EV products with the goal of taking that top spot back. 

In the internal combustion-engine market, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is not only a flagship model but a legend. The S-Class has for many years, been setting new benchmarks for luxury, technology and safety. With the Mercedes EQ lineup, it was only a matter of time until we saw the S-Class of EVs, the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC. 

We jumped at the opportunity to get some time behind the wheel of what the EQS and the future of the EQ lineup have to offer.

What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS?

  • Exterior front design
  • Interior Styling
  • Luxury comfort
  • Technology
  • Range
  • Ride quality
  • Performance
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Massage seats

What we don’t like

  • Exterior rear design
  • Price tag
  • Rear lip spoiler
  • At-home charging time (without high voltage wall charger)

What’s In The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS Range?

There is only one model available for the EQS, which is the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+. It’s available in New Zealand at a staggering $310,900, so it’s not for everyone. And for that, you get a dual motor, 107.8kWh battery electric vehicle with 484kW of power and 950Nm of torque. This means EQS can launch from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.

But there is more, on top of the $310,900, you can add a range of additional option packs. 

  • Energizing Comfort package – $9,290
  • Night Package – $3,990
  • AMG Dynamic PLUS package – $7,690

Plus a range of individual options

  • AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system – $9,990
  • AMG carbon-fibre trim – $2,990
  • MBUX augmented reality heads up display – $2,690
  • Alternating current charger system – $2,490
  • Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Gen1.5 Type 2 AC Charger – $2,810

There are also 3 different wheel options; the wheels on our review vehicle are standard, you can have the same style in a black satin finish for $690, and can upgrade to 22-inch multi-spoke options for $2,490.

Colour options for the EQS are rather interesting too, with 7 no-cost options and 3 additional cost paint finishes:

  • Polar white non-metallic
  • Graphite grey metallic
  • High-tech silver metallic
  • Nautic blue metallic 595U
  • Obsidian black metallic 197U
  • Onyx black metallic 346U
  • Sodalite blue metallic
  • MANUFAKTUR diamond white bright -$1,990
  • MANUFAKTUR hyacinth red metallic – $1,990
  • MANUFAKTUR selenite grey mango – $9,490

2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC Standard Equipment Highlights

The spec for this model are as you would expect, rather impressive. 

  • Lithium-ion battery, 420V, 107.8 kWh
  • AMG specific body styling
  • AMG brake system
  • AMG Spoiler lip on the boot lid, painted in vehicle colour 
  • AMG-specific front radiator grille 
  • 21″ AMG 5-cross-spoke light-alloy wheels
  • DIGITAL LIGHT Headlight System
  • Continuous reflector strip at front
  • Heat-insulating, noise-noise insulating, infrared-reflecting laminated glass all-round 
  • Privacy Glass for rear side windows and rear window
  • Panoramic glass electric sliding sunroof
  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Active Steering Assist 
  • Active Brake Assist 
  • PRE-SAFE® PLUS
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist 
  • Parking Package 
  • KEYLESS-GO Comfort package
  • EASY-PACK tailgate
  • TIREFIT tyre sealant with electric inflation compressor
  • URBAN GUARD vehicle protection Plus
  • MBUX Hyper Screen & Augmented Reality navigation
  • Mercedes-Me Connect
  • Burmester® 3D surround sound system
  • DAB+ Digital radio tuner
  • Mercedes-Benz Emergency call system
  • Wireless charging system for mobile devices in the front
  • Digital TV Tuner
  • Mercedes-AMG Interior
  • AMG nappa leather black / space grey
  • Multicontour front seats with active cushion, hot stone massage
  • Climatised front seats, 3 stage heating and ventilation functions
  • Power driver and front passenger seat with memory function
  • THERMOTRONIC automatic 4 zone climate control
  • AIR BALANCE Package
  • Active ambient lighting
  • Acoustic ambient protection – forward low speed audible warning for pedestrians upto 20km/h and reversing tone 

Our of interest I had to know what it would cost if you wanted to be a baller, and just spec your EQS to the max. You would be looking at around $365,000 for an all-options ticked vehicle. 

Our review vehicle did not have any optional equipment, making its retail price $310,900.

For a full list of specs and options available for the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC jump on over to the Mercedes-Benz New Zealand website

How Does The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC Compare To Its Competition?

This end of the EV market has more options than you would imagine. As the buyer, you have to look at what is important to you. Is it 0-100Km/h speed or is it luxury? As mentioned Tesla is the big name everyone talks about, however, they can’t hold a candle to Porsche and Mercedes when it comes to luxury vehicles that reflect the price tag. 

