Mercedes EKE test: democratized electric luxury?

Inaugurated in 2019 with the EQC, Mercedes’ electric range is starting to become particularly extensive. Already in its series of EQA and EQB compact SUVs, the EQV van and the EQS limousine, it is now complemented by a new sedan, called the EQE. This is presented as a “small” EQS, like the E-Class compared to the S-Class for thermal vehicles. Second model based on the 100% electric EVA2 platform, EQE measures 27 cm smaller than its big sister and shows the same size as an E-Class, with all the same 4.95 m long.

Mercedes EKE test: democratized electric luxury?
Seen in profile, the silhouette of the Mercedes EQE appears a bit unbalanced with a less fluid roof drop than on the EQS.

As with its thermal range, Mercedes continues to play Russian dolls with its electric sedans. From most angles, the new EQE we are interested in today looks like the big EQS. And it is above all the profile view that should make it easier to separate the two cars. The roof drop is a little less fluid and balanced on the EQE, the latter stands out by its trunk, while the EQS has a tailgate. For the launch in France, the EQE will be available in the 350+ version, a propulsion of 292 hp, but also in a sporty version 43 AMG of 476 hp, equipped with a second electric motor and four-wheel drive.

Mercedes EQE price

The EQE may be the smallest electric sedan from Mercedes, but that does not make it a car available to ordinary mortals. Prices start at € 79,300 in the 350+ version with Electric Art level, while the AMG Line finish requires € 3,850 more (from € 83,150). The 43 AMG model again clearly climbs in terms of exclusivity by being shown from € 118,100. At this price level, the Mercedes EQE does not enjoy any bonus, but its electric propulsion allows it to escape the weight penalty, despite its minimum of 2,355 kg.

mercedes EQE 350+ rinsing handle
Flushed door handles are standard on all EQEs.
mercedes EQE 350+ amg line alpine gray
The AMG Line finish with its specific body set requires an economical outlay of € 3,850.

The standard Electric Art finish offers a fairly complete endowment, even with some decorative features such as smooth door handles. However, to take advantage of certain equipment, such as the head-up display or the panoramic sunroof, it will be necessary to dive into the catalog of options and choose the expensive Premium Plus package, shown for € 10,600. And for those who want to take advantage of the famous Hyperscreen, a giant screen that covers the entire dashboard inaugurated at EQS, it will be necessary to choose the 43 AMG version and pay an additional € 8,650 (see all equipment and options on page 2 ).

Autonomy and recharge time

If the 350+ is the least powerful and least effective version of EQE, it is also the one that offers the best selection, with autonomy announced between 567 and 654 km in WLTP mixed cycle. With good reason: it has the same battery of 90.5 kWh as the 43 AMG and carries 95 kg on the weight, while remaining a simple propulsion. While the total consumption is announced between 15.4 and 17.7 kWh / 100 km, it managed to achieve an average of 17.5 kWh / 100 km on a route that mainly includes secondary roads and urban areas.

mercedes EQE 350+ el art
EQE’s built-in charger accepts a maximum power of 170 kW.

Throughout our test day, which is closer to a “mixed cycle” under the conditions, we approached 19 kWh / 100 km, which remains quite honorable given the mass and benefits of the car. In any case, the hope of traveling more than 500 km without recharging will require keeping a light foot and avoiding highways as much as possible. To fully charge the battery, wait until 8.15 on an 11 kW socket, while recharging from 10 to 80% on a high-capacity terminal is announced in 32 minutes. In direct current, the maximum charging power for the EQE is 170 kW.

Driving

mercedes EQE 350+ electric art interior driving pleasure
While driving, the EQE does not impress with its performance, but it has other benefits such as comfort and softness.

Despite the more than 2.3 in this large sedan, the 292 hp developed by our 350+ model is enough to offer it a decent performance, with a 0 to 100 km / h announced in 6.4 sec. A value that, however, may seem a bit fair compared to any Tesla model, or even a not much more expensive Porsche Taycan propulsion. It is true that the location of the EQE is more focused on luxury and comfort, which is confirmed by the first kilometers traveled behind the wheel. Very comfortable and quiet, the star sedan allows its driver to travel great distances without getting tired, while the steering wheel offers an ideal consistency, sufficiently flexible in the city and fixed at high speeds.

