- Maybach's first all-electric SUV is the ultra-luxe EQS SUV.
- The EQS 680 SUV has dual electric motors produce 649 hp and 700 lb-ft.
- Lavish, tech-forward surroundings from any seat.
Driven: 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV Oozes Serene Electric Comfort and Luxury
Decadence for all (who can afford it)
It's not every day that a manufacturer creates a new segment, but the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV is the world's first all-electric ultra-luxury SUV and helps Mercedes flex its red-carpet-style Maybach treatment. The Maybach EQS SUV will have you embracing your inner mogul due to its extravagant features and flagship status within the Mercedes lineup.
Like the standard Mercedes EQS SUV on which it is based, the Maybach comes with copious amounts of room, the dashboard-spanning Hyperscreen layout, a good amount of driving range, the latest tech and driver assist aids, and a sumptuous interior. But rear passengers are given special attention in the Maybach version. This is exemplified by the standard four-seat configuration, which outfits the rear seats with all the adjustments and heating, cooling and massaging functions as those in the front. There's no third-row seat like there is in the regular EQS SUV, though a five-passenger configuration is available if you need extra carrying capacity.
Other exclusive touches include abundant Maybach logos emblazoned throughout — it's stitched into the headrests, projected via puddle lights, and even incorporated in the inner lining of the tailgate and the faux air intakes on the front of the vehicle. If you want a car with as much branding as a Louis Vuitton handbag, you've come to the right place.
How much range and power does the Maybach EQS 680 SUV have?
The Maybach EQS 680 SUV is powered by two electric motors (one in front and one in the rear) to give the big EV all-wheel drive. Combined output stands at a healthy 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque — enough to propel the Maybach EQS SUV from a standstill to 60 mph in an estimated 4.1 seconds. That's plenty of oomph to get this behemoth moving.
Assuming you're not blasting from stoplight to stoplight in this thing, Mercedes estimates the Maybach EQS 680 SUV will get up to 373 miles on a single charge, but keep in mind this is using the more generous European WLTP measuring standard. An official EPA estimate, which would be more relatable, was not available as of our review's publication, but we'd guess that it will end up around 300 miles or a little more.
That's a lot of range for a vehicle this large and heavy, and that's partially due to the application of the DCU (or Disconnect Unit) first seen on the EQE SUV. The DCU (not to be confused with the DC Universe superhero film series) functions by decoupling the front motor from the axle, essentially changing the Maybach from all-wheel-drive to rear-wheel-drive, to maximize range. Disengaging the front motor removes the parasitic draw on range that would occur in a typical all-wheel-drive system. Once you start slowing down, or have a need for more power, the system will automatically re-engage the front motor.
While we think the EPA will rate the Maybach EQS SUV at around 300 miles of range, other Mercedes-Benz models have done quite well on Edmunds' EV range test. We drove the EQS 450+, for instance, a staggering 422 miles before we needed to recharge, versus the EPA's estimate of 350 miles. We are hopeful that the Maybach EQS SUV will also be an overachiever but won't know for certain until we're able to test it later this year.
How does the Maybach EQS 680 SUV drive?
In spite of the Maybach's mass (the number we heard, but not officially confirmed, was closer to 7,000 pounds than it was to 6,000 pounds), the EQS 680 SUV accelerates smartly enough from a standstill. The suspension absorbs much of the initial acceleration, rocking the rear of the Maybach down while lifting the nose up much in the same way as you'd experience acceleration in a fast boat. But that squat takes the abruptness out of full acceleration and, in return, gives the EQS 680 some seriously refined speed.
As wonderful and decadent as twin-turbo V12 engines may be, nothing matches the instantaneous response of an electric powertrain. This is luxurious power. When the specially designed sounds are switched off, as is our preference, the Maybach subtly but significantly piles on the speed. There's no buildup or anticipation here, just power on demand.
Similarly, the brakes are built for smooth, effortless stopping and feature a somewhat softer and longer pedal stroke than you might expect. But there's plenty of power in these brakes. And thanks to the longer pedal travel, you can dial in just the right amount of deceleration, should you not opt for the Maybach's one-pedal driving experience.
On the road, the Maybach EQS 680 SUV is imbued by what a colleague referred to as "road-hugging weight." Its light steering and cushy suspension tuning do well to obscure the Maybach's significant weight, but higher-speed bends and more abrupt maneuvers (like an emergency lane change) quickly remind you just how massive the EQS 680 really is. But it never feels sloppy, only relaxed and sure-footed. Additionally, the vehicle's rear-axle steering system helps make the Maybach far more maneuverable in tight spaces, something valets will likely appreciate.
What kind of charging capabilities does the Maybach EQS 680 SUV have?
The Maybach EQS SUV is built upon a 400-volt electric architecture, which is typical for most current electric vehicles. Some EVs — like Porsche's Taycan and Kia's EV6 — use a higher-capacity 800-volt system that can handle faster DC fast-charging speeds. Mercedes says its 400-volt design allows for consistent linear charging, rather than higher maximum rates that spike and fall depending on various factors in more robust charging systems.
Whether or not that's simple marketing spin, the Maybach EQS SUV has DC fast-charging capabilities of up to 200 kW. Mercedes estimates that a Maybach charging at this maximum can add 137 miles of range after fast-charging for 15 minutes (again, according to the WLTP measurements) and can go from 10% to 80% battery life in 31 minutes. A standard Level 2 home-charging system will fill from 0% to 100% in a little under 13 hours.
