In the past few years, the luxury vehicle market has really taken off in India – much like the rest of the segments scoring record sales numbers – and one of the biggest beneficiaries of this newfound love for luxury vehicles in India has been Mercedes-Benz. Between its vast sedan and SUV line up, the brand has been setting new sales records with each passing year. Just the fact that some of its EVs are now manufactured in the Indian plant shows how committed the company is to the Indian market and how much potential it sees here. The EQE though, is not going to be made in India, but is a CBU unit, which is reflected in its premium pricing due to higher taxes on imports.
Mercedes-Benz EQE Review: High Stakes
When it comes to the positioning of the EQE, to explain simply would mean saying that it is essentially an EV equivalent of Mercedes’ best-selling SUV – the GLE. But, of course, to distinguish the EQE from its ICE cousin, Mercedes has provided with a different design, that looks very familiar and yet different. Some of the dedicated touches includes the new blocked out front grille with many three-pointed stars embellished on it, as well as unique front and rear light units. You also get different 20-inch wheels, and the charging port on the EQE is where regular fuel filler flap would be, that is, at the rear quarter unlike the front fender or the nose. As far as the design of the EQE is concerned, it retains most of the familiar Mercedes design cues with the EV customization and quite a balanced stance. But I think that with its current design, the EQE looks a bit soft and lacks an aggressive edge that the GLE or the GLS, for instance, have. I would think that the Mercedes design team has gone a bit conservative with the design of the EQE.
Mercedes-Benz EQE Review: Fabolous Inside
However, once you get inside the EQE all that grumbling about the exterior design simply disappears. While you notice the other details later on, the first thing that literally catches your eye is the massive 56-inch Hyperscreen that is staring in front of you. Fitted across virtually the full dash, the screen has three elements – the instrument cluster, the central touchscreen from where you control most of the car’s functions, and there’s even a passenger screen which can be used to control a variety of functions. Powering all this is the latest version of Mercedes’ UX system that integrates the various functions of the car seamlessly and looks quite good too.
The overall design of the dash is quite pleasing as it wraps itself around the cabin, and the upgraded ambient lighting is also very well integrated and looks very good. I particularly liked the magnolia wood below the multimedia screen which is embedded with many small three-pointed star motifs giving it a really classy and luxurious look. Just one warning though, the EQE has two colour options for the interior – white and black – and the white one is going to be a nightmare to clean in our conditions. Also, Mercedes has been really hitting it out of the park when it comes to the designs of its air vents, and even on the EQE the turbine style vents look simply fabulous.
Equipment-wise, the EQE comes fully loaded with features – other than that massive screen – it features a full active safety package, Level 2 ADAS, 9 airbags and a fantastic sounding Burmester sound system with 15 speakers.
Mercedes-Benz EQE Review: Power on Demand
In India, the EQE is only offered in one trim – EQE 500 – which comes fully loaded. Powering the EQE 500 is a 90.5kWh battery, which means that it comes with a claimed range of 550 kms on a single charge. At the same time, the performance of the EQE is no slouch either, with its 402bhp and 858Nm of torque. Since we get the fully loaded version in India, it also comes with dual motors and offers all-wheel drive, along with a dedicated off-road mode, which also raises the car’s air suspension for better ground clearance. It also gets a ‘transparent bonnet’ mode that allows you to see what is under the front of the car with the use of cameras. With that much torque readily available, acceleration in the EQE is seamless as the 0-100 mark comes up in just 4.9 seconds and top speed is 210km/h. While it drives well in comfort mode, I preferred the slightly aggressive throttle response in Sport mode. The standard fit air suspension means that despite the large 20-inch wheels, the EQE rides quite well. The steering was also quite direct but could have been better as far as feedback is concerned. There are also three brake regeneration modes, and in the highest mode, you can easily drive the EQE using just the accelerator pedal.
In a nutshell, the EQE does exactly what is says in its brochure, it is comfortable, silent, drives well and offers a usable range from its battery. While test claims are in the 550km region, I would think that around 400-440kms of range from a single charge is quite possible, which is ample for most drivers. At the same time, the EQE is also offered with a 10-year and 2,50,000 km warranty on the battery for peace of mind. I absolutely love the interiors and the sound system on the SUV, and while the massive screen can be a distraction for me, I know that customers today absolutely love these things. Honestly speaking, there’s not much that I could find to criticize with the EQE, and if you’re looking for a mid-sized luxury SUV in this budget, the EQE makes for a very strong case for the switch to EVs.
- Mercedes-Benz EQE
Motor: : DualPMS
Battery: : 90.56kWh Li-ion
Transmission: Single-Speed / all-Wheel Drive
Charging: 10 to 80% - 170 kw DC - 32 Mins
Range: 550km (Claimed)
Price: ₹1.39 Crore (Ex-Showroom)
X-Factor: With its combination of comfort, technology & usable range, the EQE makes a strong case for itself.
• Usable Range