2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE driving

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan

Great Luxury Sedan, Better EV

Episode 4222
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Mercedes-Benzs launched their quickly expanding all-electric EQ sub-brand with the EQS sedan, arguably the first EV to come from an established brand that truly delivered the flagship luxury sedan experience. Well, it’s time now to determine if this midsize EQE sedan can deliver the same experience for the rest of us.

Making a fully electric luxury flagship sedan is easy when money is no object, and Mercedes sure created a great one with last year’s EQS. Bringing that excellence down to a lower price point is much more difficult; but Mercedes wasted no time undertaking it with this midsize 2023 Mercedes-EQE.

The interior is not quite to EQS levels of sophistication, but still glorious to look at and with all the ambient lighting, almost as high-tech feeling.

While the EQS’ wide Hyperscreen dash is available, a more traditional setup is standard with the central control panel housing a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen, with a tablet style 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster mounted upright behind the steering wheel. The MBUX interface is similar and responds quickly, with most functions easy to find. Standard navigation with Electric Intelligence will plan the most efficient route, or one with charging stations if necessary.

Whether you stick with the standard MB-Tex upholstery or upgrade to real leather, the feel is luxurious throughout. Front seats are very comfortable, as are the rear seats with plenty of legroom. A large panoramic roof and a premium Burmester sound system are standard.

Regen braking has three levels right up to full 1-pedal driving, plus an auto setting which never seemed to give the feedback we were looking for. Overall, the EQE was very solid feeling on the road, behaving more like a typical Mercedes-Benz sedan than an electric car. The only detractor from the experience was a very thick sloping A-pillar which seemed to be in our line of sight more than we’d like.

On to more specific powertrain details. A base 350+ features a single rear motor rated at 288-horsepower and 305-miles of range from a 90.6-kWh battery. An additional motor can be added up front for 4MATIC all-wheel drive both in 350 form, and this top of the line 500 4MATIC which cranks out 402-horsepower from 300kWs worth of dual-motors. No official range figure for the 500 yet, but our car indicated as many as 263-miles available, though based on our driving loop, around 220 seems much more realistic.

Off to Mason Dixon Dragway to see how that 400-plus horsepower translates to acceleration times.

While there was enough oomph off the line to press us back in the seat a bit, it felt mostly smooth for a somewhat soft launch. There are plenty of unique hyperdrive-like sounds to go along with the very quick 4.0-second trip to 60 miles-per-hour. According to Mercedes, torque delivery is checked 10,000-times per minute, distributing power to front and rear motors, according to traction, way faster than is possible with any mechanical system. Power stayed pretty consistent until just before the end of the ¼-mile, where it tapered off slightly as we finished in 12.6-seconds at 108 miles-per-hour.

In our handling course, the EQE delivered a very unique experience as its optional rear axle steering provides an extreme 10-degrees of turning, which translated to very little input needed to the steering wheel to change direction quickly. And while that hyper responsiveness took some getting used to, the minimal body roll and overall well-balanced nature were much appreciated. And needless to say, whipping in and out of parking spots is a breeze.

While the EQE shares the same basic one-bow, cab-forward shape of the EQS, the smaller size makes for a bit less of an elegant profile. Still very futuristic looking however, with a smooth face and wheelbase stretched to the max. Pricing starts at $76,050 for the rear-drive 350+, with the top 500 4MATIC beginning at $87,050.

While it doesn’t have quite the presence or panache of the full-size EQS, the 2023 Mercedes-EQE Sedan does a great job of bringing plenty of the flagship flair down to a more attainable level. Making it not only a great luxury sedan, but an even better EV.

2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
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You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles