It’s safe to say that the best part of the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV to look at is its interior. Mercedes’ EQ exterior styling still isn’t growing on us in any format, but the inside of this EV is divine.
The spec in this particular test car is difficult to beat, and in case you feel like copying it for your order, it’s Neva Grey/Sable Brown MB-Tex paired with Natural Grain Magnolia wood with the Star Pattern. Combine the light gray – almost white – with the gorgeous brown accents and copper trim everywhere, and the appearance is just pure class. The brown floor mats are the icing on the cake, allowing you to enjoy the airy two-tone color look while not worrying too much about getting the precious carpeting dirty.
To add even more class to the whole look, this EQE SUV doesn’t have the optional Hyperscreen. Of course, the Hyperscreen is technically an upgrade since you get a larger central screen and an additional screen for the passenger. As a driver, though, I’d much rather enjoy the waterfall of wood trim on the passenger side dash than have yet another screen in the car. Maybe the passenger wouldn’t completely agree, but being able to see and enjoy Mercedes’ gorgeous wood trimmings is hardly a penalty. The star-patterned trim in this tester just amps up the atmosphere even more, and it’s definitely the trim I’d choose if buying an EQE SUV.
There is one bone to pick with Mercedes’ material usage in the EQE SUV, though: the piano black center console. After just a few days of use, you can see in photos how dusty and gross-looking the sweeping console looks. That shiny, black console may look nice in perfectly prepped press photos, but any owner is going to have the same fingerprint-prone, dusty experience as I did. You can stave that away by keeping a cloth in the car and dusting it every day you get in to drive it, but that just sounds like a hassle.
On the plus side, Mercedes’ console design is lovely. The push-to-open mechanism to reveal the cupholders and wireless charging pad is smooth and lovely. Also, that wireless charger will actually hold your phone in place and effectively charge it, unlike many others in the industry. The under-console storage is another boon. There are additional USB-C ports down there; the walls keep things from sliding out, and Mercedes even integrated a strap to keep things in place that you don’t want to fly around.
The seats themselves are comfortable, powered buckets with more ergonomic controls than anybody will ever need. That said, the optional massage function is definitely worthwhile, and the “rapid-heating” function is, too. Seriously, no heated seats in the business get hot quicker than Mercedes’ seats do. Those are all part of the $2,350 Front Multicontour Seating Package which also adds ventilated seats and more comfortable headrests, so yes, tick that option box.
Much of the luxury in a new Mercedes-Benz product comes from the tech, and the EQE SUV is no stranger to the best that Mercedes has to offer. From the limitless ambient lighting options (it even has light piping around the seats!), to the HEPA air filtration system, buttery-smooth infotainment and beautiful graphics across both big screens, it’s hard to ask for more. However, I will ask for more: more physical switches and controls. Mercedes will likely never bring them back at this point, but the haptic and touch controls on the steering wheel and under the big 12.8-inch central display make daily life a little more difficult than it needs to be. You’ll get used to how things work in time and get better at stabbing the skip song button with practice, but it’s still harder to make thoughtless adjustments to the volume or other various controls than it was in previous-generation Mercedes interiors.
That said, this “zero-layer” MBUX infotainment system continues to grow on us. The quick shortcut to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the top left corner is fantastic, and both the “EQ” and “Vehicle” shortcuts on the bottom array of controls get you to the most-used settings rapidly. And as for EV-specific menus, the charger finder integrated in the EQE works great, allowing you to sort by speed, then it will automatically begin the preconditioning process once you set the destination. Plug & Charge tech makes getting the charge started (at certain stations) all the easier upon arrival, too.
The silence of driving around the EQE SUV is just what we’d expect from an electric Mercedes, as it remains about as isolated from the road as any car from this class – the Q8 E-Tron gives it a run for its money, though.
As far as packaging goes, the A-pillars are a bit of a hindrance for forward vision and are frequently in the way when trying to make turns onto busy streets, forcing one to tilt and lean more than usual. The rear seats are plenty utilitarian, however, and they leave tons of space to spread out and enough legroom that any normal-sized human won’t ever complain. Not ticking the four-zone climate control option box leaves a weird empty space on the rear console below the vents that you’ll most definitely notice, but at least there are vents to keep those in the rear comfortable. The trunk itself is the only big compromise you might make in choosing the EQE SUV over its gas-powered GLE-Class equivalent, as it’s notably smaller (14.0 cubic feet versus 33.3 cubes) than the GLE. Mercedes just didn’t prioritize a big cargo space for the EQE SUV, instead opting for a sleek rear end and smaller overall dimensions. That said, don’t think the cargo area of the EQE SUV is useless, as it’s still a big step up in usefulness versus its EQE Sedan equivalent.