Test Drove the Mercedes EQS - Disappointed

Jan 14, 2022,22:03 PM

I test drove the Mercedes EQS 450+ yesterday.  And wow, I was really disappointed. 

I was so disappointed with the first car I drove, I insisted on driving a second one just in case the first EQS I drove was defective.  I ended driving a silver version and a blue version.  

Full disclosure, I'm an investor of companies that manufacture competitors to the Mercedes-Benz EQS.  Obviously, Mercedes-Benz makes great cars.  But the EQS is not exactly "great" out of the box. 

Here are my gripes.

1.  Build quality, build quality, and build quality.  Tesla is known to have poor/mediocre build quality for its cars.  Its paint is unusually soft, scratches easily, and polishes easily.  Exterior fit and finish can sometimes be off.  Interior fit and finish can also sometimes be off.  While this Mercedes EQS had reasonable paint quality (lots of orange peel, but that's the norm these days), the fit and finish of its interior wasn't great.  The door armrest which you pull to close the door creaked.  Overall, you felt like you were in a disposable item.  Much of the interior felt "Playskool" built (Playskool is a company that makes playsets for children out of large flexible plastic pieces, the flexibility gives it a low quality feeling but the flexibility makes it safer for young children) and once the child outgrew the playset, it gets donated.

2.  The drive.  The drive was uninspired.  The car felt like a sensory deprivation tank, but you had no connection to the road.  For instance, a Rolls-Royce vehicle can feel like a sensory deprivation tank, but the driver is still getting adequate communication about the car and the road.  The steering on the EQS was too loose and not weighted enough.  Also, the 450+ was actually quite slow in acceleration.  Even under heavy acceleration, one doesn't feel the g-force nor your head sinking into the headrest.  The 450+ isn't the most powerful version (330 horsepower in the 450+), but it is the one with the longest range (about 350 miles range by USA EPA standards).  Braking with blending in regeneration also felt less natural than a Tesla.  Suspension dive didn't feel quite right under braking neither.  Suspension tuning isn't at 100%. 

3.  Fake emotion.  The EQS has fake sounds that add emotion to the driving experience.  The car sounds like a spaceship when you accelerate.  However, the sound is not tuned to the accelerator pedal properly.  For instance, when you hit the accelerator pedal, the sound starts; but when you let off the pedal, the sound continues as if you're still accelerating.  This creates a bit of panic for a moment because you're wondering if you're going to crash into the car ahead of you.  Then you realize you aren't accelerating and the sound effect is communicating bad data to you.  This sound effect needs to be remapped to respond to real-time accelerator pedal input. 

4.  The car is not a beautiful machine to look at.  No angle shows great beauty. 

5.  The rear seat doesn't offer enough thigh support.  The rear cushion needs to be higher and deeper.  I'm not a tall person, and I found my knees swinging in the air and no cushion under my thighs.  The leather in the back isn't perforated and it makes the leather in the back look very plastic-like even though it's the same leather as the leather in the front - just the front seats have perforation holes. 

6.  Computer tablet screen was awful.  Bad UI (User Interface) and bad UX (User Experience).  Necessary features are buried in sub-menus.  I still can't find the air suspension raise button.  AC controls are a little laggy and I couldn't find the button to turn off the AC compressor if I wasn't in AUTO mode.  Mercedes-Benz has a team in Silicon Valley designing the UI/UX and I'm surprised that they let this go through.  Then again, in all fairness to Mercedes-Benz, Tesla has recently updated their Operating System and have made the UI much worse.  This is the problem when buying a car that the factory can update.  They can change something you use so drastically and make it worse!  I wished I could change my Tesla back to its old operating system. 

7.  There were other problems that I've chosen not to list, in order to keep this list compact. 

I'm just really surprised how bad this car is.  All I can say is if you're looking for a nice electric luxury car, consider a different brand.  If you still prefer a Mercedes-Benz, then get a petrol or diesel powered S-Class, those are fantastic!  I haven't driven the latest one, but the previous ones are both fantastic to drive and to ride in. 