During our test of the Audi e-Tron GT, we mentioned how the interior of that $200,000 vehicle cannot be the same as the $70,000 vehicle they also offer. Tesla suffers from the same problem. All the interiors are the same, bland and simple. However, inside the Mercedes and Porsche, you feel the “oh wow” moment, as it’s a special space-age luxurious interior. 

All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme (*CCP)

Make/ ModelBattery
Capacity
kW-hr
Power/
Torque
kW/Nm
0-100km/h
seconds
Range (WLTP)Boot
Space,
litres
Price (excl CCP)
Porsche Taycan Turbo S93.4560/10502.8484366$381,900
Mercedes-AMG EQS107.8484/9503.8587580$310,900
Porsche Taycan Turbo93.4500/8503.2394366$304,300
Tesla Model S Plaid95760/12273.2652495$207,984
BMW iX 50111.5385/7654.6570500$197,900
Audi e-tron S Sportback95370/9734.5378615$189,900
Tesla Model X Long Range D95375/6603.95601050$182,990
Jaguar I-Pace HSE904704.8470557$169,900

First Impressions Of The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC

The new EQS is a bit different, it’s big and long, instantly identified as an EV with that subtle EV-like aerodynamic design. The first thing that really caught my attention is the 21” AMG wheels. I really liked them, very aggressive and retro, almost echoing classic designs from the 80’s and 90s AMG Mercedes-Benz. 

The exterior of the EQS could easily be described as rounded as every surface is curved, flowing into another curve with no hard lines anywhere. Well, except for the disappointingly cheap AliExpress stuck-on lip spoiler, which really should have been a pop-up/integrated spoiler for sleek design and price. The front and side of the EQS look good, with an upmarket high-end feel. The rear is a bit odd, it’s almost like the design was not finished, and feels disconnected from the rest of the car. Regardless the overall look and feel are very high-end and futuristic. 

I was not as excited about seeing the AMG badge on the back as I should have been. I know it was an EV and that it would be quick, but worried about the heritage of what AMG stood for, and if it would be reflected in this fully electric land yacht. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC?

It’s not often a member of the DriveLife team gets in a car and just sits back in wonder and takes it all in. The inside of the EQS is very different to what we are used to, more like the inside of a futuristic spaceship or fighter plane than the inside of a car. At night it’s a thing to behold as the whole interior is bathed in a soft LED glow, from the multiple screens to the ambient lighting running through the cabin. 

The front seats probably cost more than most average cars. They look great – sculpted shapes with a raised and an almost-floating headrest. The good side bolsters provide great support, and the entire outside of the seat has an led strip running around it, which is linked to the ambient lighting set for the rest of the vehicle – much like the 2018 Mercedes-Benz 560 S Class Coupe I reviewed a few years ago. The driver does not have to fiddle around with the seat buttons to work out the best position. All you have to do is enter your height into the seat setting on the centre console, and confirm. Then the seat will adjust itself to the perfect position for that height. I found that the EQS nailed this in one go, which was great. They are also both heated, and cooled and have a full range of massage options. 

The seats in the rear have to slum it a bit, similar in style and design. They do not have any massage options, but they are heated and cooled. Our review car came with some nice pillow covers that clip over the normal headrest. The back can seat 3 across, which is why the seats are not as sculpted as the seats in the front. It’s the ideal setup for two passengers with an armrest, but the hot seat in the middle can be used if required. Legroom in the rear is epic, so much room, which is due to the shorter front and rear of the vehicle, allowing a larger cabin for passengers. 

The infotainment is very much the centre stage of this car, once you get past the EV side of things. The entire dashboard is one massive glass screen with 3 separate touch screens built into it. One for the driver, behind the steering wheel, once in the centre for general displays, maps and settings, and one for the passenger. 

Let’s start with the driver’s display, which feels like its from some futuristic PS5 game. It looks like a tunnel you look down at, with wave-form gauges flowing around the outside for power use and brake regeneration. In the centre of this visual, there is a vertical graph that shows how much you’re using the acceleration or braking force of the system. The closer this visual gauge climbs towards the driver the stronger the force. I thought they were really neat and didn’t find them at all distracting, as I thought I would. The rest of the screen displays all of the normal info: speed, range, time, driving modes, cruise control and driver assist settings.

The central screen is huge, and it really puts any Tesla screen to shame. This screen allows you access to all of the car’s features and settings. Super easy to navigate, and easy to see the generational growth from the previous Mercedes system, which made finding everything fast. Even the home screen has some of the more regularly used buttons available without submenus. At the bottom of this screen, you have the Home menu and air conditioning settings for both the driver and front passenger. This part of the screen never changed, so you could jump in and out of climate menus super fast.

