2022 Mercedes-EQ EQE 350+ Review : MercE-Me
Singapore - The Mercedes-EQ EQE is the EV sub brand’s middle-of-the-pack luxury sedan. But we cannot help thinking that it is really more like an EQS which embarked on a lesser diet while growing up. The EQE, and EQS, are built upon the brand’s EVA architecture, which will form the base for much of the brand’s electrified range. The two cars share plenty in-common, which includes that slippery wind-cutting “jelly mould” body shape. And due to this visual similarity, you’d probably need a second take to tell them apart.
Allow me to make this easier. The most telling difference is the missing light bar above its grille… then again, it still is confusing, because the EQE SUV gets a light bar. But the EQS SUV then gets a double light bar. Bar you confused? So bar we.
For those who are drawn to visual proportions, you’d be quick to point out the abruptness of how the EQE’s tail ends, when comparing it to the larger sedan. One reason for this is probably to mark the difference in class, but a shorter tail would translate to marginally poorer aerodynamics. The EQS produces a slippery drag coefficient of 0.2, while EQE does 0.22. Sorry I bore you, but in a world of EVs, every fuel saving detail counts. Then again, in the world of buyers, this really wouldn’t matter.
Open the door, and you will be greeted by a surfboard’s worth of open pore wood, layered upon the dashboard. Straight-up, it feels futuristic, and to match this, the infotainment is loaded with tech goodies. You can enjoy creature comforts and conveniences like pre-entry climate control, air filtration, voice activation, Augmented Reality Navigation and even seat adjustments based on your height. However, the 350+ variant does not get the option of the additional Hyperscreen, which would be located in that huge blank area on the front passenger side of the dash. You would have to opt for the quicker AMG-badged EQE 43, if you want the said screen, but having no screen would be far from being a dealbreaker.
The steering wheel is a mixed bag of good and bad. It has a great feel to it, and while it has a scatter of haptic sliders and buttons on both left and right spokes, most drivers will unwittingly toggle something during their journey.
For occupants, there is the sense that the floorboard is higher than what you might get on a regular car. This is especially evident at the rear, as there is some compromise with legroom, as your legs rest higher. Also, those who are taller than 175cm, might find issue with the sloping roof at the rear.
For the driver, the rear aperture is quite tiny. Add two heads in view of the rear view mirror, and the EQE could prove a challenge when switching lanes, or reversing in tight areas.
While it is not perfect, the “middle” Merc showcases what Tesla is not able to do; which is build a car with very good fit and quality.
How does it drive?
The EQE 350+ is powered by a single motor which drives its rear wheels. It puts out 292hp and max torque at 565Nm, all of these numbers translates to the sedan reaching the benchmark 100km/h in 6.4 seconds. The AMG-badged EQE 43 on the other hand, gets 4MATIC AWD, through its twin motors, and produces 476hp and 858Nm.
While the EQE weighs in at around 2.4 tonnes, the Airmatic air suspension does a fine job of soaking up most road blemishes. It also mitigates body roll, to a point that its handling actually feels sporty. Low speed manoeuvrability and stability during highway lane changes are also further enhanced, thanks to the included rear axle steering.
It would take quite a bit to unsettle the EQE… which did incidentally happen. That was when the road presented me with an unexpected acute sharp rise on one side. The underfloor battery had sufficient inertia to cause the sedan to skip a quarter of a lane. But apart from battery inertia issues, which would inherently plague EVs, the EQE 350+ brings refinement to the table, in the way we would expect from a Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-EQ has rated average consumption to be at 18.4kWh/100km, and a WLTP minimum range of 587km. Pretty decent figures if you ask me.
When it comes to charging, the battery is designed to take a 170kWh DC charge rate, which would mean it could reach 80% from 10% in about 30 minutes, and on to 100% in less than an hour. Under a “real world” 11kW AC charge, it would be topped-up in about 8 hours.
The EQE is a good start for those who are keen to jump on the executive class EV bandwagon. Now we just need to wait to see what BMW brings to the table with the up-comming i5. As for Audi’s A6 e-tron, we may get to see it some time next year.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
Mercedes-EQ EQE 350+
Battery 90.6kWh, Li-Ion, 400V
Electric Motor 215hp/565 Nm
Electric Range up to 669km (WLTP)
Top Speed 210km/h (electronically limited)
LxWxH 4946 x 1906 x 1492mm
Efficiency 18.4kWh/100km (Combined)