I was hoping for an alternative to a Tesla, as I find the brakes and certain features of the Tesla to be not good enough.  But I didn't find the EQS to be an alternative.  I will definitely not be acquiring an EQS until they fix these major issues.  In the meanwhile, I'll continue to drive a gas guzzling AMG. 

This armrest creaks and flexes like a Playskool kid’s toy playset. Also, the way the door swung was just not dampened correctly. It would swing too quickly and sometimes stop too suddenly. Further tuning of the hydraulic door dampers are necessary!

Something isn’t right in this photo. My eyes are bothered. What could be wrong in a brand new $100,000 Mercedes-Benz S Class?

Oh! I see it.

Oh Mercedes!  I so wanted to like this car.  I was ready to forgive the odd shape and front-wheel-drive proportions.  But alas, there were too many gripes. 

What are your thoughts?  Has any WatchProSite member ordered an EQS?  Anybody reconsidering one after my review? 

More posts: 330AMGFerrariMercedes-BenzRolls-RoyceTesla

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Comments: view entire thread


Will be piloting the AMG today.

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:27
It's always a lot of fun to drive that machine!

Sometimes I want something even more emotional sounding...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-18:10
Something that has a higher revving and more sonorous engine. The 5.5 liter V8 has pistons that are too big (both bore and stroke) for high revving behavior. Something with a 8000 RPM red line would be nice...

How about the Lucid Air??

 By: InHavenPro : January 14th, 2022-23:00

Not available here (yet?). But judging from reviews, I won‘t like it as well. I need a driver‘s car.

 By: nafetS : January 15th, 2022-00:44
Thinking about it again, my favorite electric car actually was an electrified 1970s VW beetle cabriolet. Bad range, bad performance, no tech, worst price/performance ratio ever, but so much fun to drive!

LoL ;)

 By: InHavenPro : January 15th, 2022-00:47


 By: @lberti : January 15th, 2022-08:23

I live in the town next door to Lucid's Headquarters...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:26
The problem with Lucid is while they may have great motor technology, the interior, and the practicality of the car leaves something to be desired. The trunk is oddly shaped. The interior still has that rear seat problem if you get the larger battery, the... 

Good points.

 By: InHavenPro : January 15th, 2022-18:31
No question. Filip

Oops. Correction.

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-21:08
The Lucid is not wide. The Tesla Model S is unusually wide for a car of its length, it's the length of a BMW 5 series and almost as wide as a Lamborghini. The Model 3 is the length of a BMW 3 series, but wider than a BMW 5 series.

Now, that's an interesting fact!

 By: InHavenPro : January 15th, 2022-21:10
Had no clue about these odd proportions. Surely due to the battery compartment design....

Hard to say...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-21:36
If you look at other non-Tesla electric cars, they're not unusually wide. So hard to say if it's a battery compartment design or other.

I stopped with mercedes in 1999...

 By: @lberti : January 14th, 2022-22:51
Pre-1999 Mercedes are the reall mercedes for me, such as the Porsche built 500E. From the current catalogue, i would only choose, if at all, the G500! So, i am not surprised that you were dissapointed with the EQS. Cheers A.

I can't disagree with you...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:28
The G500 is a desirable car. Although I even have to say, I miss the charm of the old platform. This new G class is too... modern.

Correcto mundo patrick. 100% with you.

 By: @lberti : January 15th, 2022-17:57
We call the G Wagen here "Wohnblock"

Oh! Funny!

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-18:06
Block of buildings! And I thought you called them "Gelandenwagens" or something like that.

Thats the official name

 By: @lberti : January 15th, 2022-19:34


 By: amanico : January 15th, 2022-19:36

The Interior designer TEAM should be...

 By: enjoythemusic : January 14th, 2022-23:00
..immediately fired. Hire a single creative artist. That uninspiring design might lead to uninspiring build quality. I can't imagine looking at that daily if I was on the production line. Here's a pic of a Hyundai. ...  

The head designer of Hyundai is one of our members...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:29
And yes, Hyundai has been very design forward for the past decade. They've made good looking cars that drive much better than their Japanese counterparts.

+1. Hello to Luc!

 By: amanico : January 15th, 2022-17:42

Bonjour Luc!

