Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

EQS is smaller, sharper, and less expensive, but is it really an E-class electric?

Elon Musk likes to refer to most competitors as “old car makers” in a derogatory way. By legacy, he means companies that have been producing combustion cars for decades. Well, no one has been making cars longer than Mercedes-Benz; Karl Benz’s 1886 patent application for a three-wheeled gasoline-powered car began driving automobiles for more than a century.

Designed to start the electric revolution, Musk’s sarcasm worked. In the past 18 months, we’ve seen an explosion of electric vehicles from well-known brands, and Mercedes is no exception. Mercs’ lineup of EVs now includes the EQA, EQB, EQV and most recently the EQS luxury saloon. And now it’s the turn of the new Mercedes EQE, reviewed here.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

As the name suggests, the EQE is an electric car roughly the size of an E-Class, using the same underpinnings as the larger, more luxurious EQS.

Smaller than the EQS, it’s affordable (though not cheap) and comes to market with a whopping 394 miles of range on a single charge.

Exterior design and competitors

EQE sticks very closely to the design template set by the larger EQS. Jordan Wagner, Head of Design at Mercedes, boasts the long, sweeping roofline that extends from the top of the front wheel to the top of its partner in the rear, although the profile is less than distinctive.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

Like the EQS, the aesthetics of the EQE suffers a bit from the pursuit of atmospheric efficiency. We certainly got it right — with a drag coefficient of 0.22, roughly matching the EQS and improving the Tesla Model 3’s rating by 0.23 — but in doing so, all the outer panels are rounded off to the point where everything becomes a bit amorphous.

The trunk has a small spoiler-like kick, which makes it a bit more exciting to look at than the EQS, but only slightly.

You can make the EQE look even more premium by switching to the AMG Line Premium Plus model, which gets impressive 21-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, but then it’s a £88,450 car.

It’s a little tricky to pick out pure-electric competitors for the EQE in terms of size and price, they’re out on their own at the moment. Starting at £76,450 for the 350+ single-engine version (the only EQE on sale at the moment), the mid-size electric Mercedes is bigger and more expensive than the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4, but more affordable than the more luxurious £100,000 + EQS.

You can’t currently order a Tesla Model S (okay you can deposit £100, but Tesla won’t confirm the total price until the earliest delivery date, which it won’t either), but in terms of potential price and range, the bigger Tesla is the closest to EQE at the time Present.

Interior and practicality

If the EQE’s exterior is a little wrong, the cabin makes up for it. We’ll get to the digital displays in a minute, but the rest of the EQE’s interior is pretty cool.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

There’s plenty of room for the dashboard, which in our test car came with fairly nice wood trim – maybe a little outdated for an electric car, but it visually warms the cabin – and rounded air vents at both ends.

These vents have the intricate appearance of a jet turbine, while the center vents are less slender and approach the top of the dashboard.

The front seats are excellent, and you sit low and comfortably in the EQE. This makes it something of a refreshing change from the seemingly unstoppable lane of the taller SUV models, although there will inevitably be an SUV version of the EQE in due course.

There’s plenty of storage space, with a large enclosure under the “butterfly” hood under your elbow, plus another covered area under the center display that also houses the wireless phone charger and some USB sockets. There is open storage space under the center console as well.

A lot of the shiny ‘Piano Black’ trim will be dust and fingerprint magnets, but when cleaned it looks smart.

In the back, the EQE is a little less successful. It’s generally 300mm shorter than the EQS, so you’d expect it to be smaller inside but there’s reasonable legroom. However, the thick flooring (to house the battery pack) and low seating cause your feet to rest a bit higher than you’d expect, which means your knees are resting, too.

Combine that with the massive, long front seats, low, sweeping roofline, plus the relatively shallow side windshield, and you’ve got a rear cabin that feels more cramped and confined than it actually is. Sure, the traditional E-Class feels more spacious and airy.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

The EQE box has been hacked a bit due to the car’s research on aerodynamic slip as well. With a capacity of 430 liters, it’s more than 100 liters smaller than E-Class sedans. Unlike the EQS, which is actually a giant fastback, the EQE uses the traditional separate boot, which means it’s also less versatile.

Although it would be more practical, there are now no indications that Mercedes will make a proprietary version of the EQE.

technology and safety

Our test car was a standard-spec AMG-Line, which uses the same 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 12.8-inch center infotainment screen as the EQS, S-Class and C-Class. It’s a really good design, because the instrument screen is clear and bright, and has graphics Expensive.

