Mercedes-Benz was the first luxury automaker to enter the electric car market in India with the erstwhile EQC more than 3 years back, just when we were dealing with the pandemic. The EQC may not have performed that well, but it set the ball rolling for the company’s newer EVs and we got a taste of what to expect. Fast forward to 2022, the German automaker brought in the EQS and EQB (the former has been selling rather well) with a whole lot of tech and amazing range. With these two cars sorted, there was still a void between them and to fill that, we now have the EQE 500 4MATIC.
Exteriors – Mercedes’ electric cars have always carried a very different design philosophy from their ICE cars. The fascia in particular looks similar on all their EVs and while that isn’t a bad thing, I personally prefer the fascias of their ICE models. The EQE gets a large gloss black grille (or should I say front panel) with the tri-arrow design elements. The headlights flowing into that centre panel is something that even the EQS gets and I think they are doing good to keep the family EV look consistent.
The EQE has a curvy body design and the vehicle masks its size well. It is 4.8-metres long, 2.1-metres wide (incl mirrors), and 1.68-metres tall. The wheelbase is in excess of 3000 mm and the vehicle doesn’t get rear wheel steering on the India-spec model as of now, though they might offer it as an optional feature later on. The EQS gets this feature and it is a boon! The vehicle gets flush door handles and while they pop out when you press the unlock button on the remote, they also pop out when you just slide your hand over them with the key in your pocket.
The EQE’s headlights get 2.6 million pixels and they look striking! The vehicle also gets 20-inch alloy wheels. Ground clearance is good enough but you still need to be careful over bad bumps. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the car is environmentally conscious, using 70 kg of recycled materials and a body shell made from recycled steel, as well as battery raw materials from certified mines.
Interiors – Step inside the EQE and you are again greeted by a cabin that reminds you of the EQS. The 56-inch Hyperscreen is shared with the bigger EQ and a lot of other components are similar as well. Honestly, it’s great that all this tech is being shared across models and few years down the line I expect lower models to get this screen too. The vehicle also gets biometric facial and fingerprint recognition for an added layer of safety. The cabin gets a couple of different colour themes (black, white) and the dashboard gets open-pore Mongolian wood inlays.
The driving position is quite nice, it isn’t as upright as the EQB and neither is it as low as the EQS. The seats offer amazing comfort and they also get various massage options. Seat kinetics is another feature aimed at improving comfort. The rear seats are also supportive and decently spacious for 2 people. The boot capacity is said to be 520-litres but the space saver spare wheel consumes a good chunk of that capacity.
Some other notable features include ADAS features with steering assist, attention assist, blind spot detection, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, etc. The vehicle gets a high quality audio system comprising 15-speakers from Burmester with an output of 710 W. You also get multi-zone climate control and the Hyperscreen actually has way too many features in-built so it’ll easily take you a few hours to sit and check everything out.
Performance – The Mercedes EQE 500 is top notch when it comes to power figures. It gets a 90.56 kWh battery and makes 300 kW of power (402 HP) via 2 electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear. The torque output is claimed to be 858 Nm which is actually 3 Nm more than what the EQS 580 delivers! The claimed range is 550 kms so I think the vehicle should manage 420-450 kms easily on a full charge. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a quick 4.9 seconds.
How does it actually feel to drive? Well, just like any other EV, the EQE has instantaneous torque delivery and the quick accelerate off the mark can catch you off guard especially if you haven’t experienced such a torquey EV before. It accelerates well and can keep up good speeds on the highway. We drove the car in Gulmarg where we couldn’t really push it much though. You get different driving modes which is standard Mercedes fare and you also get various regeneration levels including the strongest one which allows for 1 pedal driving.
Dynamics – The EQE feels tight and handles quite well. The steering is decently communicative and the different driving modes alter how it feels. The driving feel is much different than any ICE car of course so you may have to modulate your driving style a little with such cars, irrespective of brand. The ride is also pliant on bad roads though a little on the stiffer side. The car can clear most bumps easily but you may have to keep a keen eye out on really bad potholes. Braking performance again is top notch.
Warranty – Mercedes’ commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in the EQE’s warranty offering. The 10-year battery warranty, along with service required only once every two years, is a testament to the brand’s confidence in its product. This not only adds to the vehicle’s value proposition but also provides peace of mind for prospective buyers. The German automaker also claims that the residual value of the EQE after 5 years will be similar to the GLE, thus clearing doubts about the resale value of luxury EVs.
Verdict – The 2023 Mercedes EQE is a groundbreaking addition to the electric vehicle market in India. It seamlessly combines stunning aesthetics, a technologically advanced and luxurious interior, impressive performance, and a comprehensive warranty package. With a focus on sustainability and the environment, it offers a holistic package that appeals to both the eco-conscious and those looking for a premium driving experience. While the introductory price may seem steep, the residual value and the remarkable 10-year battery warranty make it a compelling choice in the electric luxury sedan segment. Mercedes has indeed raised the bar with the EQE, setting a new standard for electric vehicles.