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Following the launch of the EQS 450+ mid last year, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has recently presented the market with a locally assembled variant of the all-electric flagship Saloon – the EQS 500 4Matic. Once more, I had the privilege of indulging in a weekend-long spin with the CKD vehicle. And spoilers ahead, it had indeed been an absolute delight in most aspects. 

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia have really catalysed their progress in their stride towards an all-electric future, and the EQS 500 4Matic stands out as commitment of their significant investments allocated to their full-electric agenda. The full-electric sedan is an impressive addition to the brand’s lineup, with an undoubtedly pioneering undercurrent and commendable performance that can confidently dispel doubts even of the most discerning of drivers. 

As a preface, a line of discussion has inevitably sparked following suit the comparison of both ‘twins’ since the EQS’s sister model, the EQE, was introduced back in December last year. After having got up close and personal with both models, the sharing of my personal experience with the EQS will only be dabbed with very subtle considerations to the EQE instead with a pinch of contrast between ICE and BEV vehicles in terms of drive experience.

First impressions on the exterior of the EQS were that the electric saloon does indeed carry a futuristic tune in its design elements. The sleek lines are a nod to Mercedes’s design language, but with a necessary twist on the ornamental ‘front-grilles’ and ‘air-intakes’ that serve no real purpose to its performance. 

The most prominent note on the exterior is the front ‘radiator grille’. Being an electric vehicle with reduced cooling requirements, the grille is functionally redundant as electric motors and drivetrains have essentially eliminated the need for it entirely from an engineering perspective. But the appeal of a car still somewhat lies on its recognisable ‘face’, and the absence of a grille may very well work against this notion or could even be poorly received in the public eye. 

Mercedes’s workaround this dilemma is by using a closed-off panel with contrasting paint colours to imitate the silhouette of a grille. The blacked-out panels are embedded with the large central star, embellished by smaller Mercedes logos around to complete the frame. The pane is flush-mounted to the body, which gives the car a very clean, streamlined veneer. But in reality, this actually causes the exterior to lack a striking oomph in my opinion. That being said, the faux air-intake on the lower bumper does add a slight depth of ruggedness to its rather curvy physique as a whole. 

A comment that I’ve heard in passing is that ‘if not for the three-pointed star in front, you wouldn’t really be able to tell it apart from a mainstream Japanese production.” Of course, I found this remark to be rather exaggerated. But still, I could understand where it was coming from. 

Nevertheless, the curvaceous silhouette was designed on account of aerodynamic considerations as well. In close cooperation with the designers, the aerodynamicists at Mercedes-Benz were able to achieve a new C d benchmark of 0.20 thanks to its streamlined features. In other words, this makes the EQS the most aerodynamic production car in the world.  

Moving on to the rear, the styling is much more refined, featuring angular lines on its broad shoulders that create a break from its bow-like body. The two-part tail lights are connected by a light strip, equalling to a single-line facade that does well in adding a touch of modernity and elegance to the overall aesthetic of the vehicle, setting it apart from traditional multi-segmented brake lights and stating definitively that this is a contemporary BEV that is future-ready. This element also adds a sense of cohesion and fluidity that is consistent with the overall streamlined theme of the design. So props to Mercedes for that. 

Now, with the exterior covered, let’s talk about the inside of the Saloon. 

As I crossed the threshold into the interior, I was transported into a realm of astounding futuristic luxury and opulence. The vastness of the comfort cabin enveloped me, its expansive dimensions offering a sanctuary of indulgence to immerse in. The plush and sumptuous chairs beckoned me to sink into their embrace, while the generous roominess granted me a feel of unrestricted comfort. Every aspect of the space exudes elegance, from the meticulously crafted materials to the thoughtful arrangement of storage compartments, creating an ambiance of sophistication that is uniquely Mercedes. 

As if cast from a single mould, 3 displays seamlessly blend together beneath a glass panel, creating one large surface on the front panel. A MBUX Hyperscreen sits dominantly in the centre, housing all controls of its multimedia system and drive settings. To the right, the driver’s console is slightly smaller than that of the EQE, which did not call for any concern as all the necessary drive info is well-displayed regardless. And to the left, the screen fitted on the passenger front allows for convenient control over the car’s infotainment system. 

This feature extends to the rear where 2 additional screens on each side grants the backseat passengers the luxury of adjusting any comfort settings or multimedia within the cabin. The rear armrest comes fitted with a wireless mobile charging dock, as well as a removable MBUX tablet housing the multimedia system also. 

The Electric Art interior impresses with fine finishings, from the velour floor mats to black fabric roof liner. The multi-control steering wheel is layed with nappa leather, built with a rotund grip that is ergonomically pleasing to hold. This is then complemented with the galvanised steering-wheel gearshift paddles and anthracite line-structure limewood trim that heightens the blend of comfort and luxury. And in completing the futuristic cabin, the interior of course features the signature Ambient Lighting and panoramic sunroof that brightens the cabin any time of day. 

On to the drive. 

As with the EQE and most BEVs in the market today, the EQS 500 4Matic drives like silk with a highly sensitive throttle that breezily sends the car forward with ease. With a motor output rated at 330 kW (449 hp) and an impressive torque of 828 Nm, the sheer power unleashed is truly palpable. The Saloon is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds with assistance from the secondary electric motor, and tops out at a modest 210 km/h. 

For more perspective, the all-electric EQS and EQE offer a smoother drive experience as their performance can be better managed with exceptional precision. Both models exhibit noticeably superior handling as compared to the ICE model I’ve driven previously, which enabled confident and assured manoeuvring during turns and corners. In my understanding, the BEV models, being considerably heavier, provide enhanced stability and anchors down well on the asphalt road.

However, the suspension system of both models can certainly be improved to better manage the increase in weight. In light of comfort, the suspensions are discernibly softer which causes the drop when going over speedbumps to be somewhat worrying, particularly more so in the case of the EQS with its approximately 200 kg of extra weight over the EQE. When driving the EQE, this hiccup can be easily overcome by switching to the ‘SPORTS’ drive mode which stiffens the suspension’s firmness and mitigating this concern. As for the EQS, the air suspension allows for the car to be raised slightly to increase ground clearance. Overall, given that the EQS and EQE have a gross weight of a tonne over the ICE model, I’d have to say that they do well in managing this rather minor shortcoming. 

In terms of range, the EQS 500 4Matic can travel anywhere between 580 to 696 km on a single charge. The CKD model shares the same 396-volt lithium-ion battery as the EQS 450+ but with a slightly higher output which naturally diminishes its operating range. When it comes to charging, it’ll take the battery 10 hours to charge from 10 – 100% with AC charging, whereas utilising the DC fast charging will take the battery from 10 – 80% in just half an hour. 

All in all, the EQS 500 4MATIC CKD does successfully embody Mercedes’ distinctive emphasis on comfort and takes it a level higher, making them truly in a class of their own. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious daily driver or a long-distance cruiser, the EQ Saloons are definitely options worth considering. 

Model EQS 500 4MATIC

Rated Output: 330 kW [449 hp]
Rated Torque: 828 Nm
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 4.8 secs
Top speed: 210 km/h
HV battery: usable energy content 108.4 kWh
Electr. Range (WLTP): 580 – 696 km
Electr. Consumption (WLTP): 21.3 – 17.6 kWh/100km
AC charging time 10%-100% SOC (11kW): 10 hrs
DC charging time 10%-80% SOC (200kW): 31 min
Kerb weight/payload: 2.615 kg/445 kg

PRICE: RM 648,888

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