The EQS SUV’s tech is largely carried over from the EQS sedan, which, given these models’ status as the flagships in the range, means plenty of infotainment, safety, convenience and comfort features, many of which are optional. The brains of the EQS SUV’s tech center is the MBUX operating system. For the most part, MBUX operates smoothly and has easy-to-navigate menus for occasionally used features, with key operating functions kept front of house and close to hand.
Being an EQ model means within those menus there are plenty of options for planning timed charging, pre-conditioning the interior, route planning and viewing your energy use. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz suggests always using the navigation system to allow the car to best calculate its most efficient energy use. On the options list is an augmented reality overlay for the navigation system, a huge head-up display, a 360-degree parking camera and a Dolby Atmos surround-sound system. The list of driver aids is extensive and familiar, andthe EQS SUV’s aids like lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control all work very well and help take the grind out of longer trips.
Over the regular EQS’s drive modes the EQS SUV gains a couple of off-road specific programs. The engineers admit that it was predominantly designed for on-road use, but testing in both the winter conditions here, as well as desert driving, revealed the drivetrain’s capabilities in tougher conditions off-road. It’s not likely to worry GMC Hummer EV for battery-powered off-road prowess, but the EQS SUV should cope with a bit of light trail driving if it’s required.
How are the EQS SUV’s storage and towing?
Mercedes-Benz isn’t yet revealing things like outright carrying capacity or towing ability, but the cargo area’s size looks to be roughly the same as what you’ll find in other three-row SUVs. Unlike some EVs Mercedes-Benz has elected not to offer a front trunk, or frunk. Instead, that space is taken up by a HEPA air filtration system to ensure that the air you’re breathing in the cabin is cleaner than it is outside. The cabin itself has some useful storage for odds and ends, with a cubby between the front seats and a large open space underneath the center console.
It is unusual to get such early access and drive a vehicle so far in advance of its production launch, but our brief test of the EQS SUV prototype underlines that this vehicle should be an impressive new contender in the battery electric SUV category. There are few contenders out there for it, especially at its likely price point, but for those looking for an alternative to rival the Tesla Model X for range, and wanting that with the sort of luxury, quality and technology that Mercedes-Benz promises, the EQS SUV is certain to be hugely desirable.