2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE350 First Drive: Positive Vibes

The EQE is Mercedes’ new mid-size electric sedan.

Mercedes-Benz

After canceling its CES appearance, Mercedes held a tech event in Los Angeles last week to showcase a range of topics, from The Vision EQXX concept car to production-ready driver-assist technology like its automated valet program and Level 3 Drive Pilot hands-free system. But perhaps the most important part of the event – at least from a consumer perspective – was being able to take a ride in EQEthe new equivalent of Mercedes’ E-Class electric sedan.

The car used for this trip is an EQE350, which will be the entry-level model in the United States. This one is almost fully loaded with the Hyperscreen, 20-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tires, air suspension and 10-degree rear axle steering, all of which will be optional. The EQE350 uses a 90.6 kilowatt-hour battery and a single rear-wheel electric motor that develops 288 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. It feels plenty quick from the passenger seat, with a 0-60mph time of 5.6 seconds, and both a more powerful all-wheel-drive version and a stupidly fast AMG model are on the horizon. With 75% charge remaining, this US-spec car boasts a range of around 270 miles, which should hopefully lead to a total range of almost 350 miles.

Its proportions are more stocky than the EQS.

Mercedes-Benz

On the beautiful roads through Santa Monica and Malibu, the EQE’s ride on its adaptive air suspension is firmer than an E-Class, but it’s composed over bumps and rough surfaces and isn’t too stiff. I can say there’s less body roll than the EQS450 I drove last year, and Mercedes says its engineers designed the EQE to be sportier than the E-Class, even with the basic steel suspension configuration. While it should feel nimble enough without rear-wheel steering, the available 10-degree system gives the EQE a very tight turning radius.

If you don’t like the EQS’ single-arc design language, you probably won’t like the EQE, but its chunkier style is at least a bit more traditional in overall shape and proportions. Like its electric big brother, I think the EQE’s design works best in true color and with the biggest wheels available. It doesn’t look like it, but the EQE is about 3 inches longer than a gas-powered E-Class sedan and has a much longer wheelbase.

The interior of the EQE looks best in a light color.

Mercedes-Benz

The cabin also looks like a scaled-down EQS, especially since that car shares the same large Hyperscreen, but the EQE has unique door panels with cool armrests and slightly different dashboard and center console designs. . This EQE has black MB-Tex leatherette upholstery with dark matte wood trim, which doesn’t look as exciting as some of the lighter color options, and some of the lower plastics and trim don’t look quite as exciting. nicer than what’s in the EQS. But more luxurious Nappa leather will be available, and the interior is at least on par with the existing E-Class in fit and finish. The rear seat is roomy and headroom doesn’t feel as tight as the EQS thanks to the EQE having a fairly large traditional boot instead of a tailgate, and the standard panoramic sunroof doesn’t affect too much neither is headroom.

Half an hour in the passenger seat in Malibu traffic is obviously not ideal to form a definitive opinion, but at first glance the EQE looks exactly as I hoped: a smaller and more nimble version. excellent EQS. Thankfully, we’ll be running a full first test of the EQE in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for a much more accurate verdict. The EQE350 will go on sale in the United States later this year with a starting price of around $60,000.

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