2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV review

15 minutes, 39 seconds Read

Mercedes-Benz tries its hand at value-oriented motoring with a prestige twist. Does the EQE300 SUV change the trajectory of this iconic luxury brand?

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What we love
  • Silent operation suits premium positioning
  • Oodles of interior space
  • Storage, storage, and more storage!
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What we don’t
  • Rough and clunky urban ride
  • Poor outward visibility
  • Awkward driving position

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2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE300

As Mercedes-Benz grows its electric vehicle portfolio in Australia, the EQE SUV range steps in as a more practical compaction model to the existing EQE sedan line-up. In a slightly surprising approach, there’s no ‘SUV tax’ pricing either. A base EQE300 is priced the same as a sedan or SUV, and as you move up the range, the SUV actually gets cheaper than its sedan counterpart.

Does that make the EQE300 something of a value champion in the large luxury SUV class? Even alongside the GLE range, the EQE looks like a close match, although in the case of the GLE450 versus EQE300 you do take a dip in power, while the GLE300d brings all-wheel drive, unlike the EQE300, but is a close (if not exact) match for power and torque.

Still, as the social status of conspicuous consumption is traded for stand-out sustainability, the very un-Benz-like EQ range brings an intriguing alternative to the petrol and diesel SUVs that once used to line the streets of leafy suburbs.

How much does the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV cost in Australia?

As the opener to the EQE range, the EQE300 kicks off the newly introduced SUV range with a starting price from $134,900 before options and on-road costs. The single-motor EQE300 puts a 180kW/550Nm electric motor on the rear axle, powered by a 89 kilowatt-hour battery providing a claimed 539km driving range.

In terms of equipment, the standard specification includes 21-inch alloy wheels, AMG Line styling, ‘Digital Light’ matrix LED lighting, a panoramic sliding glass sunroof, powered tailgate, keyless entry and start, rear privacy glass and side steps. On the inside there is leather seat trim, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated front seats, 64-colour ambient lighting, and real wood dashboard trim.

You need not stop there, with the option to add 22-inch wheels, a choice of black or grey interiors, ‘Guard 360’ Protection Plus (which adds app-connect vehicle theft alert capability), 22kW AC charging, four-wheel steering, and air suspension – among other available options.

In the case of the car shown here, Obsidian Black paint is available as a no-cost option, as is the Neva Grey and Biscay Blue interior, and the wheels are the standard AMG Line items (in Australia there’s no option to un-AMG your styling)

Key details 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV
Price $134,900 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Obsidian Black
Options Neva Grey/Biscay Blue interior – no cost
Price as tested $141,526 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $141,526 (in VIC)
Rivals Audi Q8 E-Tron | BMW iX | Lexus RZ

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How much space does the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV have inside?

Just looking at the EQE SUV from the outside gives few clues as to the space inside. Its smooth shape and rolling curves make it difficult to assess the physical size unless it’s parked alongside a more traditional SUV.

The new EQE300 is actually a touch shorter than the GLE (by just 62mm), but as with so many electric cars built on a dedicated EV architecture, the wheelbase is able to extend, with a measurement 35mm greater than the GLE’s wheelbase. The result is a roomy cabin, with plenty of room inside for five occupants, but no seven-seat option.

Like the EQE and EQS sedans before it, the interior design of the EQE SUV features a relatively simple dashboard design, and an uncluttered centre console configured to maximise storage underneath. Digital real estate takes pride of place (more on that in the next section), and the use of real wood veneers and metres upon metres of accent lighting give the interior its panache.

Family buyers, rest easy, there is a more kid-friendly dark interior option. While the pale interior shown here looks stunning at first glance, the near-white flooring was already starting to look tatty, and the pale-rimmed steering wheel bore the stains of sweaty palm grips. You may need a full-time detailer on staff to keep this colour combo in top form.

I was a little disappointed to find that the driving position came with compromises. As a shorter driver, the ergonomics didn’t line up. With the steering wheel almost all the way in, my feet only just made it to the pedals, and the left footrest was out of reach. The wheel felt unnaturally high, but if adjusted lower it cut off a large section of the instrument display.

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There’s also a large console intrusion into the footwell on the driver’s side that’s not found on the passenger side. For a platform that doesn’t need to accommodate a traditional engine and transmission that seems odd.

Front seat space itself is decent. It’s a step up into the cabin, though it is neither too high nor inelegant. The seats themselves are broad, but not too grippy despite the pronounced-looking bolsters at the sides. The switches on the doors are fiddly and frustrating to operate – they don’t actually move like Benz seat controls of old, and trying to balance things like seat height and seat base tilt is needlessly frustrating.

The centre armrest gives way to a deep storage box that reaches almost all the way down to floor level. There’s also a lidded cover hiding a pair of cupholders, additional storage space, and tucked out of view is a wireless charge pad. It’s a bit crammed out of the way, but without a cup in the holder, it’s still possible to hook your phone out to retrieve it.

The console is open underneath, and there’s a massive receptacle underneath right-sized for a handbag, belt bag, tissue box, or other carry-on items – with a small hold-down strap to keep things from rolling out, and a pair of USB-C ports to complement the pair higher up in the console.

