2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic Review

The German EV onslaught begins


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Handsome interior appointments, roomy for five, stunning in-car technology, quick and nimble to drive, amazing four-wheel steering,
Negatives: Numb steering, brakes lack feel, looks like a bar of soap, tech is frustrating to operate.
Bottom Line: The EQE is a compelling EV that looks like nothing else in the segment. It's good to drive, roomy, efficient, and luxurious. The tech, however, can be annoying despite its fancy appearance.
The EQE is the electrified alternative to the venerable and popular E-Class, but it looks and feels nothing like the gas version. Styled far more aerodynamically and with a ton of in-car technology, the EQE is the smaller version of the EQS sedan. It's also smaller than the Tesla Model S but larger than the Tesla Model 3, so it's not really a direct competitor to either. What the EQE offers is a unique design, an opulent and spacious interior, sophisticated in-car technology, and 300 miles of range. It's definitely a serious contender in the EV space, and it comes in two flavors, the EQE 350 and the EQ 500. The 350+ is rear-wheel drive, while the 4Matic adds a motor to drive the front wheels. The 500 gets dual motors standard for all-wheel drive traction. We drove the base EQE 350+, and you can read our full impressions below.
 

Driving Experience

7.3

 

There's a lot to love about how the EQE 350+ drives, but not in terms of steering, braking, or handling. You heard us right. The EQE isn't going to please driving enthusiasts, but it does a lot of things well in terms of ride comfort, maneuverability, and acceleration. If it's thrills you want, go for the BMW i4 M50i or the Kia EV6 GT.

Ride Quality: The ride comfort is pretty good overall, but it errs on the side of being firmer. Our tester did not have the optional adaptive air suspension.

Acceleration: The EQE 350+ will do 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and it feels very responsive in Sport mode. Of course, torque is almost immediate, but because it's an EV it feels a bit disconnected.

Braking: The regenerative brake pedal is one of the worst aspects of the EQE because it's almost completely devoid of feel giving it a mushy character that makes stopping feel artificial and disconnected.

Steering: The steering is very light, and there's some artificial feel to it. The best aspect is the four-wheel steering that makes the EQE very maneuverable in tight spots. It can do a full U-turn on a residential street without the need for a three-point execution.

Handling: There's some mild body roll, but the EQE 350+ manages turns well and without drama. It's a bit hard to tell where the car is in a turn, but there's pretty much no oversteer.

Technology

7.4

 

The MBUX system in the EQE showcases some beautiful graphics and eye-popping resolution. Although we didn't have the optional Hyperscreen that spans the full width of the dash, the standard 12.3-inch touchscreen is plenty big. The Hyperscreen provide a digital instrument cluster (the base infotainment system pairs the same thing) along with a larger 17.7-inch center screen and another 12.3-inch version for the front passenger.

Infotainment System: The 12.3-inch screen is easy to read and has some very vivid graphics. It really does look amazing and has tremendously good resolution for crisp viewing. The problem is the functionality. It takes a lot of getting used to, and it's not especially intuitive. The climate controls area all on screen, as are most of the vehicle's functions. It's just become to complex to use easily and quickly while driving.

Controls: We still despise the small stalk on the right side of the steering column for shifting duties. It's too easy to mistake it for a wiper stalk (which is on the left side), and we've accidentally put the car in neutral many times. The haptic feedback buttons below the touchscreen and on the steering column are confusing and difficult to use when the car is in motion.

Styling

7.5

 

From some angles, the EQE looks great but from others, it leaves something to be desired. We get that Mercedes wanted it to be aerodynamic in order for it to be more efficient, but its overall shape doesn't befit the brand in our opinion. Inside, however, the EQE is positively stunning with rich surfaces, excellent materials, and eye-catching technology.

Front: The sculpted front fascia looks great because they carved out some nice curves with the unified grille/headlight setup, and the lower intakes look jut out nicely. The sculpting of the hood with the outboard creases provide some light play.

Rear: Similar to the front fascia, the rear looks handsome with the large light bar and the curved lower portion. The rear haunches provide visual width, and the hatchback liftgate integrates well with the tail section. We also like the little lip spoiler and the LED strip a few inches above it.

