Mercedes Goes Electric with the AMG EQE SUV – See How It Drives

The EQE is Mercedes-AMG’s third EV model and the company’s first all-electric performance SUV. I had previously tried the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, so you can imagine how excited I was to take the AMG version for a spin to see how it compared. Here are some of my thoughts.

The AMG EQE SUV was revealed in October 2022, along with the conventional Mercedes-Benz version. We learned at the time that the AMG version will have less range than the EQE SUV (more on that later), but higher performance.

This comprises revolutionary air suspension, steering, and stabilization technology, as well as distinctive interior and exterior design elements. We learned the price of the American-made EQE SUV in March, which might qualify for federal tax credits in its most basic version.

That will not be the case with the AMG EQE SUV, which comes with improved performance and innovative amenities. I had the opportunity to be one of the first to drive the EQE SUV in Portugal last spring and was a big admirer, so when Mercedes invited me to come to Southern California and sample the AMG version, it was a no-brainer. Here are some photos from my hard drive.

The AMG EQE SUV is more sporty in appearance and performance.
The Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV arrives not just as a profound evidence of initialisms, but also as the dual-motor, performance version of a mid-size SUV that has yet to make its imprint on the US market. The synchronous motors in the EQE SUV produce up to 677 horsepower and 738 Nm of torque (in RACE START mode), providing the exciting 4MATIC+ AWD experience typical with the AMG brand.

Image Credit Times of India

Also read: Mercedes-Benz Will Provide Level 3 Autonomous Driving Function on All-Electric EQS and S-Class in the USA

Front and rear AMG Ride Control+ air suspension, an adaptive damping system, and Active Ride Control roll stabilization are among the unique features employed on the world’s first electric performance SUV.

The AMG EQE SUV also has Mercedes’ exclusive MBUX curved Hyperscreen, from which passengers can choose six different driving characteristics via the AMG Dynamic Select programs that govern the suspension setup:

The AMG SUV is somewhat longer and higher than the ordinary Mercedes-Benz model, although not noticeably so. The exterior has AMG’s unique black panel radiator grille with vertical chrome struts to match the other two performance EQ versions, as well as a brand-specific symbol on the hood instead of the three-point star, as shown in the photographs above.

The SUV’s Digital Light headlights include an AMG-specific projection when you open and close the vehicle, however it was difficult to view and record during the day. The interior of the AMG EQE SUV is likewise filled with interesting elements, as evidenced by the photographs below.

AMG’s interior is more sporty than sumptuous

As you may have observed, the MB-Tex microfiber textiles used throughout the cabin are a far cry from the brilliant white leathers I encountered earlier this year in the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. AMG-specific characteristics include seat designs, red seatbelts, and topstitching.

Personally, I would have preferred the original leather because the microfiber was too warm in the California heat, and the fabric precludes one of my favorite amenities while test-driving – air-conditioned seats.

The steering wheel is the only piece of leather inside the SUV, and it is complemented by a flattened wheel bottom, perforated grip regions, and silver aluminum paddles for setting regenerative braking levels. The AMG steering wheel also has digital buttons that manage the aforementioned drive programs, as shown below.

Other interior improvements exclusive to the AMG version include unique instrument cluster displays and quick access to Dynamic Select in the center console (see display shots above). The AMG EQE SUV also has Dolby Atmos sound, which provides a 360-degree listening experience (as long as the song is compatible).

Aesthetics aside, how does the AMG drive compare to the basic EQE SUV? Let me tell you something.

The AMG EQE SUV outperforms, but is it worth the extra money?
Obviously, the answer depends on your driving and performance preferences, as well as the all-important element of budget, but I’m not convinced. My drive with the AMG EQE SUV was enjoyable but not particularly memorable.

Sure, the AMG outperforms the basic EQE SUV, but that’s a relatively low bar in terms of EV specs – and the margin isn’t as large as I had anticipated. The AMG-specific two motors produce much more horsepower (617-677 vs. 288-402 hp), and the splitting of the roll bar from front to back allows the system to be connected and torsioned together for additional sportiness, but in my perspective, this remains a hefty, lumbering EV.

Sport and Sport+ were quite sporty and enjoyable to drive, but I made a few spins too quickly and puckered up for a second – you clearly feel the weight of the Mercedes-Benz EVA platform, even with the “AMG treatment.”

The ride itself was pleasant, however I found the AMG version’s regenerative braking to be jolty and uncomfortable at times, depending on which drive mode I was in. It was as though it wanted to be one pedal driving but couldn’t decide. This was not the same as the normal Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

Also read: Mercedes-Benz Unveils Its Latest Vision One-Eleven Concept

Image Credit Top Gear

The ADAS technology performed admirably, easily switching lanes on the highway while maintaining speeds and reacting to the traffic flow around me. I particularly like the head-up display (HUD), which I believe is one of the more sturdy in the industry. It complements an MBUX with navigation that is still among the best.

All of this being said, there is one major stumbling block in comparing the AMG EQE SUV to its conventional predecessor: Mercedes-AMG has yet to share pricing. Even still, it’s safe to assume that the AMG version will be more expensive than most trims of the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, and I’m not convinced it’s worth it, especially given the latter is already such a well-designed EV.

Overall, I appreciate the design of the Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV both inside and out, but its sports car interior didn’t seem to match the degree of performance (or lack thereof) that this EV provides. Personally, I’d save my money and get one of the Premium variants of the Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 SUV, depending on whether you want 2WD or 4WD – you could even be able to get those tax benefits.

Aside from the superior motors and AMG Ride Control+, the regular EQE SUV has a lot of the same technology, including a heat pump and damping – it’s just slower off the mark. Sure, the AMG version can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds (using Race Start), but are you buying a mid-size luxury SUV to haul ass at every green light?

For the 279 miles of range, I’d take the 6.3 seconds with the EQE 350+ SUV. Can AMG’s version outperform that? It remains to be seen because the high-performance automaker has yet to reveal that information, which is intriguing. The tentative range was estimated to be between 233-292 miles (WLTP), which is again another reason why I’d prefer the Premium 350+ or 350 4MATIC.

I believe AMG vehicles will always have a place, especially as the rising variety of EVs opens the door to stronger performance opportunities – we’ve already seen this possibility with the AMG EQS and EQE sedans. However, when it comes to the EQE SUV, I’d rather save my money on the Mercedes-Benz version because I don’t believe I’d miss anything in the AMG variant.

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