Throughout a latest household journey to Southern California, Mercedes lent us two of their flagship electrical autos. We picked up an EQS SUV on the airport, drove it round Los Angeles and to Huge Bear Mountain and again, stress testing that vast battery in opposition to elevation and excessive speeds. Then, to change it up, I drove the marginally much less family-friendly however extra enjoyable EQE to locations round LA for the second half of the week. Sure, $130K vehicles are a lot extra decadent than the Hertz autos we’d deliberate for, however listed here are my massive takeaways.
Choosing up the EQS SUV from LAX, it’s a comparatively unassuming automotive (particularly in comparison with the Pink AMG EQE we’ll focus on later) that most individuals received’t acknowledge as a six-figure flagship EV. The attractive entrance plastic grille ideas the hand slightly bit, however in any other case, it is a very unassuming automobile on the skin aside from the Mercedes logos.
Similar to the EQS Sedan I reviewed final 12 months, the within was attractive and opulent, although it lacked the passenger sprint third display screen. It additionally lacked the Galaxy tab within the again however had a lot of the different accouterments, together with these gentle massaging entrance seats, which might be key after a day of snowboarding. I’ll stick by my earlier statements on the inside, although the SUV naturally even has extra headroom:
If the within of the EQS is something, it’s roomy. The sheer enormity of the inside is difficult to place into phrases. Add to that the ginormous “Hyperscreen” which his actually
3screens beneath the identical glass that spans the width of the entrance of the automobile…a management display screen between the two entrance seats permits these within the rear to individually management their temperature settings.
What’s ironic is you don’t even have to have a look at the three massive screens whereas driving as a result of Mercedes consists of among the finest heads up shows within the enterprise. In reality, that is the primary automotive that I most popular the in-built mapping software program to CarPlay/Google Maps and that’s due to the heads up integration – additionally it does look wonderful on that vast heart show.
The children (11, 14) beloved the flexibility to wi-fi cost within the armrest and alter the again seat temperature, one thing they don’t get within the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Mannequin Y they’re used to at dwelling. There’s additionally a ton extra room within the again which just about saved them from combating.
Most likely the most important distinction is the boot, which now goes from an enormous EQS sedan to an excellent larger SUV. That was key when it got here to carrying our snowboards and tools up the mountain.
Though we had been 4 folks on this journey, there was a 3rd row, which I discovered roomy and housed our youngest throughout a very contentious a part of the journey.
I climbed within the third row, and at 6 ft, 220 kilos, I felt like claustrophobia would take about half-hour to kick in. Even with the third row, there may be loads of room within the again for a row of groceries and even a false ground to retailer charging equipment or different objects.
No frunk, no hood entry
The ample rear area is essential right here as a result of not solely does Mercedes not have a frunk, however in addition they don’t even permit entry to the entrance hood space. I used to be curious to see the place one would add the wiper fluid – it seems there’s a door on the motive force’s facet that you need to use to do this.
It’s a daring technique, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.
The Mercedes EQS SUV drive
Any wonderment about why somebody would pay $130K for an SUV is straight away answered when you hit the street. The air suspension makes my sub-$50,000 autos at dwelling really feel like panel vehicles. The cabin is whisper quiet even at 80mph, the turning is comparatively tight, and the sub-6 second 0-60 acceleration is robust. Mercedes provides an acceleration soundtrack possibility which I felt compelled to attempt to discovered “not distracting.”
Mercedes, as is commonly the case, has a ton of sorts of the EQS SUV, and I had a middle-ish trim referred to as 450 4MATIC. On this trim, the EPA mileage is 285 miles from the 108.4kWh battery. It was solely examined on our 2.5-hour, 120-mile journey up the mountain to Huge Bear. Round city, I’d seen mileage fairly carefully pinned to the EPA vary, however going 80mph as much as 8000 ft? Let’s simply say we stopped at a ChargePoint 50kW station (that put out <33kW) at dinner earlier than our journey again.
It seems that after regenerating a lot of the manner down the mountain, we most likely would have made the 240-mile spherical journey with out the necessity for a cost, however I discovered myself enjoying it lots safer with out a storage charger ready for me at dwelling.
Straightforward avenue parking charging
This isn’t Mercedes-specific, however I discovered that it was very easy to maintain these vehicles topped up with the entire choices round city. Our Santa Monica Airbnb had avenue parking with out entry to energy, however ChargePoint gave the impression to be in every single place, together with about 20 degree 2 stations on the seashore the place my children surfed and a neighborhood station we topped up at over dinner just a few instances. Redondo Seashore’s library, just a few blocks from the seashore/pier, additionally had some degree 2 choices that had been simple and useful. There was by no means any vary anxiousness, and I don’t even know if we misplaced any time as a result of charging stations had been so near our venues and straightforward. I understand that Los Angeles is something however a charging infrastructure desert, however this was the primary time I’d gone 10 days with out a storage charger, and it was too simple.
Change to the AMG EQE
About halfway by means of the week, Mercedes swapped out our EQS SUV with the AMG EQE sedan. (Sure, tough life, I do know.) My spouse and I had reverse reactions to the swap. Hers was, “That is worse in each manner. It’s smaller, [has] fewer seats, much less room, has much less vary, it’s crimson, and has sports activities suspension.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered to only nod my head and sigh and save my adulation for the written phrase right here.
At practically the identical worth because the EQS SUV, the AMG variant of the EQE is attractive, and the “Patagonia Pink metallic” coloration? A present stopper. We had zero folks asking concerning the EQS SUV, whereas the AMG EQE had folks visiting us at nearly each cease to look and ask questions. Standout design additions are the small spoiler within the again, the pinstripe grille, pretend air intakes within the entrance, and dope 21-inch AMG multispoke turbine wheels. I feel a chrome-less model can be off the charts.
Whereas smaller, there may be nonetheless loads of room for a household of 4, and the trunk, it seems, was surprisingly sufficient at holding our three suitcases, luggage, skateboards, and different souvenirs.
Inside, it’s simply as wild with a racing-inspired steering wheel with paddles with totally different racing choices. Once you flip the automotive on, it appears like you might be about to observe a THX film and the everlasting RGB gentle colours go from door to door.
It is a household trip, so I didn’t get to check the three.2 second 0-60 time, however my children did get used to the “heads again” command earlier than each inexperienced gentle. The pretend motor sound right here is louder and extra noticeable… and becoming. In any other case, even with the sports activities wheels and suspension, it’s quiet and drives fantastically.
These massive sneakers and 617 horsepower/701 lb-ft torque carry an enormous vary penalty dropping the vary on the AMG EQE’s 90.6 kWH battery down from 305 miles of vary in the usual version down near 225 miles (EPA not but accessible) within the AMG variant in accordance with the dashboard. I understand that may be a deal-breaker for some, however to Mercedes’ credit score, their vary is conservative.
I wasn’t capable of put these EVs by means of the efficiency paces and get into the intricate particulars like I’d do on a traditional evaluate, however having the household alongside for the week offered its personal nuanced checks. I’d argue that these had been extra telling for many than the conventional speeds and feeds. And unsurprisingly, these two Mercedes autos handed with flying colours.
The large caveat is the worth. Third-row eSUVs could be discovered at half the worth (heck, Mercedes personal EQB begins at $55K), and the marginally slower Tesla’s Mannequin 3P and BMW’s i4 M50 are priced a lot decrease and supply considerably extra vary than the AMG EQE.
That mentioned, for those who’ve obtained six figures to burn and need one of the best drives and total autos potential, each of those electrical autos labored extremely nicely with my household of 4. I now simply have to speak my spouse out of buying and selling our Mannequin Y for the EQS SUV.
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