Mercedes has been a leader in the automotive industry since automobiles were first invented. This heritage puts a lot of pressure on the company that we know today. It has to deliver the best possible products and always be one step in front of the competition. And having completed our testing we are ready to reveal to what extent the EQE incorporates the brand’s values and heritage as one of the first fully electric AMG models.
The Mercedes EQE is a midsize sedan with smooth body lines, optimized for improved aerodynamics. It incorporates the brand’s latest design language that Mercedes claims is based on intelligence and emotion. However, its looks are likely strongly influenced by the engineering department chasing aerodynamic optimization as the end result is a drag coefficient of just Cd=0.26 for the AMG models and even more impressive Cd=0.242 for the non-AMG variants. The reason for the difference is the more aggressive AMG bodykit, which slightly disturbs the airflow, but significantly improves the look of the vehicle.
Our test car was a Mercedes-Benz EQE 43 AMG 4Matic finished in “Graphite gray metallic”. It is the penultimate level in the EQE lineup, topped only by the EQE 53 AMG 4Matic+, which offers more power, but at a much higher price point.
The EQE has been on sale for about a year now and is Mercedes’ second fully electric sedan. As the naming suggests, it aims to be the EV equivalent of the popular E-class and hopes to persuade buyers to make the switch to electric mobility by offering different styling and more technology inside.
The EQE is placed in a segment where competition is picking up, but sedan sales in general experience a decline. Not surprisingly, Mercedes also offers it as an SUV in case the latter trend continues.
The outside of the EQE is very distinct and looks like nothing else on the road. This car prioritizes function over form, its design primarily focused on minimizing drag coefficient. Its exterior is bulbous with no reminiscence of previous Mercedes models.
The front of the EQE 43 AMG 4Matic is low and wide with a huge Mercedes emblem in the center. The front grille is actually a big piece of plastic, behind which are hidden all of the car’s radars and sensors. The vertical stripes that make it look like an actual grille can be either blacked out or imitate chrome. However we find both versions rather tacky looking and they feel cheap too.
The headlight units have the modern “Digital Light” technology, which Mercedes offers as standard for the model. They incorporate the signature LED daylights with the added functionality of projecting images on the surface in front of the vehicle, much like a home projector. This amazing quirky detail does not in any way hinder the performance of the headlights, which shine bright even in the darkest of roads.
Overall, the front of the EQE 43 AMG does not look mean or aggressive in any way, it can be better characterized as having a “sad” expression with the way its headlights and grille point down. The non-aggressive look is further helped by the very few differences between the base EQE 300 and the much sportier EQE 43 AMG. Up front, they look almost identical, with only a slightly more aggressive bumper with two small front canards on each side of the lower vents of the AMG. The vertical stripes on the grille are also reserved only for the AMG variant.
Moving on to the side profile of the vehicle, it has a raised window line that once again slopes down at both ends, making the vehicle look bulbous.
Below the doors there are two separate body lines that start from the front arches and end in the rear ones. They are characteristic for other Mercedes models as well, but this time, the upper line once again points down in both sides, making the vehicle look fatter than it actually is.
The door sills come painted in black with a prominent chrome line separating them from the rest of the body. They look identical in all trim levels, only that in the AMG models are lower to the ground, which makes for a sportier look.
The door handles of the EQE pop up when you get near your vehicle, which is a cool party trick and makes for smoother body lines and, again, lower drag. Mercedes is keen to point out that they benefit the range of the EV. However, as with all such solutions on EVs, harsh winters may pose a problem if that mechanism freezes, since there is no backup way of entering. Remotely preheating the interior should help prevent this.
The wheels follow the current automotive trend of being extremely flat and aerodynamic, but unlike many manufacturers that use plastic hub caps to cover the actual wheel, Mercedes has managed to make the actual wheels both aerodynamic and pretty. The wheels incorporate a design with 5 spokes in our case, which also have a second layer with gills behind. This makes the wheel look sporty and aggressive, while also allowing it to be efficient while driving. Mercedes offers multiple other wheel designs that follow the same principle.
The rear end of the EQE is very distinct and has a far sportier design. Its characteristic look comes from a huge LED bar going from side to side, which has an aggressive light signature that creates an amazing presence on the road.
The aggressive rear end is further enhanced by the bigger-than-standard ducktail spoiler and the huge black lower skirt. These options are available only for the AMG models. Their design goes well with the air vents on each side of the bumpers. Although they are fake and serve no purpose, they certainly make the car have a much meaner presence on the road.
Entering the EQE you are greeted by a modern environment with nice materials and big screens. Every material that you touch and see is of high quality and feels nice. The only downside is the build quality, which is not optimal for a car in this class and price point. There are a lot of creaks and rattles inside, which have no place in any car in this price range.
