Mercedes EQS vs. BMW iX: Battle of the Luxury Electric SUVs

The shift towards electric vehicles is accelerating, with even luxury automakers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW pushing sustainability and releasing new EV models. Two hot entrants in this green space are the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS and 2022 BMW iX – all-electric SUVs aimed at eco-conscious buyers who still demand performance, cutting edge tech and refined cabins.

But how do these battery-powered juggernauts compare? As leaders in luxury vehicles look to dominate the high-end EV market, we dissect how the EQS and iX electric SUVs stack up across critical categories. Read on for a detailed face-off.

A Tale of Two Automotive Giants Pushing Towards An Electric Future

Both Mercedes and BMW have over 100 years of history building iconic luxury vehicles. While best known for premium sedans and performance coupes, they‘ve expanded into SUVs catering to consumer demand.

Now, these German automakers are pivoting to electrification faster than expected. What’s motivating them? Government pollution and efficiency regulations, plus competition from newcomer Tesla. Going electric also helps carve out a progressive, environmentally-friendly brand image.

Mercedes was slightly ahead in the EV race, launching its new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) in 2019. This modular EV platform underpins the new EQS SUV, EQS sedan and upcoming models, enabling rapid development. Meanwhile, BMW debuted its “Power of Choice” strategy years ago, supporting both conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) and alternative drivetrains like electric.

The iX kicks off BMW’s new generation of EVs built on a fresh technology toolkit that will also power the i4 and i7. So despite being legacy luxury brands, both Mercedes and BMW are future-focused.

Exterior Design and Styling: Flowing Lines vs. Chiseled Angles

While the EQS and iX share similar dimensions befitting mid-size SUVs, their external styling differs – conforming to the distinctive looks their brands are known for.

Mercedes EQS Exterior

The elegant EQS flaunts sweeping contours and a cab-forward tapered roofline, with a continuous light strip at the rear. Compared to combustion-powered Mercedes SUVs, the closed-off grille signals it’s electric. Frameless doors add to the upscale vibe. Overall, a graceful evolution of the brand’s sensitive surfacing.

Mercedes EQS Exterior

BMW iX Exterior

The iX contrasts with its square-jawed, geometric look. Iconic BMW kidney grilles are replaced by sleek contiguous areas housing sensors, and the prominent hood showcases a clamshell design. Below, the slim LED headlamps and boxy wheel arches reinforce the machined musculature. Still, discreet aero elements like flush door handles keep it futuristic.

BMW iX Exterior

Exterior Verdict: The EQS has a more conventional SUV silhouette adapted for EVs, while the iX’s unusual styling stands out from both ICE and electric BMWs. Which aesthetic you prefer comes down to personal taste.

Calm Modernism vs. High-Tech Experience Inside

Similar to the exteriors reflecting brand lineage, the interiors also showcase distinctive design philosophies – the EQS prioritizing elegance and spaciousness, while the iX emphasizes a dynamic, technology-focused environment.

Mercedes EQS Interior

Inside the airy EQS cabin, cool silver trim and open-pore wood surround occupants. The minimalist dash houses a 12.3-inch digital gauge display and Hyperscreen – a continuous curved screen grouping entertainment, navigation and other controls. Almost button-free, the focal point here is creating a serene atmosphere.

Mercedes EQS Interior

BMW iX Interior

Things look more driver-focused inside the iX. A smaller curved display combines instruments and infotainment, while a crystal gear selector, hexagonal steering wheel and quilted seats hint at sportiness. Sweeping wood surfaces and glass controls also feel special. There’s serious high-tech vibes here.

BMW iX Interior

Interior Verdict: Both interiors use upscale materials like real wood and supremely comfortable front seats. The EQS prioritizes space, while the iX feels more enveloping. The enormous Hyperscreen is love-it-or-hate-it – those craving lots of screens may prefer the iX.

Powertrain Performance: Pure EVs Delivering Exhilarating Speed

As electric SUVs, both the EQS and iX forego gas engines for powerful electric motors drawing energy from large battery packs. Let’s explore key mechanical specs.

Mercedes EQS Performance

In base trim, a rear-mounted motor in the EQS 450+ feeds a single-speed automatic transmission, generating:

  • 355 horsepower
  • 419 lb-ft torque
  • 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds (est.)

