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Over the last decade, almost every car review has started with latest SUV in town. Barring the exception of electric cars, in the last couple of years. Well, even electrics aren’t immune to how much India, and the world, loves SUVs. While the debate on whether EVs will be the end of ICE cars rages on, manufacturers are not waiting around to find an answer. There are some really nice EVs around, even if they are a bit soulless, and Mercedes-Benz is taking a stab at the electric SUV segment again with the fully loaded EQE 500 this time.


At first glance, the EQE is instantly recognisable as an electric Merc, kind of like that old friend you haven’t seen in years but still recognize at the reunion. The grille is a massive slab of black plastic, and the body’s got just a touch of extra height, to differentiate it from the EQE sedan and it works until you look at the profile.

The round egginess which worked on the EQS, for some, gives the EQE more of a cross over vibe than of an SUV. Mercedes says aerodynamics are the reason, and the quest for a higher range. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some sci-fi egg on wheels and in person, the EQE looks quite nice actually. The big star logo up front, the coupe like roofline and the fancy lighting will definitely not scare folks away with wacky designs we have seen on some EVs (side-eyeing you, iX). Even though it may not look so in photos, the EQE has some serious dimensions: 4863 mm in length, 1940 mm in width, 1685 mm in height and a substantial 3030mm wheelbase. A shorter body, longer wheelbase, and lower height produces a squat, compact, and powerful stance which works in the EQE’s favour. The EQE SUV might not be the belle of the ball, but it’s not making anyone sprint out of the dealership shaking their head in disbelief.

On the inside is where you see those dimensions come to life. Step in and the EQE SUV is like one of those trendy futuristic cafes – only this one’s got wheels. Familial connections are proudly displayed on the 56-inch Hyperscreen which, er, takes up all of the dash. It is like a mini-IMAX inside, albeit one with a chatty MBUX software. Whether you’re Team Apple or Team Android, the EQE is on your side and the brilliant Burmester tries to make up for the silence really well. The front seats are huge, and supportive, with heating/cooling and massage functions. The EQE gets four climate zones, a massive sunroof, an air purifier and it generates its own noises from Roaring Pulse to Silver Waves and Vivid Flux, even a new one dubbed Serene Breeze. I preferred to keep my window down, and enjoy the pure air of breath-taking Gulmarg though.

Technology and sustainability are the buzz words today and the EQE does justice to both of them. A dash of AI and a 360-degree camera give you a virtual tour right beneath your car, much like the GLC, when you are off-road. You might think who will ever take the EQE off-road or can it even go off-road, and 995 of the owners may never. But hey, it is a cool party trick and the EQE is surprisingly capable.

We did go road for some of the photos you see here, and I won’t lie I had my doubts, only for them to be quelled by the EQE with unbelievable calm. Even for 20-degree inclines, I did not need to raise the suspension which is an option thanks to the Airmatic on the EQE. The revised suspension design with adaptive dampers, air springs, and rear-axle steering, and thousands of chips, and circuits and code, make the EQE quite capable and nimble despite its weight. But, we’ll come to how it drives once I am done with the long list of tech on the car like the Digital Light headlamps or the intelligent energy recovery or how the charging stops if the car detects any impact. Safety has moved on beyond airbags in EVs and Mercedes is taking it seriously as always. Not to say the general standard equipment like Active Distance Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist are missing, The Attention Assist drew the ire of some fellow journalists though, especially the ones who cruise with one hand on the steering wheel. If you are one of them, Mercedes-Benz has the option of switching everything off.  Over 70 kg on the EQE comes from recycled and renewable raw materials, ensuring there is more than lip service to sustainability. The grab handles are a prime example of this, on the EQE.

The EQE is available in multiple variants globally, but Mercedes Benz India has brought the EQE 500 which comes with highest power and range. The EQE 500 makes 402 bhp and 85.8 kgm of torque, and comes with a claimed range of 550kms. The massive torque ensures a 0-100 of 4.9 seconds, and even though the top speed is limited to 210 km/h the EQE could definitely do more. Like on most electrics, how you modulate the throttle is the key to how much fun, or range, you will have on the EQE. Get enthusiastic with the accelerator, and the EQE responds like it’s had a triple espresso shot. Too much, and it’s a bit like trying to salsa dance on roller skates, especially on curvy roads like the ones in Gulmarg. You see, the EQE might wear its heart on its sleeve, but it can’t completely hide its weight. There are modes to choose from, like on any Merc, but unlike the fun (read ICE) ones, my advice would be to choose a mode based on the road and not your mood. In the narrow city roads, the rear wheel steering helps the EQE, but there is a limit to what it can do. The 20-inch wheels deal with broken asphalt quite well but do not go expecting an E-class level of ride comfort. The EQE is comfortable enough for an electric SUV, for sure, but that’s about it.

It does not happen often in India, but every once in a blue moon, Mercedes might find itself peeking over its shoulder at the competition. Remember the EQC? That was Mercedes-Benz dipping its toes in the electric waters and I am glad the lesson has been learnt. With the EQE, it is diving in head-first, and it seems set to make a splash. Sure, at INR 1.4 crore, it is an expensive splash for you as the buyer when you compare it the BMW iX and the new kid on the block, the Audi Q8 e-tron. But what you get in return is a car that’s practically oozing futuristic vibes and luxury that would make royalty nod in approval. Mercedes-Benz is throwing in a 10-year battery warranty and extending those service intervals to two years. Now, for the elite opting for an EV, it might not be the freebies that seal the deal. A lot of cutting-edge tech, and bragging rights that come with it, combined with comfort and luxury will seal it though and the EQE 500 doesn’t disappoint.