Last year we spent time with the rather expensive Mercedes-AMG EQS ($310,900) and we found it to be as much of an impressive vehicle as the tech that was behind it. But the EQS was right in the top price bracket, with a price tag of $310,900. Thankfully the 2023 Mercedes EQE range has several variants, starting at $132,100 all the way up to $195,000, making the fully electric saloon a somewhat expensive, but more realistic option across the market.
DriveLife got our hands on the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC, which is $195,000. Not cheap, but when you consider it’s more than 30% ($115,000) cheaper than the EQS, and looks pretty similar, you might not be too bothered whether there is an S or E on the boot lid. For those who may not be up to speed on the entire Mercedes range, the EQE is supposed to be the full EV version of the E-Class, just like the EQS is the full EV version of the S-Class
The EQS made a big impression on me, pushing the bar up and over everything that is currently available. They not only created a fast car, but they also created an everyday useable car with great range and simple user interface, combined with an ultimate luxury interior. If the EQE is based on the same platform and design, it’s a pretty good place to start.
What We Like and Dislike About The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE?
What we like
- Exterior front design
- Interior Styling
- Luxury comfort
- Ride quality
- Interior space
- Boot space
- Massage seats
What we don’t like
- Exterior rear design
- Price tag
- Rear lip spoiler
- At-home charging time
What’s In The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Range?
There are 3 models available for the EQE, starting with the EQE 300 ($132,100), moving to the EQE 350 4MATIC ($145,000) and the top model the EQE 53 4MATIC+ ($195,000). Even though it’s cheaper than the EQS, I fear the price tag is still not for everyone, but in saying that, neither is an E-Class.
The base model EQE 300 comes with a single electric motor, an 89kWh battery electric powertrain with 180kW of power and 550Nm of torque. The EQE 300 can launch from 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds.
The mid-range model, EQE 350 4MATIC comes with a dual electric motor, a 90.5kWh battery electric powertrain with 215kW of power and 765Nm of torque. This model can launch from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds.
The top model, the EQE 53 4MATIC+ comes with a dual motor, 90.5kWh battery electric powertrain with 460kW of power and 950Nm of torque. This means EQS can launch from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds.
But there is more. On top of the $195,000, you can add a range of additional option packs.
- MBUX hyper-screen package – $15,600
- AMG Dynamic PLUS package – $1,600
- GUARD 360 Vehicle protection Plus – $3,990
Plus a range of individual options
- Rear-axle steering (4.5°, 3.6° for EQE 53) – $2,900
- AIRMATIC air suspension – $3,800
- Alternating-current charging system – $1,800
- AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system – $9,100
- Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Gen1.5 Type 2 AC Charger – $2,867
There are also 4 different wheel options for the EQE; the wheels on our review vehicle are standard and are the only options for the EQE AMG 53. 21-inch AMG Y-spoke alloy wheels, matt black with high-sheen finish rim flange.
Colour options for the EQE are rather interesting too, with 6 no-cost options and 4 additional cost paint finishes:
- Polar white non-metallic
- Obsidian black metallic
- Sodalite blue metallic
- Graphite grey metallic
- High-tech silver metallic
- Selenite Grey metallic
- MANUFAKTUR Opalite White bright – $2,200
- MANUFAKTUR Alpine Grey solid – $2,200
- MANUFAKTUR Patagonia Red bright – $2,200
- MANUFAKTUR Graphite Grey magno – $6,100
2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC Standard Equipment Highlights
The specs for this model are as you would expect, rather impressive.
- Lithium-ion battery, 420V, 90.5 kWh
- AMG specific body styling
- AMG brake system
- AMG Spoiler lip on the boot lid, painted in vehicle colour
- AMG specific front radiator grille
- 21-inch AMG Y-spoke alloy wheels
- DIGITAL LIGHT Headlight System
- Continuous reflector strip at front
- Heat-insulating, noise-insulating, infrared-reflecting laminated glass all-round
- Panoramic glass electric sliding sunroof
- Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
- Traffic Sign Assist
- Active Steering Assist
- Active Brake Assist
- PRE-SAFE® PLUS
- Active Lane Keeping Assist
- Active Blind Spot Assist
- Parking Package
- KEYLESS-GO Comfort package
- EASY-PACK tailgate
- TIREFIT tyre sealant with electric inflation compressor
- URBAN GUARD vehicle protection Plus
- Mercedes-Me Connect
- Burmester® 3D surround sound system
- DAB+ Digital radio tuner
- Mercedes-Benz Emergency call system
- Wireless charging system for mobile devices in the front
- Mercedes-AMG Interior
- AMG nappa leather black / space grey
- Multicontour front seats with active cushion, hot stone massage
- Climatised front seats, 3-stage heating and ventilation functions
- Power driver and front passenger seat with memory function
- THERMOTRONIC automatic 4-zone climate control
- AIR BALANCE Package
- Active ambient lighting
Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment
- MBUX hyperscreen – $15,600
- AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package – $7,400
- AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system – $9,,100
- AMG carbon-fibre trim Centre console – $2,100
Including the optional equipment our review car’s retail price is $221,300.
