Mercedes EQE SUV 53 AMG performance and handling
The result in a straight line could hardly be more impressive: the EQE 53 accelerates from a standstill to 62mph in 3.5 seconds – that’s three tenths of a second faster than its petrol-powered cousin, the GLE 63. Only at full speed on the Autobahn or a very long test track will the combustion engine power further ahead: where the GLE runs at 175mph in the best case, the EQE stops at 150 mph. That might be important to small children playing Top Trumps, but is of little relevance in the real world.
The EQE’s electric performance punch hits you into the stomach, especially because it comes instantly and without any fuss, but it is not the straight-line acceleration that makes this car so special. Rather, the actual physics-bending achievements of the engineers can be felt in the way the EQE 53 copes with curves. With adaptive all-wheel drive, unique chassis hardware, sharper steering, standard air suspension and, for the first time, active roll compensation, you finally feel a little closer to the road like you would in a sports saloon.
The directness of the steering isn’t just down to some extra-fast gearing and some clever programming of the assistance motors. The EQE’s rear wheels help out too, being able to turn by up to nine degrees to make the car turn more sharply. It’s not just useful at speed, as it also makes the big SUV more maneuverable into parking spots and three-point-turns.
Mercedes EQE SUV 53 AMG range, battery and charging
However, although the AMG feels athletic, it is short of breath compared to the lesser EQE SUV models. AMG has bolted on performance but kept its hands off the battery, which remains with the usual 90.6 kWh. This means it will be forced into the charging station much earlier – the AMG’s best figure (which depends on thew wheel size) is 292 miles compared to 365 for the standard car. That’s quite a difference – even the EQE 500 goes about 30 percent further with the same energy.
This is despite some efficiency-boosting features – the EQE SUV is the first model in the Mercedes EQ family to have a heat pump on board as standard – whether from series production or from AMG. This will make a real difference in cold weather but is standard on cars which cost a fraction of the EQE’s price.
More impressive is the ability to decouple the front engine when ‘gliding’, which alone should bring around 5% efficiency savings.
Charging is fast, but far from class-leading. In the best case, the EQE draws 170 kW from a DC rapid point, enough for more than 100 miles within 15 minutes.
Mercedes EQE SUV 53 AMG styling, interior and practicality
The AMG customer doesn’t typically expect or demand a stripped-out, racing style interior. They expect the AMG to be just as luxurious as any other EQE, and have the sort of quality and ambiance you’d expect from a car which costs comfortably more than six figures. The leather-clad seats are lower-cut seats, with the AMG logo in the headrest, the seatbelts are contrasting colours and the steering wheel is more shapely and grippy. There are even a few trim parts made of carbonfibre and Alcantara, harking back to a time when sporty cars actually still paid attention to weight. But that seems to be a long time ago when you are gripping the wheel of this giant.
The outside styling is on the subtle side, but connoisseurs will be able to tell this is the AMG version thanks to an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical struts in chrome. The normal Mercedes badge on the bonnet is swapped for an AMG emblem too.
Mercedes EQE SUV 53 AMG verdict
There is a price to pay for all this performance and luxury, of course. The EQE 53 is around £20,000 more expensive than the EQE 350 and £12,000 more than a 500.
Admittedly, the 53 drives better than any other EQE and is the first electric Mercedes SUV to ever offer such driving pleasure beyond just the straight bits of the road. But the V8-loving generation has to say goodbye to the classic AMG virtues from the old world, and might not appreciate the rather restrained appearance of the 53. The virtual, artificial sound inside and outside is also so out of place that it is better to turn it off right away. It’s not substitute for the real exhaust roar of the eight-cylinder engine.
Which means the EQE SUV AMG 53 is a difficult car to love. It’s better to drive than other Mercedes EVs for sure, and is extremely comfortable and easy to live with. But is it a real AMG, with a proper sense of occasion? We’re not so sure.