Launched locally last December, some four months after the arrival of the EQS, the EQE 350+ comes fully imported, priced at around RM420,000.
While the EQS has since begun local assembly with upgraded specs, it remains status quo for the EQE.
Mercedes-Benz also offers the all-electric EQA, EQB and EQC SUVs but they are based on traditional combustion engine platforms instead of being designed from the ground up on an all-electric foundation as are the EQS and EQE. So space and aerodynamic limitations are to be expected.
Like the EQS, the sole EQE for Malaysia is built on Mercedes’ first dedicated electric platform called the Electric Vehicle Architecture 2 or EVA2.
While it’s a shrunken version of the EQS, the EQE is larger than the current W213 E-Class.
The EQE measures 4.95 metres in length, or 18cm less than its EQS, and the wheelbase is around 9cm shorter, with 3.12m. Compared to the combustion-engine E-Class, it is 1.1cm longer and has an 18.1cm longer wheelbase.
On the outside, the electric version of the E-Class looks like a futuristic pod on wheels.
With a coupé-like silhouette, its sleek bodywork is the result of the brand’s Sensual Purity philosophy, characterised by “generously modelled surfaces, reduced joints and seamless design”.
Its front end and overhangs are kept short, while the rear provides the dynamic accent with a sharp rear spoiler and ndistinctive helical tail lights.
The grille comprised a black panel flanked by Digital Light LED headlamps for a modern touch.
In our view, the black panel comes across as plain; the front end would have looked better with the Mercedes-Benz patterned radiator grille, as is offered in other markets.
However, the black panel is part of the AMG Line specification for the car that includes AMG bodystyling, 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and AMG-specific parts. Lending a sporty flair are four doors with frameless windows.
The EQE doesn’t have the EQS’ tailgate; instead it gets a conventional boot with 430 litres of space, which is still a decent amount of storage that can be enlarged with folded down rear seats.
The EQE, however, doesn’t have a frunk as in some battery electric cars.
The car’s overall shape, along with aero-optimised wheels and tyres, results in a 0.22 drag coefficient - translating into a “slippery” body that aids in maximising range.
The interior is plush and made of high quality materials as one would expect of a Mercedes.
Instead of getting the door-to-door MBUX Hyperscreen, the EQE dash is simplified with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch OLED infotainment touchscreen providing a not-so intuitive haptic feedback.
Its zero-layer design means there’s no need to burrow through submenus for quick access.
The rest of the dash is a broad patterned panelling of backlit three-pointed stars, which confers an elegant and minimalist look, accentuated by a slim air-cond vent band running the width of the dash.
The chunky multi-function steering wheel is wrapped in Nappa leather, while seats are upholstered in Artico/Microcut, a mix of synthetic hide/microfibre.
Legroom is plenty with sports seats upfront providing four-way lumbar support for comfort.
Tall passengers in second row will find headroom tight because of the coupe roofline, and long distance comfort will surely be compromised by seatbacks that are a tad too upright.
Rearview visibility is also hampered by a constricted rear windscreen, compounded by the trio of headrests in second row.
In-cabin entertainment is provided by an excellent Burmester surround sound system.
The EQE taps into Li-ion battery underfoot that has a net capacity of around 90kWh - and offers a WLTP range of up to 669km. We averaged around 530km in mostly highway driving, which is reasonably good by our reckoning.
The EQE is charged at up to 170kW. It takes about 32 mins to top up from 10% to 80%. Under ideal conditions, it only takes 15 mins to charge the battery enough for 250km. AC charging at 11kW from 10% to 100% takes a little over 8 hours.
Meanwhile, a singe-speed transmission relays battery power to the single-rear-drive motor which produces 215kW/292hp and 565Nm of torque for a 0-100kph sprint in 6.4s.
The electric powertrain delivers instant torque, resulting in swift acceleration and a smooth driving experience.
The EQE is equipped with multi-link suspension all round, and there’s no air suspension option for Malaysia. Still, it rides well enough over all but the ruttiest roads to keep harshness at bay.
Suspension is on the soft side and shows up as the car is thrusted through corners.
Steering is light and muted in Comfort mode and sharpens up a fair bit in Sport mode to the accompaniment of synthesised engine noises for added drama.
Adaptive regeneration braking via the paddle shifters take some getting used to. Some drivers have complained it’s plain disconcerting when they can’t find the brake pedal position where they expect it to be when the car is automatically braking itself.
The regen was designed to enable the driver to fine-tune the amount of energy recaptured during deceleration. This not only helps maximise range but also adds a level of engagement and control to the driving experience.
On the safety front, the EQE offers an extensive suite of driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, Active Stop-and-Go Assist and active lane-keeping assist.
These technologies enhance safety and provide a more relaxed driving experience. The car also supports over-the-air updates, allowing for continuous software improvements and the latest enhancements.
While the EQE has some shortcomings, it remains on balance a desirable electric car. The comfort, luxury and range is palpable.
And it’s every bit a Mercedes positioned at the leading edge of mobility.
Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ AMG Line
Electric motor: Single Permanently Excited Synchronous, rear-mounted
Maximum power: 215kW/292hp
Maximum torque: 565Nm
Battery capacity & type: 90.5kWh, Lithium-ion
Range: 669km (WLTP)
Charger Type: Type 2 (AC) / CCS2 (DC)
Transmission: Single speed automatic
Features: 9 airbags, rear-wheel drive, Digital Light with projection function, four-zone automatic climate control, 4 drive modes, Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist and Stop and Go, autonomous braking, Evasive Steering Assist, wireless phone charging, paddle shifters for regenerative braking control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, Augmented Reality Navigation, 4 USB-C ports, 15-speaker, 710-watt Burmester 3D Surround Sound System, powered and heated front seats with memory function, 360 degree camera, auto parking, 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, tyre repair kit
Normal charging (AC, 11kW 10-100%): 8 hours 15 mins
Quick Charging (DC, 170kW 10-80%): 32 mins
Acceleration (0-100kph): 6.4s
Top speed: 210kph
Kerb weight: 2,355kg
Boot capacity: 430 litres
Price: (OTR without insurance): RM419,888