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Reviews2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC Review: Where’s the E-Class Prestige?

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC Review: Where’s the E-Class Prestige?

Mercedes-Benz is finding it difficult to convince some buyers that this is an electric E-Class


2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC Pros

– Electric powertrain is sophisticated and powerful.

– Extremely spacious cabin.

– 418-km range is decent.

 


2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC Cons

– Styling is mundane and boring.

– Difficult to accept that this is the E-Class sedan of EVs.

– Prestige is lacking.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

As I set out to drive one of the latest additions to Mercedes-Benz‘s electric lineup, the EQE sedan, I couldn’t help but reflect on my previous experiences with their electric vehicles. The EQB, for instance, was a delight to drive despite its hefty price tag and modest range. Its styling and packaging were exceptional. In contrast, the EQS sedan reviewed earlier left me feeling underwhelmed and disappointed, particularly in its design and feel, though the electric powertrain and technology were impressive.

 

The EQE sedan, a smaller counterpart to the EQS sedan (did not bother to test the EQS SUV to avoid further disappointment) and akin to the electric version of the E-class, promised a different experience. I was intrigued to see if it would follow the trend I’ve observed with other brands, where sometimes the smaller models outshine their larger siblings. This was evident in vehicles like the Volvo XC40 Recharge, which, compared to the XC60 and XC90, felt more refined and well-put-together.

 


Less ugly

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

When it comes to the Mercedes-Benz EQE’s design, I find myself at odds with its aesthetics. Despite understanding the rationale behind its shape, particularly its impressive coefficient of drag of 0.22, the car’s appearance doesn’t resonate with me. Its dimensions are indeed striking – stretching about five meters in length with a three-meter wheelbase, giving it an extraordinary presence. However, there’s an element of un-specialness to its design that’s hard to overlook. This is especially apparent at the front end, where the combination of the polar white color and gloss black elements doesn’t quite mesh well. After a week of on-and-off rain, these features didn’t help its case, leaving it looking less than premium.

 

Comparatively, the Tesla Model S, despite its age, has a design that seems to coalesce more harmoniously. The EQE, in contrast, feels like it’s missing some cohesion that makes a car visually appealing. This discrepancy becomes even more evident when placed side by side with a Porsche Taycan. The Taycan’s outline exudes a modern and sleek look that the EQE can’t match. The EQE’s attempt to balance aerodynamic efficiency with style seems to have skewed too heavily towards function, leaving its form somewhat lacking. The result is a car that, while impressive in its aerodynamic credentials, falls short in the realm of visual appeal, especially when compared to its contemporaries in the luxury electric vehicle market.

 


Not quite an E Class yet

Inside, the EQE boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a massive 12.8-inch touchscreen, along with features like wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the intuitive MBUX infotainment system. The vehicle I tested was equipped with Nappa leather, massaging front seats, rear axle steering, and other luxurious amenities, pushing its price to around 120,000 $.

 

The price is reflected in the cabin’s general attention to detail, fit, and finish. Surfaces are premium and flow wonderfully well into each other. However, not everything was perfect. There were minor issues like the dashboard generating cracking noises when the A/C is turned on, a rattling passenger seat and the cheap plastic used in for the center console – small details that one wouldn’t expect in a car of this caliber and price point. The visibility was somewhat compromised by the wide A-pillars, but this rounds out what is otherwise a spacious and comfortable area.

 


Good power and range

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Under the hood, the EQE 500 model I tested featured a dual motor setup producing 402 horsepower and an impressive 633 lb-ft of torque. This power propels the 5,500-pound sedan from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.7 seconds.

 

The EQE’s four-wheel steering system is a remarkable feature that significantly enhances the car’s maneuverability. The rear wheels can turn in the opposite direction by up to 10 degrees, contributing to an uncanny level of agility. This feature transforms the driving experience, making the car feel much more responsive and nimbler than one might expect from its size. The immediacy with which the EQE responds to steering inputs is striking; a slight nudge of the wheel, and the vehicle promptly reacts, sharply changing direction. This responsiveness requires a bit of acclimation, especially during the initial driving experiences.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The EQE‘s range is sufficiently generous, with a 90.6 kilowatt-hour battery providing up to 418 kilometres on a full charge. Its fast-charging capability adds to its practicality, though I noted that the charging infrastructure and speed still have room for improvement. Another annoyance is the brake pedal’s behavior in regenerative braking mode. Unlike most other EVs, the physical pedal moves which is initially disconcerting as, well, the pedal isn’t where you think it is when you take over slowing down.

 


Porsche and Tesla do it better

The bottom line is that the EQE is a mixed bag. On the road, it delivers a luxurious and powerful driving experience that’s hard to fault. However, its design, both exterior and interior, and some quality issues detract from the overall package. While the EQE is a solid entry into the electric luxury sedan market, compared to competitors like the Porsche Taycan (starts at about $130,000), the EQE still has ground to cover in terms of refinement and overall appeal. And if you have to, a Model S goes for $100,000.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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