See inside the stunning $135,000 electric Mercedes that's taking on Tesla's Model X
I drove Mercedes-Benz's EQS SUV, the luxury brand's first electric SUV for US customers.
Its leather-filled interior and smooth, supple ride make it the ultimate comfort machine.
The EQS 450 4Matic SUV that Mercedes lent me cost $135,000 and included tons of fancy options.
Up until fairly recently, if you wanted a big, luxurious SUV that ran on electricity, your main choice was a Tesla Model X.
But now, players like BMW and Mercedes are on a mission to steal Elon Musk's thunder — and customers.
Mercedes-Benz's first battery-powered SUV for US customers is the EQS SUV, which I got to test out recently.
It's packed with impressive features and offers solid driving range, but its super comfortable and luxurious interior blew me away the most.
Here's everything the EQS SUV has to offer.
The EQS SUV starts at $104,400 for a single-motor base version.
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I drove the EQS 450 4Matic SUV, which serves up all-wheel drive from and costs $107,400 to start. The one Mercedes lent me came out to $135,000, including options like upgraded rear seats and a $7,300 "Hyperscreen" up front.
My tester promised a respectable 285 miles of range, but you can get an EQS SUV with a rating of up to 305 miles.
The model's rounded features and plump proportions have proved polarizing.
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But you can't argue with its tremendous interior.
Shut yourself inside the EQS SUV with a satisfying thunk of its hefty door and you're left insulated from the noisy, chaotic outside world.
Its plush, supportive front seats keep you comfy and come standard with heating and cooling functions.
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Look around and you'll find a dazzling array of rich materials and elegant metallic bits.
Colorful ambient lighting winds its way throughout the cabin, adding to the upscale-feeling atmosphere.
And everything from the steering wheel to the seat controls to the turn-signal stalk feels hefty and well-built.
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The EQS SUV blends old-school comfort with modern tech, particularly when you choose the optional Hyperscreen that was fitted to my vehicle.
It's three separate screens under a single sheet of glass that stretches the entire width of the SUV.
It's sure to make all the tech lovers out there salivate, but that football field-sized piece of glass tends to bounce sunlight right into the driver's eyes.
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The Benz’s navigation system includes an augmented-reality feature that uses blue arrows to show you where your next turn is.
Another nice touch: The climate controls stay in a panel on the bottom of the screen, so you never have to hunt for them.
My test vehicle also came with a handy head-up display, which not only projected my speed onto the windshield but also indicated when another car was in one of my blind spots and displayed my proximity to nearby objects while parking.
Back-seat passengers get highly adjustable seats with plenty of legroom.
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Plus, if you upgrade to the Executive Rear Seat Package, they're pampered with squishy neck pillows ...
... headphones ...
... a removable tablet for tweaking the ambient lighting and other features ...
... and a wireless phone charger.
The EQS lacks a front trunk, but it offers up plenty of cargo space ...
... particularly when you collapse the back seats.
The comfort doesn't go away once you get moving.
The EQS SUV comes standard with air suspension that glides wonderfully over road imperfections.
And the SUV stays pleasantly quiet, even on the highway.
Flooring it in Sport mode produces the immediate jolt of acceleration you'd find in most electric vehicles, but the EQS SUV isn't really about winning drag races.
And despite its size, the EQS SUV drives like a dream in cramped parking lots.
That's thanks to the 10-degree rear-wheel steering that's standard on all models and shrinks the land yacht's turning radius.
There's just one big problem with the way the SUV drives: Its braking feels unsettlingly disconnected at times.
There's nothing worse than not being quite sure you'll be able to stop your six-figure EV in time.
Still, the EQS SUV's refined feel and serene driving experience are sure to make any commute or road trip that much more pleasant — particularly if you're lucky enough to ride in the back.
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