Rear seat space is commodious, and head and leg room are generous but the rear seat angle is fixed in place, and the rear bench neither slides nor reclines to tailor the available space. I found the rear seat quite upright. Fine for shorter trips, but potentially a bit too formal for a cheeky nap on a longer road trip.

The rear seats can be folded with a 40:20:40 split to increase cargo space, but again if you opt for the pale interior, the boot is lined with pale carpet. Possibly not the most cavoodle-friendly option. There is some cable storage space under the boot floor, but none under the bonnet. Bag hooks are present, as is a retractable luggage cover.

2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV
Seats Five
Boot volume 520L seats up
1675L seats folded
Length 4868mm
Width 1940mm
Height 1685mm
Wheelbase 3030mm

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Does the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Don’t look for the impressive all-glass Hyperscreen multi-display dash in the EQE300, it’s not available here, but can be optioned on all other EQE models. Instead, the 300 uses a 12.8-inch infotainment display in the centre of the dash and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, along with a driver’s head-up display.

Opinions vary greatly on this, but to my eyes, the integration of the centre display as an extension of the console looks far nicer, and more premium than the three individual screens pretending to be a single display on the Hyperscreen set-up. At its core, the Benz infotainment system uses the excelling MBUX operating system, which offers a huge amount of customisation and multiple user interfaces.

You can pair to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but for many functions you may not need to, with a comprehensive range of functions embedded as part of the EQE’s software. The touchscreen is high resolution and quick to respond, and the OLED instrument display ahead of the driver stays legible regardless of lighting conditions outside.

I found the steering wheel touchpads to adjust the driver’s display and infotainment fiddly and frustrating, and had a much easier time using the touchscreen directly, or using the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands. It’s still not perfect conversational control, and you can’t always ask it questions or give it addresses the same way you would Siri or Google Assistant, but it is improving.

If you do opt to tap the screen, and use the row of buttons below the screen to steady your hand, be aware this panel (and a number of other dash parts) move and rattle, diminishing the feeling of quality you might expect.

The system also includes FM and DAB+ radio, integrated satellite navigation, active noise-cancelling, 15-speaker Burmester audio, and access to the Mercedes Me app that offers remote vehicle status checks, send-to-car navigation, parked vehicle location info, cabin preconditioning and charge management for a complimentary 36-month period, after which most services are available by subscription.

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Is the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV a safe car?

The Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV does not carry an ANCAP safety rating, or an equivalent Euro NCAP rating, with testing not yet conducted. The rating applied to the EQE sedan does not carry over to the SUV models.

2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV
ANCAP rating Untested

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What safety technology does the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV have?

The EQE SUV’s safety systems include features like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, active lane-keep assist with lane-centring, driver attention monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, rear collision mitigation with brake intervention, blind-spot monitoring with active assist, door exit warning, multi-view 360-degree cameras, and traffic sign recognition.

The list of safety credentials is impressive, but Mercedes-Benz does itself a disservice by downplaying the number of features it has, lumping them under the ‘Driving Assistance Plus Package’ and not individually detailing what’s included.

The Mercedes-Benz driver assist systems feel advanced. Lane systems are unobtrusive, but step up when needed. There were no false alarms or accidental interventions in my time with the car.

In terms of passive safety, there are 10 airbags including front and rear side airbags, a front-seat centre airbag, driver’s knee airbag, full-length curtain airbags, and front airbags for driver and passenger. The rear seat has two ISOFIX child seat mounts and three top-tether anchorage points.

How much does the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV cost to maintain?

Mercedes-Benz covers its entire vehicle range with a five-year warranty with no kilometre limit for private buyers. Vehicles used commercially (as a ride share or chauffeur service) have a 200,000km distance cap. The Mercedes EQE and EQS models are among the first to come with a 10-year, 250,000km high-voltage battery warranty, most brands offer eight years/160,000km, so there’s some handy added peace of mind there.

Service intervals occur every 12 months or 25,000km and Mercedes-Benz offers prepaid service packages. All EQE models have the same pricing, at $2240 for three years, up to $4085 over five years. Compare this to the $2500 BMW asks for a six-year maintenance plan on an iX, or the complementary package you’ll get on an Audi Q8 E-Tron for six years, and Benz servicing looks exorbitant.

A quote for annual comprehensive insurance came to $3942 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances. The same details for a BMW iX came to $3678, and a Q8 E-Tron returned a massive $5865 premium.

At a glance 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Battery warranty 10 years or 250,000km
Service intervals 12 months or 25,000km
Servicing costs $2240 (3 years)
$4085 (5 years)

Is the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV energy-efficient?

The EQE SUV range packs a big 89kWh battery, and in this least powerful variant there’s a promised 539km of claimed driving range in a single charge. Energy consumption is rated at 18.9 kilowatt-hours per 100 kilometres, and after a week of driving our real-world results settled at 20kWh/100km, but the driven distance and projected remaining range came closer to 465km in total.

It’s good to see a real-world figure so close to the manufacturer’s claim. Given the size of the EQE300 that 20kWh/100km claim isn’t too excessive either.

