First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE

First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE

by Michael Satterfield - Photos by Mercedes-Benz 01/20/2024

We get to drive a lot of amazing cars here at The Gentleman Racer®, and while Mercedes-Benz are some of our favorite vehicles on the planet, and I have and currently do own a Mercedes-Benz, not every one of them is something I would rush out an buy. The AMG C63 we had was one of our favorite cars we drove in 2023, but while there is a lot to like about the new EQE, it's not something I would put in my garage. So here are my Five Things to Love and Five Things to Hate about the Mercedes Benz EQE!

Five Things to Love:

Innovative Features: The EQE SUV introduces two innovations that enhance its performance and efficiency. The ability to power down the front motor in all-wheel-drive models results in a 6 percent improvement in range, offering a practical advantage. Additionally, the climate-control system utilizes a heat pump to efficiently heat the cabin, showcasing Mercedes-Benz's commitment to leading the in the EV segment.

First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE

Luxurious Interior: The cabin of the EQE SUV is a luxurious space with lots of details, a floating console, and a large bay for storage. A large touch screen with a beautiful display, ambient lighting, overall quality, and interior design maintains what you expect from Mercedes-Benz.

Generous Rear-Seat Space: Despite a shorter wheelbase than the EQE sedan, the EQE SUV offers generous rear-seat space with plenty of legroom and knee clearance. The flat floor makes the middle seat position comfortable, providing a practical and spacious interior for passengers.

Varied Powertrain Options: The EQE SUV offers three powertrains, catering to different preferences. From the perky single-motor, rear-wheel-drive 350+ to the high-performance AMG version with up to 677 horsepower, Mercedes provides a range of options for customers with diverse driving needs.

Efficient Recharge and Range: The EQE SUV boasts a maximum recharge rate of 170 kW and offers impressive EPA range estimates. We had no issues using the EQE as an everyday driver and only needed to charge it while parked at the office.

First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE

Five Things to Hate:

Challenging Visibility: The design choices in the EQE SUV, such as the shallow windshield and stocky A-pillars, contribute to challenging visibility. The brow over the dashboard limits the view, making it necessary to raise the driver's seat for a better perspective. In tight spaces, judging the corners can be difficult and at some intersections, other vehicles can completely disappear behind the A-pillar.

First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE

Cargo Space Limitations: The rounded form of the EQE SUV affects cargo space, offering only 14 cubic feet behind the rear seats, significantly less than its conventionally powered counterpart, the GLE. It even has more than a square foot less than our smaller GLA. The lack of an optional third-row seat limits the SUV to a five-seater configuration, potentially restricting practicality for larger families.

Unnatural Brake and Steering Feel: The brake modulation in the EQE SUV feels unnatural, with a stiff initial response that suddenly becomes very aggressive, this makes achieving smooth stops a little challenging. The steering also has a learning curve, it feels very heavy and direct at first and then suddenly goes light once you turn past a certain amount of rotation, which can lead to some jerking movement and over-correction. Perhaps you would get used to it over time, but for a short term going back and forth between different vehicles made it unsettling every time. 

Interior User Friendliness: While it is hard to see out of the EQE SUV, it also falls short in terms of interior visibility. While the touch screen is massive it feels like a reach and the controls, especially the touch slider for audio volume, require you to hit them just right. Also since so many of the functions are only accessible via the touch screen, expect to spend a lot of time going through multiple menus to do things like change the ambient lighting, which in some settings is far too bright and distracting. 

Price Tag: The pricing for the EQE SUV starts at just under $80,000, making it a relatively expensive option in the electric SUV market. The single- and dual-motor EQE350 models have the same starting price, potentially making the rear-wheel-drive version less appealing to buyers. The top-tier EQE500 in Pinnacle form stretches the price tag to nearly $97,000, placing it in a premium price range. Our AMG tester had an MSRP after options of just over $130,000, which opens up a lot of options even in the Mercedes-Benz fleet. Our team loved the Mercedes-Benz EQB250+ we test-drove late last year which had a starting price of just over $52,000 which would be the Electric Mercedes SUV we would buy.