Mercedes-Benz EQE 300 SUV (2023) review
The electric Mercedes EQE now comes in an SUV body variant for extra space.
Shane O' Donoghue
Shane O' Donoghue

Published on July 21, 2023

Mercedes EQE SUV overview

Pictures don't convey the size of the new EQE SUV well, but as the name suggests, it's an SUV version of the existing Mercedes EQE saloon. That, in turn, was designed to be an all-electric equivalent to the evergreen Mercedes E-Class, though built on a standalone EV platform. The EQE SUV, unsurprisingly, uses the same underpinnings, but it actually has a shorter wheelbase than the saloon and is shorter overall. Nevertheless, the SUV body allows for more interior space and versatility than in the EQE saloon.

It's not easy to find direct rivals for the EQE SUV, as it seems priced above the obvious competitors from Audi and BMW, though when compared with the Mercedes GLE SUV it seems good value, certainly at the entry point to the line-up.

Here we're testing the entry-level powertrain - badged EQE 300 SUV - with a single rear-mounted electric motor. Our test car has the standard "Electric Art" interior scheme, but has been upgraded to the "AMG Line" exterior with closed-face 20-inch AMG alloys and other niceties such as the running boards and a 'grille' with dozens of little Mercedes stars. The latter we like, the former we do not. More below on the other models in the line-up.

The Mercedes EQE SUV model range

Irish pricing for the EQE SUV starts at €98,780 for the EQE 300 SUV with the Electric Art exterior. The '300' badge means a single, rear-mounted electric motor producing up to 245hp and 550Nm of torque. An 89kWh battery pack allows for up to 544 kilometres if you upgrade to the AMG Line exterior with the 20-inch wheels as tested here, presumably because they're more aerodynamic than the smaller standard rims.

As you'd expect at this price level, there's a lot of equipment included, such as (snazzy) ambient lighting, heated front seats with electric adjustment, LED headlights, the highly advanced MBUX infotainment system with navigation and much more besides, reversing camera, climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless phone charger and oodles more including plenty of advanced driver assistance and safety systems.

The EQE 350+ SUV starts at €99,975 and gets a larger battery with 90.6kWh usable. That extends the official range to as far as 566 litres. It's paired with a more powerful electric motor, too, producing up to 292hp and 565Nm of torque, all sent to the rear wheels. The increases in range and performance suggest this could be the choice of the rear-drive versions as the price gap is negligible in relative terms.

The first of the four-wheel-drive models is the EQE 350 4Matic SUV, from €104,110. Using an extra electric motor - turning the front wheels - the maximum power output is unchanged, oddly, but peak torque increases to 765Nm. This version's range tops out at 540km.

Next up is the EQE 500 4Matic SUV, priced from €112,150 with a maximum range between charges of 541km. Its two electric motors combine to produce up to 408hp and a huge 858Nm of torque, allowing the 0-100km/h time drop to just 4.9 seconds.

And as if that's not fast enough for a 2.5-tonne SUV, there's also the Mercedes-AMG EQE 43 4Matic SUV above it that puts out up to 476hp and gets a more pronounced AMG visual makeover inside and out. It costs €141,905.

The Mercedes EQE SUV interior

The most impressive aspect of the EQE SUV is its cabin, and that perhaps go some way to justifying the car's relatively high price versus rivals. Nobody will sit into this SUV and feel they're being short-changed. It looks dramatic and luxurious and crammed with technology, and it feels of very high quality throughout. The Electric Art design theme is even interesting to look at without being gaudy.

What's more, it's distinctly spacious, certainly in the front and outer two rear seats. There's a lovely flat floor across the rear, but the centre console and its vents eat into the space that a middle rear passenger might place their feet in. Kids won't have any such issues, and there are ISOFIX mountings in the outer rear seats of course, but I'm not sure I'd go for the extravagant nearly-white leather and carpet interior if I was planning on putting kids into this car...

Behind the electric tailgate is a wide boot. Officially it holds 520 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place, though it looks bigger than that, and there's a significant amount of room under the solid floor to store charging cables and more. The rear seat back splits 40:20:40 and folds down to create a long, nearly-flat space and there's a 12-volt power outlet in the boot, too.

Continuing with practicalities, the front door pockets are massive, the glovebox is also a generous size and there's a large, covered storage box under the central armrest. Ahead of that, in a notably wide centre console, is a section holding the two cupholders. These cleverly rotate out of the way if you don't need them, while they can be removed completely to maximise space in that area, which is covered by a retracting piano-black lid. In front of them, and partially hidden under the impressive, slanted touchscreen, is the wireless phone charger. There's even more storage underneath all that in an open shelf featuring a restraining strap and two USB-C ports.

