The freedom of electric driving, paired with incredible luxury is downright dreamy.
As a Southern California driver, I am happy to see more and more brands rolling out hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles each year. Mercedes-Benz just made my happy place even happier, proving that if you want to go fully electric, you can still drive the ultimate in performance and luxury.
The EQS 450+ is the first fully electric car from Mercedes-Benz, making its debut with the comfort and power you expect, less the reliance on gassing it up at a gas station. For buyers, the transition to a fully electric Mercedes-Benz couldn’t be easier, with complimentary maintenance and free unlimited 30-minute DC-Fast Charging sessions included for the first two years. Starting at $102,310 for the Premium edition, the fully packaged Pinnacle edition starts at $125,310. More on that to come, but first, some first impressions.
How about a 360 mile range for efficiency?
A lot of people are hesitant to make the switch to 100% electric because they worry they’ll run out of charge. That argument falls flat when it comes to this electric sedan. A fully charged EQS 450+ has a range of 360 miles according to the sticker — that’s equivalent to a full tank of gas in a comparable non-electric sedan.
However, I experienced a range of 417 miles at 98% charged, and after 2 full days of driving all over Los Angeles, there still remained 360 miles left on the charge, thanks to the regenerative braking system. That’s more than most electric cars and comparable to high end Tesla models. The maximum time it takes to fully charge with DC fast charging (which is mostly only available at public charge stations) is 2.5 hours, but it’ll reach up to 80 percent charged in 31 minutes. Just enough time to run an errand or enjoy a meal at a restaurant or go for a hike while the car charges. But most drivers charge at home at night, ‘topping off’ the battery (it takes about 12 hours to fully charge at a 220V household outlet).
Electric Driving Is a Dream
Behind the wheel, my drive experience was smooth, luxurious and downright dreamy. Without the audio system on, the ride is so quiet! “Hey Mercedes” was all I needed to say to tune to my favorite station, turn up the volume, get directions, warm my seat, basically anything short of serving me coffee.
But the biggest wow in our test model is the Hyperscreen, a full panel of glass that spans the dashboard, from the driver’s view to the front passenger’s. It encompasses 3 screens: one for the driver, one for the front passenger and in the center, a wider, taller multimedia screen. The center screen features incredible graphic displays, from satellite maps to video views of the road ahead to radio controls, vehicle functions, charge status and more. Just tap the icon for the function you want and it floats open on the screen. It’s all very futuristic and very cool.
On the road, I really felt as if I were floating above the pavement in a levitating futuristic space capsule. However, when I needed to grip the road on turns, it was sharp and precise with 10-degree rear axle steering–yes, the rear wheels turn, too. When I required extra power accelerating onto the freeway and changing lanes, I flew at the touch of the pedal, with 329 horsepower, and 416 lb.-ft of torque delivered in an instant.
All the while, the driver-assist features kept me safely distanced from the car ahead, and safely in my lane. A tap on the brake pedal, and the car intuitively knew how much to slow down, and when to stop completely. Although this vehicle has many driver-assist features for driving with minimal effort, I love the feel of hands-on driving with all the senses, and every one of them was satisfied, including a 3D Surround Sound System.
Classic and Understated Exterior
No need for showy bells and whistles, Mercedes-Benz has down-played the exterior almost to the point of it looking like any other sedan on the road. My first impression seeing it was definitely not, “Wow.” Perhaps most distinctive for Mercedes-Benz is the front grill, which is a pretty cool digital evolution of the classic style. My favorite feature of the exterior has to be the disappearing door handles. When the car is parked and locked, the mirrors fold in, and the door handles retreat seamlessly into the doors. So clean, so sleek, and so elegant.
An Elegant Mercedes-Benz Interior
Once inside, the familiar circular theme of the speedometer display and air vents leaves no question it’s a Mercedes-Benz. Additionally, the steering wheel and fabulously comfortable seats, all of which may be warmed, are distinctive of the Mercedes Benz brand. If you sat me down at the wheel blindfolded, I’d recognize it by touch and feel alone. There’s simply nothing else like the feel of the Mercedes-Benz automobile.
Stand Out Features of Base Model and Beyond
Noteable Standard Features (base price $102,310) include:
- Keyless entry with seamless door handles
- 10-Year/155,000 high-voltage battery warranty
- 9.6 kW DC fast charging system
- Mercedes-Benz nNavigation with optimized routing– for battery efficiency!
- Wireless smartphone integration w/ Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Full Driver Assistance package (distance, blind spot, lane, parking and brake assist)
- Adjustable regenerative braking system with steering wheel paddles
- 10-Degree rear axle steering
- Power tilt/sliding panorama roof
- Heated and ventilated power front seats with memory
- Exterior sound generator for pedestrian safety
Notable Options (as pictured on model I drove) include:
- MBUX Hyperscreen Package ($7,230): A 56-Inch Gorilla Glass Surface with reflection-resistant and anti-scratch coatings. Essentially: a seamless glass dash with a driver display, central display, and passenger display. The passenger can easily adjust their own comfort settings without reaching over, and everything can be customized to personalize individual display preferences.
- MBUX Augmented Reality head-up Display ($2,000): This is definitely a love/hate feature for me. I love the windshield lighted projection of speed, navigation, and essential driving information that eliminates having to take my eyes off the road. I hate the augmented reality screen popping up on the dash in traffic – it’s distracting and overkill. I’m not driving a video game, I’m driving a car. My passenger tried to shut that off for me, and neither of us could figure out how.
- Exclusive Trim: Front Multicontour seats with massage, four-zone climate control ($1,575), massaging seats and an in-dash massage menu? Climate control to warm or cool the seats? What’s not to appreciate? Essentially, yes please!
Electric Dream Driving Is a Reality in the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+
It truly is my happy place to be driving a fully electric vehicle, period. When that vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz, it’s as good as it gets! Everything about the way it smoothly floats while firmly hugging the road leaves little to be desired. The Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ definitely delivers everything you would want in a fully electric luxury sedan.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided the EQS 450+ for our test drive. All opinions are my own.