Friday, April 21, 2023



Sitting at the top of the electrified versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class portfolio is the AMG model reviewed in this space last month.

Sitting in the middle of the non-AMG EQE sedan lineup, however, is an electric E-Class that leans more to the practical side of the German automaker’s EV products.

That would be the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC that serves as the subject of this review.

Two other models are offered for the EQE in addition to the EQE 350 4MATIC and the Mercedes AMG EQE. The rear-wheel drive EQE 350+ and the EQE 500 4MATIC round out the lineup.

The major difference among the three is that the base EQE 350+ is rear-wheel drive and gets its power from a single electric motor that generates 288 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The EQE 350 4MATIC and EQE 500 4MATIC are all-wheel drive (hence the 4MATIC designation) with motors powering each axle.

The dual motors on the EQE 350 4MATIC pump out the same 288 horsepower as the EQE 350+ but bump torque up to 564 pound-feet. The dual motors on the EQE 500 are rated at 402 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque.

Mercedes puts zero-to-60 times for the EQE 350+ at 6.2 seconds, the EQE 350 4MATIC at 6.0 seconds and the EQE 500 4MATIC at 4.5 seconds.

Each of the EQE models is offered with one of three trim packages in the U.S. market. You may choose from Premium, Exclusive, or Pinnacle packages.

The Premium includes the company’s MBUX infotainment features with navigation, a parking package with surround view system, heated front seats, MB-Tex upholstery, power tilt and sliding panoramic roof, Burmeister Sound System, keyless entry and push-button start, and 64-color ambient lighting.

The Exclusive trim offered on my test vehicle included all the features of the Premium trim plus the MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation system, Active Driver Assist, and active ambient light that allows you to pick your own personal shade.

Pinnacle trim covers all that plus 4-zone climate control, an Air Balance package, head-up display, and a digital light package.

What you wind up with are nine different MSRPs running from $74,900 for the EQE 350+ with the Premium trim to $91,500 for the EQE 500 4MATIC with Exclusive features.

My test EQE 350 4MATIC with the Exclusive trim checked in at $80,000 plus the $1,150 charge for destination and delivery.

The “Augmented for Reality” navigation system included in the Exclusive trim level is worth mentioning.

When setting a specific address the front camera flashes a picture of what to expect when you get close to your destination. The problem is that image is projected on the touchscreen and, at least on the example I was using, obscures the details of the map as you reach your destination.

Frankly, this whole system seems to me to be a great example of Germans over-engineering what looks like a good idea.

One other thing. We couldn’t go through a EV review without mentioning driving range. Mercedes reports that EPA-determined driving range for the single motor EQE 350+ at 305 miles, which is pretty good.

But range with a 100 percent battery charge is trimmed to 260 miles for the dual motor EQE 350 4MATIC and EQE 500 4MATIC, which really doesn’t give the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC any advantage over its competitors.

That’s all from the Mercedes-Benz media website. Yet when I charged my test vehicle (the EQE 350 4MATIC) to 90 percent, the computer showed a range of 293 miles, which calculates to a fully charged range of 325 miles.

Maybe it’s a voodoo magic.

What I liked about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC: Electric driving is lively, even in Econ mode. The cabin is roomy, comfortable, and quiet. There are lots of standard tech features once you get the hang of operating them. It’s an overall impressive vehicle inside and out.

What I didn’t like about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz 350 4MATIC: The luxurious interior is a bit overwhelming as is the operation of the tech features. There is no AM radio band. The voice command system can be overly sensitive at times. Driving range (for all but base model) is modest by today’s standards. The touchscreen collects fingerprints like a CSI investigator working a double homicide. 

Would I buy the 2023 Mercedes-Benz 350 4MATIC? The short answer is no, because I don’t feel comfortable with the infrastructure we have today to keep an EV powered up. With the EQE, the higher-up you go on the food chain the less driving range you get.

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