Making Magical Memories

OHLALA’S RAMI KHALIL SPENT A FEW DAYS IN THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 450 SUV 4MATIC – A POWERFUL, BEAUTIFULLY SHAPED, FULLYELECTRIC VEHICLE JAM-PACKED WITH HIGH-END FEATURES.

It is a little disconcerting how quickly time passes. It seems like yesterday I was finishing school, buying my first car, getting married and bouncing my little girl on my knee whilst she smiled at me like I was the only person in the world. I then made the mistake of blinking. Suddenly, I only have one good knee, I am driving my umpteenth car, I am finally paying off the house and I am preparing to watch my little girl graduate. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to keep up with it all.

Throughout this time, one thing hasn’t changed – my love for all things Mercedes-Benz. Since the days of my father driving me around in his old SL-Class, I have been in awe of this premium car maker and its commitment to creating some of the finest vehicles the roads have ever seen.

OHLALA has been fortunate enough to test drive an array of recent offerings from this world-renowned brand, all of which have proven exceptional. This month, however, we changed things up a bit by bringing the whole family along.

Thanks to the team at Nasser Bin Khaled Mercedes-Benz, we recently experienced the newly released Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 SUV 4MATIC – a stylish four-door, family-friendly, all-electric, all-wheel drive crossover with impeccable exterior and interior designs, along with a wealth of tech and safety features.

“The EQS 450 currently boasts the most high-definition screens in the industry, with the latest setup looking like it comes straight out of a spaceship.”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This month, as we were test-driving one of the safest and most impressive SUVs on the roads, we decided to include close relatives in the experience, especially as it coincided with my wonderful daughter’s graduation ceremony (as you can probably tell, I’m a little proud of her).

The day I pulled up outside the family home in the new EQS 450 to chauffeur everyone around town, I watched with satisfaction as their eyes lit up at what was to be their chariot for the next few days.

The brand’s first all-electric premium SUV showcases an innovative and aerodynamic design that turns a few heads on the roads. With its generously modelled surfaces, reduced joint and seamless transitions, I could not help but be impressed by its dynamic proportions and powerful presence.

I enjoyed watching my father-in-law, an avid car enthusiast, stroll around the vehicle, taking in the various features. Like myself, he appreciated the front Black Panel consisting of the standard LED high-performance headlamps connected by a light band, along with the deep black radiator grille.

I watched as he traced his fingers along the round front end, following the effortlessly flowing lines over the steeply raked A-pillar and the roof contour to the rear spoiler, glancing at the stylish 22-inch wheels with five-twin-spoke design as he did so.

Once at the rear, I knew the elaborately designed interior element of the tail lights in the shape of a curved 3D helix would capture his attention as it did mine.

I, too, appreciated the tailgate that merges smoothly into the bumper, where the colour of the black wheel arch linings continues into the lower area of the rear bumper. A high-quality chrome element in the diffuser and the aerodynamically optimised spoiler lip on the underbody further add to the premium feel of the vehicle.

ROOM & COMFORT

As my father-in-law slipped into the front seat, he simply looked at me, smiled and nodded his approval.

As the rest of the family bundled into the SUV, I could again see and hear signs of satisfaction as they took in the comfortable and spacious cabin. Our five-seater version of the EQS 450 provided a generous amount of head, shoulder, leg and foot room for us all, meaning a comfortable few days of travelling.

The luggage compartment also proved generous, providing a minimum of 645 litres of storage capacity, with maximum legroom in place. Thanks to the electrically adjustable second row, this capacity could be effortlessly increased to 880 litres when required. With the second row folded down, you could have up to 2,100 litres to play with. This meant that no matter how many passengers were in the car and how many shops we visited over the next few days, we always had space for more bags.

FAMILY FAVOURITE FEATURES

Setting off along the busy Doha streets, my family’s collective attention shifted to the included tech. The EQS 450 currently boasts the most high-definition screens in the industry, with the latest setup looking like it comes straight out of a spaceship. The MBUX Hyperscreen is definitely one of the interior highlights. This large, curved unit consists of three screens that sit under a common bonded glass cover, visually merging into one display.

Despite the wide-ranging functionality of this AI-driven feature, its ability to change the inner mood of the car impressed the family the most. There are several moods to select from, all offering an immersive experience. For example, when opting for the Forest setting, all inner lighting of the vehicle changed to shades of green, the sound system played woodland noises and we could even pick up the pleasant smells one would experience out in nature.

OUT & ABOUT

As the family chatted excitedly, expressing their delight in my daughter’s approaching graduation ceremony, I quietly enjoyed the smooth feel of the EQS 450 as the kilometres rolled by. As an all-electric vehicle, artificial engine sounds have been included in the setup – sounds I often forgot were not real.

I had to resist the urge to slip the car into Sport Mode and apply pressure to the accelerator, unleashing the 265kW of power and 800Nm of torque. I would have chuckled to hear the squeals of delight from those in the back as the SUV surged from 0-100km/h in just six seconds. But I was carrying precious cargo and drove accordingly.

STOP & GO

By the fourth day, I realised that the EQS 450 has everything you could dream of for day-to-day running around or an extended road trip. As pleas for a stop for drinks reached my ears, I took the opportunity to recharge the car’s Lithium-Ion battery, even though I still had around 300km of range left to play with.

After plugging the EQS in at an easily accessible charging station, I simply sipped on my coffee, knowing the car’s battery would be topped up in a matter of minutes. The new EQS 450 delivers up to 671 kilometres of range when fully charged, which is more than many petrol-powered SUVs will deliver on a full gas tank.

A SAFE SPACE

The impressive all-electric range of the new EQS 450 proved extremely useful over the next few days as we took advantage of our exceptional new machine to travel all over the city, visiting malls, friends and other family members as we did so.

Each time I set off with my passengers, I realised how comfortable I felt, safe in the knowledge that the EQS 450 boasts a full suite of cutting-edge safety and driver assistance features specifically designed to ensure the safety of my loved ones.

THE BIG DAY

Once again, I blinked, and all too soon, it was the day of the graduation ceremony when I found myself thinking about my daughter and the amazing young woman she had grown into. I realised that as we get older, we begin to appreciate the important things in life like family, safety, security and comfort, all of which the EQS 450 provides in abundance. Style would be another, because let’s face it, life is too short not to travel in style.

Pulling up to the grand hall, I smiled to myself as my daughter and her three friends exited the SUV like they were stepping out of a limo. Other classmates hurried over to greet her, many of whom took the time to comment on the fine-looking SUV. I will always be grateful to Nasser Bin Khaled Mercedes-Benz for their part in making this such a special day for her.

Sitting amongst the families of the graduating class, watching her up on stage accepting her diploma, I couldn’t have been prouder. I thought how much of a blessing it is to share these moments with loved ones and how grateful I was to have had Mercedes-Benz as part of my history, my present and, hopefully, my future, to make these family occasions all the more special for everyone.

For more information or to book a luxury test drive of your own,
please call Nasser Bin Khaled Mercedes-Benz on 4462 4444 or
WhatsApp 5013 3926.
@nbkmercedesbenz

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