The landscape of electric vehicles (EVs) is evolving, shifting away from compact, economy-focused hatchbacks and sedans to a new era dominated by luxurious sedans and SUVs boasting increasingly impressive power and extended range capabilities. One of the latest entrants in this category is the 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. Positioned as a midsize, five-passenger luxury SUV, this vehicle can cover approximately 280 miles on a single full charge. Notably, it stands out as the most practical electric offering from Mercedes-Benz, surpassing the earlier EQB model in size and affordability compared to the flagship EQS. This introduction coincides with the arrival of other upscale EV choices from brands like Cadillac, Genesis, Lexus, and Polestar, joining the ranks of established options such as the Audi e-tron, BMW iX, and Tesla Model Y.
In terms of innovations for the 2024 model year, the AMG EQE 4MATIC+ emerges as a standout addition. This high-performance variant packs an impressive 617 horsepower and comes equipped with features like a sport-tuned air suspension, 21-inch wheels, and exclusive cabin materials.
The EQE SUV embodies the core Mercedes-Benz qualities: exceptional interior quality and comfort, cutting-edge infotainment and safety technology, and robust electric power. It offers the convenience of long-distance travel with ample opportunities for recharging, even during a quick meal stop. Notably, it comes with two years of complimentary DC fast-charging, making it an excellent choice for road trips.
In terms of powertrain options, the entry-level EQE 350+ prioritizes range over speed, delivering 279 miles on a single charge with its 288-horsepower single electric motor. Meanwhile, the EQE 500 boasts 402 horsepower and accelerates from zero to 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. Buyers can enhance the mid-tier EQE 350 4Matic with a software update, increasing its power output to 348 hp and trimming a second off its 0-60 mph time. Additionally, an anticipated high-performance AMG version is expected to debut next year.
Despite its impressive performance credentials, the EQE SUV has a notable drawback in the form of limited cargo space. In this regard, it falls short when compared to competitors in the SUV segment, offering only 14.0 cubic feet of storage space behind the second-row seats. However, this capacity can be expanded to approximately 20 cubic feet when the rear seatbacks are in an upright position. Folding down the rear seats does provide more versatility, resulting in nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo space, thanks in part to the high, rounded roof.
The interior of the 2024 EQE SUV mirrors the futuristic design language seen in its larger Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV counterpart. It exudes an air of sophistication and innovation that sets it apart from the relatively straightforward aesthetics of the Tesla Model Y or even the more daring BMW iX. The cabin offers a theatrical experience with ambient lighting changes and display animations reminiscent of a gaming console. However, at its core, it maintains the expected Mercedes-Benz standards of high-quality materials, meticulous assembly, and exceptionally comfortable seats.
In terms of interior space, the EQE’s rounded canopy design ensures ample headroom for taller passengers, making it comfortable for individuals up to 6 feet or slightly taller. For average-height adults, the interior feels spacious and expansive, although improved front visibility would be appreciated. However, when it comes to cargo capacity, the EQE SUV lags behind its Tesla and BMW counterparts, offering only half the storage space. Nevertheless, folding down the rear seats results in a more competitive and useful cargo area, thanks to the distinctive high, rounded roof.
The 2023 Mercedes EQE SUV’s infotainment system centers around a 12.8-inch tablet-style touchscreen running the MBUX operating system. Renowned for its natural voice controls and machine learning capabilities, MBUX remains one of the industry’s best infotainment systems. It learns a driver’s most frequently used features and requests, organizing them on the home screen to minimize the need for deep menu navigation. While the EQE doesn’t feature the expansive full dash-length Hyperscreen found in the EQS SUV or the EQE sedan version, it does come equipped with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.
Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a wireless charging pad. The Burmester audio system, also standard, stands out for its exceptional sound quality, featuring new Dolby Atmos surround-sound processing. Apple Music users can enjoy content in high-quality Spatial Audio, replicating the acclaimed home and headphone listening experience within the car.
When it comes to range and charging, the 2024 Mercedes EQE SUV offers competitive estimates. The base EQE 350+ provides a range of 279 miles on a full battery charge. The EQE 500 4Matic comes in next with a range of 269 miles, while the EQE 350 4Matic offers a slightly lower range of 253 miles. All three trims support DC fast-charging rates of up to 170 kW, with Mercedes estimating a 32-minute recharge from 10% to 80% battery capacity. Using a slower Level 2 charger, the EQE requires approximately 10 hours to recharge from 10% to 100% capacity.
These range estimates position the EQE favorably among midsize electric SUVs, with the Tesla Model Y as the current leader with an estimated 279-mile range for the base trim, and even higher ranges for upper trims. Other competitors like the forthcoming Polestar 3, Cadillac Lyriq, BMW iX, and Genesis Electrified GV70 offer varying ranges, each catering to different preferences and driving habits.
In summary, the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV represents a compelling blend of performance and efficiency, showcasing the capabilities of electric power in a stylish luxury vehicle. However, it’s important to note that this luxury comes at a premium compared to some of its rivals in the EV market.