Mercedes SUVs have been a popular commodity among luxury buyers for decades, and there’s no reason why that should change as the world transitions to EVs. In fact, high-end drivers have been part of Mercedes-Benz’s electrification strategy from the very beginning, as the GLC-based EQC SUV was one of the company’s first long-haul electric vehicles.
As such, no one was surprised when the automaker pulled the silk sheet from its newest EV, the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. As the name suggests, it is a crossover variant of the EQE sedan, based on the same EVA2 architecture that underpins that model, as well as the larger EQS sedan and EQS SUV. Available in four models – the mainstream EQE 350+, 350 4Matic and 500, as well as the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV – the electric crossover will be built in the same Alabama factory as the larger EQS SUV. Coincidentally, that means the American market will be the first to welcome the sport-ute when it launches in the first few months of next year.
But when it arrived, it had to face off against the eco-friendly Tesla Model Y, the just-started BMW iX, and the soon-to-be-updated Audi E-Tron. That’s tough competition, even for an SUV sporting its proud three-pointed star. At least the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV has the hardware needed to build its own case.
Adam And EVA2
It starts with the aforementioned EVA2 platform. The modular electric architecture can be scaled up and down, which allows the EQE SUV to be driven with a relatively short 119.3-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 191.5 inches. Oddly enough, the EQE sedan is longer in both metrics, though it can’t compete with the crossover’s 66.4-inch overall height. The beefy overhangs work great with the EQE SUV’s higher roofline, providing a squat and planted position with the wheels at an angle.
Although the EQE SUV shares many design cues with its brethren – glossy black grille panels and Edison bulb taillights come to mind – it looks much more conventional. There’s not as much of a taper to the greenhouse as on the EQS SUV, and the hoodline is more horizontal than the curved EQE and EQS sedans. The bodywork is smooth, with subtle creases at the rear that replace the bold shoulder line of the EQE sedan. Overall, the EQE SUV looks good, and its slightly more conventional styling should give it mass market appeal (though drag coefficient is likely to be reduced).
Hidden in the floor is a 90.6 kilowatt-hour battery pack shared with the EQE sedan. Mercedes estimates that the long-range EQE SUV variant will cover 550 kilometers (342 miles) per charge using the optimistic WLTP scale – plan for 300 miles or more for the EPA rating. That doesn’t live up to the sedan’s 660-kilometer WLTP rating, given the crossover’s aerodynamic sabotage height. However, the EQE SUV will be capable of the same 170 kilowatt DC fast charging as other Mercedes-EQ products, enabling 10 to 80 percent charging in 32 minutes. On household 240-volt wall boxes, Mercedes says a 10 to 100 percent charge occurs in 9.5 hours.
The EQE 350+ SUV will feature a single rear-mounted electric motor, capable of producing 288 horsepower and 417 pound-feet, while the all-wheel-drive EQE 350 4Matic adds a front motor to the mix, keeping power the same but bringing torque to life. 564 lb-ft. The EQE 500 SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive, with higher-performance dual motors producing 536 hp and 633 lb-ft. Surprisingly, both the single-engine EQE 350+ SUV and the EQE 500 SUV have more power than their EQE sedan counterparts, but the torque is the same.
Of course, if you really want power, you’ll want the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV. Using a unique electric motor and AMG-specific inverter, the hottest crossover variant delivers 617 hp and 701 lb-ft in standard form, rising to 677 hp and 737 lb-ft if buyers opt for the optional AMG Performance Package. Do that, and your EQE SUV will hit 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, with an impressive top speed for an EV of 149 mph – expect around 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 130 from the AMG without the performance pack.
The sportiest EQE SUV comes standard with Airmatic suspension, enhanced by Mercedes’ active 48-volt sway bar that counteracts body roll in corners. The AMG EQE SUV is the first electric vehicle from Mercedes to offer that technology, and it will cure one of our biggest dynamic complaints – even the AMG EQS sedan has a tendency to fail and wallow through tight corners. Steel brakes with six-piston front calipers and single-piston rear calipers are standard, although carbon composite front rotors can be added as an option if you’re one of the roughly zero people planning to take your 5,900-pound electric SUV to the track.
21-inch wheels are standard, with 22 available as an option. The specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires come with a larger rolling stock, while the less gripping – but more efficient – tires are on the base wheels. The AMG is also equipped with standard 9.0-degree rear steering, which provides better turning angles and reduces turning circles to a 35.8-foot minicar specification.
All that performance comes in a more aggressive and attractive package. The vertical strakes on the front panel resemble the petrol-powered AMG grille, and the front and rear bumpers are aggressively shaped to channel wind around the car and reduce lift at speed. Inside, the EQE SUV gets better front seat support and a unique interior, with sportier seat options that include leather and Alcantara. An AMG steering wheel also comes as standard, including a drive mode dial and selector mounted near the hub.
Space For Backup
The standard AMG cabin and SUV EQE will feel familiar to anyone who has spent time in the EQE sedan. A 12.8-inch center touchscreen is standard, as is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Opting for Hyperscreen and the full-width glass dashboard design replaces the center screen with a 17.7-inch unit and adds a 12.3-inch touchscreen for passenger use. And for the first time in an EQ product, owners can upload their own images to use as wallpaper when not using the screen. The AMG infotainment also includes a performance-oriented display and additional gauge displays in standard and Hyperscreen forms.
The EQE SUV is much more comfortable than its sedan relatives, thanks in part to the upright seating position that compensates for the battery-laden high floor. The rear seats are a major upgrade, with 1.3 inches more headroom for a total of 39.3. The bench can also recline for more comfort. The taller and more square rear window is another improvement, reducing claustrophobia for everyone inside.
Cargo space, although better than the EQE sedan, still lags behind the competition. At 18.4 cubic feet with the rear seat reclined or 20.0 cubes with it bolt-upright, the EQE SUV falls short of the Tesla Model Y (30.2 cubic feet), BMW iX (35.5 cubic feet), and Audi E. -Tron (27.2 cubic). foot). Fold all the seats in the Mercedes and you get 59.2 cubic feet, which is smaller than all but the Audi E-Tron.
Mercedes said it expects the first EQE SUV to arrive at dealerships sometime in the first half of next year, launching in the form of the 350+, 350 4Matic, and 500 4Matic. The Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV is coming a few months later. Pricing is questionable (as for the EQE sedan), and so is the final EPA rating. We expect it to start at around $75,000, going up to maybe $120,000 for the AMG variant.
While its small cargo area is a concern, the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV should boast class-competitive performance, charging speed and range. Meanwhile, the AMG version should offer higher speeds than the Tesla Model Y Performance, BMW iX M60, and Audi E-Tron S. And both variants will boast the same technologically advanced cabin and impressive fit and finish as other Mercedes. EQ products. That may be enough to help the three-pointed star keep his fort of luxury SUVs safe, even now that the industry is turning to electricity.