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-18:11

I LOVE what Hyundai is doing ❤️

 By: enjoythemusic : January 15th, 2022-18:34
A cohesive design with a unified 'theme' that looks spacious and clean. Yet that Mercedes is a visual stinker! Even the chosen materials don't 'converge' artistically in a complimentary way imho. Disclaimer: We own a Hyundai (and a couple of BMWs, had Ben... 

Hyundai had a design first strategy...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-21:16
I've worked in the automotive industry, so I might have a somewhat valid opinion here, I'd say Hyundai was very clever. They knew ten years ago that their products didn't have the reliability reputation of a Toyota or Honda product, so they decided not to... 

Surprising impressions....

 By: InHavenPro : January 14th, 2022-23:07
I was certainly curious about this vehicle, not that I was planning to buy an electric car anytime soon, and have read a wide variety of reviews.... I did have the privilege of driving the brand new S-Class and it's an absolutely amazing marvel of modern-... 

Die Neu Sonderklasse is too technologically advanced...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:44
The new S Class is too technologically advanced. And I have a great fear that half of these technologies are "half-baked" which will mean the car will become a "throw away car" after a few years as the car is plagued with reliability problems. Yes. The ca... 


 By: InHavenPro : January 15th, 2022-18:36
But then, the typical buyer of an S-Class (or other alternatives from BMW, Audi etc.) simply switch over to the next generation as soon as it arrives. They are deliberately designed not to be kept long-term, no?

Depends. You have the typical lessor, who constantly switches every three years...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-21:20
You also have long-term buyers who buy and keep the car several years. Obviously, Mercedes-Benz wants to cater to the ones who switch more often. But a lot of these new features are designed for short term impressions and "shock value" rather than real lo... 

They're all like that

 By: Tim_M : January 24th, 2022-12:15
My rule-of-thumb is that any car with a screen in the dashboard will be disposable. You can't preserve what you can't service or remanufacture. All gas and electric cars of the modern era are beyond the capacity of even large indie shops to restore once O... 

That's a fair rule!

 By: patrick_y : January 24th, 2022-15:50

I'm searching my mind for one redeeming positive...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:46
It's probably safe. And the car knows when you're trying to mark the car and when it senses you're parking it automatically turns on the surround cameras and sensors to assist you.

Great article Patrick. I was considering the EQS as an alternative to my Tesla

 By: hmd4m : January 14th, 2022-23:35
Your write up has me thinking not yet…

Tesla have more to come …

 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 15th, 2022-00:06
and Merc have plenty of problems.

Hopefully Tesla starts to work on their build quality issues...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:48
The Tesla product isn't a bad product. It's just they haven't got the quality, the ergonomics, and a few of the details (like floor hinged pedals and hydrophobic glass). I'm glad to see they're improving braking capacity on the cars (my Tesla's brakes don... 

Hi Patrick …

 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 16th, 2022-17:25
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can only speak from my personal experience with my Tesla. My car has excellent brakes especially in conjunction with the regen braking and it’s never had a single issue. Not bad considering how hard I drive it given ... 

I think my Model 3 has worse brakes than your Tesla... I know this is the car with the worse brakes I've ever owned.

 By: patrick_y : January 16th, 2022-18:19
In normal driving in my Model 3, I almost never use my brakes. As the regen supplies 95% of my braking needs. Even with my slightly aggressive driving, I would say I still rarely hit the brakes. Is your Tesla a Model S? Also, one's definition of "hard dri... 

I have had similar experience with 4 other cars from different premium brands

 By: Poky : January 15th, 2022-00:07
The cars felt and looked cheap, no attention to details. A lot of mistakes were made by the onboard computers, I wouldn't rely on any of the techs. Quarter of way into the 21st century and this is the new technology. Everything is becoming more disposable... 

Well said!

 By: amanico : January 15th, 2022-08:14

You're right!

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:49
Also, you've got two generations of technicians out there at these legacy brands who have never been trained on electric car repairs. How many will do a good job? How many will shock themselves from the battery? Retraining this workforce will be a big thi... 

The car industry is not losing money on electric cars

 By: Poky : January 15th, 2022-19:00
They are recouping the lost income from the service by charging more for the electric cars. I am disappointed that in the 21st century the best alternative to the combustion engine has been some batteries and an electric motor. The technology for both hav... 

