Published on March 22nd, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC SUV Review

We drove the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV to Penang and back. Here’s our full review.

Last month, I had the chance to sample the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. This was the last electric vehicle introduced by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia in 2023 and indeed the brand hasn’t launched any other EV since. From my perspective and analysis, the Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ sedan was one of the better premium electric vehicle entries on offer in terms of range. So where does the SUV version with an extra motor, more equipment and more room in the back fit in with its lower overall range?

I set out with the car immediately after picking it up from Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s HQ near Puchong and head to Penang to attend a friend’s wedding to get a clear picture of how this car performed as a whole.

Where Does It Stand?

Right now, the Mercedes-Benz EV range can be divided into 2 categories – those built on the larger and dedicated electric EVA platform and those built on the flexible and compact MFA2 platform. The EQE SUV falls in the first category. It has no petrol or hybrid counterpart, but there’s the non-SUV version which is actually quite a different car in many ways.

In terms of similarities, there’s the design language. Both the EQE and EQE SUV feature similar styling cues with the black front panel serving as its grille and sensor housing, the model name is featured on the A-pillar, there are retractable door handles, a “unibrow” taillight strip and a largely smooth body with creases only found on the hood. In fact, if not for the conjoined DRL in front and the snazzy rims, this looks just like a jacked up version of the EQE sedan.

In spirit, that’s kind of what this is. You even get the same battery, but there are difference between the two vehicles that are stark in terms of dimensions. Plus, the addition of a motor on the front axle and adaptive air suspension add 200 kg to the vehicle’s mass, cutting its range by 100 km verses the sedan version.

It’s not all bad news though. The boot is much larger at 520L versus 430L. Plus, because it’s an SUV, you can fold down the rear seats and move genuinely large items like furniture and gym equipment. This kind of flexibility is seen as the biggest appeal of the SUV form and could be a legitimate pull factor for buyers in the market for an EQE-class vehicle.

The interior is a nice mix of luxury and practicality with a tech focus. On a positive note, the large displays are fluid and crystal clear, there are lots of storage spaces, a wireless phone charger, and AMG Line design touches. On the negative side, touch-capacitive controls on the steering sometimes register misclicks. Physical buttons from older Benz steering wheels are functionally superior and don’t show smudges as easily as this.

A strange feature that we discovered was a fully manual recline feature for the rear seats that slightly increases luggage room. No one else seems to have mentioned this feature and perhaps there is some other reason for its existence besides cargo space expansion.

Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV Drive Experience

My drive from Puchong to Penang took about 4 and a half hours due to heavy traffic. We stopped in Ipoh for lunch and at an R&R just before Butterworth. I arrived at my destination with the battery at 25% state of charge. There wasn’t any range anxiety at all during the drive, though this was mostly because we were driving in a relatively slow convoy moving between 90 to 110km/h when we were moving at all. Traffic was terrible.

As expected, the EQE SUV delivered a smooth and quiet drive all the way through with instant acceleration when power was called upon. Rear wheel steering is a big plus here, lending some unbelievable agility to this huge vehicle.

Comfort was excellent thanks to the air suspension and you get the signature ‘magic carpet ride’ of larger, more expensive Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Airmatic also helped the vehicle stay flat through the corners and the continuously-adjusting adaptive dampers helped firm things up at higher speeds. Honestly, is was even more impressive than the EQS 500 4MATIC sedan we recently test drove.

We charged the car up at a Starbucks on the night of our arrival in Butterworth. This charge up took 1 hour and 17 minutes for about 70kWh at the cost of RM83.62 plus a coffee to use the cafe’s table while working. We drove that night and the next day without worry around Butterwoth. On the third day, I decided to top up the battery after shooting the car on Penang Island. This wasn’t completely necessary, but I wanted a full battery for my journey back to KL the following morning. The top up was done in Island Plaza, taking just 32 minutes for 21kWh at a cost of RM39.60.

The next day, I set off for KL in the early hours of the morning with minimal traffic. I had driven a little too hard and depleted much of my battery, so I stopped for a quick top up while I grabbed a coffee. This 10 minute stop recovered 15.5kWh at a cost of RM23.19.

Altogether, my trip to Penang cost me RM146.41 and 2 hours of my time, not counting the full charge I got from MBM when I picked the car up. The way I was driving would have cost about as much in a petrol car of equivalent power figures, but the time cost is EV-specific. I think I could have optimised things a little – perhaps cut short my charge up in Butterworth or drive a little slower on the way back to KL, but it is what it is. My advice on driving EVs cross country remains – make sure you factor in about 1-2 hours of additional time to your total time on the road for charge ups if you don’t have a place to charge at your destination.

Should You Buy One?

In terms of value, the EQE SUV is in the middle of the pack compared to other offering from premium brands. You could get the sportier, rarer, smaller Jaguar I-Pace and have some spare change or you could spend a bit more and spring for the iX xDrive50 for more range. That being said, it’s clear this vehicle shook BMW Malaysia at least a little as they had to update their iX range to feature 22kW AC charging, which was one of the EQE SUV’s trump cards.

Mercedes-Benz interior design is also still a strong point and one of the EQE SUV’s biggest strengths. The build quality isn’t what it used to be but the “wow” factor is undeniable in this generation.

From using the 3-pointed star as a repeated motif on the dashboard, to an unrivaled ambient lighting system, the EQE SUV delivers on a sense of occasion.

Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV interior

The 12.8″ OLED infotainment system is excellent and feature rich (though it does get hot to the touch under heavy use) and the 710W 15-speaker Burmester 3D sound system is one of the best in class.

I’m usually not one for in-car navigation, but the augmented navigation system is pretty cool and functional too.

If you’re a fan of the Mercedes-Benz brand or simply love the design language, the EQE 500 4MATIC SUV is a fine premium electric vehicle. There are no big downsides to the way it’s packaged and it’s priced competitively despite being fully-imported.

In fact, it builds on the EQE 350+ sedan model’s great balance by adding more cargo carrying flexibility, an SUV look, 21″ wheels, air suspension, more power and torque plus an all-wheel drive setup. All this for a mere 16% higher asking price makes it a decent deal contextually speaking.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC SUV Specifications

Motor: Dual Permanently Excited Synchronous Electric Motors, AWD
Battery Capacity: 90.6 kWh
Range: 552km
Max power: 402 hp
Max torque: 858 Nm
Top Speed: 210 km/h
0-100 km/h: 4.9 seconds
Price: RM495,888

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