DETROIT — What arrives out the other side when Mercedes-Benz chucks a effectively-recognized midsize luxury sedan nameplate into its magical EV converter? Consider 1 seem at the 2023 EQE sedan and you know suitable away that this is not just a gasoline automobile with an electrical powertrain in position of its old grease-coated components. This is a clean up sheet, totally free of the stains of soiled diesel and CO2 emissions, and in a way, a finish reimagining of the midsize Mercedes sedan. Irrespective of whether which is for better or even worse is totally up to you.
If you’re acquainted with Mercedes model hierarchies, you’ll understand the 350 designation for a base powertrain in the company’s E-phase (midsize govt motor vehicle) choices. Our tester’s 4Matic configuration really bumps it up the ranks a tad, as AWD in an EV usually means you are getting a second motor. Like the base, rear-wheel-drive EQE 350+, this 1 arrives with a 90.6 kilowatt-hour battery pack, even so, complete estimated variety is down to 260 miles as opposed to the one-motor’s 305 miles. Mercedes says the EQE can be absolutely billed in 9.5 several hours on a Degree 2 wall unit or from 10-80% in 32 minutes on a DC rapidly charger.
We’re continue to many years absent from EV electrical power shipping getting the norm instead than the exception, so contextualizing the EQE’s functionality is tricky. Its total put together output is 288 horsepower (215 kW). That is about what you’d expect from a run-of-the-mill, turbocharged four-cylinder engine in 2023. Those motors are tasked with moving 5,400 pounds of Mercedes additionally what ever you put inside of it, which is not what you’d anticipate from a run-of-the-mill sedan. In reality, that is really much the correct same bodyweight as the considerably much larger, gasoline-run GLS 450, which packs a 362-hp biturbo V6.
An EQE 350 driven in the course of our EQE 1st drive
Now here’s the kicker: inspite of the even bigger SUV’s 20-plus-% power advantage, it’s in essence no quicker to 60 than the EQE. Mercedes-Benz suggests the EQE 350+ can hit 60 in 6. seconds while the GLS can do it in 5.9. The rationale? Torque. The twin-motor EQE has 564 pound-toes, whereas the GLS has 369. Not only that, but the torque created by electric motors is largely accessible the moment they start out spinning, indicating they are normally a lot a lot quicker than gasoline engines of equal horsepower. From a useless stop, the EQE can go complete-tilt promptly. By comparison, gasoline-driven vehicles leaving the similar stoplight appear like they’re doing work a large amount more durable just trying to retain up — due to the fact they are.
The electronic acceleration noises Mercedes programmed assistance drown out the outdoors world and add some drama to the celebration, but even that can be turned off. Frankly, this is the form of serene shove in the back that luxurious automobiles have constantly aimed for but ordinarily drop shorter of owing to their inside-combustion constraints. Correct luxurious vehicles really do not have massive engines because they’re intended to be hustled everywhere you go they have huge engines so they can really do not have to do the job nearly as challenging to go just as fast as the rest of us. And at that, the EQE excels.
Dynamically, the script gets flipped — to an extent. 5,400 lbs . is a whole lot of mass to toss all around, and even if the electric motors are keen to get it moving (they are “permanently thrilled,” immediately after all), you still have to convert and cease. Mercedes features quite a few levels of electric powered regeneration activated by wheel-mounted paddles that in a diverse auto would manage a transmission. There is no 1-pedal push mode, but the max regen setting will drag you down to a crawl ahead of demanding you to get more than with the brake pedal. As with the EQS but unlike the EQB, that brake pedal moves by by itself to emulate the place it would be if you had been braking the total time. I did not have an difficulty with it, but other people have, finding it complicated to quit the vehicle effortlessly. Either way, we feel it is a stringent downgrade from the two regular hydraulic brakes and the one-pedal arrangement made available by several EV builders, such as BMW.
Corners are a bit extra of a mixed bag. The sedan’s by now-beneficial middle of gravity is augmented by the placement of the battery pack reduced in the chassis, so physique manage remains good in spite of the significant curb bodyweight and plush experience. It’s frankly extraordinary how determinedly the EQE will nose into a corner when questioned. At minimum some credit history has to go to the rear-axle steering method (see video at the bottom of this webpage), but even with this further mechanical aid, the EQE lacks the sharp reflexes and feedback of, say, the more compact and somewhat lighter BMW i4.