To summarise what you can access here, you can adjust the front seats, set massage functions. adjust the lights in the cabin (both brightness and colour), navigation maps, radio, phone and media access – and the performance menu that we will come back to later.

I also found that driving at night was easy. Unlike some other EVs with large screens which are too bright at night, the EQS adjusts the display brightness so that it’s not a distraction of illuminating the cabin too much while driving at night.

The passenger screen only works when someone is sitting in the passenger seat, I assume to prevent the driver from trying to fiddle with it when travelling solo. When not in use, it displays a compass. That’s a bit odd, but so is the passenger screen. This screen is a smaller version of the central screen, but it allows the passenger to log in with their user at the same time as the driver. They can then set their own set settings: the heated seat, massaging seat, air conditioning, put on the radio, change music or even use their phone via Bluetooth. I am on the fence about this screen; is it needed? Especially with the larger central screen about an arm’s length away. However it can be useful when the driver is using the maps for direction, the passenger can do other things at the same time. Who knows, this could become the next big thing. 

Overall the infotainment is amazing, so many options, small details and visuals that really lift the level of this vehicle to that luxury level and forefront of technology. The only thing that really suffers heavily from is fingerprints and dust. If I bought an EQS, I would be looking for a coating or film-like screen protector to help reduce both the dust and fingerprints.

The view out of the rear window is not bad, it’s tight as the boot is high and the rake of the rear window is low for aerodynamics. In saying that, I have tested many cars with less visibility out the rear. About the only time, I use it is when driving and looking out the rearview mirror, any reversing or parking is all supported by the 360-degree virtual parking system. It generally starts with a top-down view, but with a swipe of your hand, you can move the camera around to the best position you need to see what’s around the car.

The boot is huge and with the hatch-like rear door, it’s got the best of both sedan and hatch worlds. It’s 580 litres in size with an automatic cloth parcel tray which can be disconnected from the rear door if more room is needed. The boot space allows plenty of room for whatever your needs are, plus the two EV carry bags which have the 230-volt charger and fast charging cables. The rear seats can also drop down, which means you can get larger objects or more volume in the boot space. Once the rear seats are down, this space increases to 1,060 litres.

What’s The 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC Like To Drive?

Like most high-price-tag EVs, the EQS has an impressive 0-100Km/h time of 3.8 seconds. To do this test is not for the faint-hearted as the acceleration is seriously quick. Do you need this sort of performance from an EV? Not really. As it’s not efficient to do a 0-100Km/h time just like it’s not efficient to do one in a combustion-engine vehicle. It’s a novelty to have and show to a few people, but will it be used often? Probably not.

Speed is one thing, what it’s like to drive is another and like most EV’s there is not a lot of feeling to driving the EQS. This is mainly due to the fact that everything is by wire and there are fewer physical connections between you, the car, and the road. That’s not to say that it does not drive well or easily, it’s just not engaging if that’s what you’re looking for. The handling is good due to the low centre of gravity from the battery position. This gave you a very stuck-to-the-ground feeling, which also reduced the level of roll in the vehicle as the driver changed direction. 

What we are all keen to know is how efficient is the EQS. Mercedes-Benz advertised the kWh/100km rating as 23, and during my time behind the wheel, I managed 28kWh/100km. I feel like I could have achieved closer to the advertised if I did not do as many of those 0-100 tests, which as mentioned are not an efficient use of power.

The steering wheel had a lot going on with paddles for the brake regeneration modes, the AMG performance dials and the buttons that cover all 4 of the 5 wheel-support spokes. I have to say that I found this many buttons and a bit too much; the driving ones like cruise control, volumes, phone, and speed limiter were fine, but the row of controls above were split between the left side which controlled the central display and the right side controlling the driver’s dash. I had to stop a few times just to work out where the controls were sending me as they did not feel as well thought out as other aspects. The wheel itself was great, very comfortable, and I found myself using the brake regen mode via paddles a lot on the motorway, going from Coast Mode (no electric motor resistance) to +2 for heavy braking from the motor when leaving the motorway. If used correctly, there are big gains to be made in your range.

The AMG aspect of this vehicle was a bit different; you have 5 driving modes: Snow and Ice, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. When in Comfort mode, the vehicle has a huge amount of torque – 950Nm to be exact, so in any mode when you floor it, the vehicle just shoots off down the road. I personally didn’t notice much difference between the Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes. The only major difference was in the Sport+ the power came on that split second faster and more aggressive and there was a noise added to simulate some sort of performance mode was on. It was a bass-like drone that was deep then the electric motor noises. This car is quick and every time I did a 0-100Km/h test, it never missed a beat; it sustained traction all the time, all while pulling the horizon towards me.

