Skip to main content
Driven: Mercedes-Benz EQE Defines Middleweight Electrified Luxury

Driven: Mercedes-Benz EQE Defines Middleweight Electrified Luxury

An EQS for the rest of us

  • All-new EV with an estimated 400 miles of range
  • Related to the larger Mercedes EQS
  • Loads of standard and available tech and driver aids
  • Available with Mercedes' new dash-spanning Hyperscreen display
  • AMG EQE develops up to 677 hp in launch control mode

What is the EQE?

Mercedes-Benz impressed us last year with the introduction of the EQS, the company's first all-electric sedan destined for the U.S. In many ways, the EQS sedan can be considered an electric version of the ultra-luxurious and gas-powered S-Class, but with its own high-tech personality. Now there's the follow-up, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE.

As you might guess from the naming, the EQE is the same electric alternative to the midsize gas-powered E-Class sedan. It shares some similarities to the EQS but is smaller and has a lower price.

We had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE in Germany to see if it's merely a smaller version of the EQS. In many ways, the answer is yes. But there's more nuance to consider beyond that easy answer.

What powers the EQE?

The EQE will be offered in three trim levels, starting with the EQE 350, which has a single motor driving the rear wheels that draws from a 90-kWh battery. Power output comes to 288 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. Range is estimated to be 400 miles on a full charge according to the European WLTP standard. Just note that WLTP estimates are typically more optimistic than the EPA's range estimates. That said, the EQS sedan we tested returned 422 miles in Edmunds' real-world range test, an impressive figure that beat its 350-mile EPA estimate. We'll see if the EQE can exceed its estimate when we get one stateside to test.

The EQE 500 4Matic adds a second motor for the front axle, increasing output to 402 hp and adding all-wheel drive. At the top of the range will be the AMG EQE with 677 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque at its maximum with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. In exchange for the added traction and performance, we expect these models to have reduced range compared to the EQE 350.

How does the EQE drive?

So far we've only driven a well-equipped EQE 350. Acceleration is immediate and certainly more than most drivers will ever need. Mercedes estimates it will reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. That may disappoint those who think that all EVs should hit that speed in 3 seconds, but in our experience, that novelty wears off quickly. Then again, the top AMG EQE should satisfy spec-conscious shoppers with its 3.2-second estimate to 60 mph.

More impressive to us was the manner in which the EQE 350 accelerates. With the simulated motor noises turned off, the midsize sedan is delightfully silent on the inside. There's no detectable electric whirring or road noise. Wind noise is also absent up until you push past 100 mph (unrestricted autobahn stretches for the win).

Slowing the EQE is similarly graceful, with several levels of brake regeneration (using the motors to charge to batteries when decelerating) to suit your preference. Under typical driving conditions, drivers won't feel a transition from brake regeneration to the physical brakes behind the wheels. To our dismay, we couldn't figure out how to enable one-pedal driving that can bring the vehicle to a stop without having to touch the brake pedal. (We missed the slow-speed "creep" driving mode in the on-screen menus that should have been disabled.) We're assured that when configured correctly, its one-pedal mode operates much like it does in other EVs.

Handling is really where the EQE begins to differentiate itself from the EQS sedan. The smaller size, lighter weight and shorter wheelbase (the distance between front and rear wheels) all contribute to more agility and a more direct feel for the driver. While we won't call the base EQE 350 sporty, it will please sporty drivers more than the EQS. Even on rain-slicked mountain roads, the EQE instills enough confidence to explore its performance threshold. It's not just fun to carve through curving ribbons of asphalt, it's easy. Indeed, it's an easy car to drive under any condition. For the rare driver who may want more performance, the forthcoming AMG EQE may be just the ticket.

What kind of charging capabilities does the EQE have?

All EQE models come with DC fast-charging capability of up to 170 kW. According to Mercedes, at its maximum charge rate, you can replenish a battery from 10% to 80% in 32 minutes. That's pretty quick, though not as quick, potentially, as the Porsche Taycan that's compatible with 350-kW DC fast chargers. For charging at home with a 240-volt power source, Mercedes says the battery can be recharged from 10% to 100% in 9.5 hours.

How's the EQE's interior?

Our EQE 350 test vehicle lacked the available Hyperscreen, which is a single glass dashboard with embedded displays. Our EQE instead has the standard dash with a large tablet-like touchscreen in the center, much like the S-Class. As sleek and modern as the Hyperscreen looks, we actually prefer the standard dash because it's less prone to distracting the driver with all sorts of reflections coming off that glass.

As you'd expect from almost any Mercedes, the EQE's interior materials are excellent. More commonly contacted surfaces are soft to the touch, and the harder plastics have a satisfying heft. The cockpit has the sort of Germanic solidity that epitomizes premium luxury vehicles, with no detectable creaks or squeaks.

Forward visibility is decent. The front driver's side roof pillar is moderately thick, but it doesn't dramatically impede your view through sharp left turns or through intersections. The view out of the back window is limited to a narrow slot that is barely tall enough to see vehicles following farther behind.

There are plenty of seat coverings available, from traditional leather to a very convincing synthetic leather substitute. The more comfort-oriented standard seats can be optioned with massage functions and ventilation or swapped out for sport seats with more aggressive side bolstering to keep you firmly planted when you're driving with sporty intent. The rear seats are suitable for average-size adults. Six-footers will be better served up front, but there is a wealth of legroom back there.

Behind the rear seats is 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is almost 2 cubic feet larger than the gas-powered E-Class. The EQE's trunk is about average for a midsize sedan, and the low and wide opening makes loading heavier items easier. In our estimation, it should be no problem fitting four carry-on suitcases in there.

How's the EQE's tech?

If you're seeking a futuristic look and feel, the Hyperscreen option will likely be a worthy option to add. It has all of the same features and functions of the standard dash but wrapped in a next-generation sheet of glass. The front passenger can gain a personal display just for them, to control many of the infotainment features without distracting the driver. In fact, if the driver attempts to view the passenger screen, eye-tracking cameras will spoil the fun and dim the display.

Otherwise, the EQE comes with a pleasing mix of tech and driver assist features. All of the typical advanced safety features (frontal collision mitigation, blind-spot monitors and lane keeping assist) are available. They worked unobtrusively and created no false alarms or unusual responses during our initial drive.

Edmunds says

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE has a lot in common with the larger and more expensive EQS sedan. They're both blissfully silent as they cruise down the road and have a sensible amount of performance and range. The most noticeable difference is that the EQE's smaller size makes it more maneuverable and enjoyable to drive. It's not as sporty as an Audi e-tron GT, BMW i4 or Porsche Taycan, but as an all-around luxury EV sedan, the EQE certainly has a lot to offer.