Be careful what you wish for... Wait until you see how Hydrogen is made...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-21:33
Hydrogen cars make absolutely no sense. A lot of consumers want Hydrogen but they really have no idea how hydrogen is made. Oil companies have falsely advertised that hydrogen comes from water (the vast majority of hydrogen made does not come from this me... 

The fake noise

 By: mhz vph : January 15th, 2022-00:13
Is a trend that absolutely needs to stop. It’s belittling to customers. It essentially says, “we think you’re too stupid to know what’s under the hood of your car.” It’s a problem for some gasoline cars too (ecoboost Mustang, for instance).

I haven't driven the Ecoboost Mustang, but it's sad that these fake noises are prolific among the industry...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:52
I have to admit, BMW does a better job with their fake sounds. Although still not perfect. I can see the RPMs on the tachometer change about half a second before the sound changes. It wasn't obvious, but if you look at the tach when you drive, you might n... 

I HATE the idea of fake noises in cars...

 By: mdg : January 15th, 2022-01:58
...especially cars that are supposed to be quiet. It defeats the entire purpose. Have you driven the Lucid Air? They look like the ones to beat from what I've been reading...

I haven't driven the Lucid Air. Despite being relatively close to their HQ...

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:54
But Lucid has their own problems. They pale in terms of Tesla when it comes to Autopilot technology. They may have a fast motor that might be more efficient than Tesla, but for how long? Also, their interior and their car just doesn't have great ergonomic... 

They look far better built than Tesla from photos and reviews...

 By: mdg : January 16th, 2022-03:53
...if I am going to spend $100k on a car, I'd like it to feel like it is a quality product. And to me, Tesla's Autopilot is vaporware. I don't know that I'd ever use it anyway...

I use my Autopilot. The main thing is that you have to supervise it. It needs a chaperone!

 By: patrick_y : January 16th, 2022-18:22
The Tesla isn't exactly known for excellent quality. But overall, despite lots of inadequacies from Tesla compared to what I was accustomed to from driving Mercedes and BMW vehicles, I still don't regret my Tesla purchase. And I'd purchase a Tesla again. ... 


 By: S F : January 15th, 2022-09:12
Was just speaking with a friend to arrange a visit to the showroom. After reading this, I will probably take my time😅. For Daimler, an organization so obsessed with engineering, design and quality, this is really unexplainable sloppiness. I will reserve f... 

Taycan is definitely the best driving electric car on the market. Tesla Model 3 can be considered a driver's car too.

 By: patrick_y : January 15th, 2022-17:57
I've always said a Rolls-Royce isn't exactly a fun to drive car. They're definitely not bad to drive, but they're not fun to drive. They're not "drivers' cars." The Wraith two door is actually pretty nice to drive - except it dives quite a bit under braki... 

No soul

 By: Chris_C : January 17th, 2022-03:10
Today’s ev have no soul As for build quality, MB BMW and other supposed luxury cars are no longer made to a standard as they used to be and have only gotten worse in recent years. One would buy a MB and have it for 20 years. Now consumers are trading up e... 

I'd say you're over-generalizing. But at the same time, I'd also say you're not wrong!

 By: patrick_y : January 18th, 2022-05:51
We have a lot of assumptions and impressions that are based off what we think we see, but not always based off of actual statistical fact and data. Furthermore, we tend to see a micro-view of what happens amongst our friends and in our region, but we inco... 

People have been saying this forever....

 By: Tim_M : January 24th, 2022-12:23
Retro-grouches have bemoaned the passing of "real cars" since the Stutz Bearcat went out of production. Oldtimers in the 60's complained that GTOs, Shelby Mustangs, and Lincoln Continental convertibles were pale shadows of the grand Duesenbergs and Cords ... 

And it goes back to the very beginning

 By: Tim_M : January 24th, 2022-16:58
In the Iliad, circa 1200 BC, characters lament the incomparable heroes of the past and how poorly "modern" (again, circa 1200BC) figures compare to the glorious "real men" of old. We have the same flawed nostalgia for the assumed superiority of old cars, ...