Auto testThe Mercedes EQE SUV is the latest addition to the electric branch of Mercedes-Benz. The good news is that the car is roomy and fast. The bad news is that with a budget of less than 100,000 euros you will soon have to go shopping elsewhere.
Hardly anyone has overlooked the fact that car prices have risen rapidly. Not only because of the rising costs of raw materials, but also because of the almost forced electrification of car models and the associated application of new technologies. Because you do not yet benefit from the advantages of economies of scale, as a potential buyer of so-called premium SUVs, you are not yet financially advantageous at the moment.
The EQE SUV is little more than the SUV version of the Mercedes EQE introduced two years ago. To this end, the body was raised, but, surprisingly, the wheelbase was also shortened by nine centimeters. This was chosen so that the proportions stand out better. Technically, both cars are almost identical. The price difference is striking. The EQE is available from 71 thousand, the SUV version quickly costs 20,000 euros more.
For that you immediately get a more powerful engine, but a comparable version as an SUV is still around 10,000 euros more expensive. The good news is that with the 350, the least expensive rear-wheel-drive version of the EQE SUV, you also have the best version in the driveway. That easily saves several tens of thousands of euros compared to the EQE 500, which has four-wheel drive and optional rear-wheel steering and air suspension. It is above all the last option that is the Achilles heel of this 500, because this chassis is not entirely in harmony with the rest of the car.
Especially in the comfort position, the car is wobbly and unstable. At the slightest change in course, the almost 2.5-tonne body begins to submerge. This makes the chassis seem especially tailored to American taste. Not entirely by coincidence, because the car is made in the American city of Tuscaloosa, in the state of Alabama. And while the actual roll in corners isn’t too bad, the rocking movements caused by the air suspension are downright nauseating to some on rough, twisty roads. Enabling sport mode helps a bit, but not enough to justify the extra cost of this version.
royal travel car
This observation is confirmed when we switch to the rear-wheel drive EQE 350. The steel suspension can handle the tall, heavy EQE SUV much better and while this chassis also feels a bit springy in the corners, the smooth roll of the more expensive versions is absent. Tight corners probably don’t look very dynamic from the outside of the EQE, regardless of trim, but then again, it’s not a sports car.
We also noticed the latter in the control. In terms of feedback and precision, there are competitors where you have to make fewer mid-spin adjustments, but that’s a lot less annoying. Stability in a straight line is good and, in combination with the low amount of noise penetrating the body and the long range, the EQE SUV is an excellent companion over longer distances.
Minimum 292 hp
Of course, the four-wheel drive version has more grip, but the rear-wheel drive car is rarely fooled. When you step on the accelerator, you only suffer from a slight rear wheel spin when driving through an intersection. Due to all the electronics on board, the car picks up quickly and this does not lead to exciting moments on board the EQE. With its 292-hp output, you don’t have the feeling of being on the road in a slow car either. The difference to the more powerful EQE 500 is less than expected.
The car is easy to drive. Everyone drives with it and the instruments are beautiful and intuitive. The EQE SUV is optionally available with a giant hyperscreen. You also get an extra screen where the co-driver can watch movies, among other things. That’s not dangerous, because when you try to watch as the driver, a warning appears on the screen, and the screen locks, so you can’t watch as the passenger anymore.
1800 kilograms of trailers
You feel like royalty at the wheel and if that’s not the case, you can easily adjust the seats, which are optionally equipped with a massage function, so that you remain ‘royal’ on the road. There’s plenty of head and legroom in the rear, too. The same applies to the 530-liter trunk, which can be increased by another 60 liters by putting the rear seat back fully upright. For caravan tractors: the 4×4 version can tow 1,800 kilos, the rear-wheel drive variant a maximum of 750 kilos.
Whether you like the car is a matter of taste. The SUV sits on a chassis shortened by 10 centimeters from the ‘normal’ EQE, but the tall frame makes it look like a much bigger car. On the smooth exterior we see a lot of black plastic, which makes the white version we drive look a bit like an orca or the helmet of a Storm Trooper from Star Trek. But in a darker color, the dark-colored window frames, wheel arches, and grille disappear nicely.
The SUV EQE price list starts at 91,950 euros for the rear-wheel drive 350+. That’s good for 292 hp and 565 Nm. This accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds. The maximum speed is 210 km/h. You can travel 594 kilometers with a full battery. That battery pack is the same for all versions with a capacity of 90.6 kWh. In addition, there are three versions with four-wheel drive, ranging in power between 292 and 408 hp. The AMG EQE SUV 43 is the fastest with a power of 476 hp, which accelerates this version from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. An entry-level model called the EQE SUV 300+ will follow at a later stage.
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