Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 review
The electric AMG range expands with the first of two high-performance versions of the mid-size EQE
- Seriously quick
- Hyperscreen infotainment
- Balances comfort with agility
- Very expensive
- Not as practical as EQS
- Some interior materials below par
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||276-322 miles||14hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||33mins (10-80%, 170kW)|
Mercedes’ AMG performance division is embracing electric power in tandem with its parent brand. Following on from the flagship AMG EQS 53 limousine, the mid-size EQE executive saloon has now got the AMG treatment, too. There are actually two performance derivatives of the zero-emissions E-Class equivalent: the AMG EQE 43 and AMG EQE 53. For the moment, we’ve only driven the latter.
On paper, it comes pretty close to its AMG EQS sibling, putting out 617bhp from its dual-motor powertrain, compared to 649bhp for the larger car. And like that car, peak power for the EQE can be boosted by opting for the ‘Dynamic Plus’ package, upping the maximum to 678bhp (which is a bit further off the 751bhp the EQS manages with a similar power-boosting option pack).
Maximum torque is 950Nm in standard form and 1,000Nm with the Dynamic Plus pack, so it won’t be surprising to hear that the EQE AMG feels alarmingly rapid when accelerating from almost any speed, despite its significant weight of just over 2,500kg. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 3.5 seconds, dropping to 3.3 with the Dynamic Plus pack, while top speed is 136mph. Those are fractionally quicker times than the larger, more expensive and more powerful (but also heavier) AMG EQS can manage.
One area where there’s a definite gap between the EQE and EQS is battery capacity, with the smaller car having a 90.6kWh pack compared to the EQS’ 107.8kWh unit. That translates to a maximum range of up to 322 miles – although you’re unlikely to get anywhere near that figure if you’re exploring the performance potential described above. When it’s time to recharge, the EQE 53 can replenish at speeds up to 170kW if you can find a fast enough charging point, which is sufficient for a 10 to 80% top-up in just over half an hour.
If you want to approach the maximum claimed range, intelligent use of Mercedes’ regenerative braking system is a must. Getting used to it happens quickly; before long you’re instinctively just modulating the throttle to slow down, rather than shifting over to the brake pedal. Both speeding up and slowing down happen smoothly, and the ride is cosseting, too, thanks to the car’s ‘AMG Ride Control+’ air suspension. Rear-wheel steering aids agility when you’re pressing on, but perhaps more importantly tightens the turning circle at parking at city traffic speeds, making the five-metre-long saloon that bit easier to handle.
Although the EQE can be hard to tell apart from its larger EQS sibling at a glance, there are noticeable practicality differences between the two. Boot space is a modest 430 litres and there’s a saloon, rather than hatchback, opening, so access isn’t the easiest. The rear seats are also a bit tight for taller occupants, due to the car’s teardrop shape and strongly tapered roofline. Legroom is very generous, however.
Exact UK pricing for the AMG EQE hasn’t been confirmed yet, but you can expect it to start at somewhere between £100,000 and £125,000 when it does go on sale. Bearing that in mind, we found the EQE’s interior finishes a little disappointing, with some pretty plain-looking materials used in some fairly prominent places.
In-car technology is first-rate, though: the impressive, dashboard-spanning ‘Hyperscreen’ setup (above) has migrated from the EQS intact, and although it might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s responsive, slick and packed with features for both driver and front-seat passenger.
So, apart from those interior quality and practicality reservations, the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 is a highly impressive all-round package, offering an intoxicating blend of speed, agility, refinement and cutting-edge technology – albeit at a hefty price.