The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Has Numerous Similarities to Its Bigger Brother

Mercedes-second Benz's all-electric model is unmistakably related to the EQS.

Mercedes-Benz is completely committed to electrification, according to CEO Ola Källenius. And to demonstrate its commitment, the automaker is launching a flurry of all-electric vehicles, the latest of which is the new EQE. The EQE is sized similarly to the venerable E-class and thus sits squarely in the brand's portfolio. Although the EQE has not yet been sold in Europe and will not arrive in the United States until later this year, we were able to experience the company's latest electric vehicle, albeit from the passenger seat.

The vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 with the AMG styling package, was completely concealed. Clearly a sibling to the larger EQS sedan, it shares the same fully electric platform, dubbed EVA2, but benefits from a wider stance and shorter wheelbase (122.9 vs. 126.4 inches). Unlike the EQS, the EQE does not have to conceal its size and height—its overall length is 196.6 inches, nearly 10 inches shorter than the EQS. One disadvantage of the shorter body is that the aerodynamics are not quite as slick.

The bright white car in which we rode was equipped with EQ-exclusive 20-inch wheels and a panoramic roof, which will be standard in the United States. When approached, the flush door handles reveal themselves (although entry-level versions in Europe will have conventional door handles). The EQE looks positively futuristic at night, thanks to its advanced intelligent lighting system and wide rear light bar.

The interior is also similar to the EQS—in fact, the entire dashboard and center console are identical. This includes the Hyperscreen, an optional 56-inch glass surface that spans nearly the entire width of the cockpit. It houses three displays that create the illusion of a single large display. Up front, the EQE feels slightly less spacious than the EQS, but this is still a sizable cockpit. Additionally, entry-level versions of the EQE feature simpler seats.

The size disparity between the two vehicles is more apparent in the rear, though the EQE provides ample legroom and headroom. Indeed, the EQE's interior space is nearly identical to that of the China-exclusive long-wheelbase E-class, which is why Mercedes-Benz decided the EQE does not require a stretched version. This vehicle is comparable in size to the Tesla Model S and significantly larger than the Model 3. To achieve sufficient rear headroom, the engineers made one concession: unlike the hatchback EQS, the EQE lacks a liftgate (so no hinges intrude into the passenger compartment). Rather than that, there is a conventional trunk.

Mercedes-Benz says the EQE will be available in a variety of configurations, including AMG derivatives. We drove the one that will launch first: the EQE 350, which is equipped with a rear-mounted motor producing 288 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque and is tuned for extended range. While final data is still pending, we're guessing its EPA-estimated range will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 miles. Given the EQE's size—it should weigh around 5000 pounds—we did not anticipate or experience any straight-line performance miracles. However, the car continues to accelerate aggressively until it reaches speeds well beyond the legal limit in the majority of countries. As with every electric Mercedes-Benz, there is a single-speed transmission, and top speed is limited to a claimed 130 mph. We anticipate AMG models to accelerate more quickly.

When equipped with the optional air springs and rear-axle steering, the vehicle appeared agile—at least from the passenger seat. It should be more enjoyable to drive on tight roads than the capable but positively enormous EQS. Additionally, it is approximately 500 pounds lighter, despite the EQE's higher steel content (around 60 percent versus 40 percent for the EQS). The EQE is said to have a weight distribution that is close to 50-50.

We appreciated the EQE's complete silence. If the silence becomes too much for you, there are several artificially created sounds that reflect both throttle input and regeneration, and can be adjusted from coasting to strong regen. Additionally, the EQE's Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Individual modes allow the driver to adjust additional parameters. The heated steering wheel, which lacks a button, can be activated via voice command or pre-selected for specific climate scenarios.

The brand's initial forays into EVs (in Europe) were somewhat lacking: the EQC bears an unmistakable resemblance to the GLC, while the EQA falls woefully short of the GLA's dynamic capabilities. While we cannot pass final judgment until we get behind the wheel, the EQE makes a compelling case for itself as a comprehensive EV. Mercedes-Benz has taken a giant leap forward; now we must wait and see how it performs in the market. Pricing has not been announced, but we anticipate it to be comparable to the BMW i4 and significantly less than the Porsche Taycan.

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