Profile: This is the angle we like the least. From this view, it doesn't look much different from the now-gone Chevy Volt. The streamlined greenhouse makes the car look cheap, and we probably dislike the windows aft of the B-pillar the most.

Cabin: The huge dash is beautiful, as are the turbine HVAC vents, the complex steering wheel, and the spaceship-like seats. The suede trim, red stitching and seatbelts, ambient lighting strips, spaceship-like front seats, and the textured wood all come together beautifully. It is an original and very attractive cabin.

Comfort

9

 

The cabin is spacious, comfy, and all of the materials are excellent (okay, so there's a lot of shiny piano black plastic on the center console). Seating has standard heat and ventilation in the front row, and there's four-zone climate control. The electric skateboard platform allows for a flat floor in back, providing real room for the middle passenger, too.

Front Seats: The seats are well-cushioned and nicely bolstered. Adjustability is very good, as well. All of the surfaces feel wonderful to the touch, and we love the look and functionality of the turbine vents in the dash.

Rear Seats: Just over 38 inches of rear legroom and 55 inches of shoulder room make it easy for 6-footers to get comfortable.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The EQE's sound deadening is excellent. It exhibits very little exterior noise even at highway speeds, and the build quality doesn't allow for any squeaks or rattles in the cabin.

Visibility: Visibility out the front and sides are very good, but the raked roofline and rear pillars make for tough sightlines out the back and rear sides.

Climate: It's one of the better systems we've encountered with plenty of airflow from the large vents and great heat from the seats.


Safety

7

 

The EQE has not been tested yet by either the IIHS or the NHTSA. It does, however, have some great standard safety features.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: The EQE 350+ comes standard with blind spot and lane departure warnings, accident avoidance system, lane keep assist, front and rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention alert, pre-collision safety system, post-collision safety system, tire pressure monitoring, adaptive cruise control.

Optional Tech: No Monroney provided.

Storage/Cargo

8.3

 

Despite the fact that there's no usable frunk (front trunk) in the EQE, the rear trunk provides a good amount of space. The interior, likewise, makes good use of space and provides some great options for small to medium storage items.

Storage Space: The center console has a large retractable door compartment. Inside are the wireless charger, expandable cupholders, and an open section for miscellaneous items. Underneath is a large shelf where a handbag can be placed. Door pockets aren't huge, but they can hold water bottles, etc. The armrest compartment is also decently sized.

Cargo Room: The trunk has 15.1 cubic feet of space, which is much larger than the Tesla Model 3 and more than the brand's own C-Class and E-Class.

Fuel Economy

9

 

The EQE is one of the better EVs when it comes to overall efficiency. Providing 305 miles of all-electric driving, it's pretty close to the long-range Tesla Model 3 (325+) but not quite the Model S (405). The EQE matches the BMW i4 (301) and crushes the Audi Q4 e-tron (241). The electric Mercedes also has fast-charging capability that allows it to charge from 10 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. We were able to drive it all week without charging it, and we used over 100 miles of range without any problems.

Distance Driven: 163 miles.

Audio

9.1

 

We were seriously impressed by the Burmester 3D Surround Sound system that comes standard in the EQE 350+. It's a powerful system that sounds great when it comes to music, audiobooks, news broadcasts, etc. Bass is strong, and there's no distortion that we could discover. It also emits EV sounds when accelerating, which is a nice addition to what would've been a silent soundtrack without it.



Final Thoughts

The EQE is a marvelous entrant into the premium EV space. The interior style, comfort, space, and efficiency are great reasons to take a serious look at it, while the exterior style and driving dynamics leave something to be desired. The technology is a bit overwhelming, even for us, and we wish the system was more intuitive. Overall, it's a serious contender in the EV market, and shoppers should definitely consider it as they shop for a premium EV sedan.


Buying Guides

Featuring Mercedes-Benz EQE

The 10 Best Electric Vehicles of 2023

Shopping for a used
Mercedes-Benz EQE?