Power shift: 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 first drive review

A red Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 parked.

Craig Duff

Posted July 14, 2022

Mercedes’ latest entrant in the EV arena is a behemoth, measuring 5.2 metres long and with a kerb mass of 2,655kg. Despite its size, the EQS 53 can hit 100km/h in a blistering 3.4 seconds.

The EQS 53 combines S-Class indulgence with AMG spice, served on an electrified platform.

The speed is testament to the AMG enhancement of the S-Class sized limousine. The performance division has dialled up the electric motors to 11 and installed a huge battery pack to deliver the necessary power.

So, it’s an AMG, but not as internal combustion engine owners will know it. There’s no accompanying bellow when you use your right foot, just massively linear acceleration. It also bears the 53 moniker, rather than the coveted 63 designation which denotes a full-on AMG variant.

A limousine is an interesting choice for AMG’s first electrified model, but if your buying preferences include acres of space and excessive acceleration, this is the vehicle for you.

2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 | RACV


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How much does the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 cost?

The list price is $328,400 before on-road costs. No one is going to buy the vanilla version of the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53, not when a mere $7,690 winds up the performance and drops the 100km/h bragging rights from 3.8 seconds to 3.4.

It’s when you look at the other options that you appreciate the EQS 53 isn’t an electric analogue to the S-Class limousine. Features that are standard on a typical S-Class require an extra spend to include on the EQS. A $9,290 “Energising Comfort Package” bundles a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, an air fragrance system with HEPA filter, screens and headsets for the rear-seat occupants. A lot of that is default kit in an S-Class, along with rear massage seats, though that probably reflects the fact S-Class owners tend to be chauffeured, while EQS 53 buyers are likely to want to be seen behind the wheel.

Overtly advertising the fact you have invested in an AMG via a set of red-painted brake callipers adorned with black “AMG” lettering beneath a set of 22-inch wheels (up from 21 inches), will add $3,990 to the purchase price.

Spot gold callipers under the wheels and it is evidence the owner outlaid $9,900 for a set of ceramic-composite brake discs, while a 22kW AC charging system costs $2,490 plus installation.

There are seven standard exterior colours, then it costs $1,990 for “diamond bright white” and “hyacinth red metallic” or $9,490 for “selenite grey magno”.

Other contenders for your cash include the Porsche Taycan Turbo at $281,900 plus on-roads and the Tesla Model S, which starts around $150,000 (Tesla’s website isn’t listing prices for the Model S in Australia).

Is the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 safe?

EuroNCAP tested the EQS 450 last year (that version will arrive in Australia later this year) and on the basis of that assessment rated the EQS range as a five-star proposition.

Adult occupant protection was rated at 96 per cent, child occupant protection was 91 per cent, pedestrian and cyclist protection earned a 76 per cent score and safety assist systems were deemed to be 80 per cent.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 is fitted self-parking assist, active lane-keep and blind-spot assist, the expected AEB functionality and has encased the battery pack in a “crash protected area in the underbody, embedded in the body shell”.

Adaptive air suspension enables the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 to segue from relaxed to responsive.
The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 is in its element on straights and sweeping bends.
The low-slung shape helps with aerodynamics but can't disguise the 5.2-metre length.

What’s the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 like inside?

The attention-grabber is the 1.4-metre expanse of screens covering the front facia. It’s actually three screens but at first glance looks to be one continuous display.

The resolution is extraordinary, though the size of the central infotainment display (25 inches) ensures fingerprint smear common to all touchscreen devices is even more evident.

Smartphone connectivity, wireless phone charging, a head-up display, digital radio and a 15-speaker Burmester sound system are expected inclusions, along with ambient interior lighting that extends to the edges of the front seats and leather upholstery throughout the vehicle.

The front seats are heated and ventilated and fitted with a “hot stone massage” function.

Four-zone climate control is also standard, enabling the pair of rear passengers (few will ever use the middle rear seat in the EQS) to select their own temperature settings.

Pop the liftback styled boot and there are 580 litres of suitcase-swallowing space.

What’s under the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53’s bonnet?

Two permanently excited motors (one on each axle) power the EQS 53 with a combined output of 484kW and 950Nm. Buy the “Dynamic Plus” add-on and the numbers hit a staggering 560kW and 1020Nm.

Under light-to-moderate throttle the front motor does the heavy lifting. Step on it and the rear motor seamlessly kicks in.

The task of feeding those motors falls to a 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack housed under the floor of the hulking AMG.

For peace of mind, the battery is covered by a 10-year warranty, double that of the car and battery than any other manufacturer to date.


Three screens initially appear to be one, 1.4-metre strip across the entire dash.
The passenger can toggle their display through a range of data and infotainment settings.
The 580-litre boot will ingest a fair suite of suitcases.

Is the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 efficient?

Mercedes says the EQS 53 consumes power at a rate of 21.1-24.3kWh every 100km.

The quoted combined range according to the WLTP cycle is 580km. Allowing for the fact few owners will willingly deplete the battery, and depending on the driving conditions, that brings a real-world range of around 450-500km.

Recharge times from 10-100 per cent are said to take 10 hours using an 11kW home wallbox or five hours with a 22kW charger.

Recharging from 10-81 per cent at an ultra-fast charger (the Merc accepts up to 200kW charging capacity) trims the time to around half an hour.

How does the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 drive?

The acceleration is instantaneous and unrelenting to well beyond the speeds proscribed in Australian jurisdictions.

Slowing it down is only marginally less phenomenal, with the Merc able to regenerate 300kW of energy. The e-braking system has multiple levels, which are set using the steering wheel paddle shifters. At the most aggressive setting, the system can generate 0.3 of a gee of retardation before the mechanical brakes are engaged.

For all that, the EQS 53 is a high-speed tourer rather than an outright corner-carver. Step on the brakes entering a corner and you can feel the big sedan’s heft as the mass weighs up the front suspension. The four-wheel steering system ensures surprisingly quick turn-in, allowing for the car’s size, and will take some time to adapt to.

The steering is uncharacteristically vague (for an AMG) in the initial turn from dead-centre, but then loads up in terms of feedback and precision as lock is applied.

The EQS 53 rides on air suspension that does exhibit the typical AMG traits of a refined ride when cruising, evolving into a taut response as the driving modes are toggled into their sportier settings.

The low-speed plushness is offset a touch by the run-flat tyres, which don’t fully absorb small hits like road joins. As velocity rises and the suspension then comes into play, the issue abates.

Carpark agility is enhanced by the four-wheel steering, with the rear wheels turning in the opposite direction to the fronts to reduce the limousine’s turning circle to an SUV-matching 11.5 metres.


The grille is AMG's take on Mercedes' traditional Panamerica look.
The standard 21-inch wheels can be upgraded to 22-inch versions.
Push hard through a turn and the mass of the EQS 53 loads up the front suspension.

Should I buy one?

If you are a luxury limousine driver with an A-list clientele who will pay for the privilege of being seen in an emissions-free saloon, possibly. No matter what the hourly rate, the EQS 53 is still going to take a while to pay off, so it may make more sense to lease than buy.

As a driver’s car, you may want to hold onto that hard-earned unless the sheer size is a large part of the appeal. It is a matter of time before a slightly more compact E-Class sedan model emerges with enough interior space for most, while delivering a more engaging driving experience, particularly if it is wearing an AMG 63 badge.

As a first course for AMG's electrifcation menu, the EQS 53 whets the appetite for what is bound to come next.

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.