When Mercedes unveiled the EQS, I admired the fact that it wasn’t a dead ringer for the S-Class. The EQS is the flagship of Mercedes’ EQ electric sub-brand, so it’s only right for it to have a distinct design.
But it seems Mercedes still prefers the ‘cookie cutter’ approach to designing models sitting below the flagship. Just look at its three main sedan offerings: The C-Class looks like the E-Class, which in turn resembles the S-Class.
Appealing to buyers’ aspirations is certainly one way of making the “lesser” models look even more attractive. And that’s probably why the EQE is essentially a smaller EQS.
FAMILIAR AND SIMILAR
Both the EQE and EQS have the same rounded “teardrop” silhouette, or as Mercedes terms it, a “one bow, cab forward design”. The main difference is that the EQE doesn’t have that LED strip above the tristar badge. It’s also a saloon with a proper boot, whereas the EQS is a fastback.
At the rear, the EQE also has those striking 3D helix tail-lights. But park it beside an EQS and you’ll immediately notice that the former has a shorter rump, which when viewed from the side, seems like it was abruptly truncated.
The EQE isn’t a small car by any measure, though. Despite being 259mm shorter than the EQS, its overall length stands at 4,964mm, and its wheelbase, though 90mm shorter, remains a generous 3,120mm. Hardly modest dimensions.
Inside, the cabin is as pretty as expected, with gorgeous and punchy graphics for both the instrument panel and infotainment display. The large, tablet-like screen for the latter is conducive to quickly digesting info at a glance.
Active Ambient Lighting is also present here. The interior can be bathed in your choice of colour/s, and since the system is integrated with the driver assistance functions, it can visually warn the driver of say, an impending collision.
No other carmaker does mood lighting this well, for even the turbine-shaped air-vents are illuminated. However, if you don’t fancy having a car interior that resembles a club lounge, the lighting can be switched off.
But no colour combination can distract you from the backseat, which just isn’t as comfortable as it should be. With relatively straight backrests and angled seat squabs, the resulting seating position is awkward to say the least. I wouldn’t want to be sitting back here on a long drive.
Rear seats aside, the EQE delivers a sparkling drive. In 350+ trim, the electric motor on the rear axle kicks out 288hp and 565Nm, figures that zip the sedan from rest to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds. That’s quick for a car of this size that weighs in at over 2.4 tonnes sans driver.
Rear-axle steering makes a big difference, though, as the system enables the rear wheels to turn up to 10 degrees. At low speeds, they turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels, shrinking the car’s turning circle. At higher speeds, they turn in the same direction, enhancing stability.
Parking in multi-storey carparks becomes less tricky because of this. A bird’s-eye view parking camera helps you check that the car is correctly positioned within the space.
On the go, the EQE350+ responds in a silky manner to your throttle inputs, with linear power delivery that won’t startle drivers who are new to electric cars. Air suspension ensures a compliant ride – even with 21-inch wheels.
Like the EQS, the EQE is a consummate cruiser that prefers long expressway stretches to winding roads. It can be hustled if you insist, but the resulting lean won’t be pleasant. Taking it easy and luxuriating in the car’s refinement is a far more satisfying way of enjoying what it was designed to do.
The EQE can go the distance, too, with a 90.6kWh lithium-ion battery able to give it a maximum range of 669km. If you only cover up to 50km a day, you’ll be able to go nearly two weeks before needing a recharge.
Herein lies the issue. The EQE behaves exactly like the EQS, except that it’s smaller. It’s a well-sorted, nicely built electric executive sedan. But it could also have been the smaller and sportier version of its flagship. That, plus a character of its own, would have given it even more panache.
This article was first published on Sgcarmart.
Mercedes-EQ EQE 350+ AMG Line (A)
MOTOR Permanently agitated synchronous motor
MAX POWER 288hp (215kW)
MAX TORQUE 565Nm
BATTERY CAPACITY 90.56kWh
POWER TO WEIGHT 116.8hp per tonne
GEARBOX Single-speed automatic
0-100KM/H 6.4 seconds
TOP SPEED 210km/h
CONSUMPTION 5.4km/kWh (WLTP combined)
MAX RANGE 669km
PRICE INCL. COE $449,888 (after $25k VES rebate)
AGENT Cycle & Carriage Industries