Anthony on Autos: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic

Anthony on Autos: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic

by  Anthony Fongaro  - photos via Mercedes - 05/17/2022

There is a shift in the luxury sedan segment. Bespoke EVs are becoming the norm, and I think it’s excellent! You have smooth and quiet batteries combined with whatever kind of luxury the automaker provides. Mercedes-Benz has been going all-out when it comes to their EVs. First introducing the S-Class EV, the EQS, they now have the E-Class equivalent. This is the EQE, and the vehicle I tested was the EQE350 4Matic. On Mercedes’ website, they claim it’s “groundbreaking”. Are they sure? Let’s take a look at this $80,000 electric sedan.

Ah, the shape. I’ve heard a few people call it an egg or a pod, and I’ve tried to explain to them that it’s this shape because of aerodynamics. If you’re an engineer, the drag coefficient is just 0.22 and you’re probably impressed. Ironically, I really like the exterior of the EQE. It isn’t as egg-shaped as the EQS but is a distinctive Mercedes-Benz EV. At the front, there’s a large Mercedes-Benz logo along with a panel that has a star pattern (which is a $300 option). You’ll notice chrome accents throughout the exterior. When you open the hood…oh wait. You can’t. Instead, there is a little flap on the side for your wiper fluid.

Anthony on Autos: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic

As I said, I like the side profile. The door handles pop out and you can program them to pop out when you get closer to the EQE. This car had Twilight Blue metallic along with an optional 20-inch AMG 5-spoke with matte gray aero elements for $850. At the rear, the EQE is a sedan, rather than a hatchback like the EQS. You’ll notice a full-length light bar along with the Mercedes-Benz badge tripling as a handle for the trunk and a camera. EQE 350 4Matic badges are on either side of the badge. Finally, there’s some nice contrasting black trim. I like to say that this looks futuristic, but I can understand why some may not like how radical the EQE is compared to the competition and its gas-powered E-Class sibling.

Hop inside, and it’s pure Mercedes luxury. There’s an air of quality and luxury with excellent material quality. The black faux leather and natural grain wood showcase a tech-heavy vehicle. Let’s start with the steering wheel. I wasn’t a big fan of it. It’s a good-looking steering wheel, but the entire thing uses haptic feedback capacitive buttons. There are two rows with a home button, arrows, and a back button. The left side is for the digital instrument cluster, while the right side is for the infotainment system. Below are controls for the safety systems and media. I don’t get why EVs can’t just have physical buttons, but oh well.

The digital instrument cluster is interesting. There are multiple views including a sport-view, understated, dedicated navigation, and a few more. One of the more fun views included a green eco ball. The more you accelerate, it rolls toward the driver growing bigger and turning red. Sometimes, you don’t want a red ball. The star of the show is the 12.8-inch infotainment system. This runs Mercedes’ latest MBUX and has a ton of features! Although the climate controls are a part of this screen, they are at the bottom so they’re not difficult to use. When I wasn’t noticing all the smudges on the infotainment system, I found it had an excellent augmented-reality navigation system along with some apps to play while you’re charging.

Anthony on Autos: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic

Under the infotainment system is one large strip that houses a few other buttons. This flimsy array includes the drive modes, camera, EQ, vehicle settings, and volume. It felt like this was just glued on and someone could rip it off. As an EV, the EQE has information about the state of the battery and the closest charging points. Since the EQE utilizes widgets as part of the MBUX system, you can have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto open while utilizing the large navigation. There’s also “Hey Mercedes” which can adjust a myriad of functions such as the heated and ventilated seats, climate control system, and even tell a joke! Although the quality is high, on a hot day, I found the silver trim on the door to get really hot. Finally, a large panoramic roof was a nice touch and made the cabin feel even more airy.

When we look under the hood, we can’t. So somewhere in the EQE, there is a 90.6 kWh battery with the motors producing 288 horsepower/212 kW and 564 lb-ft/765 Nm. This has Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. When you combine all of this, you get a 0-60 MPH time of around six seconds. That’s not what you would call rapid. A few of my passengers were surprised that the EQE 350 didn’t produce more power. I would call it adequate and there are more powerful EQEs available. This vehicle is all about driving in comfort. You can drive in a relatively quiet cabin, but there is the option of some sci-fi sounds. These are interesting to hear, but after a while, I turned them off.

If you’re worried about range, this EQE showed that at 50%, it had 164 miles. If we can safely double that, that means the range could have been 328 miles. That’s very good! While driving, I received around 3.2-3.4 mi/kWh. When your battery runs low, the EQE can charge at up to 100 kW. I utilized adaptive cruise control and different levels of regen braking. Usually, it was in the highest setting so I could do one-pedal driving. This isn’t a sporty vehicle, but having optional rear-wheel steering gave the EQE a small turning circle. I enjoyed the ambient lighting which was throughout the cabin and had multiple of colors. The blue and purple colors looked great. 

Here is where I would normally talk about pricing, but I have to play the guessing game. Information about pricing and options wasn’t available. Here is what I do know: first, this was the second-tier Exclusive Trim since it had augmented-reality navigation but didn’t have a head-up display. That brings the total to $80,000. Now I’m guessing what it had. When you add in the AMG package which has the complicated steering wheel for $2,100, rear-wheel steering for $1,600, and some other options, this was probably at least $85,000-$90,000. Is that high? If you’re talking about straight-line performance, yes. When you look at it as a complete package, I’d say it’s good. The only thing I’d add is massaging seats.

Is this a good car? It’s an excellent car. The quality of the materials, the smoothness of the ride, and the technology are high marks. Yes, the steering wheel uses capacitive buttons but take some time and you’ll get used to it. If you want a quicker model, there is the 402-horsepower EQE 500 for $85,000. The shape may not be for everyone, but I appreciate a design that is focused on efficiency. When looking for a luxury EV, there may be competition, but the EQE 350 can hold its own. I think it’s a great electric car and Mercedes-Benz.