2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 : Powerfully Different

Published on November 2, 2023 in Test Drives by Louis-Philippe Dubé

Mercedes-Benz’s EQ vehicle line is growing, giving the tone to the brand’s electric future with aerodynamic exterior designs, futuristic and touchscreen-rich interiors and powerful electron-gobbling powertrains that try to emulate the signature Mercedes-Benz drive and experience as we know it.

If you haven’t figured out the Mercedes-Benz nomenclature by now - we don’t blame you if you haven’t, it gets a little tricky at times even for us -, the EQE is the midsize sedan of MB’s electric venture. But it is a drastic departure from the E-Class’s design. Just like the EQE SUV and the EQS sedan and SUV, it has traded some signature Mercedes-Benz features like the opulent grille and aggressive lines for a subtler plastic cover in the front and rounded shapes on the sides, among other iterations to give it its own electric identity.

Critics are polarized about this design direction. But like it or don’t, it definitely comes in play in terms of aerodynamics and has its effect on the most important part of EV buyers worries: range. However, when it comes to performance-oriented AMG variants, buyers paying AMG bucks prioritize performance and style.

The Car Guide took the new Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 for a drive on the autobahn and on twisty roads near Munich, Germany.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Riveting is an Understatement

AMG gas engines adhere to the “one man, one engine” philosophy, where a single engineer assembles one engine from A to Z before bolting it under the hood of the vehicle and sending it off to the customer. Now that electric motors come in a box and look like very silent kitchen appliances, this mantra sounds much less romantic.

On the flipside, performance-thirsty AMG EQE 53 buyers won’t be disappointed. With a pair of motors – one in the front, one in the rear - that delivers a maximum of 677 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque when Race Start and Boost functions are activated, this luxury electric sedan can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. The “normal” output ranks in at a very acceptable 617 hp and 701 lb-ft of torque, which is still bonkers. And the accelerations provided by this powertrain are rivetingly surprising every time you slam the accelerator. Whether it’s off the line or on the highway, it seems that the AMG EQE 53 will never run out of horses.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

These motors are fed by a 90.6 kWh battery pack that enables 362 kilometres of range before it needs to be plugged in. That is, of course, if you use the throttle wisely – and that’s a tall order.

Fighting a Weight Problem

A massive battery, plenty of interior amenities, wheels that scream extra unsprung weight … every luxury electric car has the same weight problem. The name of the game is about tweaking chassis dynamics in order to mitigate its effects on driving. The twin motor setup gives the AMG EQE 53 all-wheel drive, but, just like gas-powered AMG cars, it us fitted with the “plus” version of the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The marque says it is the electric interpretation of the 4MATIC+ system you’ll find in traditional AMG cars. But like most AWD electric vehicles, the fact that there’s not mechanical link between the motors enables the system to distribute torque to all four wheels as it needs it, instantaneously. AMG says the 4MATIC+ system can calculate and adjust the torque split 10,000 times per minute.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

The wheels can tilt 3.6 degrees in the rear thanks to rear wheel steering, not only giving this EQE cornering advantages at high speeds, but also the ability to navigate tight city streets like a champ.

Finally, adaptive damping contributes to strike the balance between handling and comfort, while fighting the weight of the beast which does feel heavy for an AMG at 5,500 lb.

Class, Comfort, Complexity

Inside, the AMG EQE gets the mighty Ultrascreen setup which dominates the dashboard letting users take full advantage of the MBUX interface. Although very complete in terms of functionality, we found the navigation quite finicky at times, stacking so many functions and features on top of each other that it often felt more complicated than it should’ve been.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Passenger comfort is serious, with bolstered seating that is heated as standard and cooled as an option. The cabin carries distinctive AMG elements, like the AMG steering wheel and plenty of AMG badging, as well and a choice of 64 ambient colours to suit your mood.

Mercedes is still shaping its electric personality. The E-Class is known for its plush comfort, advanced technology and power when you need it. The EQE checks all those boxes, especially with the AMG 53 variant.

If you can get over the fact that the mythical grille has been replaced by a piece of plastic, that compromises have been made to the exterior to smooth out the stylish edges of an E-Class, and the weight that makes its presence known once in a while, you’ll be happy with this electric Benz. The base price for the AMG EQE 53 is $121,500.

Test drive report
Test model 2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE
Trim level AMG 4MATIC+
Price range 121 500 $
Price as tested 121 500 $
Warranty (basic) 4 years/80,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 4 years/80,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) N/A
Options N/A
Competitive models Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW i4, Cadillac LYRIQ, Genesis GV60, Genesis GV70, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Lexus RZ, Polestar 2, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, VinFast VF 9
Strong points
  • Breathtaking accelerations
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Spacious and plush interior
Weak points
  • Limited electric range
  • Complex navigation system
Editor's rating
Fuel economy N/A Not evaluated
Comfort 4.5/5 The Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 is true to the E-Class name in regards to comfort.
Performance 4.5/5 No lack of horses with this electric sedan.
Infotainment 3.5/5 Lots (maybe too many) screens in the cockpit. Navigation is complicated.
Driving 3.5/5 Comfortable ride, but it's on the heavy side for an AMG.
Overall 4.0/5 Despite its blander styling (in comparison with the gas-powered E-Class) and its weight, the EQE AMG fills the midsize Mercedes-Benz promise of class and comfort.
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