The Mercedes EQE is more luxurious, much better built and drives as good as a car Tesla Model WILL. It also has a lot of range and while the charging speed could be better, there aren’t many places in the UK where you can top up faster than 170kW. It only disappoints by its practicality, where it trails not only the Tesla, but also its internal combustion cousin, the E-Class. However, the entry-level EQE is much more affordable than the cheapest Model S, and excels in the areas that matter most to EV buyers: range, comfort, and technology.
It is based on the same platform as Bigger EQS and share many elements with the top model. According to official figures, this version of the EQE 350+ – the only version offered in the UK – has a 90kWh battery and a range of up to 394 miles, according to official figures.
Charging is limited to 170kW, so charging 10-80% at a public fast charger takes just over half an hour. Even this ‘entry-level’ 350+ model has 288bhp and 565Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.4sec, which feels befitting of this class of car.
You get the feeling that the brand’s engineers have spent more time focusing on comfort and refinement than outright performance, because you don’t get the jolt when you press the accelerator like you do. in even the least powerful versions of Tesla Model WILL. EQE feels more comfortable, even in the sportiest setting.
Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual modes are available, and our car was fitted with an adaptive suspension that swaps between comfort and sport settings, but the difference is minor. The stiffer setting is noticeable, but even in the comfort setting, the EQE is well controlled in the corners.
The Mercedes also rides smoothly, but it’s not entirely immune to bumps on rougher roads. However, it is very compliant with bumps and potholes. Whether it’s really as comfortable as, say, an E 220 d will have to wait until we’ve driven a UK spec car on UK roads.
The interior is a real high point. It is very well made, uses high quality materials and has some very comfortable seats. It looks great and there’s no competition besides Tesla’s sparse cabin – the Mercedes is where you want to spend your time.
The EQE is available with the Hyperscreen found in the EQS – a 1.4m-wide triple monitor that covers the entire dashboard – but we haven’t been able to get it in the UK yet. It may appear on upcoming AMG models, but the 350+ won’t. Instead, you get a similar setup to other models in the Mercedes lineup, with a digital display behind the steering wheel and a central touchscreen that controls most of the vehicle’s functions. car.
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It all looks very smart, but it’s a shame there aren’t more physical buttons, as changing things like climate control through the display isn’t quite as intuitive. However, it’s quick to load and responsive, and the graphics are high-resolution, so it feels cutting-edge. Other features from the current Mercedes lineup, such as augmented reality sat-nav, are also available here.
The EQE is a saloon, so the rear window is fixed and there’s a small trunk lid with 430 liters of space underneath. That’s less than what you get in a Tesla Model S, and both the opening and the trunk itself are pretty narrow, so the EQE isn’t quite as practical as its main rival. The E-Class is much more spacious than the EQE overall, but the only electrified version is the plug-in hybrid.
EQE also lost to E in the back row. There’s plenty of leg room – even the tallest of adults can stretch out – but headroom is more limited. The model we tried was equipped with a sunroof, and we found that adults often brush their hair against the sunroof. The rear center seat is only suitable for children, because of its high position and compromised rear headroom. Rear visibility could also be better due to that swooping body shape.
|Model:||Mercedes EQE 350+ AMG Series|
|Batt./motor:||90kWh battery, 1x electronic motor|
|Power / Torque:||288bhp / 565Nm|
|Transmission process:||Single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive|
|Range:||394 miles (WLTP)|
|Charger:||170kW (10-80% 32 min)|