Mercedes SUVs have been popular commodities among luxury buyers for decades, and there’s no reason why that should change as the world transitions toward EVs. In fact, high-riders have been part of Mercedes-Benz’s electrification strategy almost from the beginning, as the GLC-based EQC SUV was one of the company’s first long-range electric vehicles.
As such, no one should be surprised as the automaker pulls the silk sheets off its newest EV, the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. As its name suggests, it’s a crossover-ised variant of the EQE saloon, based on the same EVA2 architecture that underpins that model, as well as the larger EQS saloon and EQS SUV. Available in four models – the mainstream EQE 350+, 350 4Matic, and 500, as well as the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV – the electric crossover will be built in the same Alabama factory as the larger EQS SUV. Coincidentally, that means that the American market will be the first to welcome the sport-ute when it launches in the first few months of next year.
But when it arrives, it will have to face off against the eco-chic Tesla Model Y, the upstart BMW iX, and the soon-to-be-refreshed Audi E-Tron. That’s stiff competition, even for an SUV wearing the vaunted three-pointed star. At least the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV has the hardware needed to make a case for itself.
Adam And EVA2
That starts with the aforementioned EVA2 platform. The modular electric architecture can be scaled up and down, which allows the EQE SUV to ride on a relatively short 3,030 millimetre (119.3-inch) wheelbase, with an overall length of 4,864 mm (191.5 inches). Surprisingly, the EQE saloon is longer in both metrics, though it can’t compete with the crossover’s 1,687 mm (66.4-inch) overall height. The stubby overhangs work very well with the EQE SUV’s higher roofline, giving it a squat and planted stance with the wheels at the corners.
Although the EQE SUV shares lots of design cues with its siblings – the gloss-black grille panel and Edison-bulb taillights come to mind – it looks much more conventional. There isn’t as much taper to the greenhouse as on the EQS SUV, and the bonnet line is more horizontal than the arch-shaped EQE and EQS saloons. The bodysides are smooth, with a subtle crease on the rear haunches that takes the place of the EQE saloon’s bold shoulder line. Overall, the EQE SUV looks good, and its slightly more conventional styling should give it some mass-market appeal (though the coefficient of drag will likely suffer).
Hidden in the floor is a 90.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack shared with the EQE saloon. Mercedes estimates that the longest-range EQE SUV variant will travel a combined 550 kilometres (342 miles) per charge using the optimistic WLTP scale – plan on 300 miles or so for EPA ratings. That comes up short on the saloon’s 660-kilometre WLTP rating, given the crossover’s aerodynamics-sabotaging height. Still, the EQE SUV will be capable of the same 170-kilowatt DC fast charging as other Mercedes-EQ products, enabling a 10-to-80-percent charge in 32 minutes. On a household 240-volt wallbox, Mercedes says a 10-to-100-percent charge happens in 9.5 hours.
The EQE 350+ SUV will feature a single, rear-mounted electric motor, good for 288 bhp and 417 pound-feet, while the all-wheel-drive EQE 350 4Matic adds a front motor to the mix, keeping power the same but bringing torque to 564 lb-ft. The EQE 500 SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive, with higher-performance dual motors bringing 536 bhp and 633 lb-ft to the table. Curiously, both the single-motor EQE 350+ SUV and the EQE 500 SUV have more power than their EQE saloon counterparts, but the same torque.
Gallery: 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV
It’s Hammer Time
Of course, if you’re really after power, you’ll want the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV. Using unique electric motors and AMG-specific inverters, the hottest crossover variant makes 617 bhp and 701 lb-ft in standard form, rising to 677 bhp and 737 lb-ft if the buyer selects the optional AMG Performance Package. Do so, and your EQE SUV will hit 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, with an impressive-for-an-EV top speed of 149 mph – expect about 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 130 from the AMG without the performance pack.
The sportiest EQE SUV comes standard with Airmatic suspension, enhanced with Mercedes’ active 48-volt sway bars that counteract body roll in corners. The AMG EQE SUV is the first electric vehicle from Mercedes to offer that tech, and it should cure one of our biggest dynamic complaints – even the EQS AMG saloon has a tendency to flop and wallow through tight turns. Steel brakes with six-piston front and single-piston rear callipers are standard, although carbon composite front rotors can be added as an option if you’re one of the approximately zero people who plan to take your 2,676 kilogram (5,900-pound) electric SUV to the track.
Wheels measuring 21 inches are standard, with 22s available as an option. Specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres come with the larger rolling stock, while less grippy – but more efficient – tyres come on the base wheels. The AMG also comes with standard 9.0-degree rear steering, which provides better corner turn-in and reduces the turning circle to a minicar-spec 10.9 metres (35.8 feet).
All that performance comes wrapped in a package that’s more aggressive and ground-hugging. Vertical strakes on the front panel ape a petrol-powered AMG’s grille, and the front and rear bumpers are aggressively shaped to channel wind around the car and reduce lift at speed. Inside, the EQE SUV gets better-bolstered front seats and unique interior finishes, with sportier upholstery choices that include leather and Alcantara. An AMG steering wheel also comes standard, including the drive mode dials and selectors mounted near the hub.
Space To Spare
The cabin of both the AMG and the standard EQE SUV will feel familiar to anyone who’s spent time in the EQE saloon. A 12.8-inch center touchscreen is standard, as is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Opting for the Hyperscreen and its full-width glass dashboard design replaces the center display with a 17.7-inch unit and adds a 12.3-inch touchscreen for the passenger to use. And for the first time in an EQ product, the owner can upload their own image to use as a wallpaper when not using the displays. The AMG’s infotainment also includes performance-oriented skins and additional gauge displays in both standard and Hyperscreen form.
The EQE SUV is much more comfortable than its saloon kin, thanks in part to the upright seating position that compensates for the high, battery-laden floor. The rear seat is an especial improvement, with 33 mm (1.3 inches) more of headroom for a total of 998 mm (39.3 inches). The bench also reclines for even more comfort. The taller, squarer rear windows are yet another improvement, reducing claustrophobia for everyone on board.
Cargo space, while better than that of the EQE saloon, still lags behind the competition. At 521 litres (18.4 cubic feet) with the rear seat reclined or 566 litres (20.0 cubic ft) with it bolt-upright, the EQE SUV falls short of the Tesla Model Y (855 litres / 30.2 cubic feet), BMW iX (1,005 litres / 35.5 cubic feet), and Audi E-Tron (770 litres / 27.2 cubic feet). Fold all the seats in the Mercedes and you’re left with 1676 litres (59.2 cubic feet), which is less than all but the Audi E-Tron.
Mercedes says to expect the first EQE SUVs to arrive in dealers sometime in the first half of next year, launching in 350+, 350 4Matic, and 500 4Matic form. The Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV will come a few months later. Pricing is still in question (as it is for the EQE saloon), and so are final EPA ratings. We expect it to start at around £75,000, rising to maybe £120,000 for the AMG variant.
Gallery: 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
Although its smallish cargo area is a concern, the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV should boast class-competitive performance, charging speed, and range. Meanwhile, the AMG version should offer even more speed than the likes of the Tesla Model Y Performance, BMW iX M60, and Audi E-Tron S. And both variants will boast the same technologically advanced cabin and impressive fit and finish as other Mercedes-EQ products. That may be enough to help the three-pointed star keep its luxury SUV stronghold safe, even now that the industry’s gone electric.