For a full list of specs and options available for the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC jump on over to the Mercedes-Benz New Zealand website
How Does The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC Compare To Its Competition?
As the buyer, you have to look at what is important to you. Is it Formula 1 acceleration or is it luxury? Tesla is the big name everyone talks about but right now they are only selling the Model 3 and Y. If they had the Model S Plaid, I still think they struggle to stand next to Porsche and Mercedes when it comes to luxury vehicles that are tried and tested.
All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme (*CCP)
|Porsche Taycan Turbo||93.4||500/850||3.2||394||366||$304,300|
|Audi RS E-Tron GT||93||440/830||3.3||472||350||$289,990|
|Audi E-Tron GT Quattro||93||350/630||4.5||478||350||$205,990|
First Impressions Of The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC
If you didn’t know about the EQS, you would instantly identify this vehicle as an EV with that subtle EV-like aerodynamic design. However, if you did see or drive the EQS, you might be hard-pressed to see the difference from the EQE. The only noticeable difference would be the length and the badge.
Unlike the EQS, the EQE was blue with big black wheels, and it looked great. The 21” AMG Y-spoke alloy wheels gave this vehicle a very aggressive look, made that much better as they sat over the massive carbon ceramic brake kit. So you know this vehicle means business, which is clear from the 0-100 spec of 3.5 seconds – 0.2 of a second faster than the EQS due to the fact it’s a bit lighter and has fewer batteries.
The overall design of the EQE is somewhat slick and space-age, except for the rear and the disappointingly cheap AliExpress stuck-on lip spoiler. This is the same problem the more-expensive EQS had. The front and side of the EQE looked great, with a high-end feel. The rear is a bit unfinished and feels disconnected from the rest of the car. Regardless the overall look and feel are very high-end and futuristic.
Just like the EQS, I didn’t like seeing the AMG badge on the back. It’s a high-end EV and it would be quick, but I am not on board with the link and heritage of what AMG stands for.
What’s The Interior Like In The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC?
Being the smaller brother to the EQS, the EQE is pretty much identical inside, with the main distinguishing feature, the front full hyper screen. Inside the EQE feels like it’s ahead of its time, more like the future of flying cars than the battery generation we are moving into. The finish is clean and I really loved the beautiful carbon finish on the panel, much better than the wood finish in the EQS.
It wouldn’t be an E class if the seats didn’t cost more than most average cars. Styling wise they look great – sculpted shapes with a raised and an almost-floating headrest. Being that the EQE is a bit more sporty in nature than the EQS it’s good to see the very supportive side bolsters, and the entire outside of the seat has an LED strip running around it. Like the S Class and EQS we tested, the EQE has automatic seat-position setup based on your height. Once entered the seat will adjust itself to the perfect position for that height. It’s a neat trick and works very well. They are also both heated and cooled and have a full range of massage options.
The seats in the rear are just like the EQS, a drastic downgrade from the front. Similar in style and design, but they are heated and cooled. Legroom in the rear is good, even for a taller adult like myself. Just like the EQS this interior space is due to the shorter front and rear of the vehicle, allowing a larger cabin for passengers.
The infotainment is very much the centre stage of this car, once you get past the EV side of things. The entire dashboard is one massive glass screen with 3 separate touch screens built into it. One for the driver, behind the steering wheel, one in the centre for general displays, maps and settings, and one for the passenger.
The driver’s display feels like a futuristic PS5 game. It’s a graphic tunnel you look down at, with wave-form gauges flowing around the outside for power use and brake regeneration. I think it’s the first really outside-the-box dash graphic design, and I love it. In the centre of this visual there is a vertical graph that shows how much you’re using the acceleration or braking force of the system. The closer this visual gauge climbs towards the driver the stronger the force.
The central screen is huge, and it really puts any Tesla screen to shame as it’s wide, not tall. This screen allows you access to all of the car’s features and settings. Super easy to navigate, even the home screen has some of the more regularly used buttons available without submenus. I found that driving at night was easy. Unlike some other EVs with large screens which are too bright at night, the EQS adjusts the display brightness so that it’s not a distraction of illuminating the cabin too much while driving at night.
