The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV Gives EV Buyers A Tough Choice

German automaker Mercedes-Benz has announced its all-new EQE SUV — the brand's second all-electric SUV — will arrive at U.S. dealerships in spring after giving us a taste of electric luxury with the EQS SUV. However, the highly-awaited EQE SUV is not merely an all-electric EQE with an SUV body. With premium rivals like the Polestar 3, Tesla Model Y, and Cadillac Lyriq taking up similar space in the market, Mercedes did its homework and made the EQE SUV more distinctive than the rest of the pack.

Instead of joining the bandwagon of supersizing everything in sight, the EQE SUV has a shorter wheelbase than its EQE sedan sibling. It's about 3.5 inches shorter than the EQE, despite riding on a similar premium electric vehicle architecture (EVA). Moreover, It has shorter front and rear overhangs and a more compact front architecture, giving it a vintage cab-forward design reminiscent of old-school Chrysler sedans.

Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the pricing and packaging options for the EQE SUV. It'll come in three curated trim options; each available in Premium, Exclusive, or Pinnacle packaging — and this is where the confusion starts.

Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV: Starting at $77,900

Most of our bewilderment centers around the EQE 350+ SUV and EQE 350 4MATIC SUV. The former has a single, rear-mounted electric motor, while the latter has dual-electric motors to deliver an all-wheel drivetrain. However, both start at $77,900 (not including $1,150 destination fees) for the Premium Package; meaning potential buyers have a tough choice between having more power and AWD, or more range. Mercedes-Benz's tight-lipped stance on the EQE SUV's performance and range numbers is compounding the issue, making it trickier to choose between the two.

According to Mercedes, the base EQE 350+ SUV has a 288-horsepower rear-mounted electric motor, making it the most efficient variant. The base EQE is projected to deliver about 300 miles of range with a standard 90.6 kWh battery, shared across all trim variants. Meanwhile, the EQE 350 4MATIC SUV has an additional electric motor in the front, but Mercedes claims a similar 288-horsepower output with slightly lower range figures on this model, without divulging the actual numbers.

It's a similar story in the Exclusive and Pinnacle packages: Pricing starts at $80,000 and $83,850 (plus $1,150 destination), respectively, regardless of your choice between the RWD-only EQE 350+ or the dual-motor EQE 350 4MATIC SUV. Performance-wise, the RWD EQE 350+ could go 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds, while the EQE 350 4MATIC takes 6.2 seconds.

In addition, the EQE SUV with 4MATIC AWD has an innovative powertrain management system. According to Mercedes, it monitors the performance at 160 times per second, and the system could decouple the front motor from the drivetrain in 100 milliseconds if deemed unnecessary, like when coasting or driving in stop-and-go traffic.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC

Luckily, potential buyers of the more potent EQE 500 4MATIC won't have the same predicament in choosing their ride. The EQE 500 4MATIC starts at $89,500 (Premium), $91,600 (Exclusive), and $95,450 (Pinnacle). It has two electric motors that collectively churn out 536 horsepower, enough shove to push from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The standard equipment includes premium cowhide upholstery, rear-wheel steering, 64-color ambient lighting, and a high-end Burmester audio system with Dolby Atmos, among other features.

All Mercedes-Benz EQE SUVs have a standard heat pump that collects excess heat from the drive units and battery to warm the interior in cold weather and help increase the driving range. Finally, the EQE SUV has unlimited 30-minute DC fast-charging at Electrify America charging stations for the first two years, enabling drivers to juice up from 1% to 80% in under 32 minutes.