Mercedes EQE SUV review

Category: Electric car

The EQE SUV electric SUV is comfortable, refined and has a good range, but it's expensive

Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior dashboard
  • Mercedes EQE SUV boot open
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior driver display
  • Mercedes EQE SUV right driving
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear right driving
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front left static
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear right static
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear lights detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior front seats
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior infotainment
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior dashboard
  • Mercedes EQE SUV boot open
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior driver display
  • Mercedes EQE SUV right driving
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front cornering
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear right driving
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front left static
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear right static
  • Mercedes EQE SUV front detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV rear lights detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior front seats
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior back seats
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior infotainment
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
  • Mercedes EQE SUV interior detail
What Car?’s EQE deals
New car deals
Save up to £6,000
Target Price from £84,560
Save up to £6,000
or from £733pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £46,195
Author Avatar
by
Lawrence Cheung
Published02 February 2024

Introduction

What Car? says...

If you were to liken the Mercedes EQE SUV and its saloon sister to house plants, you'd suspect the former had been regularly watered and treated to lots of sunlight to make it grow tall and substantial, while the latter had been starved of nutrition.

You see, while they share much of their technological make-up underneath, the SUV looks and feels far bulkier than the Mercedes EQE saloon.

The downside of this is that the SUV doesn't cut through the air as easily and therefore can't go as far between charges. However, it can still officially cover more than 300 miles before you need to plug it in. Plus, it promises usefully more space and the high driving position that many car buyers crave.

As for where the EQE SUV fits into the wider Mercedes electric SUV range, it's slightly bigger (and more expensive) than the Mercedes EQC, but smaller (and cheaper) than the Mercedes EQS SUV.

Rivals include the quiet and cosseting Audi Q8 e-tron, the soothing and opulent BMW iX, and the surprising sporty Jaguar I-Pace. So, which of these cars is it most like, and is it a better buy? Read on to find out...

Mercedes EQE SUV rear driving

Overview

The Mercedes EQE SUV is a very quiet electric car that offers strong performance, comes well equipped, has a better range than most rivals and is impressively practical inside. It's pricey, though, and the low-speed ride is often abrupt. Our recommended version is the entry-level EQE 300 in AMG Line trim.

  • Impressive range
  • Very refined
  • Spacious and visually appealing interior
  • Material quality could be better
  • High entry-level list price
  • Disappointing low-speed ride
New car deals
Save up to £6,000
Target Price from £84,560
Save up to £6,000
or from £733pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £46,195

Our Pick

OurPicksRRP £90,560
Mercedes-benz Eqe EQE 350 4Matic 215kW AMG Line 89kWh 5dr Auto review
What Car? Target Price
: £84,560
Save at least £6,000
Get the best price
See the full range

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

With 288bhp, the entry-level Mercedes EQE SUV (called the EQE 350) can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. That’s not as fast as the equivalent Audi Q8 e-tron (the 50) or BMW iX (the xDrive40), but there's still sufficient performance to take advantage of gaps in traffic and get up to motorway speeds easily.

Those wanting more brute force might want to consider the EQE 500, which develops 402bhp and cuts the 0-62mph sprint to 4.9 seconds. Plant your right foot in this, and you’ll be pinned back into your seat with some vigour, getting up to speed before you know it. 

Performance fans, though, will be even keener on the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53. With 617bhp and a 0-62mph time of just 3.7 seconds, it comfortably beats the Audi SQ8 e-tron’s 4.5 seconds figure and is slightly quicker than the range-topping BMW iX, the M60 (3.8 seconds).

When it comes to how far you can go on a charge, the EQE 350, with its 89kWh (usable) battery capacity, officially provides up to 334 miles of range. Both the 500 and the AMG 53 have a slightly larger 91kWh (usable) battery, which allows the 500 to officially cover 324 miles and the AMG 53 up to 305 miles.

All EQE SUVs come with air suspension, which generally provides a forgiving and composed ride at higher speeds. However, in town the body of the car can be jolted abruptly to one side when one of the wheels hits a bump, causing the heads of occupants to be thrown about. The Q8 e-tron, iX and I-Pace are all better at isolating occupants from the road surface.

Mercedes EQE image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Put the EQE SUV in Sport mode, and it not only adds some reassuring weight to the steering, but also ensures there's less lean through corners than there is in the iX. That said, the car still doesn't feel as agile as the smaller and lighter I-Pace – at least at speed.

As compensation, four-wheel steering is standard on AMG Line Premium Plus models and above. This allows the back wheels to turn by up to 10 degrees, reducing the turning circle from 12.3m to 10.5m, which is smaller than you get in a Mercedes A-Class.

Initially, it takes some time to get used to how little steering lock is required when turning into corners, but the four-wheel steering does a great job of making low-speed manoeuvres effortless.

The EQE SUV is a very quiet car to drive around in, too, with wind, road and electric motor noise kept to a minimum. Higher spec versions are even fitted with laminated windows to further dull exterior noise.

Sadly, the brake pedal is light and rather vague, which means you have to concentrate to bring the car to a smooth stop.

Driving overview

Strengths Very quiet; comfortable at a cruise; great low-speed manoeuvrability

Weaknesses Abrupt low-speed ride; brakes could be more precise

Mercedes EQE SUV interior dashboard

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

If you like to sit high above the road, you’ll appreciate the lofty driving position of the Mercedes EQE SUV, which gives you a great view over the bonnet.

Over-the-shoulder visibility also impresses, thanks to large side windows and a wide rear window. And parking is made even easier by the standard front and rear parking sensors and rear-view camera; the latter is upgraded to a 360-degree camera if you go for AMG Line Premium trim or above. 

