The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS is among the many most chic automobiles on the highway proper now, an understated exterior wrapped round a luxurious inside, that includes all of the niceties you’d count on from an S-badged Merc with the easy acceleration of an EV and stellar journey high quality as well. The flagship EV is, fairly merely, superb.
It’s additionally very costly, huge and unique.
Fortunately, there’s now a extra reasonably priced choice — effectively, barely extra reasonably priced, anyway. Welcome to the Mercedes-Benz EQE: an all-electric sedan that’s a few foot shorter, 230 ponies much less highly effective, goes 45 fewer miles on a cost and, crucially, prices $30,000 much less.
Regardless of all that, don’t name this a downgrade.
The EQE is an ideal alternative for anybody who doesn’t fairly want the scale, efficiency or that little bit of additional vary of the EQS.
If there’s one factor improper with the EQE it’s the look. The place the EQS manages to be considerably globular but stately from the skin, the EQE is nameless front-to-rear.
It’s not a bad-looking automotive by any means, mainly a nine-tenths-scale model of the EQS, however with its amorphous profile it simply kind of disappears right into a car parking zone.
The detailing on the nostril seems contemporary; the three-pointed star sits daring and centered inside a radiating subject of stellar echoes, an association way more interesting than the pretend grilles discovered on a variety of different EVs.
It’s all downhill from there, although.
The best way the strains stream from the bulbous headlights to the pert tail lights with nary a crease in between doesn’t do a lot to get the juices flowing.
There may be, not less than, motive for the anonymity: The EQE has a outstanding 0.20 coefficient of drag, serving to it ship a remarkably good 305 mile EPA-rated vary within the rear-drive, EQE 350+ configuration.
The upper-power, all-wheel-drive EQE 500 you see right here nonetheless doesn’t have official EPA figures, however in best circumstances it shouldn’t be too far off. In my testing, I averaged 2.0 miles per kilowatt-hour, which might imply a theoretical most vary of 180 miles from the 90-kWh battery pack, however my circumstances have been hardly best. This EQE not solely got here on snow tires, which typically supply a ten to fifteen% vary penalty, however throughout some extraordinarily chilly climate with icy and sometimes moist roads. Your mileage must be a lot better.
That nondescript exterior is in sharp distinction to the inside.
It’s maybe just a few steps down from the final opulence of the EQS, however you’d hardly understand it.
The EQE 500 you see right here has the ($2,100) AMG Line inside bundle, which implies sport seats, a racier steering wheel, some additional branding and the contrasting pink seat belts.
There’s additionally beneficiant Alcantara and microfiber surfaces all through, which pair superbly with the Black Linden wooden on the dashboard. That, plus the gorgeous turbine vents, make for a clear, fashionable, stunning sprint.
That Multifunction Sport steering wheel is a bit busy, with quite a few capacitive contact surfaces controlling all the pieces from the cruise management to gauge cluster modes. Nonetheless, in contrast to the thumb-controls on the Volkswagen ID. 4, all the pieces right here is effectively separated and straightforward to make use of with out trying down. I by no means discovered myself toggling the improper management. Solely the headlight buttons are a bit of clumsy, hidden beneath the dashboard on the left, however they’re so exactly automated that I not often needed to fear about that.
If there’s one disadvantage right here, it’s the amount of the house.
Inside, the EQE can really feel a bit cramped. The best way that uber-stylish dashboard sweeps in makes issues simply really feel a bit claustrophobic, and whereas there may be loads of headroom up entrance, it’s a bit of restricted out again regardless of the panoramic glass roof.
Legroom, not less than, is first rate, and all of the seats are snug. Even when there isn’t a variety of room to maneuver round you gained’t really feel a lot must squirm. Massaging up entrance simply offers all of the extra motive to settle in and benefit from the journey.
There’s first rate storage, with an enormous cubby beneath the middle console and beneficiant pocket contained in the arm relaxation as effectively. The trunk is slender however nonetheless provides 15 cubic ft of storage, up from the 13.1 within the E-Class sedan.
The EQE is swimming in tech, help and security options, beginning up entrance with the very good Digital Gentle LED headlights, a $1,100 choice. They’re extremely vivid with faultless auto-dimming and plenty of surprisingly enjoyable additional options. They’ll paint an arrow on the asphalt when altering lanes on the freeway, for instance, and even spotlight the highway markings do you have to begin to wander out of your lane.
The EQE you see right here doesn’t have the epic Hyperscreen dashboard, with shows that run nearly all the size of the dashboard; I didn’t miss it.
This automotive’s 12.8-inch middle show continues to be beneficiant, whereas the 12.3-inch gauge cluster is remarkably feature-packed. You’ll not be missing for info.
Nor customization. The EQE is among the many most tweakable automobiles I’ve ever pushed. You could have a bevy of drive modes at your disposal, limitless ambient lighting colours, three pretend engine noises, 5 gauge clusters (every individually customizable), eight seat therapeutic massage routines, versatile charging charges and occasions, 4 regenerative braking ranges and even a trio of particular person HVAC modes to allow you to prioritize driving distance versus tush toastiness. It may be a bit of overwhelming, however I like you could make this automotive drive precisely the way you need it, and Mercedes’ clear MBUX interface makes all of it straightforward. And sure, there’s wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, too.
So far as security and help options go, the usual suite of options on the EQE provides virtually all the pieces you might need, together with entrance and rear automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise, which ensures the automobile maintains a secure following distance and stays throughout the velocity restrict.
The lane-keeping and adaptive cruise programs are extraordinarily good. The EQE stays rock-solid in its lane and easily flows with site visitors. If there’s something lacking, it’s some kind of hands-off mode like you’ll find in some Cadillacs and Fords, nevertheless it’s coming — finally.
The EQS is just not a sports activities automotive and the EQE very a lot follows in the identical template. Nonetheless, with 402 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque on this EQE 500 4Matic, it actually accelerates like one. In Sport mode the EQE is keen, its acceleration paired with one in all three considerably foolish however enjoyable pretend engine noises.
The automotive’s comfort-tuned suspension is a bit on the mushy aspect and the automotive pitches and rolls like a dinghy by the corners, however even on Pirelli Sottozero winter tires it had loads of grip. In the meantime, the ($1,300) rear-steering system makes all the pieces much more vigorous than it will in any other case be, additionally enabling spectacular U-turns. You’ll want by no means fear a few three-point flip once more.
The good alternative
You will get into an EQE 350+ with rear-wheel-drive for $74,900. This one, although, got here out bit larger. The bottom value on the quicker, extra highly effective EQE 500 4Matic is $88,000. Add in all of the choices talked about above plus just a few extra, like $1,750 for the pink paint and $1,620 for the stunning linden wooden, plus a $1,150 vacation spot cost, and you’ve got an as-configured value of $104,470.
For that cash you might get your self right into a base EQS, however then you definately’d have to begin the choices sport yet again. For me, a well-equipped EQE is the good alternative. It ticks all of the packing containers for what luxurious electrical motoring must be right now whereas pointing to a vivid way forward for calm, cosseting, emissions-free motoring.