Standard AC charging is possible up to 11kW, but a 22kW onboard charger upgrade can be optioned. Maximum charge speed is 170kW allowing for a quick 32-minute 10–80 per cent top-up in ideal conditions.

Energy Efficiency Energy Stats
Energy cons. (claimed) 18.9kWh/100km
Energy cons. (on test) 20.0kWh/100km
Battery size 89kWh
Driving range claim (WLTP) 539km
Charge time (11kW) 6h 30min (claimed 10–80%)
Charge time (50kW) 1h 30min (claimed 10–80%)
Charge time (170kW max rate) 32min (claimed 10–80%)

What is the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV like to drive?

The hallmarks of the Mercedes-Benz brand translate so well to electric vehicles. Quiet, swift, unruffled… The EQE300 addresses them all.

The single-motor EQE300 drives the rear wheels to the tune of 180kW and 550Nm. That’s a match for the GLE300d’s 180kW and 50Nm ahead, but the 2.55-tonne EQE carries an extra 200kg compared to the diesel GLE. Performance is similar, though, with a 7.2-second 0–100km/h claim for the GLE against 7.3 seconds for the EQE.

The big difference is the smoothness and serenity of the drive. The EQE doesn’t vibrate or hum at idle; in fact, it doesn’t idle at all, more or less in standby until you press the accelerator. The initial acceleration curve from a standstill is quite gentle, so it’s easy to move off gently and not rattle occupants.

There’s plenty of torque, so the drive feels robust, but the entry-level EQE300 isn’t a powerhouse. Capable, yes, but not really exciting. Ideal for urban confines, though.

In saying that, open-road trips are no issue. Hushed wind noise and minimal road noise make for a great highway tourer.

Ride quality doesn’t play by the same rule book, unfortunately. The big SUV struggles to disguise its weight and crashes its way through bumps and potholes, feeling too firm on initial compression and transferring too much disturbance into the cabin. While this surely helps it feel more tied down, it doesn’t deliver a true luxury experience.

Steering is light and fluid, but without much in the way of feel or feedback. On the highway it does feel settled, which makes long trips more settled.

It’s possible to alter the accelerator responsiveness and steering weight via the drive mode controller. Eco, Comfort and Sport modes ramp up from a slightly dulled response to a slightly sharper one, with firmer steering, but neither step is pronounced. Each is only a small difference from the next. It’s also possible to mix and match configurable parameters with an Individual mode.

I also found outward visibility made driving the EQE into a bit of a guessing game. There’s a huge triangular base on the windscreen pillars, and bulky rear-view mirrors just beside those that add a precarious element to approaching intersections and pedestrian crossings, with cyclists, pedestrians, and approaching vehicles easily blotted from view unless you zigzag and shuffle around in the driver’s seat to ensure the coast is clear.

Rearward visibility is similarly compromised, with bulky headrests and a massive rear pillar obliterating over-shoulder visibility. While the EQE has a range of sensor-guided safety systems, it’s disappointing to see the basic fundamentals so clearly overlooked.

Key details 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV
Engine Single electric motor
Power 180kW
Torque 550Nm
Drive type Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Single-speed
Power-to-weight ratio 70.7kW/t
Weight (tare) 2546kg
Spare tyre type Run-flat tyres (std)
Tyre repair kit (opt)
Turning circle 12.5m

Should I buy a Mercedes-Benz EQE300 SUV?

With an entry-level price that undercuts the cheapest diesel GLE equivalent in the range, the EQE300 could be seen as a no-surcharge electric alternative. Whereas EVs often carry a price premium, the new EQE SUV looks like a bit of a value leader – at least in the realms of already-expensive prestige large SUVs.

The interior spaciousness and the quality of the finishes and details meet expectations, and the serenity and quietness make every drive a relaxing one. Unfortunately, the sharp ride, compromised visibility, and a driving position that’s incompatible with short-statured drivers take the shine off a package that’s promising but ultimately falls short in some important areas.

Depending on your priorities, the EQE300 could be everything you expect from a new electric SUV or it may leave you wanting. We’d suggest a deep-dive at your local dealer to ensure you’re happy with what you get – especially in terms of ride quality, or if the available air suspension might be a worthwhile upgrade.

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How do I buy a Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV – next steps?

Mercedes-Benz dealers have made the switch to a no-negotiation pricing model, which means no matter which dealer you visit within your state, pricing should be uniform across the board, with no haggling or deals outside of approved promotions.

Mercedes-Benz dealers are holding a small selection of models in stock, and a representative of the brand described the stock situation as “sufficient” and declined to comment on wait times for an order not in stock. You can browse vehicles available via the online purchase portal, which allows you to search by model, vehicle type, specific variant, trim colour, and a range of other search options. You can also browse available Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles for sale at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale.

If you want to stay updated with all the latest details on the EQE range since this review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE300 Wagon

7.6/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

Kez Casey migrated from behind spare parts counters to writing about cars over ten years ago. Raised by a family of automotive workers, Kez grew up in workshops and panel shops before making the switch to reviews and road tests for The Motor Report, Drive and CarAdvice.

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This post was originally published on this site

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