You'll have no trouble getting comfortable, either, because the front seats and steering column are electrically adjustable. Plus, the seats feel plush and thickly padded, and adjustable lumbar support is standard on all trim levels.

Instrumentation is via a 12.3in digital display that can be configured to show multiple layouts for the dials, trip, and media and navigation information. It looks and feels far more sophisticated than the one in the Jaguar I-Pace, although it’s a shame that you have to scroll through the menus using fiddly touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.

In AMG Line and AMG Line Premium cars, there's also a 12.8in portrait-orientated touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, which runs the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system. It has a simple layout, crisp graphics and quick responses, but BMW’s iDrive system is less distracting to use while driving because of its physical shortcut buttons and rotary controller.

In higher spec version of the EQE SUV (including the range-topping AMG 53), the single touchscreen is upgraded to a so-called Hyperscreen, which is actually made up of three screens that span the dashboard to give the front passenger their own controls.

Despite its size, the Hyperscreen actually improves wow factor more than usability, although even without it, the interior looks special – particularly at night, when you can see the ambient lighting in its full glory. It's just a pity that you don't have to look far to find hard, brittle plastics; the Audi Q8 e-tron and BMW iX both feel much more solidly constructed.

Interior overview

Strengths High driving position; supportive and comfy seats; decent infotainment

Weaknesses Doesn’t feel as robust as the best rivals

Mercedes EQE SUV boot open

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

While it's smaller than the flagship Mercedes EQS SUV, the EQE SUV is still very spacious up front, with enough head, leg and shoulder room to keep 6ft-plus occupants happy.

Interior storage is impressive, too, with lots of areas to put everyday items. There’s a pair of cupholders, a deep storage cubby underneath the armrest, a secondary storage tray under the centre console, and some big door bins.

Rear-seat occupants will much prefer sitting in the EQE SUV than they would the Mercedes EQE saloon. That’s because they get more head room and sit higher above the floor, so their knees are less likely to be bent at an awkward angle.

Crucially, though, the EQE SUV also compares well with rivals, providing more space for you to tuck your feet under the front seats than in the BMW iX. And as in the iX, the floor of the car is completely flat, whereas in the Audi Q8 e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace a middle passenger has to straddle a lump in the floor.

On the other hand, the EQE SUV’s 520-litre boot volume is less than what’s offered in the Q8 e-tron and I-Pace, but it's still slightly more than you get in the iX. The boot area is a useful square shape, with enough storage space under the floor for charging cables and safety kit.

Like its rivals, the EQE SUV gets 40/20/40 split folding rear seats for when you need to accommodate larger items, although you can’t fold them down remotely from the boot. The rear backrests don’t recline to improve comfort, either, and there's no luggage space under the bonnet.

Practicality overview

Strengths Spacious; plenty of storage areas up front; useful boot capacity

Weaknesses Rear seats aren't adjustable; no front boot

Mercedes EQE SUV interior driver display

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

There are plenty of more affordable electric cars than the Mercedes EQE SUV. Indeed, the cheapest version costs around the same as a high-spec Audi Q8 e-tron 50 Vorsprung and more than any Jaguar I-Pace, while the BMW iX is also cheaper on a like-for-like basis.

To make up for this, you’ll want to secure as big a discount as possible by visiting our Mercedes deals page. However, the the EQE SUV also partially compensates for its high price through strong predicted resale values – especially compared with the Q8 e-tron.

With the EQE 350, there are four trim levels to choose from, and we think entry-level AMG Line gives you a good balance between cost and equipment. It gets you 20in alloy wheels, privacy glass, keyless entry, LED headlights, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and three-zone climate control.

That said, if you want the EQE 500, you'll need to at least step up to AMG Line Premium trim, which brings larger 21in alloys, a panoramic glass sunroof, additional ambient lighting, a Burmester sound system and a dash cam.

In terms of charging, all versions have a maximum charging speed of 170kW, which matches the Q8 e-tron's, but is slower than the iX’s maximum rate of 195kW. A 10-80% charge should take 31 minutes if you can find a suitably powerful public charging point, while a full charge using a 7kW home wall box charger will take around 14 hours.

In 2023, the safety experts at Euro NCAP awarded the EQE SUV their maximum five star rating. Diving deeper into the results, the EQE SUV scored highly for protecting adults in the front but even better for protecting children in the back. 

All versions of the EQE SUV have automatic emergency braking (AEB), active lane-keeping assist and blind-spot assist.

The EQE SUV is too new to have featured in the What Car? Reliability Survey, but Mercedes as a brand didn’t do very well. It finished in 24th place out of 32 manufacturers featured, putting it ahead of Audi in 26th but below BMW in 12th.

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped; better resale values than main rivals

Weaknesses Expensive as a private purchase; average maximum charging speed

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

FAQs

  • The EQE SUV is effectively a smaller and cheaper version of the Mercedes EQS SUV. It misses out on the seven-seater option of the EQS SUV and has a shorter range, but gets the same level of interior glitz and glamour.

  • It's not cheap, with even the entry-level EQE SUV costing around the same as the top-spec Audi Q8 e-tron. It does come with loads of standard equipment, though. To check the latest prices, see our Mercedes deals page.

  • All versions of the EQE SUV come with four-wheel drive as standard.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £6,000
Target Price from £84,560
Save up to £6,000
or from £733pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £46,195
RRP price range £90,560 - £133,860
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)electric
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £181 / £268
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £362 / £535
Available colours