- Merc's new electric midsize SUV starts a hair above $79,000.
- Innovative driver assistance features include automatic lane change.
- Includes two free years of DC fast-charging sessions.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV Priced from $79,050
Benz's third electric SUV is a bit of a bank-buster
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is poised to shake up the electric SUV market when it goes on sale this spring at a starting price of $79,050 (including a $1,150 destination charge). That's a non-insignificant sum, but admittedly it only costs a few thousand dollars more than the EQE sedan on which it is based. The EQE SUV will be offered in three different configurations — 350+, 350 4Matic and 500 4Matic — with each available in Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle trim levels.
Topping out north of $96,000, the EQE SUV will offer a host of innovative tech features, including automatic lane change, which enables the vehicle to pass slower traffic on its own without driver intervention while using cruise control. It’s bundled into the Driver Assistance package available on the Exclusive and Pinnacle trims.
A new heat pump will capture heat generated by the electric motor and battery and transfer it into the cabin, reducing draw on the battery and helping extend range. A so-called "intelligent powertrain management system" for 4Matic (Merc's name for all-wheel-drive) models will monitor whether the front electric motor is necessary for driving conditions, and if not, will disengage it. Mercedes says the system monitors 160 times per second and that the front motor can connect or disconnect in 100 milliseconds. Safe to say, you’ll probably never notice.
You get a lot for your money
The 350+ and 350 4Matic will cost the same, with the former likely to offer the most range and the latter adding all-wheel drive. The base Premium trim will come standard with a panoramic sunroof, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation and a self-parking system. Safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, a self-parking system, a surround-view camera and parking sensors.
The MBUX infotainment system also comes standard, with a 12.3-inch digital gauge display and 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen that seamlessly blend into a massive widescreen unit. The system can learn driver’s usage patterns and optimize frequently used functions for the home screen and reduce the need for menu-diving.
The standard Burmester audio system includes new Dolby Atmos sound processing, which takes full advantage of Apple Music’s Spatial Audio feature — good news for those in the Apple ecosystem. The system also has different mood soundscapes for times when you’re just not feeling music or talk radio.
The Exclusive trim ($81,150) adds navigation with an augmented reality overlay, enhanced LED cabin lighting and offers the optional Driver Assistance package, while the Pinnacle ($85,000) comes with four-zone climate control, a head-up display, high-output USB-C charging ports, and a handful of cabin enhancements.
Moving up to the 500 4Matic Premium trim ($90,650) brings 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery and rear-wheel steering. The 500 4Matic Exclusive ($92,750) and Pinnacle ($96,600) offer the same features as the 350+/350 4Matic models but with more power.
Waiting on range and charging details
The EQE SUV 350+ will use a single motor powering the rear wheels, drawing from a 90.6-kWh battery, and generate an estimated 288 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. Range is estimated at around 340 miles according to a European testing standard that is typically more optimistic than our EPA ratings. Still, we found that Benz’s big EQS electric luxury sedan handily surpassed its EPA figures in our testing. We’ll see if the EQE SUV is similarly, and pleasantly, surprising.
The EQE SUV 350 4Matic adds a second motor for all-wheel drive, keeping the same horsepower figure but bumping torque to 564 lb-ft. Moving up to the 500 4Matic nets more powerful motors for a combined 536 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque. Next year will see the addition of the ultra Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV, which will ring in with an incredible max of 677 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.
Finally, EQE SUV owners can charge at Electrify America’s DC fast-charging stations with free unlimited 30-minute sessions for the first two years.
The EQE SUV is Benz’s third electric crossover and the second to be built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV isn't cheap, but a healthy list of standard features and a sumptuous interior help justify the high cost.