Mercedes EQE: Is this the best electric car you can buy right now?

This Merc is better than its big brother and a better mix of range and performance than anything else out there right now

2022 Mercedes EQE 350+

Amid soaring prices and rampant inflation, it’s a German luxury car brand that has unwittingly done its bit to buck the trend. Well, for the wealthy elite at least.

Mercedes is rolling out a cavalcade of electric vehicles. The progenitor of the modern automobile is not going to be left in the car park as we move from petrol to plug.

The supposed flagship is the EQS, an all-electric take on the S-Class. Yet, what we have here, the EQE, is a much better car at a slightly lower price.

What catches us so unaware is that Mercedes executives are making noises about moving further upmarket. Mercedes was always at the top table in the premium car ranks, but now it wants to dine with the luxury folks.


Chasing volume was once de rigueur even for premium players in the auto industry: now at Mercedes it’s declasse. The Germans have indicated they will be content to lose some low margin sales in place of high-value models. Translated from corporate-speak into regular English, it sounds like prices are going to rise.

Against that backdrop, it makes the EQE a surprising star. While this car starts at €85,980 – spiralling over €100,000 when you add a few options – the larger EQS doesn’t leave the showroom before you lay down at least €130,000. True, that’s still not going to help that many Ford Mondeo owners make the electric leap, but even the wealthy like to nab a bargain when it’s presented to them.

2022 Mercedes EQE 350+

For starters, this EQE is a great looking car, better proportioned than its larger sibling and looking that bit more like a coupe than you might suspect inside its spacious cabin. True, the roofline swoops down on the heads of rear passengers a little earlier than in the larger EQS, but there’s no shortage of legroom – either front or back – for taller occupants.

Then there is the latest array of tech gadgetry, with Mercedes also offering its show-stopping hyper-screen dashboard as an option on the EQE, the full 55-inch tech extravaganza.

2022 Mercedes EQE 350+

In reality, the standard 13-inch screen fitted to our test car is just as impressive and easier on the eye when driving at night. Having driven the EQS with hyper-screen and now the EQE with the “regular” system, I’d be leaning towards the latter and spending any spare cash on other options.

Powering the EQE is a sizeable battery pack with 90kW of useable energy storage, giving Mercedes the right to claim an official range of 641km on a single charge. Yes Nissan Leaf owners, you read that right.

While official figures are often somewhat removed from reality, I can attest that the kilometres ticked down from our range at roughly the same rate as the distance we travelled. I would expect it to deliver over 500km for most motorists. And if you can find a vacant rapid charger, you can add 250km in just 15 minutes thanks to the EQE’s ability to take 170kW charging.

But if the electronic gadgetry caught your eye and the all-electric range reeled you in, then the EQE’s driving dynamics will seal the deal.

2022 Mercedes EQE 350+

That impressive battery pack is what drives 292hp electric motors on the rear wheels, capable of a 0-100km/h time of 6.4 seconds. It feels more rapid when behind the wheel, but if you want more, then you can opt for the 475hp AME EQE 43 version, or wait a while for the AMG EQE 53 which promises to put out 686hp.

For those you opt for the 350+, you get a car that feels as fast as any Irish family motorist will need, but with a poise and steering accuracy that makes rivals half-baked. Compared to the EQS, this car feels far tauter and engaging to drive, not to mention fitted with brakes that feel far more positive and reassuring. The steering feel is the real star, up there with BMW and Audi in terms of engagement.

While the eco driving mode set-up is too encroaching, both comfort and sports modes deliver on their promises. The suspension set-up is not nearly as glorious as the more expensive EQS, but it only really shows when you drive it into large potholes or off the top of poorly engineered speed ramps. And you can always opt for the full air suspension option, which will overcome all these issues.

The EQE is the goldilocks EV many well-heeled buyers have been looking for. Powering cars from batteries involves an obvious trade-off. Use that stored energy to go fast or go farther. Mercedes has got the mix right here. While the performance does start to taper off as the speedometer climbs, it certainly delivers a punch, but at the same time never causes a serious dent on that claimed range.

2022 Mercedes EQE 350+

Clearly the biggest issue for the EQE is the price. Even for E-Class owners – the equivalent model in the old fossil-fuelled range – a starting price of €86,000 and climbing seems a big ask. Yet, when pitched against its rivals, this Merc is not an outlier.

All in, the EQE is truly impressive and this year’s biggest surprise, largely because we came to it on the back of testing its supposedly more sophisticated sibling. It’s a proper Tesla beater when it comes to quality and refinement, and sits alongside the Audi E-Tron GT as one of the best electric cars – in fact simply one of the best cars – we’ve driven in recent years.

Lowdown: Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ AMG-Line

Power: 90kWh battery driving a 215kW electric motor developing 292hp and 565Nm of torque, driving a single-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive.

CO2 emissions (annual motor tax) 0g/km (€120).

Claimed range: 641km.

0-100km/h: 6.4sec.

Price: €105,131 as tested, EQE starts from €85,980.

Our rating: 5/5.

Verdict: A shining star electric car.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times