Sunday Drive: All-electric in the 2023 Mercedes EQE 500 4Matic SUV
Going all-electric for a week can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking, as we have discovered in our past experiences. As manufacturers race to introduce plug-in vehicles to their lineups, the Mercedes EQE marks the sixth all-electric car we have test-driven for an entire week here in Utah.
Let’s start with the fun part. Who wouldn’t be impressed by an SUV that boasts over 400 horsepower and an astounding 633 foot-pounds of torque? The EQE 500 had us grinning from ear to ear, with one of Craig’s friends who owns a Tesla Model Y even taking a second look and requesting a ride!
However, the stressful part, once again, revolves around the range of an electric vehicle. As the EQE arrived early on a Thursday morning, Craig had planned a trip to Ogden with his sisters, Christi and Marci, for a meeting regarding the Ogden-Weber Chamber magazine.
With over 90% charge upon arrival, the EQE seemed more than capable of tackling the 160-mile round trip to Ogden on that beautiful spring day in June. It was the first time for both Christi and Marci to embark on an extended journey in an all-electric vehicle, as their experience with electric cars had been minimal, limited to a few short rides around the block with Craig.
Christi’s first question was whether we would make it to Ogden and back without having to stop somewhere to recharge. To ease their concerns, Craig and Marci spent some time exploring the menus on the massive 12.8-inch OLED touch screen nestled in the center console. Soon, all the electric information they needed was displayed on the screen.
According to the EQE, it had over 270 miles of range, making the 160-mile loop to Ogden and back a breeze. However, after turning on the air conditioning, adjusting the radio and setting the SUV to standard mode, the Mercedes provided an estimate of the mileage we would consume and the potential savings if we made adjustments, such as modifying the HVAC unit’s cooling intensity or switching drive modes.
The setup was impressive, particularly for longer road trips that exceeded the vehicle’s range. For our drive, it seemed we would have at least 60 miles of range left as we set the EQE to cruise.
And off we went, enveloped in a cocoon of comfort and luxury. Mercedes left no stone unturned in ensuring the utmost satisfaction and safety of occupants in the new EQE SUV. The leather-clad seats, adorned in a luxurious nova gray leather, were heated up front, although we didn’t need to rely on that feature as the mid-June weather provided ample warmth for our adventure.
The front seats of our EQE, equipped with the trim we received, even came with a massage function. Craig and Marci couldn’t resist indulging in a stress-reducing massage, even though it slightly affected the vehicle’s overall range. But sacrificing a few miles for such relaxation was unquestionably worth it!
The inclusion of Mercedes’ personal assistant was a major hit with the sisters, who delighted in bombarding it with questions just to hear the responses. This feature proved invaluable for familiarizing ourselves with the Mercedes and accomplishing various tasks, such as setting navigation points, changing radio stations or requesting a different ambient lighting color in the SUV. Simply saying “Hey, Mercedes” triggered the personal assistant, ready to assist and answer queries, much like Siri or Alexa.
Loaded with safety features, the EQE also came equipped with the optional Drivers Assistance Package ($1,250), which made it feel almost like driving an autonomous vehicle. It kept us in our lane, maintained the correct speed or matched the vehicle ahead, and could even change lanes with a simple tap on the turn signal lever. On the freeway, the SUV patiently waited for an opening before effortlessly transitioning into the adjacent lane.
This package also included rear cross path detection, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning and mitigation, and active speed limit assist, which automatically adjusted our speed according to the road’s limit.
To our relief, we successfully completed the trip on a single charge, arriving back in Springville with 50 miles of range remaining on the EQE. We did consume approximately 40 miles more than if we had been more conservative with the interior cooling, but it was a personal choice to prioritize comfort. Nonetheless, it’s an important aspect to consider if range becomes a concern and charging points are involved along the way.
According to online technical data, the EQE can charge from 10% (our starting point) to 80% in just 32 minutes on a DC fast charger, accepting up to 170 kilowatts of energy. Charging at home using our 240-volt garage charger, it took from 8 p.m. until 4:45 a.m. the next morning to fully replenish the battery. This confirms that overnight charging on a home charger is a viable option.
Testing the 2023 Mercedes EQE 500 4Matic SUV was a thrilling and occasionally stressful experience, highlighting both the enjoyment of driving a high-performance electric vehicle and the considerations involved with range management. As manufacturers strive to expand their electric vehicle offerings, the EQE stands as a testament to Mercedes’ commitment to luxury, comfort and innovative technology.
Base Price: $89,500
Destination Charge: $1,150
Price as Driven: $98,040