From the driver’s position, the EQE 43 AMG is very focused and sporty. The narrow windows, tight seats and the AMG steering wheel create a streamlined vision up front and the driver is left with the perception of a true sports car. Of course, this feeling also means it isn’t as spacious as it can be, but that is a fair trade-off in the name of emotion behind the wheel. Without the optional sunroof, the feeling of a sports car interior is further enhanced.
The steering wheel is a masterclass in design and usability. Mercedes has been using this steering wheel for a while now and it truly sets it apart from any other manufacturer. It is highly intuitive to use and allows control of all infotainment functions both on the gauge cluster and the center screen, allowing for a comfortable driving experience for all types of drivers.
The screen behind it is equally impressive with its amazing graphics and awesome optional 3D interface. The EQE lets you pick different looks for the gauge cluster with various functionality. From a focused sports display that prioritizes only speed and amount of power that is currently used, through a classic display that imitates traditional gauges, all the way to a full-screen map with just a little speed indicator, the EQE can do it all.
You can also set the driver screen to display live data about the vehicle such as upcoming services, tire pressures, range, efficiency, battery state and many more. Its ample 12.3" diagonal makes it easy to read even with a lot of different types of information displayed all at once.
Combining the magnificent gauge screen with the optional head-up display (HUD) makes for a perfect driving atmosphere. The HUD has crisp resolution and is positioned at the perfect height, so that you never even have to look at the gauge screen. It offers many practicalities, such as showing your speed, the speed limit, all driving aids that you have turned on and navigation callouts when you have set a destination. It also changes its design depending on the vehicle mode selected.
Almost hard to believe, but things get even better when we get to the central console. The EQE offers two options for central displays, starting with the well-known 12.8" vertically-mounted screen that can be found in the current S-class and C-class models. It is a relatively big screen that sits low in the central control stack, but works fantistically.
The more premium option, as seen in our test car, is the huge 17.7" center display, which transforms the whole interior of the vehicle. It stretches to integrate the digital gauge cluster and even adds a 12.3" passenger screen. All of these displays are connected in a single unit with a whopping width of 142 cm combined. This “Hyper Screen”, as Mercedes calls it, is a technological marvel, but its price of almost $9,700 is hard to swallow even on a premium car such as the EQE.
As already mentioned, the “Hyper Screen” comes with a passenger display, which sits right in front of the passenger seat. It is a neat addition as it can keep the front seat passenger entertained without distracting the driver. It has all the practicalities of the center screen, which is helpful in situations when the passenger wants to operate certain features, but doesn’t want to mess up with the driver's operation of the car.
The central console continues below the screens with a big storage unit, where the cupholders and the wireless charging tray are hidden. The cupholders can be easily removed, opening an even bigger storage area. In the same space are also 2 USB-C ports and an NFC reader.
Between the feet of the front passenger is another huge storage area with additional 2 USB-C charge ports. It has its own strap for securing luggage, which is useful for groceries or bags, which may otherwise fall while driving.
Connecting the central console and the armrest is a control stack for different vehicle features. It incorporates the start button and the hazard lights, as well as the button for the cameras, the charge port door and the different AMG displays and settings. A futuristic element is the fingerprint scanner, which directly connects to the preset this specific user has for the EQE. This panel also controls the sound of the audio system and turns it on or off.
The armrest is wide and stitched with leather. Sadly, it cannot be locked. This is a shame as it is very deep and can hold a lot. It also has a very weird small storage on the end of the armrest, which cannot even hold a pen or a credit card.
The seats in the front row are more sporty in the EQE 43 AMG compared to standard versions. They are a little bit tighter and have different upholstery options. Our test car was equipped with the Artico synthetic leather, combined with two-tone Microcut, which is a material between suede and alcantara. You can also choose real leather for around $2,700. Optionally, you can also have seat heating, cooling and even massage.
The doors feature the window and seat controls. The latter continues Mercedes’ tradition with controls that look like the seat itself, and moving them moves the corresponding part. For almost 50 years now, this has been an intuitive action, since the buttons moved. Now they are stationary and offer no haptic feedback, which makes using this seemingly simple configuration a far less pleasant experience. Eventually, you get used to it, but it still isn’t nearly as good as normal buttons.
The back seats are spacious with great leg and headroom. The reviewer of this car is 1.95 m (6'4") tall and had absolutely no problem fitting in the back.
The seats are soft and comfortable. Sadly, separate climate controls are a costly option and standard backseat occupants will usually have to make do with just 2 small climate vents.
