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24 Dec 2022

What We Dislike
Looks too similar to the EQS
MBUX infotainment could load faster
Needs a distinctive character

The EQE has the same looks and features that make the EQS so appealing. What this 'downsized' version really needs, though, is a personality of its own.


When Mercedes unveiled the EQS, I admired the fact that it wasn't a dead ringer for the S-Class. The EQS is the flagship of Mercedes' EQ electric sub-brand, so it's only right for it to have a distinct design.

But it seems Mercedes still prefers the 'cookie cutter' approach to designing models sitting below the flagship. Just look at its three main sedan offerings: The C-Class looks like the E-Class, which in turn resembles the S-Class.

Appealing to buyers' aspirations is certainly one way of making the 'lesser' models look even more attractive. And that's probably why the EQE is essentially a smaller EQS.

Familiar and similar

The EQE's blanked-off grille is subtly monogrammed with little tristar logos
Both the EQE and EQS have the same rounded 'teardrop' silhouette, or as Mercedes terms it, a 'one bow, cab forward design'. The main difference is that the EQE doesn't have that LED strip above the tristar badge. It's also a saloon with a proper boot, whereas the EQS is a fastback.

At the rear, the EQE also has those striking 3D helix taillights. But park it beside an EQS and you'll immediately notice that the former has a shorter rump, which when viewed from the side, seems like it was abruptly truncated.

The EQE isn't a small car by any measure, though. Despite being 259mm shorter than the EQS, its overall length stands at 4,964mm, and its wheelbase, though 90mm shorter, remains a generous 3,120mm. Hardly modest dimensions.

The cockpit is an inviting blend of design, technology and luxury
Inside, the cabin is as pretty as expected, with gorgeous and punchy graphics for both the instrument panel and infotainment display.

The large, tablet-like screen for the latter is conducive to quickly digesting info at a glance.

Active Ambient Lighting is also present here. The interior can be bathed in your choice of colour(s), and since the system is integrated with the driver assistance functions, it can visually warn the driver of say, an impending collision.

The bench looks comfy in photos, but the best seats in this house are definitely in front
No other carmaker does mood lighting this well, for even the turbine-shaped air-vents are illuminated. However, if you don't fancy having a car interior that resembles a club lounge, the lighting can be switched off.

But no colour combination can distract you from the backseat, which just isn't as comfortable as it should be. With relatively straight backrests and angled seat squabs, the resulting seating position is awkward to say the least. I wouldn't want to be sitting back here on a long drive.

Velvety consistency

The vehicle menu can even inform you of the steering angles currently being used
Rear seats aside, the EQE delivers a sparkling drive. In 350+ trim, the electric motor on the rear axle kicks out 288bhp and 565Nm, figures that zip the sedan from rest to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds. That's quick for a car of this size that weighs in at over 2.4 tonnes sans driver.

Rear-axle steering makes a big difference, though, as the system enables the rear wheels to turn up to 10 degrees. At low speeds, they turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels, shrinking the car's turning circle. At higher speeds, they turn in the same direction, enhancing stability.

The EQE's swift and silent performance would have been complemented by a longer rump to lend it a statelier presence
Parking in multi-storey carparks becomes less tricky because of this. A bird's-eye view parking camera helps you check that the car is correctly positioned within the space.

On the go, the EQE 350+ responds in a silky manner to your throttle inputs, with linear power delivery that won't startle drivers who are new to electric cars. Air suspension ensures a compliant ride - even with 21-inch wheels.

Like the EQS, the EQE is a consummate cruiser that prefers long expressway stretches to winding roads. It can be hustled if you insist, but the resulting lean won't be pleasant. Taking it easy and luxuriating in the car's refinement is a far more satisfying way of enjoying what it was designed to do.

The EQE is a head-turner that delivers a sublime drive, and it deserves its own personality
The EQE can go the distance, too, with a 90.6kWh lithium-ion battery able to give it a maximum range of 669km. If you only cover up to 50km a day, you'll be able to go nearly two weeks before needing a recharge.

Herein lies the issue. The EQE behaves exactly like the EQS, except that it's smaller. It's a well-sorted, nicely built electric executive sedan. But it could also have been the smaller and sportier version of its flagship. That, plus a character of its own, would have given it even more panache.


Looking for a luxury EV? These stories may interest you

The EQS stands for refinement, comfort and luxury - core Mercedes competencies made better with electrification

BMW i7 is an electric flagship that's impressive on all fronts

Audi e-tron GT quattro may be an 'entry-level' model, but it boasts serious firepower and performance
Car Information
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Mercedes-Benz EQE Electric EQE 350+ AMG Line 90.6 kWh (A)
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Promotion
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Price

: $418,888

Engine Type

:

Asynchronous motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

215kW (288 bhp)

Torque

:

565 Nm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.4sec

Top Speed

:

210km/h

Energy consumption

:

5.4km/kWh

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