In August, Mercedes said the EQS would start at €106,374 in Europe, or around $125,000, leading me to speculate that pricing here would be similar, given, too, that the S-Class starts at $109,800. Well, that was wrong, as Mercedes said Tuesday that the EQS will start at $102,310 in the U.S.
That, of course, is for the base trim, called Premium. A mid-tier trim called Exclusive will start at $105,710, while the fanciest trim, called Pinnacle, will start at $108,510. Another $17,000 or so on each trim gets you another motor and all-wheel-drive. Here’s a full breakdown from Mercedes:
It is striking that the features on the fancier trims are not anything substantive, really, which also probably explains why the price gap between each of them is only around $3,000. At this level of car, that is pocket change, making me wonder why Mercedes bothered at all with different trims to begin with, instead of just making one good EQS and calling it The Best Car In The World But Electric.
Then again, what am I saying, this is Mercedes, a company that specializes in engineering complicated solutions to simple problems. The real comparison, at any rate, is with the Tesla Model S, which starts at $89,990, and the Model S Plaid, which starts at $129,990. That puts the EQS squarely in the middle, though the Model S is almost a decade old, and its design even older.
Potential buyers might also consider that Mercedes is still eligible for the federal EV tax credit, while Tesla is not. Potential buyers might also consider that, according to Tesla’s website, estimated delivery of the Model S Plaid isn’t until January or February next year, while the wait for the Model S Long Range is even longer, with estimated delivery in March or April.
Mercedes, on the other hand, says that the EQS “will arrive in U.S. dealerships in the fall of 2021,” for whatever that’s worth. Tesla’s charging network is also an advantage for it, albeit a diminishing one. Further, the cars’ ranges are likely to be similar, with the Model S Long Range getting an EPA-estimated 405 mile range, while the EQS gets 487 miles WLTP, but likely around 400 miles too when the EPA tests it.
For me, the choice is pretty clear, but it is for Tesla fans, too. Finally, at least, there is a choice.