Our test model has rear wheels as an option (€ 1,600), which rotates at an angle of 10 ° (4.5 ° on models with larger rims). This technical sophistication makes it possible to significantly reduce the turning radius in the city and thus improve the handling of the car on a winding road. the agility is quite surprising considering the impressive size. On the other hand, the humidity of the road reminds us that the Sport driving mode, in addition to increasing the responsiveness of the controls and the engine, lowers the intervention threshold of the ESP and allows honest movements of the rear axle. An almost playful character, which comes from such a bulky and classy sedan, is surprising, but which should fade with four-wheel drive on the more powerful versions.

mercedes EQE 350+ electric art white energy recovery
EQE has several energy recovery modes, including an “intelligent” one, which is mainly based on GPS data.

Nevertheless, if the EQE does not deteriorate when abrupt, it is much better appreciated with a flexible ride that allows it to highlight its beautiful sobriety. On this subject, Mercedes has provided various forms of energy recovery by lifting the foot, which can be adjusted via the paddles located behind the steering wheel. Three levels of deceleration power are available while one “smart recovery” mode can also be selected. The latter is mainly based on GPS data concerning traffic or topography in order to better predict the phases of deceleration and optimize them. If this condition requires some time to adapt, it turns out to be really effective in the end, especially in the city and in traffic jams. Finally, as is the case with many electric vehicles, braking seems a bit difficult to dose, especially at the end of the pedal stroke, due to a consistency that seems to be constantly changing.

On board

While our 350+ trial version may not benefit from the spectacular Hyperscreen (43 AMG optional), the atmosphere aboard this EQE remains padded and exudes almost as much luxury as the big sister’s EQS. The materials used, as well as the mounts and adjustments, are generally impeccable and make it possible to mark a clear difference compared to a Tesla Model S, which at first glance seems to be its main rival. The position is clearly not the same. After all, we find that a little has been saved in the lower parts of the center console and the storm doors, where hard plastic is in excess. However, nothing dramatic. And of course, the car’s atmosphere can be personalized thanks to numerous choices of upholstery and dashboard veneer.

mercedes EQE 350+ electric interior art finish
The atmosphere on board the EQE is almost as luxurious as in the S-Class with beautiful materials and high-quality collections.

The MBUX system works with its 12.3-inch digital instrumentation and its large 12.8-inch central screen almost identical to the S-Class, ultimately quite intuitive to use, especially thanks to the small touchpads on the steering wheel. The only downside to the latter: they do not allow you to adjust the sound as precisely as a good old turntable. Good point in return for the screens, whose display quality remains optimal, as usual with Mercedes.

Mercedes EQE 350+ boot volume
The trunk has a capacity of 430 liters, a volume that most sedans in the lower segment reach without problems.
mercedes EQE 350+ electric interior rear seats
The rear seat is generous, but we could have expected even more with such dimensions.

With a wheelbase of 3.12 m, the space for the rear seat passengers is necessarily generous, but it is also not exceptional considering the size of the vehicle. The roof screen may even seem a bit limited for tall people. Finally, the boot capacity advertised at 430 l shows to be really fair for the category and is even surpassed by the C-Class (455 l), however 20 cm shorter. A BMW i4, which also belongs to the lower segment, is also better equipped with a volume of 470 l. And we are not talking about the Tesla Model S and its 750 l.

Competition

Faced with this new EQE, competitors are currently few. The first one we think of is, of course, the Tesla Model S, the initiator of the category. Only the latter is currently not available to order. Not to mention that since the arrival of the Model 3 it has focused on high-performance versions. At Audi, we have to wait until 2024 before we see the A6 e-tron arrive, while the i4, offered by BMW for a few months, belongs to the lower segment (4.78 m long).

Ultimately, it is possible that one of the rivals that EQE should be most wary of is the Porsche Taycan, especially in its latest entry-level rear-wheel-drive version. If it places more emphasis on sports than on luxury, it turns out to be much more dynamic and does not require much more on the price side (from € 88,364).

Find the results of the test, the technical sheet and the equipment on the next page.

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