Overall the infotainment is super impressive, with lots of options, nice details and visuals that really lift the level of this luxury vehicle. The only thing that it really suffers from is fingerprints and dust.
The view out of the rear window is okay; it’s a tight and narrow space as the boot is high and the rake of the rear window is low, which I assume is for aerodynamics. I can’t say I look out the back much, apart from regular driving. When parking, I generally use side mirrors, any reversing or parking is supported by the 360-degree virtual parking system.
The boot space is good, and unlike the EQS the EQE has a regular sedan boot lid. This means the opening is a bit tighter than the hatch-like lid on the EQS. It’s 430 litres in size and felt a bit narrow due to how the support arms are designed into the sides. The rear seats can also drop down, which means you can get larger objects or more volume in the boot space.
What’s The 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC Like To Drive?
The EQE is a bit of a beast, as it’s lighter than the EQS which gives it a faster 0-100km/h time, of 3.5 seconds. Do you need this sort of performance from an EV? No, you do not, but it was fun to test and it’s the main gimmick that all the EV manufacturers continue to promote over ICE vehicles. The downside of this is that not everyone who is behind the wheel of a car should have access to power like this, as you can very quickly run out of driver skill at those sorts of speeds.
But what is the EQE like to drive? When compared to its bigger brother, the EQS. The main feeling was that the EQE was more nimble. The few fewer batteries, and a couple of inches in body weight, seem to make all the difference. Going from a super luxury spec in the EQS, to a sporty sharp sedan in the EQE.
Mercedes-Benz advertised the kWh/100km rating as 22.7kWh/100km, and during my time behind the wheel, I managed 25kWh/100km. I feel like I could have achieved closer to the advertised if I had been more of an EV angel and less of a spirited driver.
Much like the EQS the steering wheel has a lot going on. Lots of buttons, paddles for brake regeneration modes and AMG performance dials. It has far too many buttons which makes me sound very old, but there was too much going on. The driving ones like cruise control, volume, phone, and speed limiter were fine, but the row of controls above split between the left side controlling the central display and the right side controlling the driver’s dash are just too much.
The wheel itself was great, very comfortable, and I found myself using the brake regen mode via paddles a lot on the motorway, going from Coast Mode to +2 for heavy braking from the motor when leaving the motorway.
Just like the EQS the AMG aspect of the EQE was great. There are 5 driving modes: Snow and Ice, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. When in Comfort mode, the vehicle has a huge amount of torque – 950Nm to be exact. Unlike the EQS, the sports modes in the EQE are noticeably different. The overall vibe inside and the ambient sound were louder, and boy did this car move once you stepped on it. The noise in the background is a bass-like drone that is deeper than the electric motor noises. As the car felt more nimble than the EQS, the combined sports modes made it rather fun to drive.
The digital headlights are amazing, so much quicker than before with high beams on all the time, blocking out oncoming vehicles with patches of night, moving and dancing through the sky.
Inside the cabin it’s very quiet when daily driving just like the EQS, the road noise is low, even in poor road conditions. The suspension is stiffer than the EQS, which may have been due to it being a bit smaller and lighter, if 2.5 tons dry can be called lighter. The EQE was able to recreate the same relaxing space and environment that the EQS did, leaving the driver relaxed and refreshed even after a big drive.
One aspect that you need to consider which also affects the EQS is that the EQE has a huge battery, and EVs with big batteries do not charge fast at home. You really need to be using the fast or high-power chargers, otherwise you could be left waiting a day or two to charge at home from the wall plug.
2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 4MATIC Specifications
|Starting Price||$195,000 (excl CCP)|
|Price as Tested||$221,300 (excl CCP)|
|Transmission||Single-speed direct drive|
|Spare Wheel||Space saver|
|Kerb Weight, Kg||2,530|
|Length x Width x Height|
|4946 x 1961 x 1510|
|Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,|
(seats up/seats down)
|430 / 895|
|Maximum Range km||500|
|Advertised Spec – Combined – 22.7|
Real-World Test – Combined – 24.5
Low Usage: 6-10 / Medium Usage 11-19 / High Usage 19+
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
|Warranty||3 Year Warranty|
8 Years or 160,000km on High Voltage Batteries
|Safety information||EuroNCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link|
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – MB EQE
Have you enjoyed this review? Be sure to join our monthly email newsletter list so you don’t miss a single car review!