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Less is More, SUV Version: The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV front 3/4 view

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV rear 3/4 view

"EQ" signifies a Mercedes electric. The big ones are "EQS", putting them in line with the S-Class, Mercedes biggest sedans, and the mid sizers are "EQE", aligning with the E-class midsize sedans. But while non-electric Mercedes SUVs are "GL" (GLS for the big ones, GLE for the midsize), in the EQ range, it's EQS and EQS SUV, then EQE and EQE SUV. In April, I said that the EQE sedan was a tighter, tidier package than the EQS, and now I can report that the EQE SUV has the same advantages over the EQS SUV. Shorter front and rear overhangs make the car more maneuverable and easier to park. Like the EQE sedan, which one you choose affects how far and how fast you go. Our tester was the EQE 500. That's 402 horsepower, 633 lb-ft of torque and 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. But your range per charge is 269 miles. Adequate, but not eye-popping these days. More range is available if you choose the EQE 350+ SUV, but not a lot---dropping down to 288 horsepower and living with 0-60 times of 6.3 seconds (not too shabby) only buys you an extra ten miles of range---269. The much more aerodynamic EQE 350+ sedan manages 306 miles per charge. Both the 350+ and 500 pale in comparison to the range and the power available in any Tesla Model X.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV rear liftgate open

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV rear seat

And, as with the EQE sedan, not much of the trimmed length comes from the passenger compartment, so it's still a very spacious, comfortable cabin.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV front seats

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV front seat detail


The base price of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV 500 4MATIC (our tester) is $90,650 including destination. That brings a ton of standard equipment, including a 10-degree rear axle steering system, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, wireless smartphone integration and charging, a Burmester 3D surround sound audio system, a power tilt/sliding panorama roof, 64-color ambient lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and some, but by no means all essential active safety features.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV center console

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV center screen

Our test vehicle also had quite a bit of extra-cost optional equipment---though it only totaled a bit more than $10,000: The Sable Brown/Neva Grey Nappa Leather was $1,370, beginner and valet driver programs were $50, energizing air control with a HEPA filter was $450. The Acoustic Comfort Package added $1,100.

Ventilated front seats put another $450 on the tab, the heated steering wheel costs $250, AIRMATIC air suspension is $1,900, a black carpeted trunk mat $90, the Digital Light Package (LED headlamps, front LED light band, animation and symbol projection functions) adds $1,200, and the Exclusive Trim Level Package (active ambient lighting, augmented reality for navigation) is $850.

Finally, two things that I've been mentioning in recent Mercedes reviews: $250 for the 110V home charging cable. A lot of EVs provide that for free. It smacks of nickel-and-diming on a nearly six-figure vehicle (and yeah, I know BMW and especially Porsche have it down to an art form, but still). And $1,250 for the Driver Assistance Package---which includes something cars in the $20,000s have as standard---adaptive cruise control. Yes, there's a lot more in this package, so sell that. Making something that basic and essential extra-cost betrays Mercedes-Benz' longtime practice of developing and sharing safety advances.

Anyway, the bottom line of the window sticker reads $99,860.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV front view

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV side view

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV rear view

While the EQE SUV may not measure up in power or range to a Tesla Model X (which I can't offer any opinion other than statistics on, as Tesla does not make vehicles available for review), there is Mercedes' reputation for quality to consider. For its seeming shortcomings, the EQE SUV does provide a high-quality luxury mid-size EV SUV contender, and is worthy of your consideration.


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