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New Mercedes-Benz EQE – High-Tech Electric Luxury Saloon.            

Mercedes-Benz EQE – High-Tech Electric Luxury Saloon.            

The electric-car market in recent years has been driven mainly by city cars and large, family-friendly SUVs, while executive saloon car offerings have been slower to electrify. However, Mercedes-Benz has already arrived at the electric executive saloon party with its EQS luxury flagship, and now its electric car range has grown with the launch of the stunning EQE. While the EQS is the electric equivalent of the super-luxurious S-Class saloon, the EQE is a fully electric equivalent to the petrol, diesel and hybrid-powered E-Class saloon. The EQE mirrors the sleek aerodynamic shape of the larger EQS, thereby making it more of a large four-door coupé than a traditional saloon.

Sensual Simplicity.

Rivals to the EQE are relatively few at present, with the Tesla Model S being the most obvious direct competitor. However, this will change somewhat in the near future with the launch of the Polestar 5, BMW i5 and Audi A6 e-tron executive saloons. With its sensual simplicity, the new EQE emits outstanding modernisation from every view point, while the elegant one-bow design, sculpted surfaces, reduced joints and seamless styling blend together perfectly to provide a head-turning athletic character. Additionally, the overhangs at the front end are kept short, while the rear provides a vibrant accent with a sharp rear spoiler.

Stunning Cabin Design.

As with the EQS, the EQE boasts an absolutely stunning cabin that is laden with eye-catching design features and high quality materials throughout, and is in contrast to the relatively dated and minimalistic Tesla Model S cabin. Mercedes-Benz has managed to strike an admirable balance between technology and traditional opulence in its design, with materials including leather, wood and piano black plastics. The EQE features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display and a 12.8-inch central infotainment system, and the interface will be familiar to anyone who has used the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system. Transforming the in-car user experience, the innovative infotainment system can, over time, even predict personal habits thanks to artificial intelligence. Activated by the keywords “Hey Mercedes”, LINGUATRONIC voice control lets you control many of the infotainment functions, including destination input, phone calls or music selection. MBUX is able to understand different accents and is able to understand which individual seat the request has come from. It will, therefore, only respond to their specific request – such as adjusting the temperature for just the front passenger. Occupants can stay connected any time and anywhere with ‘Mercedes me connect’. Accessible via mobile, tablet or PC, ‘Mercedes me’ lets you enjoy the highest standards of care and support in a way that integrates seamlessly into our busy lifestyles. The interior dimensions clearly exceed those of the current E-Class, and this translates to impressive space and comfort for all occupants, while a 430-litre boot space can be accessed via a saloon-style opening that can be electronically opened and closed at the touch of a button.

Model Options & Driving Range.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQE is available in a variety of power outputs from 245bhp to 408bhp. The entry-level EQE 300 produces 245bhp and has a driving range of up to 622kms, while the EQE 350 produces 292bhp and has a similar range. These rear-wheel drive models are joined by an EQE 350 4MATIC and EQE 500 4MATIC (both of which are all-wheel drive with a range of up to 579kms) with 292bhp and 408bhp respectively. For drivers who demand even more performance, a pair of beefy Mercedes-AMG EQE’s are available too. Options consist of a 43 4MATIC or 53 4MATIC with 476bhp or 625bhp respectively, with a driving range of up to 532kms depending on the model chosen. The EQE 300, 350 and 500 are available with a choice of Standard Exterior, Electric Art Exterior or AMG Line Exterior, all of which come with a high specification as standard, while buyers can choose from an Electric Art Interior or AMG Line Interior according to their own individual style, with numerous upholstery and wheel options also available, along with a host of optional equipment and packages. In terms of safety, the EQE comes complete with the latest generation of driving assistance systems, including numerous driver support functions. The EQE’s charging port is located on the driver side rear quarter panel and is compatible with AC and DC charging options. A full charge (0-100%) from a standard 7.4kW domestic wallbox charger can be completed in around fourteen and a half hours, while a 10-80% charge at a DC rapid charging station can be completed in just 32 minutes. Most drivers of electric vehicles will never let their cars’ battery run down to anything near empty, so a top-up at home, or at a public charging station, will certainly reduce these charging times accordingly.

Test Car Details.

My test car was an EQE 350+ AMG Line (interior & exterior), and was finished in High-Tech Silver metallic paintwork with contrasting Black and Space Grey leather upholstery. The rear wheel-mounted electric motor is powered by an 89kWh lithium-ion battery with an on-board charger capacity of 11kW (A/C) and 170kW (D/C). Producing 292bhp and a hefty 565Nm of torque, the electric motor can propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 6.4-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 210km/h (where permitted). The driver can choose from four different  driving modes in the EQE – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual – so the car can be adapted to suit different driving styles. The suspension is modelled on that of the S-Class, with air springs all round, and this enables the EQE to cruise along rough road surfaces unperturbed, while remaining amazingly serene at all times. The EQE possesses impeccable road manners and it feels nimbler and smaller on the road than its footprint suggests, while parking sensors front and rear, along with 360-degree cameras make the car super-easy to manoeuvre in and out of parking spaces. A comprehensive list of comfort, convenience, infotainment, safety and security features come as standard across the EQE model range, with my test car also benefitting from an optional ‘Premium Package’ and trendy ‘red seat belts’ for an added dash of visual drama, along with the AMG Line interior and exterior trim.

Verdict & Pricing.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQE is a serious contender for outright class honours in the electric luxury saloon market. It is impressively refined and supremely comfortable, while its effortless acceleration and radar-based energy recuperation greatly add to the overall driving pleasure from behind the leather-bound, multi-function steering wheel. The EQE 300 is priced from €82,943, with the EQE 350+ priced from €85,980. The optional extra fitted to my test car brought the price to €105,131. Prices quoted do not include dealer and delivery related charges. With the Mercedes-Benz EQE, and outstanding driving experience awaits you.

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