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2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 challenges rivals

James Raia

With the addition of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE lineup, the German manufacturer approaching its centenary now offers more than 30 vehicles. They’re all named with numbers and letters and acronyms requiring code-breaking expertise.

The EQE series arriving this year, one year after the debut of the EQS, the carmaker’s first all-electric sedan available in the United States. The EQE 500 4Matic is the mid-level of three available trims. It has two motors, a 90.6-kWh lithium-ion battery, 402 horsepower and all-wheel-drive. Like its siblings, it’s a smaller version of the EQS.

Smaller by definition doesn’t mean small. The EQE 500 is a spacious luxury sedan, handsomely styled inside and outside. It’s marketed with seating for five, but like many mid-size sedans, the rear seating area is comfortable for two adults, a tight fit for three. The MSRP is $85,900.00. As reviewed and loaded with several packages and stand-alone features, the EQE 500 slides just under the 100K plateau at $99,470.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 is a new EV sedan for the German automaker.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 is a new EV sedan for the German automaker.

The fully variable all-wheel-drive (with torque shift) transmission produces a top speed of 130 miles per hour. The EQE 500 is smooth-driving and quiet at all speeds.

It accelerates briskly, without any commonplace EV whine. The 0-60 mph standard is achieved in 4.6 seconds; the carmaker designates the range at 305 miles.

The interior, well-designed and constructed with high-grade materials, has a handsome, futuristic appeal. The dash is dominated by a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch central touchscreen. Variable ambient trim lighting (64 colors), clever use of curved paneling and plenty of compartment space belie the sedan’s exterior dimensions. The trunk has 15 cubic feet of space, impressive for the segment.

The shifting mechanism is reminiscent of the “three-on-the-tree” transmissions of yesteryear. There’s “Hey Mercedes” voice activation. Without wind rush or additional interior noise, the 15-speaker Burmester sound system provides a top-notch mobile symphony experience.

Mercedes-Benz reports the EQE 500, with 170 kW of DC fast-charging, will recharge from 10 to 80 percent charge in 32 minutes.

Top-line technology is a Mercedes-Benz strength. The EQE 500 is available with numerous trim levels and packages with lofty titles. The Pinnacle Trim Level features the Air Balance Package ($3,050) and USB-C Package, Head-Up Display, MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation, Active Ambient Lighting and Four-Zone Climate Control.

The Driver Assistance Package ($12,50) features Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Steering Assist w/ Hands-Off Warning, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Ten airbags are standard.

If more is better, there’s Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Evasive Maneuver Support, Extended Restart in Stop-and-Go Traffic and Route-based Speed Adaptation.

Three more packages and more than a dozen additional items, heated rear seats to upgraded exterior trims, a star pattern grille and an exterior symbol projection feature for night visibility and safety add to the luxury.

In only a few years the electric luxury sedan segment has grown into a keen competition. The new Mercedes-Benz’s rivals include the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT, Lucid Air, and BMW i4. All are worthy, with the German brands sharing the group’s longevity honors.

The EQE 500 and the Lucid Air are newbies, both distinguishing themselves in short order. The new Mercedes-Benz has much to praise. Its only downfall? The sloping roofline limits rear-window visibility with three rear-seat headrests further hampering the view.

With all of its engine strengths, edgy look and EV status, the subpar rear-view vision isn’t a deal-breaker.

The EQE 500 offers refined driving. It’s a noteworthy newcomer ready to give its veteran competition a stiff challenge.

FACTS & FIGURES: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.6 seconds.
Airbags: 10.
Electric motor: 90.6-kWh lithium-ion battery.
Range: 305 miles.
Horsepower: 402.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $85,900.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.mbusa.com.
Price As Tested: $99,470.00.
Warranty: bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 4 years/50,000 miles; Electric battery, 10 years, 155,000 miles; Roadside Maintenance: 2 years/20,000 miles.

 

 

Article Last Updated: April 18, 2023.

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