It’s fair to say that this Mini-Me version of the larger Mercedes EQS limo polarises opinion. Of course, style is subjective, but I certainly fall into the camp that reckons the Mercedes-Benz EQE is sleek and futuristic, instantly making most other cars on the road look dated.
Unlike its big brother, which is blessed with a substantial 108kWh battery producing an official range of 398 miles, the EQE gets a ‘smaller’ 90kWh battery (still larger than most EVs), which Mercedes-Benz says can give a range of up to 376 miles from a full charge.
Available as a 242bhp EQE 300 or 288bhp EQE 350, there are four trim grades available: AMG Line; AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus and Exclusive Luxury. Or, if money is no issue, there are two sportier Mercedes-AMG spec options (Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 Touring and Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 Night Edition), which both pump out 616bhp but take a slight hit on range.
Up against cars such as the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT, BMW i4, Genesis Electrified G80 and ageing Tesla Model S, the EQE is the class act you’d expect from a car endowed with the three-pointed star.
As standard it comes with 19-inch AMG alloys, a panoramic roof, privacy glass, Lugano leather AMG sports seats and ambient lighting, plus the Urban Guard vehicle protection system which detects when someone is trying to break in, steal or tow away the car and notifies the owner via smartphone.
AMG Line Premium adds 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, the Driving Assistance package and Keyless-Go, while AMG Line Premium Plus unlocks 21-inch alloys, air suspension, a head-up display and Burmester surround sound system.
Opt for the top-of-the-range Exclusive Luxury and the extra treats include high-gloss black-painted 20-inch alloy wheels, climatised front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
So, the EQE is generously equipped. Step inside and it’s clear that the cabin is also a technical delight.
There’s a 12.3-inch driver’s digital display, plus a deep 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen which gives access to media, navigation and much of the car’s functionality.
Crisp, responsive and easy to use, it’s just a shame that there aren’t any physical buttons for essentials such as climate control.
On the plus side, the impressive MBUX infotainment system also features one of the better voice recognition systems. Just say ‘Hey Mercedes’ and you’re away!
Quality is superb, both in terms of the materials used and how well it’s been put together, while the driving position should suit all tastes (I like it nice and low).
However, though there’s plenty of space up front, and legroom behind, that sloping roofline and panoramic sunroof eats into the headroom for rear passengers. A tad disappointing given that it’s longer and wider than an E-Class, which has no such issues.
Boot capacity is a reasonable 430-litres or 895-litres with the rear seats folded.
We tested an EQE 300 AMG Line Premium, which is rear-wheel drive and can sprint from zero to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph.
On paper, it has a range of up to 365 miles. Its battery can be charged (10-80%) in 31 minutes from a 170kW connection, or overnight at home if you have a wall box fitted.
You can also adjust the level of regenerative braking via the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel to give the battery a little extra boost on the go.
Weighing in at more than 2.3 tonnes, the EQE is swift in a straight line and it’s only when pushed into more challenging corners that it begins to show. Otherwise, it’s not too floaty and body lean is well controlled.
The overall ride is super comfortable and it ironed out the bumps, ruts and potholes on my mixed route nicely, which is impressive considering my test car was fitted with the standard passive suspension setup.
There’s plenty of traction and the steering is well weighted – it’s just a shame that the brakes are on the soft and spongy side.
Of the four primary driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual), Comfort suited the car best.
So, it would be wrong to call the EQE saloon nimble, but if luxury and refinement mean more to you than driving dynamics, then it could be for you.
I’d need at least a week with the EQE before I could estimate its real-world range, but somewhere around the 300-mile mark would seem to be a reasonable guess. In other words – impressive.
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