Even better, the menu layout is reasonably logical, and the screen reacts very quickly to inputs. It keeps the heating and air conditioning controls in a separate range of the screen, no matter which menu you access, which is useful but ultimately not as tangible as the physical controls.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

Likewise, you’ll find the touch-sensitive volume control, both on the console and on the steering wheel, handy, while the tiny fingerprint scanner – used to invoke your pre-set preferences – sometimes won’t recognize a finger, and you’ll have to use a PIN code instead.

As standard, you get a parking assist with a rear parking camera, and it can be upgraded to a full surround camera system. There is also a vehicle protection system “Urban Guard”, which can send an anti-theft warning to your smartphone via the MercedesMe app.

Higher-spec models get upgraded LED headlights, a head-up display and electrically heated windshield.

Base AMG Line models get Forward Collision-Avoidance that operates at speeds up to 80 mph, while there is also active lane guidance and Blind Spot Monitoring. Higher-spec versions get an active blind-spot monitor that prevents you from driving into another vehicle’s lane, traffic and braking warning, active lane change, and a capacitive steering wheel, which senses if your hands are resting on it when cruise control is used.

There is also an optional air suspension, and as with the Audi A8, this can raise one side of the vehicle to better protect occupants from side impacts (when detected by the sensors).

The wide, full-width 55-inch Hyperscreen (actually three separate monitors under a common glass panel) is available as an EQE option, though not yet — you’ll have to wait until later this year. It sounds impressive, but the traditional EQE split-screen setup is so good that we’re not sure the Hyperscreen will be worth the extra cost.

Performance, electric range and charging times

The EQE gets a 90 kWh (net capacity) battery, mounted low and flat between the axles. In the form of the EQE 350+, it’s powered by an electric motor with 288 horsepower and 416 pound-feet of torque — enough to make it feel fresh but without the sudden neck acceleration of a Tesla or BMW iX.

Acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph is a Golf GTI of 6.4 seconds, roughly the speed that anyone would need for a luxury sedan to accelerate.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

It’s how far the EQE can go, and it’s not the speed that’s most impressive. Officially, you’ll get 394 miles on a single charge, and that sounds like a claim on paper that EQE can back up in the real world.

Judging from the battery readings we saw in our test drives, 300 miles should be the absolute minimum, and you might approach 350 or even 375 miles if some of your miles are in the city, or on slower motorways.

DC fast charging is possible at up to 170 kW in EQE, which means a theoretical 10-80% recharge in 32 minutes (depending on the fast charger). On AC power, the EQE is capable of charging 22 kW, which is useful if you’re using dock-side charging points.

Ride and handle

First, if you want to ride your EQE properly, you’ll have to pay for the air suspension, which comes as standard only on AMG Line Premium Plus models and up. The EQE standard is completely consistent; Not quite as harsh, but you don’t have much doubt where the blocks are in the Tarmac.

However, the EQE is nicely improved in the auditory sense. There is little noise from the rear-mounted electric motor, while wind and tire noises are also impressively damped. Once you’re on the highway, they glide all the way down without any apparent effort.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

Fortunately, it’s also fun to drive. It’s not quite a driver’s tool like the smaller, lighter BMW i4, but it feels precise and, aside from the somewhat psychedelic steering, is fairly accurate and agile on the road.

It’s more fun to drive than the EQS’s very far, boat-like feel, and the fact that this base EQE 350+ looks so good from behind the wheel bodes well for upcoming AMG models.

True, it’s not the most attractive car in the world from behind the wheel, but like its E-class cousin, it feels good in all respects and at the end of a particular ride, I’m not quite sure you’d like to get out.

Pricing and sale date

The EQE is now on sale, although Mercedes, as with all automakers at the moment, is unable to ramp up full production under current market conditions.

Prices for the 2022 Mercedes EQE start at £76,450 for the AMG Line EQE 350+, which includes 19-inch alloys, the AMG Design package, panoramic glass roof, 64-color ambient lighting and heated front seats.

Next up is the AMG Line Premium model for £81,450. It comes with 20-inch alloys, upgraded ambient lighting, keyless entry, and a four-zone climate control system.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

AMG Line Premium Plus gets £88,450 on air suspension, 21-inch alloys, upgraded LED headlights, head-up display, electrically heated windshield, Burmester surround sound stereo, upgraded electronic safety assistance package and 360-degree parking camera .

Finally, there’s the EQE Exclusive Luxury, also for £88,450, which comes with 20″ aerodynamic alloys, an upgraded body kit, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

Verdict: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQE Review

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+

The EQE isn’t cheap but versus the competition, it’s kind of a bargain. Because in the age-old tradition of Mercedes E-badged cars, it’s a great SUV.

It combines a long-legged battery pack with a reasonably attractive driving experience, has a great cabin that’s roomy enough, and makes some seriously high-quality notes.

Give him better boots and standard air springs and he’ll be close to the competition right now.

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