The dual-motor EQS 580 4MATIC brings added traction with:

  • 536 horsepower
  • 633 lb-ft torque
  • 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds

BMW iX Performance

Every iX xDrive50 variant sports AWD with front/rear electric motors for:

  • 516 horsepower
  • 564 lb-ft torque
  • 0-60 in 4.6 seconds

So while the iX holds an edge accelerating and an extra AWD grip, the EQS offers more powerful configurations. Both deliver vigorous speed akin to v8 engines, minus the gas guzzling and emissions.

Performance Verdict: With base models rocketing to 60 mph under 6 seconds, either EV SUV offers stirring acceleration. The EQS spans a wider range depending on budget, while BMW focuses the iX on blistering performance.

Battery Range and Charging: Mercedes Aims Higher

For EVs, driving range and charging are make-or-break considerations alongside horsepower stats. Mercedes touts advantages here for the EQS.

Mercedes EQS Range and Charging

Thanks to a large 108 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the 2022 EQS 450+ is EPA-rated for:

  • 350 miles range
  • 10-80% charging in 31 minutes (200 kW DC fast charging)

Meanwhile, the uprated 2022 EQS 580 hits:

  • 340 miles range
  • 10-80% charging in 31 minutes

BMW iX Range and Charging

The iX pack is smaller at 111 kWh net, though range remains competitive:

  • 324 miles range
  • 10-80% charging in 35 minutes (200 kW DC fast charging)

In range for a single full charge, Mercedes wins. Both can add substantial range quickly when fast charging.

Range and Charging Verdict: The EQS 450+ edges out the iX for max driving distance per charge, while matching fast charging pace. The 580 model trades some range for performance. For road trips, Mercedes gives confidence.

Technology Innovation: Hyperscreen vs. iDrive 8

These being flagship luxury SUV electrics, both the EQS and iX incorporate loads of leading-edge gadgetry. What’s actually useful versus gimmicky though?

Mercedes EQS Tech

Mercedes created an optional pillar-to-pillar Hyperscreen – a curved 56-inch glass display spanning instrumentation, navigation, entertainment and other functions. It learns preferences as you interact with screens. Also aboard are driver assists like lane centering, self parking and 360-degree cameras.

BMW iX Tech

The iX sports BMW’s latest iDrive 8 system on dual displays, employing more sensors for expanded automation and running Android OS. Cloud-enhanced navigation taps traffic data for smoothing routes, while Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support onboard apps. You also find the typical active safety features like collision mitigation.

Tech Verdict: Do you crave ultra-flashy screens or a refined interface? The enormous Hyperscreen grabs attention, though some may find it distracting. iDrive 8 feels more baked into car functions. BMW’s usage of your smartphone as a digital key is nifty too.

Luxury Status at a Cost: EQS Sedan Tops Six Figures

When evaluating high-end EVs, price considerations are relative – these are expensive vehicles aimed at affluent buyers who are less price sensitive. But it pays to understand how features impact the bottom line.

Mercedes EQS Cost

The base 2022 Mercedes EQS 450+ opener has an MSRP of $103,360 including destination charges. Stepping up to the 580 model brings the damage to $125,900 before extras. Major options include a $7,300 driving assistance package and of course that snazzy $7,300 Hyperscreen.

BMW iX Cost

The lone 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 starts at a ‘bargain’ $84,100 MSRP plus destination – giving it a slight monetary advantage. However, upgrading wheels, paint colors and deluxe interior appointments add up fast. Even basic paint shades on BMWs cost extra.

Depending on loadout, both SUVs can crest over $120,000 nicely equipped.

Cost Verdict: While in basic spec the iX seems the value buy, it’s just as easy to inflate BMW pricing with options too. Loaded up, these rival luxury EVs cost about the same. The EQS does enable more power and range, with improvements carrying a premium.

The Last Word: Mercedes EQS is Best Battery SUV Bet

The innovative EQS nudges out the cutting-edge iX, but both electric SUV flagships earn strong recommendations.

The elegantly styled EQS casts a wide net with configurations spanning from comfortable commuter to ultra-high performance. Generous driving range and swift charging also hit the right notes for owning an EV.

Meanwhile, the unconventionally adorned iX dazzles with boundary-pushing technology baked into a zesty, fun-to-drive crossover. It demands constant interaction that engages the enthusiast owner.

Ultimately for eco-luxury SUV shoppers, it’s win-win deciding between the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS and 2022 BMW iX. Order books for both remain backlogged, proving vigorous early demand for these electrified vehicles done the German way. Charged up with batteries instead of fossil fuels, yet delivering the pedigree pedigree and performance expected from premier automotive brands.

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