2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE-Class First Drive Overview: The Banker’s Electrical Sedan

mercedes-benz eqe-class Full Overview

With the launch of its all-electric E-Class entrant, the 2023 EQE-Class, Mercedes has the Tesla Mannequin S squarely in its sights. The self-proclaimed inventors of the combustion-powered automotive (see 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen) felt no compunction to emulate any of the traits that helped the Mannequin S popularize electrical automobiles on a worldwide scale—and which led to Tesla outselling Mercedes by 17,147 automobiles in 2021 to change into the No. 3 luxurious model within the U.S. There isn’t any frunk within the EQE, no Ikea minimalist inside, no record-setting acceleration or vary figures, no rainbow-road or fart-noise “Easter eggs.” Fairly, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE-Class merely goals to be the Mercedes-Benz of premium E-segment electrical sedans. Ought to the Teslarati (or these contemplating an Audi E-Tron, BMW i4, Lucid Air, or Porsche Taycan) maintain out for a Mercedes EQE-Class?

No Rail-Gun Rocket. But.

The 2023 Mercedes EQE will launch in 350+ guise; the plus is supposed to counsel lengthy vary, and certainly, the rear-drive 350+ with the skinnier 19-inch tires will undoubtedly journey the farthest on its 90.6-kWh battery, however no smaller battery choices are deliberate. The hypermilers at Europe’s WLTP say it is good for 660 kilometers, which we’re betting will translate to one thing like 330 extra lifelike EPA miles. Mercedes says this 288-hp, 391-lb-ft rear-drive variant wafts to 60 mph in a dignified 5.6 seconds. That is a half-second-plus faster than a Chevy Bolt, with which it shares its weight-to-power ratio. The 402-hp/633-lb-ft dual-motor EQE 500 scheduled to observe the 350+ to market earlier than the tip of 2022 drops that pounds-per-horsepower determine to base Ford Mustang Mach-E 4x ranges. As such, it feels significantly faster, but it surely nonetheless will not pin your head again and blur the surroundings. Ludicrous acceleration is extra the purview of the AMG workforce, which is readying an EQE 53 that’ll churn out 617-677 hp and 701-738 lb-ft of torque.

Assured Handler

Up within the hilly Hessian countryside simply outdoors Frankfurt, the 2023 Mercedes EQE 350+ comported itself with the poise we have come to anticipate from fashionable air-suspended big-battery e-sedans that includes low facilities of gravity: confidently, with little or no physique roll and even much less steering really feel. Happily, what the helm lacks in street really feel it largely compensates for in precision. The 2-motor EQE 500’s entrance motor helped yank it out of the corners extra well, although the 255/40R20 tires on our base 350+ and 500 appeared to surrender their grip a bit sooner than anticipated. We then sampled a 350+ First Version fitted with the staggered 21s (255/35 entrance, 285/30 rear) that held on with noticeably higher grip (clearly at some value to vary). Notice that each one have been branded Pirelli P Zero MO-S. Our greatest gripe with these EQ sedans continues to be the bizarre brake pedal, which strikes by itself throughout regenerative braking. When transferring from accelerator to brake, drivers typically discover the pedal already in movement. This feels unnatural, and though the brakes labored nice and the pedal remained agency, a tough run down a mountain had them smelling fairly cooked on the backside. Backside line: A lot of the listed opponents really feel extra lithe—because the EQE 53 AMG undoubtedly will.

EV Options

Would-be Mandalorian spaceship pilots have three synthesized powertrain noise profiles to select from—Vivid Flux, Silver Waves, and Roaring Pulse, most of which struck the assembled journalist corps as foolish. Devoted EQ infotainment screens let the driving force monitor consumption historical past, find charging stations alongside a programmed route, decide to increase vary by curbing particular person inside and local weather capabilities or by activating ECO drive capabilities, and program charging instances and limits. As we have famous in our first look and first journey opinions, the EQE can settle for 170-kW DC quick charging (which might fill a 3rd of the battery in quarter-hour) because of refrigerant cooling of the battery. Utilizing the Mercedes Me Cost inexperienced charging community (60,000 U.S. chargers), drivers can plug and cost—free for 2 years—with out additional authentication, understanding Mercedes will offset each kWh with inexperienced power.

Inside House

The One-Bow jellybean design ethos shared by the EQE and EQS pays off in spectacular aerodynamic drag coefficients (0.20 for the EQS, 0.22 for the shorter-tailed EQE) however leads to a excessive cowl that heightens these automobiles’ feeling of heft and substance. The inside execution can also be uniquely Mercedes-Benz—vastly extra opulent than any Tesla and extra rigorously crafted than early Lucids we have skilled. That increased One-Bow roof (and a trunk that eliminates the EQS hatchback’s overhead hinges) delivers affordable rear headroom in a seat positioned at a cushty peak above the ground, in contrast to in some e-sedans like Lucid Air fashions with the most important battery and the Tesla Mannequin 3. Oh, and you may manufacture semiconductors within the clear air afforded by the 600-cubic-inch HEPA filter that consumes the house that may in any other case be a frunk.

Screentime

Technophiles could also be drawn to the non-obligatory pillar-to-pillar Hyperscreen (immediately shared with the EQS), however the usual setup (which shares its fundamental instrument-panel and infotainment screens with the combustion-engine S-Class) is preferable in some ways. The identical information will get displayed, and the varied trim-panel choices that in any other case span the sprint are extra enticing. Moreover, how typically will your passenger actually play Sudoku, Shuffle-Puck, or Pairs, browse the web, or watch video on that third display? (That display now achieves security compliance by monitoring driver eye gaze and pausing/dimming the video content material if the driving force seems to be at it.) There’s additionally an enormous, colourful head-up show that depicts extra information than virtually every other we have skilled. Our greatest grievance with the 2023 Mercedes EQE’s inside is its virtually full reliance on capacitive-touch switches and its whole dearth of knobs for quantity/tuning/local weather controls. A minimum of “hey Mercedes” will deal with most of what these switches do, if you happen to can convey your self to converse together with your automotive.

Ought to You Await an EQE, Arriving This Fall?

For loyal Mercedes-Benz E-Class homeowners trying to upgreen their journey, no different choice will do. Air-quality worrywarts and screen-size braggarts will discover the frunk-sized filtration system and Hyperscreen irresistible. And plenty of new mainstream EV-buyers will likely be beguiled by the EQE’s luxurious inside and easy, silent operation. However driving fans will discover similar-priced and extra compelling choices from the opponents, and hardcore EV fans will likely be lured by the Lucid Air’s innovation and effectivity.

Appears to be like good! Extra particulars?

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE-Class Specs
BASE PRICE $68,000-$80,000 (est)
LAYOUT Rear- or entrance/rear-motor, RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
MOTOR(S) 288-hp/391-lb-ft; 402 hp/633-lb-ft (comb) permanent-magnet electrical
TRANSMISSION(S) 1-speed auto
CURB WEIGHT 5,150-5,550 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 126.4 in
L x W x H 196.6 x 64.3 x 59.5 in
0-60 MPH 4.5-5.6 sec (mfr est)
EPA FUEL ECON (CITY/HWY/COMB) Not but rated
EPA RANGE (COMB) 290-330 miles (est)
ON SALE Fall/winter 2022