The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is set to shake up the electric SUV market when it goes on sale this spring for a starting price of $79,050 (including a $1,150 destination charge). It’s a non-trivial amount, but admittedly it’s only a few thousand dollars more than the EQE sedan it’s based on. The EQE SUV will be offered in three different configurations – 350+, 350 4Matic and 500 4Matic – each available in Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle trim levels.
At north of $96,000, the EQE SUV will offer a number of innovative tech features, including automatic lane change, which enables the vehicle to pass slowing traffic without driver intervention, using cruise control. It is included in the Driver Assistance Package available on the Exclusive and Pinnacle trims.
A new heat pump will capture the heat generated by the electric motor and battery and transfer it to the cabin, reducing the draw on the battery and helping extend range. A so-called “intelligent powertrain management system” for 4Matic (Merc’s name for all-wheel-drive) models will monitor whether or not the front electric motor is necessary for driving conditions, and if not, will disengage it. Mercedes says the system monitors 160 times per second and the front motors can connect or disconnect in 100 milliseconds. Safe to say, you’ll probably never notice.
you get a lot for your money
The 350+ and 350 4Matic will be priced similarly, with the former likely to have the most range and the latter adding all-wheel drive. The base Premium trim will come standard with a panoramic sunroof, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation and a self-parking system. Safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, a self-parking system, a surround-view camera, and parking sensors.
The MBUX infotainment system also comes standard, with a 12.3-inch digital gauge display and a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen blending into the massive widescreen unit. The system can learn driver usage patterns and optimize frequently used functions for the home screen and reduce the need for menu-diving.
The standard Burmester audio system includes new Dolby Atmos sound processing, which takes full advantage of Apple Music’s spatial audio feature – great news for those in the Apple ecosystem. The system also has different mood sounds for when you’re not listening to music or talk radio.
The Exclusive trim ($81,150) adds navigation with augmented reality overlays, improved LED cabin lighting and offers the optional driver assistance package, while the Pinnacle ($85,000) adds four-zone climate control, a heads-up display, high-output USB comes -C charging port, and a handful of cabin enhancements.
Stepping up to the 500 4Matic Premium trim ($90,650) adds 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and rear-wheel steering. The 500 4Matic Exclusive ($92,750) and Pinnacle ($96,600) offer features similar to the 350+/350 4Matic models but with more power.
Waiting on limit and charging details
The EQE SUV 350+ will provide power to the rear wheels from a single motor, which will be drawn from a 90.6-kWh battery, and generate an estimated 288 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. Range is estimated at about 340 miles according to the European test standard which is usually more optimistic than our EPA ratings. Still, we found that Benz’s larger EQS electric luxury sedan easily exceeded its EPA figure in our testing. We’ll see if the EQE SUV is similarly, and pleasantly, surprising.
The EQE SUV adds a second motor to the 350 4Matic all-wheel drive, keeping the same horsepower figure but increasing torque to 564 lb-ft. Stepping up to the 500 4Matic nets more powerful motors for a combined 536 hp and 633 lb-ft of torque. Next year will be followed by the ultra Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV, which will come with an incredible maximum of 677 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.
Finally, EQE SUV owners can charge at Electrify America’s DC fast-charging stations with free unlimited 30-minute sessions for the first two years.
The EQE SUV is the third electric crossover from Benz and the second to be built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.