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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz EQE review

£73,395 - £89,290
710
Published: 18 Jan 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

With traditional fuel-burning cars, we’ve come to understand there’s a hierarchy. A C-Class won’t be quite as isolated and refined as an E-Class, which is a fine business express but not as opulent or as cosseting as an S-Class. Which is just fine, because that’s what you pay £80k for when you buy the flagship.

EVs are blurring those lines. They’re all silent. They’re all swift and seamless. So the divisions between different classes become trickier to justify. In 2021 we crowned the Mercedes EQS our luxury car of the year. A few years on, is it even the most luxurious Mercedes?

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What does the EQE do better than the EQS?

The ride comfort in the EQE is something very special indeed. It imperiously irons out bumps, creases and even puddles. There are no jarring thuds as the air suspension gets caught out by an expansion joint or a pothole, as it often has been in other Mercedes. It simply turns the imperfect outside world into a putting green. What’s more, it feels like the car’s body control is superior to the slightly boat-y EQS, and you’ve a sense the wheels weigh a whole heap less.

We’ve driven both the EQS and EQE on 21-inch AMG-spec wheels and the smaller saloon is extremely impressive. On bumpy UK roads we’d probably prefer slightly smaller wheels and more tyre, but the Airmatic suspension certainly seems worth having. It’s deeply impressive. No EV – particularly from Tesla – rides this compliantly. It’s a dynamite USP.

What about the rest of the dynamics?

Hushed, supple road manners are backed up with well-weighted steering and the usual on-demand performance. The 350 is swift enough, and even in the wet traction is seamless, with none of a Model S’s jarring traction control intervention. Nice work, calibration team.

The handling is less heavy-set than an EQS, even though the weight difference between the cars is modest: 2,355kg plays the EQS’s 2,480kg. The EQE is competent, but not satisfying to hustle: a trait it shares with the latest E-Class.

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Nope, any ideas of giving it a pasting will be killed off quickly by the EQE’s weak link: the numb, inconsistent brake pedal. As much as you can, leave braking up to the automatic regen system, which is freakishly clever as it manages your distance to the car in front.

But drive one of these back-to-back with an i5 and it'll take you a matter of yards to realise that EQE's laser focus on comfort means it can't hold a candle to the BMW on a B road.

Let's get down to the real fine detail...

Numbers? As mentioned both the 300 and the 350 are single-motor, rear-wheel drive efforts, with 241bhp/406lb ft and 288bhp/417lb ft apiece. The latter is almost a full second quicker to 62mph, taking 6.4 seconds.

If that isn't quick enough - and it ought to be - the dual-motored AMG EQE 53 will do the same sprint in 3.5s courtesy of 617bhp and 701lb ft. Yikes.

Blimey. What about range?

Let's keep it simple: the most basic EQE 300 and its 89kWh battery returns the most range, with its 380 miles WLTP making it one of the longest range EVs money can buy. You'll lose some of that figure as you climb the trim ladder, as the wheels get bigger and less efficient.

The 350 brings more power and a 90kWh battery, but the most you'll get from a single charge is 376 miles. Go for the AMG and it'll only promise 280 miles.

In reality of course, it'll be less than that. On a cold day (EVs hate the winter) you should be good for 280 miles in the EQE 300, so the 300-mile barrier will be no problem in warmer weather.

How long does the EQE need to charge?

The EQE can accept charge at a maximum rate of 170kW. At a suitable rapid charger it’ll take on 155 miles of range in 15 minutes. On your domestic supply, Mercedes quotes a full charge takes at least eight hours. More like ten or eleven on a standard 7kW home wallbox, we’d suggest.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

EQE 350 215kW Exclusive Luxury 89kWh 4dr Auto
  • 0-626.4s
  • CO20
  • BHP288.3
  • MPG
  • Price£89,290

the cheapest

EQE 300 180kW AMG Line 89kWh 4dr Auto
  • 0-627.3s
  • CO20
  • BHP241.4
  • MPG
  • Price£73,395

the greenest

EQE 350 215kW Exclusive Luxury 89kWh 4dr Auto
  • 0-626.4s
  • CO20
  • BHP288.3
  • MPG
  • Price£89,290

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