Mercedes EQE saloon review
“The Mercedes EQE is a luxurious, high-tech electric saloon with a long range, but is far costlier than an E-Class”
- Fantastic interior
- Quick and comfortable
- Makes EQS saloon feel unnecessary
- Practicality not impressive
- Much more expensive than an E-Class
- Other EVs can charge faster
The Mercedes EQE is the electric alternative to the Mercedes E-Class; it sits on the same rung in the German brand’s ladder of models and will probably replace the E-Class when petrol and diesel cars disappear from showrooms.
So it might shock you that the EQE looks the way it does. It’s a huge departure from the more conventional E-Class. You may love the hyper-futuristic styling or you might think it looks like a slug; we’ll leave you to decide. But the slippery design serves a purpose: to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the car and maximise how far you can go on a charge.
Incidentally, the EQE can go impressively far before you need to plug in. The EQE 350+, currently the only model available, manages more than 350 miles – although that’s not why it’s called the 350+. Its figures, which vary by trim level, put it very close to the Tesla Model S.
The Tesla is the EQE’s closest rival for now, with both the Audi A6 e-tron and BMW i5 still on the drawing board. Cars such as the Polestar 2 and BMW i4 are cheaper to buy and smaller. However, they offer a similar level of practicality to the EQE, which is a little disappointing for a car such as this. The boot is 110 litres smaller than that of a petrol or diesel E-Class, and there isn’t enough rear headroom.
All models come with a panoramic sunroof, so that problem affects every EQE. The least expensive EQE AMG Line also features privacy glass, heated front seats, parking assist and two large screens upfront, plus 19-inch alloy wheels. The wheel size is the main differentiator between the three AMG Line trim levels, with Premium and Premium Plus versions getting 20- and 21-inch wheels respectively.
AMG Line Premium gets keyless start, four-zone climate control and extended ambient lighting, while Premium Plus also adds air suspension, upgraded headlights, a heated windscreen and a Burmester sound system. Buyers who don’t want the sporty body kit will be drawn to the Exclusive Luxury model, which gets comfort seats, wood trim and heated rear seats.
While Mercedes’ expansive Hyperscreen infotainment set-up isn’t yet available to UK buyers, the standard dashboard is still luxurious enough. It shares more in common with the Mercedes C-Class and S-Class than the E-Class, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 12.8-inch portrait touchscreen.
The interior is definitely one of the main selling points of the EQE. Comfortable seats, high-quality materials and a reassuring build quality leave nothing to be desired. The tech is quick to load and feels state-of-the-art; our only real bugbear is that the E-Class’ physical climate controls are easier to use than having to adjust it through the EQE’s screen.
There’s one other point of contention, and that’s the EQE’s steep price. It costs over £30,000 more than an E-Class. You won’t be choosing the EQE if you’re thinking about the total cost of ownership, because its lower running costs won’t offset the high initial price. However, look at the EQE compared to the larger Mercedes EQS and it seems a bit easier to swallow. While the EQE may be smaller and slightly less luxurious than the EQS, it looks very similar and shares most of the technology and materials, for £25,000 less.