An interesting feature of our car were the optional red seatbelts that look very cool, but oddly enough, the middle seat in the second row was left with the standard black seatbelt. Not sure if this is a cost-cutting aftereffect or an intentional decision, but it looks weird and disturbs the way the back seat looks.
Storage inside the EQE is normal for a sedan. The trunk space is 15.2 ft³, which is average for the class and is not impressive. The trunk itself is nicely proportioned with almost no indents, allowing for full usage of its size. A downside is the fact that the opening is high and rather narrow, which makes fitting large and heavy suitcases hard.
When folding the rear seats of the EQE the trunk becomes much bigger, but sadly without a flat bottom. This may be a problem if you attempt loading larger objects like furniture or home appliances.
Inside the cabin there are plenty of storage spaces available for small items in the door pockets and on the back of the seats. As already mentioned, the space between the driver and the passenger below the center console is a big storage area, which allows for great practicality in daily use.
Big electric vehicles usually come with a frunk, since they don’t have a big engine to take up space up front. However, the EQE doesn’t have a front storage compartment, nor does it even allow you to open the hood. The only thing that opens is a small reservoir on the side for the washer fluid.
Driving the Mercedes EQE 43 AMG 4Matic is a rewarding experience that brings joy and excitement. The car feels planted and very stable even at very high speeds. The turning radius is spectacular for such a big vehicle. The car keeps the ethos of Mercedes and provides a relaxing driving experience that inspires confidence.
The steering wheel is light but not disconnected from the road. It gives just the right amount of feedback, without making the journey feel like hard work. In sport mode it stiffens up to allow for better control, while in comfort mode, it offers a more relaxed driving experience.
Another factor that makes the EQE so good to drive is its suspension. It sits on Mercedes’ famous AirMatic air suspension, which offers great comfort while riding. It changes heavily between the driving modes, allowing for a comfortable ride in comfort mode and truly responsive behavior in sport mode. There is also of course a neutral mode, for those looking to find the middle ground.
Weight plays a vital role in the EQE’s road performance. The car weighs 5,567 lb unladen, which is, ahem, a significant amount of mass. Mercedes has done its best to hide it with its sophisticated suspension and low center of gravity, but you can only bend the laws of physics so far. Harder cornering and braking cause a significant amount of body roll. While braking, there is this unpleasant subjective feeling as if the tires stop, but the body of the car continues going forward.
The EQE 43 AMG inspires fake confidence while cornering, since the body doesn’t dive much into the corner, but eventually the tires give up under the pressure of the weight. Even though we had sporty Pirelli P Zero tires mounted on the test vehicle, they just couldn’t keep up with the immense forces of the EQE.
The Mercedes EQE 43 AMG has a clearance of 5.3 inches, which is not too low on its own, but combined with the long wheelbase of 122.8 inches, you’d often scrape the tarmac on uneven roads. During our testing, the vehicle bottomed out a few times in places where most others had no problems entering and exiting. This fact should be taken into consideration while driving on leveled driveways or over higher speed bumps.
The Mercedes EQE is among the very best when it comes to advanced technological features. We already mentioned the cutting-edge infotainment system, but you also get all the latest safety features.
Starting off with the infotainment, our test vehicle was equipped with the optional “Hyper Screen” that combines three massive screens into a single unit on the dashboard. This system not only looks futuristic, but it also contributes to the great on-board experience.
The central display has all kinds of functionalities and figuring out all of its capabilities is a task that requires multiple days dedicated to solely going through every possible menu and option.
An useful feature is the camera for when you are stopped at a traffic light. It gives you a real-life view of the intersection you are in, so that you can always see the signal. It uses the upper front camera and focuses on the red light to show you this view. This helps tremendously in heavy traffic if someone is blocking the view and is a great implementation of one of the cameras mounted for the 360-degree view.
The camera system itself is among the very best in the industry. It allows for absolute customization of the view and has great quality. It draws an accurate representation of the EQE down to the body color, combined with a crisp image quality. This camera system works great during the night as well.
The integrated navigation system is impressively accurate. The feature for augmented reality allows you to know exactly which turn to make by drawing an arrow in real time over an image of the actual road ahead. This image is once again generated through the camera system and makes driving the EQE feel just like a videogame.
Another cool if slightly less vital option of this car is the air purifier, which helps in the continuously worsening pollution in cities. There is a window display in the EQE that shows how polluted the air outside is and how the air purifier improves it inside the cabin.
Apple Car Play and Android Auto work great wirelessly and thanks to the giant screen are easy to use. Wireless charging, on the other hand, is a feature that is best avoided. During our testing we tried 7 different devices and it only worked once. Even then it didn’t as much charge the phone as heated it.
The passenger display offers complete independence from the main center screen, while enabling access to the same features. If the passenger wishes, it can also display the information from the gauge cluster. Information between all different displays can be interchanged.