Mercedes is currently investigating a more premium charging experience for EQS Maybach owners, so we'll have to wait and see if that is in addition to two years of free charging on the Electrify America network (you access it through the Mercedes Me charge service) like other EQS owners enjoy. That service also allows you to charge on other networks and simplifies the payment process through one account, and at some stations, you won't even need to swipe your card.
How comfortable is the Maybach EQS 680 SUV?
As we alluded to earlier, the Maybach EQS 680 SUV features a recalibrated air suspension tuned for maximum comfort. The standard Comfort drive mode has been replaced by a new Maybach mode, while Sport, Eco and and vestigial Off-Road mode (it is still an SUV after all) round out the settings. We toggled between Sport and Maybach and noticed a few key differences that led us to strongly prefer the Maybach mode.
In testing the vehicle in Sport, we thought the ride was a bit too firm for something so obsessed with comfort. The Maybach EQS SUV was more stable when going around turns but we could feel a lot more ruts and bumps in the road. This might be the setting for covering long distances at high speeds on a smooth highway, but otherwise it's a bit out of character.
The Maybach mode does soft right. This setting lets the adaptive air suspension breathe better over bumps and dips, smoothing out more roads and providing excellent isolation from impacts. At first, the extra body lean when going around turns and the squat under acceleration seemed a bit excessive, but we soon came to appreciate the extra movement as an indicator of speed. The Maybach EQS is so silent that a little lean through corners reminds you of just how fast you're traveling. And while it's never sloppy, it does deliver a gentle reminder that you are here to be pampered, not to rush.
How's the Maybach EQS 680 SUV's interior?
The Maybach EQS SUV's cabin is, in a word, serene. When playing anything through the 15-speaker Burmester 4D surround-sound system (which features Dolby Atmos immersive audio), you can close your eyes and be transported to a front seat at the New York symphony or a private Alicia Keys concert.
Passenger space is plentiful in the Maybach EQS SUV, with comfortable seating in both the front and rear rows. The large-domed exterior shape helps create an abundance of headroom inside. Occupants of all shapes and sizes should find generous accommodations. Every seat in the Maybach is a good one, and with the exception of the driver, it would be forgivable if the passengers dozed off with ease on longer drives. The seats also feature vegetable tanned leather (the tanning agents are mainly derived from coffee bean shells) in an effort to be more environmentally responsible. Furthering that cause are carpets made from recycled nylon and the use of secondary steel and recycled aluminum throughout the chassis.
As with any Maybach, the rear seats are where the real action is. That's where you'll find the reclining lounge chair, Champagne flutes, a rear refrigerator unit that can keep your cheese and non-alcoholic sparkling wine cold, and a tray table that you can fold out from the rear center console. Even the placement of the heavily tinted panoramic roof is ideal, providing dramatic visibility for backseat passengers without letting in too much solar heat or glare.
The overall impression inside the cabin is its decadence. From the yacht-inspired wooden veneers to the supple leather that adorns key touchpoints, all the way to the impressive build quality that ties every nook and cranny together, there have been no shortcuts taken in pursuit of quality. It's a well-balanced mix of the traditional and a nouveau modern appeal. Mercedes-Maybach clearly brought its A-game and then some.
How's the Maybach EQS 680 SUV's tech?
"What is good must also be beautiful." That was Wilhelm Maybach's mantra and is reflected in the Maybach-specific customized Hyperscreen display. The so-called Hyperscreen measures 56 inches and encompasses three digital displays under one panel. It consists of an instrument screen for the driver, a central touchscreen, and a touchscreen in front of the front passenger, and it dominates the front dashboard. The high-definition graphics are beautiful to behold and the system responds quickly to user inputs. Rear passengers are treated to a pair of 11.6-inch displays mounted to the front-seat backrests.
The Mercedes MBUX operating system acts as your personal concierge at the prompt of your voice. It recognizes natural language and can be used to control vehicle functions like seat adjustments, climate controls, radio and navigation settings. Not enough for you? The Maybach EQS SUV is also packed to the proverbial gills with all the modern driver assist features you can imagine.
How's the Maybach EQS 680 SUV's storage?
When you're spending this amount of coin on a car, you can probably afford to send for another vehicle to carry your luggage. That's because behind the posh rear seats, the Maybach only offers 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Yes, really. For reference, that's equivalent to a Kia Forte's cargo capacity and is considerably less than what's available in a majority of its smaller competitors. Heck, its smaller sibling, the EQE SUV, which has 18.4 cubic feet of cargo. That's because of the space taken up by lounge-style rear seats and the large divider in the middle where the rear refrigerator module resides. As a real-world example, we couldn't fit a carry-on suitcase on either side of the fridge unless we turned it on its side. Two medium-size duffle bags and a carry-on suitcase will pretty much fill up the cargo area.
If the Maybach GLS was ultra-luxury cranked up to 100%, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV gives you 120%. Its extravagant yet traditional features focus on pampering you from the time you enter the vehicle until you exit, while the seamless electric drivetrain provides immediate and powerful thrust. While it is the first ultra-luxury electric SUV to hit the market, and it certainly won't be the last, it's unlikely the Maybach will be eclipsed anytime soon.