And that's before we mention the dashboard itself. As per the Mercedes EQE saloon, the SUV can be had with the dramatic full-width 'Hyperscreen' layout, but it costs from €12,212, and there really is no need for it, as the standard digital instruments and portrait-style central touchscreen look and feel expensive and impressive enough already. There's a variety of material finishes available for the rest of the dashboard if you want to customise it.

The AMG Line interior is marked out by a flat-bottomed steering wheel, though it uses the same multifunction layout as that of our test car. Some of the switchgear can be a little overly sensitive, but it's undoubtedly of very high quality. Once an owner gets used to the layout and the operation of everything, they'll no doubt find it highly satisfying.

The Mercedes EQE SUV driving experience

It didn't take long behind the wheel of the EQE SUV for me to declare it one of the quietest and most comfortable cars I've driven this year - it really is quite exceptional in that regard. Admittedly, our test car was fitted with the optional Airmatic air suspension, but I'd argue it's a worthwhile addition at just under €3,000. So-equipped, the car lopes along isolating its occupants from the road underneath in smooth, low-frequency movements. Lovely.

Although there isn't double-glazed glass on the side windows, you're isolated from most of the noise from the outside world, too and there's very little wind roar ever the car, even at motorway speed. No doubt the low coefficient of drag that Mercedes worked hard to get for this car (as low as 0.25) helps with that noise reduction. And it enhances the big-luxury-car feel that pervades the EQE SUV.

Now, the entry-level powertrain tested here has just about enough performance on tap to live up to the car's image, as it's really not very fast. The 245hp and 550Nm of torque are perfectly adequate for high-speed motorway cruising, and a 0-100km/h time of 7.6 seconds isn't exactly glacial, but some will expect more from a large Mercedes-branded SUV. As detailed above, there are other models in the line-up if performance is a priority for you.

If it's not, and you're more interested in comfort and refinement and long distances between charges, then you'll get on fine with the 300 model. You can maximise the range by using the Eco mode, though that dulls performance further, and there are loads of other tips and tricks in the infotainment system to help you optimise for efficiency. For the record, we expect most drivers should exceed 400 kilometres range in this car regardless of the weather or where they're driving. The particularly efficient may surpass 500km with some effort.

The EQE SUV is pleasant to drive if not engaging in the least. The steering is well-weighted and while it's not massively direct, neither is it ponderous. The turning circle is better than most will expect, too. Behind the wheel are paddles to allow adjustment of the brake energy regeneration, from none to normal to strong. Each to their own preference, but in the strong setting the brake pedal moves as if you're pushing it, which I don't like. It's one-pedal driving taken quite far.

On a more positive note, the rear-drive chassis finds remarkable traction, even in damp conditions. Indeed, it doesn't feel like the drive is only being sent to the back wheels at all. When provoked, it's more obvious but even then, the electronic stability control system is really fast acting.

Our verdict on the Mercedes EQE SUV

There aren't loads of premium electric SUVs of this size on the market yet and, while the EQE SUV is not cheap to buy, it compares well with the existing line-up of non-electric SUVs in the Mercedes range in terms of price - e.g. the GLE. Inside, the EQE SUV feels more S-Class than E-Class in its luxuriousness, and that's mixed with lots of space and plenty of practical touches. On the road, it's exceptionally smooth and comfortable and it comes with the promise of a long range between charges. There's no doubt that the EQE SUV will be hugely satisfying to own and drive on a daily basis.


Tech Specs

Model testedMercedes EQE 300 SUV
Irish pricingEQE SUV starts at €98,570; €114,309 as tested with options
Powertrainelectric - rear-mounted 180kW electric motor, lithium-ion battery of 89kWh usable capacity
Transmissionautomatic gearbox - single-speed, rear-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions0g/km
Irish motor tax€120
Energy consumption18.8kWh/100km
Electric range544km (with 20-inch wheel fitted)
Max charging speeds170kW on DC, 11kW on AC
Charging port typeCCS combo
Top speed210km/h
0-100km/h7.6 seconds
Max power245hp
Max torque550Nm
Boot space520 litres all seats in use, 1,675 litres rear seats folded
Max towing750kg unbraked, 3,500kg braked (with Towing Package fitted)
Kerb weight2,385kg
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