I did like how the EQS has upgraded the additional AMG performance dials on the steering wheel. Both now feel like they are meant to be there, instead of an afterthought or third-party add-on. On the left you have a digital button which can set the suspension settings and AMG Dynamics, while on the right you have the ability to quickly set the drive mode. Both buttons can either be pressed on the screen or by using the twist dial function on it. I found the twist very hard to use as it’s not in a good position for your hand while driving.

At night the new digital headlights were on another level over the smart headlights we have seen from Mercedes-Benz. A lot quicker than before with high beams on all the time, blocking out oncoming vehicles with patches of night, moving and dancing through the sky. 

Inside the cabin is very quiet when daily driving, and the road noise is low, even in poor road conditions. The suspension also handles well, smoothing out the road ahead and providing a very relaxed environment for the driver. Much like the S Class coupe I reviewed, it’s not about the power or speed, it’s about the experience, and taking some of the stresses of driving away.

One Saturday morning, I came home from the city and saw that I was getting very low on charge. I thought it best to swing into the only quick-charge point in the area for a spot of lunch and a battery top-up. I grabbed some food and then went to the charge point only to find that both spots were being used. I waited around for about 15 minutes and then just decided to head home and plug it in there. Once I got home I plugged it into the wall with the supplied plug-in charger and the car started to charge. I locked it up and took a quick look at the dash to see what level the battery was at and how long it would take to charge. It said the car would be charged to 100% by 7 pm. Wow, that’s amazing, 7 and a half hours to charge that big battery from a wall socket. My brain threw up some red flags and said, that cant be. So I looked again. And I was right, 7 pm, Tuesday evening, 3 and a half days away. This is still the major downside to EV’s, as you can get stuck if you’re not at home at the mercy of already used charge points. Of course, if I owned the car I would have my own at-home wall charger, which would more than likely be single phase, making it faster but not as fast as the 3-phase fast chargers. Having an EV of this value still means you have to plan your trips, as you can’t just jump in the car and go for a road trip.

Could I see myself living with this car on the day to day? Sure, I definitely could live with it. It’s very practical and easy to drive, and as long as you keep it topped up you will never be stuck waiting for it to charge. Is it worth the crazy price tag? That’s hard to say, as the value is there, it’s clearly a very high-level luxury vehicle with all the latest tech. And if you’re trying to find something to finally put an end to your neighbour/friend rambling on about his Tesla, this is the car that will do it.

2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC Specifications

Vehicle TypeElectric
Starting Price$310,900  (excl CCP)
Price as Tested$310,900  (excl CCP)
EngineDual E-motor
Power, Torque
kW/Nm
484/950
TransmissionSingle-speed direct drive
Spare WheelSpace saver
Kerb Weight, Kg2,721
Length x Width x Height
mm
5265 x 1926 x 1512
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
Litres
(seats up/seats down)
580 / 1,060
Maximum Range km587
Energy Economy,
kWh/100km
Advertised Spec – Combined – 23
Real-World Test – Combined – 28
Low Usage: 6-10 / Medium Usage 11-19 / High Usage 19+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
750
Turning circle
metres
11.5
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty3 Year Warranty
8 years or 160,000km on High Voltage Batteries
Safety informationEuroNCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – MB EQS

All prices excl the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme (*CCP)

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Driver Technology
10
Economy
10
Handling
7
Infotainment
9
Interior
10
Performance
10
Ride
9
Safety
9
Styling
7
Value
6
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It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2022-mercedes-amg-eqs-53-4matic-car-review<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Summary Section of Review </strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Let's be honest, there is no one alive who is buying an EQS to save the planet, or cut down on their fuel bills. If so they really need a reality check. The EQS is a statement piece from Mercedes-AMG, on how they are setting the new S-Class standard for luxury EVs in todays and future markets. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>EV’s with big batteries come with everyday life problems. They are not quick to charge and when you need a charger, your anxiety is building around those last 20km range, it becomes a bit of a problem if you're only left with at-home plug-in wall options.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Tesla’s only trick year after year is its 0-100 times, and I for one will acknowledge they do it well. I am also not a brand hater, as I also own a Tesla Powerwall, and it's great. But true luxury vehicles are not what Tesla does well when compared to the rest of the leading manufacturers. Design, user technology, luxury and build quality all fall behind the big brands who have been doing this for a lot longer than Tesla. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The EQS has made a big impression on me, pushing the bar up and over everything that is currently available. They not only created a fast car, but they also created an everyday useable car with great range, simple user interfaces, combined with an ultimate luxury interior. So when we talk about top-spec luxury EVs, the EQS has firmly planted its flag. Much like the S Class, I can't see it being pushed off that spot for some time.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

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