2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE first drive evaluation: EV iteration

Mercedes-Benz needs its EQ sub-brand to be an all-electric counterpart to its present lineup of gasoline luxurious vehicles, and it’s working towards that aim by beginning at reverse ends of the worth spectrum and dealing towards the center.

The place the EQS sedan and SUV are the flagships of the lineup, and the EQB serves as an entry-level providing, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan goals for the center of the market. It’s pitched as an electrical equal of the Mercedes E-Class, one of many automaker’s bread-and-butter fashions. And just like the E-Class, the EQE will compete towards sedans from Mercedes’ German rivals, such because the Audi e-tron GT, BMW i4, and Porsche Taycan. It’s going to possible be cross-shopped towards the Genesis Electrified G80, Lucid Air, and Tesla Mannequin S as properly.

The EQE sedan arrives at U.S. dealerships in late 2022 in 4 guises: base rear-wheel drive EQE 350+, all-wheel drive EQE 350 4Matic and EQE 500 4Matic, and an AMG EQE efficiency model. Mercedes hasn’t disclosed pricing for any of those fashions, however the EQE 350 4Matic we examined for this primary drive will possible be a mid-tier trim stage. Like its EQS sibling, the EQE can even get an SUV variant, which is able to launch someday after the sedan model.

Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan.

Design and inside

The EQE has the identical lozenge-like form because the EQS sedan, which is dictated by aerodynamics. The enchantment of the design is up for debate, however the easy form reduces aerodynamic drag, which helps enhance effectivity and vary. Underneath the pores and skin, the EQE can be primarily based on the identical EVA2 structure because the EQS sedan.

However whereas the 2 EQ sedans look related at first look, the EQE is a bit smaller than its sibling. It’s 10.6 inches shorter than the EQS sedan, with a 3.5-inch shorter wheelbase. Rear-seat passengers may discover the distinction, however like its gasoline E-Class counterpart, the EQE is aimed extra at drivers than passengers. Its tidier proportions have been additionally a bit extra pleasing to our eyes, making the EQE look sleeker than its sibling.

The inside design is minimalist whereas nonetheless sustaining performance.

Mercedes hasn’t printed inside measurements, however subjectively the entrance seats felt fairly roomy. Rear-seat legroom was respectable as properly, however just like the EQS sedan, the EQE’s low roofline could make the again seats really feel a bit cramped. The steeply-raked windshield additionally created a visibility downside. It appeared just like the windshield pillars have been at all times in the way in which when turning.

The inside follows the identical design because the EQS sedan as properly, which we don’t assume is an issue.  The design is minimalist whereas nonetheless sustaining performance, with cool particulars like turbine-like air vents and screens, and management panels that stand pleased with the dashboard and door panels. The EQE additionally will get the identical 64-color ambient lighting as different Mercedes fashions, which supplies the inside a Tron-like environment. The one draw back is plenty of shiny black plastic that creates glare in daylight.

Interior of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan.

Tech, infotainment, and driver help

The EQE will get a model of the MBUX (quick for Mercedes-Benz Person Expertise) from different current Mercedes fashions, with an OLED 12.8-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and wi-fi smartphone charging are commonplace as properly.

Mercedes additionally affords the Hyperscreen show from the EQS as an possibility. This provides a front-passenger touchscreen and places all three screens underneath one piece of glass for a mixed 56 inches of floor. It’s probably the most elaborate show at the moment accessible in a manufacturing automotive, and it has its deserves, however as we came upon from our EQE 350 4Matic check automotive, it isn’t mandatory.

Geared up with the usual two-screen infotainment system, the EQE 350 4Matic had the identical sharp-looking graphics that impressed us in a Hyperscreen-equipped EQS sedan. The 2-screen model additionally retains the Hyperscreen’s “Zero Layer” idea, which lays out all features as particular person tiles on the central touchscreen as an alternative of dividing them amongst a number of menus. Which means you’ll be able to, for instance, see the identify of a music enjoying on the radio whereas maintaining the navigation system’s map in view.

Mercedes’ wonderful voice recognition virtually makes different controls redundant.

Talking of navigation, the EQE will also be geared up with the identical augmented-reality characteristic as different Mercedes fashions. Once you pull as much as a junction, the view from a front-mounted digital camera seems on the central touchscreen with overlaid arrows, so precisely the place to show.

Mercedes’ wonderful voice recognition virtually makes the touchscreen and different controls redundant. Its potential to understand regular speech and a breadth of features that covers every little thing from deciding on radio stations to turning on seat massagers makes it extra dependable than most competitor techniques. Collectively, the EQE’s numerous infotainment options don’t add something new to the dialog, however they work so properly that it doesn’t actually matter.

