17 Aug 2022

LAOIS MOTORING: Brand new Mercedes electric vehicle is in a field of its own

LAOIS MOTORING: Brand new  Mercedes  electric vehicle is in a field of its own

Mercedes is in the process of launching a full range of EV’s that covers everything from the small hatchback to the large SUV. We already have their EQA, EQB, EQC, and the top of the range EQS. Now the new EQE has arrived, think of it as an E-Class sized saloon but pure electric.
The new EQE range kicks off at quite a hefty €85,980 and that price rapidly rises as you tick the options list.
Two versions are available from launch, an EQE 350+ and a AME EQE 43 with a more powerful battery and motor.
My test car this week is the EQE 350+ AMG line.

So how does it look?

Judging from my somewhat unscientific survey of those who took an interest in the car during my tenure opinion is somewhat divided on the looks. Sure its very sleek looking but many felt it lacks that “Mercedes” style. I think the huge shiny plastic blanked off front end does not help it in the beauty pageant. Nevertheless others though it looked good. Me I am not so sure. I would much prefer the style of the current E-Class for example.

What's it like inside?

Many elements of the cabin will be familiar to anyone who has been inside any of the latest Mercedes cars and that is a good thing. It looks very well indeed and of course despite the rather hard cheap looking plastic used on the door pockets the quality of everything else feels just right.

In front of the driver is a lovely configurable digital instrument display with options including analogue style digital round instruments (one of the best out there) and a huge 13 inch central touchscreen which I must say is very intuitive to use and has great functionality and graphics.

The new EQE boasts the very latest in automotive safety and luxury, the list is too great to include here but highlights include Mercedes latest version of MBUX a full real leather (not ARTICO ) interior as well as sophisticated collision avoidance and driver assist systems.

Overall the cabin is a lovely place to be with beautifully styled sports seats with an ambient lighting band running around their outer edge as well as across the door tops and dashboard. It really is impressive and I do love the illuminated turbine style air vents. Just superb! Space wise its pretty good seating four in real comfort and five at a squeeze. The boot is a decent size too.

What is under the bonnet?

I don’t quite know! It does not open. But humour aside the EQE is powered by a 90kWh battery driving a 215kW electric motor which pushes out some 292 bhp. Power goes to the rear wheels via a single speed auto gearbox.

The EQE has the usual instant torque we have come to expect from EV’s and the performance feels much quicker than its on paper 6.4 sec 0 to 100km/h time might suggest. Road tax is €120 for the year and although Mercedes claim a range of about 640km from 100% charge in reality I managed closer to 525km which is by the way excellent.

What is it like to drive?

The huge weight of EV’s really tends to dull the handling ( when compared say to an equivalent E-Class) and often compromises the ride. The EQE is no different but I have to say it is one of the very best EV’s to drive.

It's responsive, handles well and most of the time manages to disguise its huge mass. On some more challenging roads the suspension can hit the bump stops but that was a rare occasion on my test. It's super quiet and refined too. So overall I really enjoyed driving it!

What is my verdict?

Quite simply the new Mercedes EQE 350+ is in my opinion the very best EV currently available bar none!

Unfortunately at €85K plus it will be out of the reach of many and my AMG line test car with options topped out at a whopping €106,404.

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