In spite of the entry-degree powertrain, our EQE tester arrived fairly impressively outfitted. The Pinnacle package is a box-checker’s aspiration. It involves the entire MBUX infotainment bundle with augmented truth navigation characteristics. Visualize possessing any individual in fact position to your up coming flip, instead than just expecting you to know that West 223rd Avenue is that alleyway concealed concerning the dumpster and cardboard condominiums. It truly is admittedly a lot more outstanding with the augmented fact head-up display, which beams individuals arrows onto the windshield somewhat than a movie feed, but it is even now useful even if you have to look at the infotainment screen for clarification. It appears like a gimmick, but numerous fantastic options commence out that way, and this one’s a keeper.
That’s on best of the fantastic Burmester sound technique (also integrated with the mid-tier Distinctive deal), niceties like ambient lighting and encompass-view digital camera, heated seats and a laundry list of other attributes that we’ve come to be expecting from contemporary luxurious automobiles. A Pinnacle model commences at $81,650. That’s a lot when you contemplate the fundamental-spec powertrain, but remember, $15,000 of that is just alternatives.
The downside to all of individuals selections is that there is quite significantly only one spot to obtain them: the MBUX infotainment procedure. Redundant buttons have been disappearing promptly from Mercedes interiors. Admittedly, the end result appears to be somewhat sleek, leapfrogging the cheapness-disguised-as-minimalism that we see in some big-ticket EVs. But aesthetic gains occur at purposeful losses, and this is no exception.
As we’ve expert in other places in the lineup, Benz’s consumer working experience salvation will come not from its touchscreens, but from its voice command process. MBUX has its faults, but understanding the spoken word is not just one of them. 9 periods out of 10, if you just cannot discover the issue you will need, simply expressing “Hey, Mercedes, convert on the thingamabob” will get the career completed. For that 10th time? Oof. Hope you like menus.
Even though poking and prodding at a giant tablet is a decidedly compromised way to go about interacting with a motor vehicle, Mercedes warrants credit for at the very least producing it function rather perfectly even we never really like the way it performs. Compared with older touchscreens, which crumble in the deal with of a thing as insidious as a set of gloves, MBUX’s touchpoints take inputs from leather-wrapped digits with no any muss or fuss. Whether it was the capacitive controls on the wheel or the display alone, interacting was under no circumstances an difficulty. I didn’t have any hefty-responsibility snow gloves on hand (yeah, yeah) to test, but I’d wager the non-natural and organic product and thicker insulation would render the interface unusable. Nevertheless, it is much better than nothing.
The EQE’s jelly-bean appear is slick and definitely productive, but comes off somewhat anonymous and forgettable aside from some of its minimum charming factors (that rear bumper, yikes). The bubbly Chrysler “cloud cars” of the 1990s did taxi-ahead much better, quite frankly. When the EQE’s time has arrive and absent, I suspect its form won’t be skipped.
Commonly, I really do not truly get into layout when highway-screening a car or truck, but in this situation I believe it’s warranted just simply because it could be the single most significant turn-off to a very good chunk of the EQE’s intended audience. A smooth, futuristic shape could be eye-catching to those who believe EVs should just take these types of a sort, but for the buyer who desires a Mercedes very first and an electrical car or truck 2nd (or maybe even third, fourth or fifth we’re nevertheless in the early times of EV conquests), I’m battling to see the attractiveness. Potentially a nontrivial amount of individuals potential consumers treatment only about the badge and I’m overestimating the raw charm of classic Mercedes structure. Then again, it’s possible not.
Luckily for the EQE, it is simply 1 of several new electric powered versions Mercedes is churning out. That usually means it’s not exclusively accountable for forging the company’s EV popularity. Which is most likely a very good factor in some respects, as the EQE is not a 1-measurement-matches-all proposition. As off-placing as I obtain the styling, there is a great deal to like right here, particularly when you contemplate that the 350 is just the EQE’s starting issue. It only gets superior from listed here, and “here” is by now quite very good.