The model range in the BEV segment is growing for all premium manufacturers. With the EQE, Mercedes offers a lucrative alternative to the conventional E-Class. The younger brother of the large-format EQS is slightly smaller at second glance, but offers a few technical highlights and conjures up a full entertainment package at night. Finally there are real innovations when it comes to relaxed long-distance journeys.
While Tesla was still doing pioneering work in the field of electromobility in the first few years, the competition in the premium segment was catching up. If you are tired of the bland giant monitor from Tesla, you can find your way around the Mercedes EQE in a non-glare, innovative 12,8-inch OLED display. Touch operation takes place in real time and the symbols used are self-explanatory. Before setting off on the big tours, all relevant assistance systems can be individually adjusted and the most important functions can be controlled immediately by clicking on the car symbol below the screen. Especially if you have a dog with you and have to switch off the interior surveillance very quickly for the parking break.
Entertainer qualities for long distances
Anyone who has now completed the starting scenario can make fine adjustments to the seat settings on the comfortable leather seats. Mercedes has three memory settings for different drivers. In the future, the mirror settings could also be taken over at the same time, then the mirrors would not have to be readjusted at every start after a driver change.
In the premium segment, certain qualities are required with regard to the chassis. Mercedes has independent wheel suspension with anti-roll bars on all wheels. Equipped with double wishbones, air springs and shock absorbers at the front and wishbones, trailing arms, air springs and shock absorbers at the rear, bumps in the road are gently ironed out. The rack-and-pinion steering with electromechanical power assistance provides the steering wheel with very good road contact across all speed scenarios.
The most interesting terrain is of course the long-distance and highway driving. And here, in addition to the sophisticated assistance systems, there are the finest accessories for perfect entertainment while driving. In the current EQE in the equipment variant we drove, all the essential functions were available on the central touch display in the style of a modern tablet, sorted logically in main and sub-menus.
In the area of digitization and entertainment, Mercedes is once again setting a few special highlights that are particularly significant in the premium segment. Individual relaxation programs can be run via the menu while driving, massage units can be called up or a special scent can be developed. The light experience can also be individually regulated with various color tones according to your own taste. In this respect, night trips in particular can be individually designed.
In addition, the comfortable driving characteristics are characteristic of the sedan segment, as they have been in the luxury class up to now. In addition to the chassis described, the rear-axle steering is particularly impressive for a whole new level of safe cornering and safe handling for the driver on narrow streets.
Luxury in the interior
In the test car, bright and elegant leather upholstery was harmoniously matched to equally white velor floors and dirt mats. This may be a bon mot to look at, but in practice it is not recommended for your own configuration. As soon as you get in with the dog from the walk, all the paint and dirt particles really settle out and you could actually at least clean the floors completely again after each use in bad weather (have them😊).
But all of this can be quickly forgotten in everyday driving, as soon as you leave all the everyday noises of a conventional petrol or diesel engine behind you in the excellently insulated car and roll along like in a sedan chair. During my test drives, I always like to select a suitable soundscape for testing the hi-fi system. If you can choose a suitable film music in advance as background music to savor the curve qualities, the epic Valkyrie Ride as an orchestral prelude to the third act of the opera "Die Walküre" including the sung battle cry of Richard Wagner's mounted female spirit beings accompanied by the orchestra is a suitable background music for subsequent spectacle. As soon as you take your time and can glide along winding roads or serpentines, the advantages of the rear-axle steering, combined with the adaptive damping system and the air suspension, become apparent.
Another aspect in terms of driving comfort are the technical assistants, the details are often decisive. The adaptive cruise control with active traffic sign recognition also registers the signs of the mobile construction site vehicles and adjusts them immediately. Also interesting is the ECO Assistant, which includes vehicles in front in the recuperation and fine-tunes it with the engine brake until it comes to a standstill. This system obtains all relevant data from the navigation system and includes curves and intersections in recuperation.
After the trips, the advantages of the Rear axle steering when maneuvering and parking. With the reduction of the turning circle from 12,5 m to 10,7 m, the massive sedan reaches the level of the compact classes. Maneuvering, parking and leaving is done effectively with the very informative camera system and the detailed display on the monitor. And should an obstacle or cross-traffic get in the way, the EQE can brake abruptly and prevent collisions. Very useful given the expected repair costs.
A range comparison is also interesting compared to the competition. While according to the WLTP standard up to 645 kilometers can be planned under optimal conditions, 400 kilometers are realistic in our tests under the cool conditions in March. We have always included all comfort features. After all, anyone who buys such an extensive package does not want to enjoy the rides even in economy mode.
The consumption at an outside temperature of 5 to 10 degrees leveled off between 22 and 25 kWh/100 km. This makes it surprisingly frugal for a car with its high weight and extensive assistants. The Supercharger shows the disadvantages compared to an 800-volt charging system from the competition, while the EQE still uses the 400-volt system with a charging capacity of up to 170 KW. This is a small drop of bitterness at this price level, some competitors need significantly less charging time than the half hour from the EQE to reach the 80% capacity of the battery.
However, the charging stops are included in the route guidance in the navigation system and the battery is immediately preconditioned for these planned charging points. All available charging points are also continuously displayed on the map in real time. And a digital treat is the automated registration at Ionity and Aral charging stations via the "Plug&Charge" tool. This can save a bit of time on the charger.
Mercedes sets its priorities clearly in the luxury segment. Essential equipment details are already included in the standard equipment. These include LED headlights, the large displays for the driver and in the center, the reversing camera and the heated seats in the front and a two-zone automatic climate control. The starting price in the configurator for the EQE 350 starts at 68.425 euros (March 2023) and can quickly soar to over 100.000 euros with the very high-quality accessory packages, as with our test car. Exclusivity has its own value.
Those who value exclusive and high-quality luxury paired with first-class entertainment will experience an innovative driving experience in the EQE. With a view to the generous amount of space, the appealing chassis and the great variability of the driving programs, Mercedes sets several milestones compared to the competition. In the luxury sedan sector, we consider the EQE to be the reference for the 2023 model year.
Test from spring 2023
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