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Well, there is no beating around the bush that Tesla has been the reigning champ of the electric SUV for almost eight years with their Model X. Yet can you really be a victor when you have no competition? Mercedes-Benz on the other hand has finally put on their gloves against Tesla and is ready to take on a fight with their luxury take of an all-electric three-row SUV.

With the successful launch of the Mercedes-Benz EQS all-electric sedan, the SUV wasn’t far too long behind – thankfully however, the SUV pulls off its fishbowl styling more aptly than the sedan as it has better proposition and far more sheet metal to work with. Rarely is that ever the case, usually the sedan’s styling is better than the SUV, take Lexus as an example. None-the-less, all for the case of aerodynamics, the odd look is far more pleasing here and gives it a sort of modern era Mercedes-Benz R-Class vibe. You remember those, right? The odd-looking station wagon from the DaimlerChrysler era. Or did we just date ourselves?

Like the EQS sedan, the SUV is about as futuristic as an electric car come, minus the ostentatious Goldwing doors and nonsense gimmicks that would appease a toddler. The EQS SUV is as quiet as it is supple on the road. And with it being just a few inches shorter than the large GLS, it swallows up 7-passengers via an optional third-row seat like a proper SUV, with three in the middle and two uncomfortable passengers squeezed into the back. My example, however, saved $1250 and forfeited room for seven. At least, without the optional third-row seats it provided significant cubic feet of cargo capacity while giving generous leg room to the rear occupants.

If the outside seems a little too plain for one’s taste, at least the inside is where all the majestic vantage points happen with its massive hyperscreen infotainment system that encompasses three displays under a single sheet of glass. What is most impressive however is the massive 12.8-inch display in the middle that houses one of the best navigation systems in business with an augmented reality navigation display that shows live action charging stations, their charging levels and how many are available in real time.

The cabin itself is airy and open with utterly comfortable leather seats that feel like they have you floating on cloud nine, and that’s before we engage the multi-level massage settings that make traffic seem obsolete. Second row passengers also get to indulge on comfort with a four-zone climate control system, heated rear seats, and fancy head rest pillows to make you fill like you’re flying first class on British Airways.

On the road, the EQS SUV rides on standard air springs and adaptive dampers that glides over the asphalt like skates on ice. Such smoothness and isolation makes you feel cocooned in your own little world. And should one feel like exploring the world beyond their own, there is an off-road mode that can raise the suspension to provide 8.7-inches of ground clearance.

There are three variations to the EQS SUV, one that stems from a single Permanently Excited Synchronous electric motor and two that operate from a Dual Permanently Excited Synchronous electric motor… say that 10-times fast. The single PES develops 355-horsepower with 419 lbs feet of torque and despite having dual motors on the other EQS 450 model, its horsepower and torque figures remain identical, except that it adds in 4MATIC all-wheel drive and quicker 0-60 time of 5.8-seconds verses the later 6.5-seconds. The most powerful version available is the EQS 580 with 4MATIC all-wheel drive comes with a staggering 536-horsepower and 633 lb-ft of torque that will scoot to 60-mph in just under 4.5-seconds… damn that’s fast.

For this test I have the entry level EQS 450+ with its single motor PES, and I am here to say that its 355-horsepower is plenty sufficient for the job at hand. The power behind it is plentiful to handle the weight of the EQS SUV and its occupants. Besides the point, we all know electric cars can be quick on its feet, and, well the EQS SUV is no different. What makes the EQS SUV impressive is its range. It is rated to have an approximate range of 305 miles; however, whether it was my feathering ballerina foot or the cars aptitude, it managed to charge up to 340 miles of range on a single charge.

With a 108.4kWh liquid cool battery pack on board, now that’s a different story. The EQS SUV is not like a typical electric vehicle that you can just plug-in and charge up. The way it absorbs power and the amount of power that it needs to absorb is quite significant. And to put it frank, it is more than even a Level 2 charging station can really take on. If you’re able to manage the EQS SUV charging on a daily routine from a Level 2 charger within your home, great! Expect an approximate 1-hour of charging for every 10% of battery life. If not, than you’ll have to be on the constant hunt for a Level 3 charging station that can charge 80% of its battery in about 30-minutes, give or take.

Going EV isn’t cheap, as one knows and the EQS SUV is no different with a starting price of $100,400. Getting into the more performance driven EQS 580, in its most elite Pinnacle Trim and clime an extra $32,000, and that’s before getting into the optional extras. As for it the electric SUV segment goes, finally there is a Tesla alternative.

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