2023 Mercedes-EQE SUV
Mercedes-EQ Goes Mainstream, But Doesn’t Leave The Luxury Behind
In just about a year’s time, Mercedes-Benz has gone from having no full battery electric vehicles in their roster, to having 5 all-new designs to choose from under their EQ sub-brand. The latest is this midsize EQE SUV, so let’s see how well it balances high-tech, luxury, and versatility.
Using the same EQ platform introduced on last year’s EQS Sedan, the 2023 Mercedes-EQE SUV is now the 4th vehicle to share this architecture and is not only 10.3-inches shorter than the top EQS SUV, but also 5.4-inches shorter than the EQE sedan that it most closely resembles.
That makes for a tidy and highly maneuverable package outside, but it sure doesn’t feel like anything’s missing inside, where it’s, perhaps, only a small step down from the EQS when it comes to the luxury treatment. The layout and controls are all very similar, with tech still the centerpiece.
There’s ambient lighting behind just about every surface, and is interactive when it comes to safety warnings and driver assistance features. There’s also a big 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen for infotainment, and a 12.3-inch Digital Instrument Cluster. Front seats are more firm than plush, but have plenty of long-distance comfort; rear seat leg room is plentiful. But, there’s no 3rd row option for the EQE. Cargo space is 14.0 cubic-ft., expanding to 55.0 with the rear seat backs folded.
A fully independent multi-link adaptive variable suspension is standard, Airmatic air suspension optional, which can pump up ground clearance an additional inch for off-pavement use.
Most of the drivetrain hardware is the same as the EQS, but tuning is unique. In the “E”, the single-motor 350+ outputs 288-horsepower. The 350 4MATIC adds a motor up front, keeps the same horsepower rating, but delivers more torque at 564 lb-ft. Finally, this 500 4MATIC has a 300-kW dual-motor setup with 402-horsepower and 633 lb-ft. of torque.
Range from the standard 90.6-kWh battery is as high as 279-miles. Our 500 4MATIC rates 269; but in similar fashion to the larger EQS SUV we tested, we had over 300-miles available on the gauge display at times. Based on our test drive loops, we’d put expected range around 280-miles. Max charging capacity is 170-kW for an 80% charge in 32-minutes.
Standard navigation can plan the most efficient route for you, taking not only traffic into account, but charging stations and charge times too.
The EQE SUV does bring a few new features to the EQ family, a Serene Breeze sound experience for one. More notable, is an updated climate control system with an onboard heat pump that gathers waste heat from the drive motors and uses it to heat the interior.
Using lessons learned from the EQS to maximize aero efficiency while keeping a classy shape, the EQE SUV has a very steeply raked windshield with a very smooth transition to the sloping roof. Yet, it comes across a little more traditional looking than any other EQ models except for the EQB. Wheels are set flush to the body work; with sizes ranging from 19 to 21-inches, most designs are aero optimized.
With that in mind, we expected our track time at Mason Dixon Dragway to be a real breeze.
There is a strong launch, with all four wheels hooking up immediately and moving us with urgency. We hit 60 miles-per-hour in 4.3-seconds. Power stayed mostly consistent throughout multiple runs, pulling us strongly to the end of the ¼-mile in 13.0-seconds flat at 107 miles-per-hour. There is a fairly loud simulated engine growl at takeoff, which then transitions to a slightly more pleasant Jetsons-style hovercar car sound as speeds build.
Rear axle steering is standard with the 500 and, while you can really feel the increased maneuverability in low-speed parking situations, at speed in our handling course, it was much less noticeable, yet still enabled this heavy utility to get through the cones with great speed and agility, with only a slight bit of understeer. Good stability in our braking runs too; with stops averaging 120-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.
For the record, at 38-kWh per 100-miles, the 500 4MATIC earns a good government Efficiency Rating.
EQE SUV pricing starts at $79,050 for either of the 350s, the 500 4MATIC comes in at $90,650, all available in Premium, Exclusive, or Pinnacle Trim.
Mercedes has unleashed a full line-up of battery electric vehicles in a short time, each one seemingly aimed more at the heart of the market than the one before. This 2023 Mercedes-EQE SUV gives midsize luxury SUV buyers the best option we’ve seen yet; delivering the expected high-end experience in a capable and practical manner. It doesn’t take a high I.Q. to figure out that with EQ, Mercedes-Benz has found a better way to EV.
- Motor Setup: Dual Motor
- Horsepower: 402
- 0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 120 feet
- MW Test Loop: ~280 miles
- Battery Size: 90.6-kWh
- Torque: 633 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.0-seconds flat at 107 mph
- EV Range: 269 Miles