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Test Drive: 2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan Review

2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan
2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan / Credit: Mercedes

Mercedes’ Midsize EV Is a Pleasant, Tech-Friendly Sedan

  • Trim Tested: EQE 500 4Matic Exclusive Sedan
  • Price as Tested: $89,150 (starting price including destination charge)
  • What We Like: Cool tech; comfortable and spacious
  • What We Don’t: Expensive; not sporty

Mercedes EQ line of electric vehicles is growing rapidly, with the goal of complete electrification of the Mercedes lineup by 2030 “where market conditions allow.” Last year, the S-Class got its EQ-uivalent, the EQS. This year, it’s the E-Class.

Even though it’s $27,000 less than the EQS, the EQE is hardly a bargain. Our EQE 500 – in the midtier Exclusive trim – tipped the scales at $89,150 without options. We drove the midsize electric sedan for a week and these are our impressions.

How It Drives

The EQE is quite different from its namesake E-Class. It is an all-around smoother vehicle, from its quiet power delivery to its seamless ride over bumpy pavement. Its egg-like styling contributes to a .20 coefficient of drag, which is exceptional and helps it reach a range of 305 miles.

2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan
2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan / Credit: Mercedes

The power is there if you want it, especially in the EQE 500 model we tested, which has 2 electric motors providing all-wheel drive (AWD) and 408 horsepower. Acceleration is not at the same level as the EQS 580, but it’s still breathtaking.

The EQE’s smoothness does not translate to agility. It is heavy and ponderous on higher-speed corners and there isn’t much feedback from the steering or brakes. Take it to a parking lot, though, and you can maneuver the large EQE through any obstacle with the help of its 4-wheel steering system.

Interior Comfort & Quality

The materials and build quality in the Mercedes EQE are top-notch. There is stitched leather on the dashboard and center console, and silver Burmester speaker covers add an elegant touch.

The EQE is spacious and comfortable. The front seats offer Mercedes’ signature seat adjustment buttons on the door. The rear seats have plenty of legroom (the EQE is slightly larger than the E-Class). My feet fit under the seat in front of me, though there wasn’t a lot of extra room for my head. Passengers much over 6 feet might feel their noggin brush the headliner.

The center console houses a large storage bin with cupholders, a wireless phone charger, and a sliding cover. Ours was finished in black plastic, but wood is available. The armrest hides another deep storage area, accessible via spring-loaded double-hinged doors. 

2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan
2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan / Credit: Mercedes

The EQE’s trunk space is excellent, and two buttons in the trunk make it easy to lower the rear seatbacks for longer cargo. However, to make room for the battery, the trunk floor sits high, leading to a high trunk lid. That squashes the rear window into a little slit, leaving limited visibility.

Technology & Usability

The EQE has a simpler cabin design than the E-Class. All Mercedes are more streamlined inside than Audis or BMWs, but the EQ models take this to the extreme. Perhaps inspired by Tesla’s minimalist cabins, the EQE does away with most dashboard buttons, replacing them with a large touchscreen.

The MBUX touchscreen and steering wheel buttons are attractive to look at, though it’s easy to get distracted on the road, and the touch-sensitive controls don’t have the satisfying feedback one gets from real buttons. An optional MBUX Hyperscreen can replace the dashboard with a single piece of glass and three screens. Our test car didn’t have it, but you can read about it in our EQS review.

2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan
2023 Mercedes EQE 500 Sedan With Hyperscreen / Credit: Mercedes

The most noticeable feature in the EQE’s cabin is the ambient light system. Brighter than any I have seen, Mercedes’ Active Ambient Light pulsed and glowed in a vibrant display of colors, turning red when we accelerated, blue when we changed the temperature to a cooler setting, and maintaining a constant, pulsating blue and white pattern while we cruised.

Other features of note included the automatic parallel parking system, dual-pane sunroof, and augmented reality navigation (although we just used Google Maps via the wireless Android Auto).

Carfax vehicle reviews let shoppers compare a vehicle’s specs against its competitors. However, some aspects of a vehicle – performance, comfort, usability – can only be evaluated through actual driving. That’s why we evaluate as many vehicles as we can, so you’ll know what to expect.

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