Last year, some competition arrived in the USA out of Stuttgart for the Lucid Air, BMW i7, and Tesla Model S. First, the EQS applied the electric treatment to the S-Class format, then AMG got its hands on the car and created the new Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan we review here, now back for 2023 with minimal changes. This is the most powerful EQS derivative, with the 649 horsepower - or 751 hp on overboost - from its dual-motor setup enough to launch the near-6,000-pound behemoth to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, right on par with the forthcoming 650-hp i7 M70, which is expected to be even more expensive than the Mercedes. With a $147k starting price, the new Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan might be cheaper than the quickest i7, but it's a lot more expensive than similarly quick competitors from Tesla and Lucid, so the Merc should compensate for the price-to-performance disparity with an unrivaled premium experience in the tradition that the three-pointed star has made its own, right? Let's see if it succeeds.
The 2023 AMG EQS Sedan enters the new year with only a few minor changes. The standard-fit Burmester 3D Sound audio system now gains the Dolby Atmos feature for a more immersive experience, while the optional AMG Performance steering wheel can now be had in carbon fiber and microfiber instead of the standard Nappa leather. The only other change is the availability of an additional paint color called Twilight Blue Metallic. The base price of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan starts at $147k and tops out at nearly $155k.
Doesn't really look like an AMG
Can't be called agile
Silly synthesized sounds
Rather tight rear headroom
The MSRP of the Mercedes-AMG EQS Sedan in Premium guise is $147,550, while the Exclusive sub-trim is only slightly more expensive at $148,900. At the top of the range sits the Pinnacle, which will cost you $154,550. These figures don't include the $1,150 destination fee.
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG EQS 4MATIC+ Sedan||
Single Speed Automatic
Try as it might, the AMG EQS Sedan cannot hide its substantial weight. The AMG treatment improves matters over the standard EQS and it feels eminently stable, with little body roll and a pleasantly planted feel, but it's not nearly as agile and fun as a Porsche Taycan and provides little steering feedback. It should more than suffice for the average buyer, and the big car can corner with gusto if called upon, helped by the standard rear-axle steering and AMG's suspension-tuning efforts to nail 6,000 pounds of EV to the road. Thankfully, the ride remains very comfortable, even if it's not quite as soft as an S-Class or normal EQS. Noise levels are particularly low and the AMG can waft down the highway with the best of them, but we don't like the cheesy AMG Sound Experience noises. The regenerative braking feels natural, but the way the brake pedal sinks lower the higher you set the regen is disconcerting until you're used to it because your foot never finds the pedal where you expect it to be.
The new AMG EQS Sedan adds a welcome dash of speed to the excellent base EQS and although it's not quite as agile as an i7 or Taycan, it doesn't wobble like a bowl of jello in corners, and strikes an admirable balance between ride comfort and handling. Its road manners are entirely appropriate for its elevated status in this luxury-oriented segment of the market. Not everybody loves the molten-banana looks and nose-down stance, so the jury is still out on whether Merc's decision to give its electric S-Class a completely different styling language to the gas S-Class was the right move. It certainly feels and drives like a sportier S should, but the price of admission is high, and while competitive with the kind of money BMW wants for the i7, the Lucid Air comes closest of all the domestic rivals at conveying a high-class air, and does so at a far lower price. If you prefer the Mercedes way, you won't be disappointed, but this doesn't automatically turn it into the undisputed class leader among tough competition.
The prices of the three sub-trims are so similar that one would be tempted to just go for the Pinnacle, but there are a few provisos. First of all, the Pinnacle only makes sense if you are frequently going to transport rear-seat passengers, as most of its upgrades are to the rear cabin, such as the ventilated and massaging seats and a wireless charging pad. Secondly, those rear-seat passengers shouldn't be taller than six feet, else you're going to have to look at another car entirely due to a lack of headroom for taller people. For the rest of us that do the driving, the base 2023 AMG EQS is more than sufficient and has every creature comfort as standard except for quad-zone climate control and the Pinnacle's added rear-seat features.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQS: