In a recent piece, we asked if the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV was Ireland’s most luxurious SUV? It certainly would be hard to argue against. However, if you had to level a criticism, it would be that the EQS was just a bit too big, bulky, and heavy. If size is an issue, the slightly smaller EQE SUV could be an alternative. But does it retain the qualities of the EQS SUV? Let’s find out.
What is the EQE SUV?
As mentioned, the EQE SUV is the little brother of the much larger EQS SUV that we reviewed here some weeks ago. It is a more moderately sized all-electric SUV. Although, it still has plenty of space for a family, has great range, charges superbly well, and retains that real sense of luxury you get from Mercedes-Benz.
The untrained eye will find it tricky to spot the difference between the EQS SUV and the EQE SUV unless they were lined up side-by-side. Seen together, the size disparity becomes apparent. The aerodynamic appearance remains, giving a more mellow and refined aesthetic than some of its rivals, such as the BMW iX3. What the EQE SUV lacks in flair and exuberance, it makes up for in class and style. This is not a complaint at all, there’s a real draw here for many people looking for a more understated elegance. Our test car had the AMG line exterior package. Although it costs €5,767, it does lend the car a touch of style and flair.
Inside, the EQE SUV keeps meeting lofty expectations. The luxury and class follows through, with an exquisite finish throughout. The seats are incredibly comfortable, with a huge amount of electronic adjustability. The leather-style fabric feels great to the touch; it’s supple, finely stitched together, and well-sculpted.
The amount of space and cargo capacity of the EQE SUV is just right. There is ample room for five adults of 6ft and above. The dedicated electric vehicle platform allows for more interior space. There is extra storage up front, and rear passengers have a flat floor with great head space.
In the boot, you get a plentiful 520 litres. Sure, the EQS is a little bigger, but this level of space will satisfy most people. There is no frunk in the EQE, which is a little bit of a pity. It would be nice to have a plastic-lined frunk to store some mucky wellies and save the nice fabrics in the back. You can also add a roof rack with a rating up to 100kgs. If needed, towing up to 750kgs is possible.
Excellent range and charging
We must tip our hat to Mercedes-Benz when it comes to range and charging. They have done a superb job developing their own all-electric platform. The range of the EQE SUV is well over 500km, according to the WLTP test cycle. However, a figure more like 450km is more realistic. Treat it right as you potter around town and you could potentially see 600km. Even in winter at low temperatures at motorway speed limits, the EQE will manage a Dublin-Cork trip without stopping to charge.
It also charges very well on the rare occasion you’ll have to stop at a public charger. It comes with 11kW as standard on AC chargers. However, you can option 22kW if you have frequent access to three-phase charging. On DC fast chargers, the EQE peaks at 170kW. On the right charger, you’re looking at going from 10-to-80 per cent in as little as 33 minutes.
A better drive
You can’t doubt the road presence and extraordinary ability of the EQS SUV to cruise around in supreme comfort. However, it’s not a particularly engaging drive. In this aspect, the EQE has the edge. It retains most of the luxury and sense of quality of its bigger brother, yet delivers it in a more lithe and enthusiastic package
There is plenty of oomph there, even if you opt for the entry-level powertrain. That has a rear-wheel drive 180kW motor that puts out 245 horsepower. Some 550Nm of torque is delivered through the back wheels. Although delivered in a refined and controlled way, it will still get the car from 0-100 km/h in 7.6 seconds.
There is plenty of oomph there, even if you opt for the entry-level powertrain
If you feel that you need the power, there’s a selection of motors available, including an all-wheel drive AMG version with 625hp that will do the 0-100km/h sprint in a mind-numbing 3.7 seconds.
Although the EQS is hugely impressive machine, with a supreme level of refinement, comfort and luxury, the EQE SUV is the one that hits the sweet spot. Unless you need the space, many will find this the one to go for.
It has plenty of range, and charges really well when you eventually need to top up. With the combination of build quality, luxury, and the electric drivetrain, you do get the feeling that you’re driving something a little bit special here.