- Impressive driving range
- Beautifully refined and comfortable
- Futuristic interior packed with digital tech
- Despite its size, rear passenger space isn’t great
- Hidden door handles were a tad hit and miss
- Visibility through narrow rear screen is poor
The Mercedes EQE is a four-door, all-electric saloon car that will by vying for sales with the likes of the Audi e-tron GT, Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan amongst others.
Based on the E-Class saloon, this model has been given the EQ treatment which is Mercedes name for its electrified cars such as the EQA, EQB and EQS.
There are four trims to choose from called AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus and Exclusive Luxury. Customers can also select from a range of power outputs. The EQE 300 delivers 245hp, the EQE 350 has 292hp, the EQE 350+ (as tested) is 292hp. And there is a range-topping Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 Night Edition model that offers 625hp.
One glance in the direction of the EQE and its similarities to the flagship EQS model are clear to see, but on a slightly smaller scale. It’s sleek, beautifully styled and packed to bursting with high-end technology inside a futuristic and minimalist cabin.
Mercedes designers seem to have taken streamlining to a whole new level with the EQE. That’s because when viewed from the side, it resembles a bullet with a sharply tapering roofline.
There are sweeping digital light clusters, tinted windows, 21-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, AMG exterior styling along with powered door handles that are flush to the bodywork. These should open automatically when the key is detected, but proved a little problematic at times. But there, I have covered the only really negative criticism from my time with the EQE.
Move inside and the cabin certainly has the wow factor with beautifully upholstered seats that can be power adjusted and heated to fend off the winter chill. There is 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display along with a large upright media infotainment display which is the real nerve centre of the car.
Noticeable by their absence are any physical buttons, but the level of on-board tech does impress with a head-up display, navigation, a Burmester surround sound system, digital radio and pre-entry climate control. There is a fingerprint scanner and a voice assistant that is brought to life by saying ‘Hey Mercedes’. This can assist with all manner of functions such as making phone calls, finding radio stations, plotting a new navigation route or adjusting the cabin temperature.
Sadly, there is no Hyperscreen which sees the two screens merge behind one glass panel, although this is available as a £6,995 option on top models.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
We tested the Mercedes EQE 350+ AMG Line Premium Plus model powered by a 90kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery, delivering 292hp and 565Nm of torque. With instant acceleration, it could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 6.4 seconds and topped out at 130mph. This model has a driving range from 356 to 394 miles between charges.
Despite offering sharp pace, the EQE behaves in quite a mature manner rather than showing any hooligan tendencies. With a single-speed automatic transmission, it quickly reaches the national speed limit on motorways and cruises there effortlessly mile upon mile.
When faced with quieter B lanes with lots of twists and turns, the EQE once again impressed with confident grip and no sign of body movement no matter how enthusiastically it was pushed into corners. There are steering wheel-mounted paddles to adjust the level of regenerative braking and drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual alter the reactions of the car.
The air suspension results in a cushioned ride and this car scores well when it comes to refinement with occupants well protected against any road surface or wind noise.
In busier town centres, it does feel quite long and the view through the narrow rear window is not that great, but the sensors and a top quality camera will help when parking.
And special mention to the driving range readouts that remained accurate even with lots of faster motorway driving.
Space & Practicality
Thanks to its lengthy, but low styling the EQE has a strong road presence. It is just shy of five metres long, is 2.1 metres wide and just 1.5 metres tall.
Up front there is bundles of space to stretch out with powered seats and a powered steering wheel to help quickly find the ideal driving position and memory functions to save the settings. But there is less room in the back where the seats slope backwards at quite an angle. A couple of adults will be fine provided they are not too tall, but add a third and it all gets a bit cosy. It is perfect for three youngsters though.
The boot, which is accessed via a powered tailgate for convenience, can swallow 430 litres of kit which is increased to 895 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. Unfortunately there is no extra storage space beneath the bonnet like on some rival models.
But there are plenty of storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, including a huge space beneath the central console with an elasticated strap to hold items in place. There is a practical glovebox, a central cubby, door bins, trays, seat back pockets, along with front and rear cup holders. Everyone can stay connected or fully charged on the go with a wireless charging pad and numerous USB ports.
Charging the EQE’s 90kWh battery from 10-80 per cent takes 32 minutes via a public rapid charge (110kW) point or eight hours, 30 minutes from 10 to 100 per cent via a wallbox.
The Mercedes EQE is on sale now with prices starting from £74,345 for the EQE 300 AMG Line. Our test model (the EQE 350+ AMG Line Premium Plus model) cost £88,450 but Spectral blue metallic paint added an extra £895 to the final price-tag.
Because the EQE runs purely on electricity, it has zero carbon emissions and that means owners are exempt from any Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) fee. Well, at least for now as it was recently announced EV drivers will have to pay road tax from 2025.
Currently EV models costing above £40k are spared from the premium levy charge that owners of ICE cars have to pay. But that again will all change in 2025 too.
However, business owners can claw back some of the costs as the EQE has a very attractive Benefit in Kind rating of just 2 per cent.
And with fewer moving than a conventional engine and gearbox, there should be less to go wrong in theory with an EV. Therefore, servicing and maintenance costs should be lower. And, for peace of mind, the battery on the EQE is sold with an impressive 10-year, 155,000-mile warranty.
The insurance group for the EQE, as tested, is 50 which is the most expensive.
The fully electric luxury saloon sector is certainly hotting up and now we can add the Mercedes EQE to the mix. With plenty of trim and battery choices, along with lots of ways to personalise the car, this is a model to watch. Factor in the very decent driving range and wealth of technology as standard and the German carmaker could well be onto another winner.