What’s the best electric vehicle for being chauffeured?


Top Gear Advice

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is an electric version of the rear passenger favorite S-Class. Home, James

One of the biggest things to get used to when you make the switch to electricity is the range anxiety – the gnawing concern that you won’t have enough electricity to get you to your destination. It’s not always a rational feeling, but you quickly get past the need to start a journey to the local supermarket with 100 per cent battery “just in case”.

In fact, one of the great pleasures once you actually are used to the battery powered lifestyle is seeing how low you can run the battery before you finally cave in and run screaming to the nearest charge point. At which point you find it has an SUV with a huge battery that won’t be finished charging for 11 hours, there’s a petrol powered car blocking the space because the other 300 free spots didn’t quite do the trick, or… it’s just broken.

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The serenity prayer that’s used obligatorily in films to demonstrate that a character is in some sort of 12-step program could also have been written for EV drivers: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can.” Once you learn to shrug off the stuff you can’t possibly affect, electric driving is an absolute breeze.

There’s another way, though, if you’re rich enough – just pay someone else to suffer through all the range anxiety for you. In fact, you could pay someone to drop you off, do all the charging then come and find you again. That person could even take over the lion’s share of the driving. We’ll call them something fancy and French—a chauffeur perhaps. Someone who gets hot under the collar on your behalf.

And what better car to have your man (or entirely capable woman) ferry you about in than the Mercedes-Benz EQS electric saloon? The zero emission limo was revealed last year, stealing the headlines with the biggest interior screen you’ve seen since your neighbors got their new widescreen telly in the middle of the pandemic.

While you’re whisked about you can enjoy standard equipment of heated rear seats, a panoramic roof and acoustic tinted glass. Plus you’ll have a prime audience view of the ginormous hyperscreen up front. There’s rear-wheel steering, which you probably won’t notice that much as a rear passenger unless you hang out of the back window while you go round corners (not advised), but you can certainly tell people about it and that’s just as good .

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If you’re really serious about being chauffeured then Mercedes offers the £3,995 Rear Luxury Lounge package (you don’t get this in a Kia Niro) that throws in electrically adjusting leather seats with ‘Seat Heating Plus’ (the plus means you get Neck and shoulder heating as well, because those bits get cold too), as well as wireless phone charging, luxury head rests and a nifty little tablet in the central armrest to control things. It’s truly living the dream.

Sure, there’s an electric Range Rover on the way at some point, the BMW i7 will be coming along soon, and maybe we’ll even eventually see that electric Jaguar XJ we were cruelly robbed of. But if you want to be chauffeured in your electric car now, it’s really only this or a Citroen e-Berlingo.

Best EV for being chauffeured – Mercedes-Benz 450+ AMG Line Premium Plus
Price: £116,160
Range: 439 miles
Engine: 329bhp e-motor
Battery: 108kWh
Top speed: 137mph
0–62mph: 6.2secs
Boot space: 610 liter
Chauffeur’s cap: £35

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