Mercedes-Benz has not simply moved the goalposts but has established a completely new playing field with the launch of the super-tech luxury electric EQS and EQE, both with battery ranges around the 600 km mark.

The EQS, as an SUV, is not exempt from duty off the main highways and it houses a 4MATIC all-wheel driven system coupled to an intelligent offroad driving mode so the 7-seater can take on the more scenic routes.

"The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV represents the epitome of luxury SUVs for the discerning South African market. Merging pioneering electrified technology with unparalleled sophistication, comfort, and practicality, this extraordinary vehicle sets new standards in drivability," says Mark Raine, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

The EQS simply oozes luxury and high-tech features, so much so that after a short drive around Johannesburg, I realised I could probably live in the car.

The stand-out design features a smooth underbody and the usually closed radiator shutter hints at the aerodynamic efficiency of the big vehicle that also extends to closed wheel covers in some configurations.

The interior of the EQS SUV exudes opulence, interwoven with a fully digitised experience including the MBUX system that provides users with personalised suggestions for a myriad of infotainment, comfort, and vehicle functions and adapts to their individual preferences.

‘Compared with the previous MBUX generation, the ‘Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is even more capable of dialogue and learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Compatible home technology and household devices can also be networked with the vehicle thanks to the smart home function and controlled from the vehicle by voice. ‘Hey Mercedes’ is now also able to recognise vehicle occupants by their voices. Once the individual characteristics of the voice have been learned, this can be used to access personal data and functions by activating a profile.

The theatre space rear of the EQS has up to two rear-seat screens plus a tablet and those passengers have the same access to ‘Hey Mercedes’.

Because the second row of seats is electrically adjustable as standard, the luggage compartment can be expanded from 645 litres (for maximum legroom) to up to 880 litres. With the second row of seats folded down, the luggage compartment offers a generous volume of up to 2100 litres.

The EQS 450 4MATIC SUV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery, delivering an impressive 265 kW and 800 Nm of torque, and has 108,4 kWh battery capacity, granting an estimated range of up to 616 kilometres according to WLTP standards.

Power and Torque

The instant power and torque of the electric motors simply strip away any connection to the size and mass of the EQS and it fairly gallops off the line to reach unhealthily rapid speeds in a very short space of time, making it quite an exciting drive.

The EQS SUV offers several variants of energy recovery by means of regeneration. The driver can manually select the deceleration in three levels D+ (sailing), D (standard regeneration), D- (enhanced regeneration) via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

In recuperation level D Auto, the ECO Assistant offers situation-adapted regeneration and operates in gliding mode or decelerates to provide the most efficient and comfortable driving style possible.

Given advance warning on the dashboard or heads-up display, the driver is alerted to take the foot off the accelerator pedal due to an upcoming event. If the indication is followed, the vehicle is decelerated with the greatest possible energy recovery rate until it comes to a standstill – if there is another vehicle ahead, for example.


EQS 450 4MATIC SUV: R2 726 100

EQS 450 4MATIC 7-seater SUV: R2 759 300


It may be the ‘smaller’ sibling, but the EQE is no less draped in technology and luxury features, offering a bit more in terms of sporty looks and attitude.

The overhangs and the front-end assembly have been kept compact and the wheels in sizes from 19 to 22 inches are positioned flush with the outer edge of the body this, combined with the aerodynamic underbody design results in a drag co-efficient value of 0,255.

The Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC is destined for the local market and will be available later in the year.

This model offers an impressive 215 kW and 765 Nm of torque and the lithium-ion battery consists of 10 modules offering a WLTP range of between 461 km and 551 km.

The EQE SUV offers the possibility of activating additional vehicle functions via over-the-air technology (OTA) in several functional areas. This means after purchase and having chosen the original new car configuration, some of the EQE SUV's equipment can be individually customised. The OTA functions are available in the Mercedes Me Store, and the range will be successively expanded.

“The Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV ushers in a new ownership opportunity for our customers. It is relatively compact without compromising on practicality. It offers a dynamic driving experience that remains comfortable. It is luxuriously appointed on the inside while offering class-leading exterior aerodynamics. This is undoubtedly the everyday all-electric luxury SUV for the luxury-conscious buyer who doesn’t want to compromise on anything,” says Raine.

Standard Equipment

The general standard equipment of the EQE SUV includes Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Parking Package with reversing camera and Speed Limit Assist. The status and activity of the systems are shown in a full-screen view in the assistance display in the driver's display. Further options are available in the Assistance Package and the Driving Assistance Plus Package.

“We are excited to introduce the EQE SUV into the local market. It offers a sublime design, impressive range capabilities and impeccable on-road dynamics. It is packed with the latest technology, and I think our pricing model will entice customers and potential customers into the driver’s seat of this luxury, all-electric SUV,” says Alex Boavida, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Pricing will be confirmed closer to the actual launch date.

Colin Windell - proudly CHANGECARS