Normal driver-assist tech consists of blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep help, forward-collision warning, and automated emergency braking. Mercedes’ Distronic adaptive cruise management (which incorporates route-based velocity adaptation and stop-and-go performance) is simply accessible as a part of an elective Driver Help Bundle, nonetheless, together with energetic lane maintaining, Pre-Secure Plus, Pre-Secure Sound, and Pre-Secure Impulse Aspect. The Pre-Secure options alter settings in anticipation of a crash to attenuate accidents.

Central touchscreen in the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan.

Driving expertise

The bottom EQE 350+ will get a single electrical motor sending 288 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels, which is able to get it from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, in accordance with Mercedes. No matter powertrain, all EQE sedan fashions use the identical 90.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The all-wheel drive EQE 350 4Matic provides a second motor for the entrance axle, however horsepower stays the identical. Torque will increase to 564 lb-ft, nonetheless, and the 0-60 mph time drops to six.0 seconds flats. The EQE 500 4Matic boasts 402 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque, which is able to get it from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds.

These figures are respectable however not earth-shaking. The BMW i4 M50 can do 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.7 seconds, for instance. The AMG efficiency model of the EQE is slated to rise up to 677 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque (with the elective AMG Dynamic Plus Bundle), dropping the 0-60 mph time to three.2 seconds and enabling a 149-mph prime velocity (non-AMG fashions are restricted to 130 mph). However even that doesn’t match the quickest variations of the Tesla Mannequin S and Lucid Air.

The EQE felt impressively planted and steady when cornering.

Whereas it may not be capable of win a drag race towards a Tesla, the acceleration of our EQE 350 4Matic check automotive appeared greater than enough for normal driving. And as within the EQS, Mercedes blended some sci-fi sound results that make pulling away from a cease mild seem to be you’re participating warp drive.

The EQE could be geared up with air suspension and rear-axle steering, the latter capable of flip the rear wheels 4.5 levels or 10 levels relying on the mannequin and tire measurement. These options carry over from the bigger EQS sedan, and like that automotive, the EQE felt impressively planted and steady when cornering. The EQE’s shorter wheelbase additionally made it really feel nimbler and extra vigorous than its greater sibling, however the total driving expertise was extra chill than overtly-sporty EVs just like the BMW i4.

Like all EVs, the EQE makes use of regenerative braking to reap vitality whereas slowing the automotive. However whereas some producers use aggressive regeneration to allow one-pedal driving, which means the driving force can largely keep away from utilizing the brake pedal, Mercedes dials issues again. In our expertise, even the strongest regeneration setting didn’t enable for one-pedal driving. House owners coming from Mercedes’ gasoline vehicles may discover this reassuringly acquainted, nevertheless it most likely received’t win over EV followers.

Front wheel of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan.

Vary, charging, and security

Official vary rankings for the U.S. market haven’t been launched but, however primarily based on the opposite EQ fashions a most vary of no less than 300 miles doesn’t appear out of the query. We do know that the bottom single-motor EQE 350+ would be the longest-range model, as that’s what the “+” signifies in Mercedes nomenclature.

The EQE can DC quick cost at as much as 170 kilowatts. That’s a lot decrease than the 350-kW most of the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, to not point out the Genesis Electrified G80, however nonetheless permits for a ten% to 80% cost in 32 minutes, in accordance with Mercedes. Utilizing a 240-volt Degree 2 AC charger, the EQE takes 9.5 hours to go from 10% to 100% cost.

The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) and Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) haven’t launched crash-test rankings for this new mannequin.

The EQE will get the identical four-year, 50,000-mile, new-vehicle guarantee as different Mercedes fashions, plus a 10-year, 155,000-mile, battery guarantee that’s now the automaker’s commonplace providing for EVs.

Rear three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan.

How DT would configure this automotive

Mercedes will possible supply the important thing tech options throughout the EQE lineup, so if tech is the primary concern, it needs to be attainable to take a base EQE 350+ and add the Hyperscreen and Driver Help Bundle whereas nonetheless getting probably the most vary. Nonetheless, if you need the added traction of all-wheel drive, or faster acceleration, it might be value upgrading to the EQE 350 4Matic, EQE 500 4Matic, or AMG EQE fashions.

Within the as-tested EQE 350 4Matic configuration, Mercedes’ newest electrical sedan carves out a distinct segment for itself. It leans extra towards luxurious than the Audi e-tron GT, BMW i4, and Porsche Taycan, however with a extra fashionable aesthetic than the extra conventional feeling Genesis Electrified G80.

Whereas pricing is but to be confirmed, the EQE will possible fall throughout the similar vary as these rivals, if for no different purpose than that Mercedes must hold it under the EQS sedan, which sits above the EQE within the automaker’s hierarchy and begins at round $100,000. That additionally means the EQE will undercut the Tesla Mannequin S, which additionally has a six-figure base worth, however the forthcoming Lucid Air Pure might give the Mercedes a run for its cash if Lucid hits its targets of 406 miles of vary and an $87,400 base worth.

Relying on how pricing is available in under the EQS sedan, although, the similarities between the 2 imply the EQE might grow to be a cut price model of that very spectacular EV.

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