Finally the vehicle we have been waiting for with anticipation has arrived! This readers is the new all-electric version of the popular Mercedes-Benz E-Class series and the recent winner of ‘Irish Large Executive Car of The Year’ the Mercedes-Benz EQE. Now with full electrification the EQE has been designed to fulfill all of the expectations that current E-Class owners might have in an eco-friendly package ready for Irish roads. Internationally, four models make up the EQE range but our particular test car was the EQE 350+ version. Other variants with around 500 kW are also on the way but for now our focus will be on what will no doubt, be the volume seller, the 350+.
Lets take a look at the design first and the EQE’s most striking feature has to be the ‘one-bow’ line and ‘cab-forward’ design which Mercedes are introducing into most electric models. Most current Mercedes including the new E-Class roaming Irish roads are made up of a box design where you can take the engine, cabin and boot area as a three-box sections from the side. Moving away from this, the design on the electric range looks more like the original CLS shape with a slippery body design from nose to tail. This is also found in the bigger EQS, which is currently available, and we have no doubt it will also be evident on the inbound EQC.
The profile is made better by the flush mounted 20-inch wheels and a beefy shoulder section, helped by short front overhangs, a sharp rear spoiler and exquisite rear end design that further enhance its coupé-like body shape. Inside, it’s a work of art also and the EQE has plenty of space for passengers, with generous front shoulder room, longer interior and higher seating position. Boot capacity is a decent 430 litres with a fixed rear window and boot lid. Interior design and equipment levels are heavily influenced by the EQS running the same MBUX Hyperscreen with enough tech on board to embarrass some private aircraft. Add to this automatic comfort doors and rear-axle steering and it’s not hard to see why the EQE has hit the ground running claiming multiple awards.
The EQE 350 we had on test with 215 kW has an electric drivetrain (eATS) on the rear axle only. It has a usable energy content of 90 kWh, giving a combined electrical consumption of 22.5-19.7 kWh/100 km, combined CO2 emissions of 0 g/km), and 215 kW giving it a range of up to 654km (WLTP). Other versions with 4MATIC are also equipped with an eATS at the front axle. The electric motors are permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM). With the PSM, the rotor of the AC motor is fitted with permanent magnets and therefore does not need to be supplied with power. The advantages of this design include high power density, high efficiency and high power constancy. The motor on the rear axle is particularly powerful due to its six-phase design and has two windings with three phases each. The lithium-ion battery consists of ten modules and has a usable energy content of 90 kWh. This innovative battery management software was developed in-house and allows updates over the air. In this way, the energy management of the EQE remains up-to-date throughout the life cycle of the vehicle.
The Mercedes-Benz EQE has earned a top five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, thanks to all-round performance. The EQE’s Adult Occupant protection (95%) and Child Occupant protection (91%) and Safety Assist (80%) are very similar to the previously testes Mercedes-Benz EQS (respectively 96%, 91% and 80%). Euro NCAP notes that the Mercedes-Benz EQE brings a new safety feature to the market – Active Emergency Stop Assist – which, if the driver becomes unresponsive, safely maneuvers the car to the slowest lane before bringing it to a halt. This continues to prove that the race to make cars safer and more autonomous (if needed) is not about to end any time soon.
Our EQE350 test car was priced at €85,980 with eATS at the front axle. Another model available now in Ireland is the AMG EQE 43 (350kW) at €120,180. Coming later will be a EQE 500 (300kW) and AMG EQE 53 (with up to 505kW), both equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive and eATS at front and rear axles. Pricing for the latter will follow in 2023.
Living with the EQE for 7 days was a real pleasure and easily one of the best cars we have driven in 2022. The ride is excellent and it manages battery range incredibly well leaving us without the need to charge after a full weeks driving and almost 500 kilometers completed. The infotainment is super easy to use and when linked with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto you basically get a mobile office which you use to make your daily commute that much easier. In common with other Mercedes-Benz models the EQE embodies the latest generation driver support functions including ‘Hey Mercedes’ which gives drivers voice assistance and the many other infotainment supports that modern technology brings. One particular piece of tech that we loved was the red light recognition feature. When you pull up close to the traffic lights it can be sometimes hard to see the colour change but the EQE places a small traffic light onto the screen and lets you know when the lights have gone green or red etc. It really is super clever and brilliant to live with on a day to day basis. A special welcome & goodbye scenario has been developed for the Mercedes-EQ models, which is also coordinated with screen activity and the ambient lighting on entry or departure. Going to and from work has never been so relaxing! Watch our full video review by clicking the link below.