A useful approach is that if the passenger is looking at videos or different types of entertainment while moving, the driver cannot see them to avoid distractions.
The passenger display screen remains off when there is no passenger on the seat. At this time it just displays a screensaver with an image of the Mercedes Vision AVTR, which is the spiritual predecessor of the EQE and the whole EQ lineup for Mercedes.
The new MBUX system in the EQE 43 AMG uses AI technology to learn and adapt to the driver’s lifestyle, habits and routines. It will suggest frequently taken routes and warn of traffic jams. It will also act as an assistant by asking you if you want to call contacts you frequently keep in touch with and indicate upcoming events in your calendar.
The Mercedes EQE 43 AMG 4Matic offers great comfort while driving. It is balanced and adaptive and allows you to get the exact type of ride you want. In sport mode it is harsh and direct, while in comfort mode it oozes luxury and flattens bumps and potholes. The only downside is the weight of the car, which can always be felt over big bumps and while quickly cornering on twisty roads.
The cabin noise inside the EQE 43 AMG is minimal. The raindrop shape combined with the phenomenal insulation results in an amazingly quiet interior. Winds are hardly ever heard and tire noise is only audible at high speeds. Occasional creaks and rattles from the poor build quality are the only thing that disrupts the peaceful atmosphere inside.
Sound level tests are carried out with a specialized sound level meter placed in the car’s cupholders. The test is conducted with air conditioning and radio off and while maintaining a steady speed.
The Mercedes EQE 43 AMG 4Matic delivers power in a true AMG fashion with loads of drama. Of course, there is no rumbling V8 sound coming from under the hood, but when the launch control is active, the speakers turn on sounds that resemble battleships in “Star Wars”.
Not only is the sound so captivating, but so is the acceleration itself. With launch control active we managed to improve Mercedes’ officially listed times. The EQE took 3.87 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 62 mph. Power delivery is linear and the acceleration never slows down from the launch to about 81 mph, when the vehicle's weight starts to take its toll. The top speed you can reach is 134 mph.
AMG also knows how to stop a fast car, but the mass gets in the way here. It takes the EQE 43 AMG 37m (121 ft) to go from 62 mph to a stop, which is far from exceptional. On the upside you can do multiple hard stops from such speed and the results remain the same even without the carbon-ceramic brake kit, available only for the EQE 53 AMG 4Matic+.
Acceleration and deceleration are measured with a RaceBox device inside the car. Testing is done with a single person inside the car, with air conditioning and traction control off.
The EQE 43 AMG is among the vehicles that are specifically built for higher speeds. Going around the city it consumes a lot of energy, but once it picks up some speed, the EQE can rival any car for efficiency. Our testing was conducted at 77°F ambient temperature, which is close to the optimal for such testing 70°F.
We measure consumption by driving at constant speeds on an identical test route during the day. Testing is conducted with air conditioning, all safety systems and radio on. The data comes from the vehicle's board computer. Specific testing parameters such as ambient temperature are mentioned in the text on a case by case basis.
The EQE can be charged at up to 170 kW rates, but our testing proved it can even go slightly higher as we measured 175 kW peak charge power.
To calculate the expected charging times in every possible situation, please refer to our tool below, which is based on our tests. It calculates charging times depending on the charger you have available and the kind of top-up you are looking to get.
See this Real-world charging time tool on our website.
The Mercedes EQE 43 AMG 4Matic's segment is still not the most crowded around, but a lot of competition is coming soon. At this point, the model mostly aims to get Mercedes loyalists to transfer to electric mobility. However, that doesn't mean it won't try to win over some new fans.
Its main competitor is the brand new BMW i5. Orders are now available and the model looks very competent in the M60 trim. It offers similar space inside with a more traditional look on the outside. The battery has a smaller capacity, but supports higher charging speed than the EQE, yet the range of both vehicles is closely matched.
The other luxury offering in this segment is the Audi e-tron GT quattro. It offers better performance and much more aggressive looks. Range is the weak point of the Audi, but charging can be done at up to 270 kW. Space inside the cabin is more limited than the EQE, however driving the GT quattro can put a bigger smile on your face, thanks to the sportier handling and lower seating position.
The Mercedes-Benz EQE 43 AMG 4Matic is a fun, quick and modern luxury sedan that can tackle almost every challenge. It competes in a segment that used to be very popular back in the day and may be making a return in the EV era. It offers cutting edge technology, but sadly this comes at a very solid price even in the base trims.
So the EQE is definitely not a vehicle you buy because of reason, but the purchase is rather based mainly on emotion. It rewards you for your choice with an overall great driving experience and amazing technology.