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Merc’s E-lectric dream

The EQE is a stunner inside and out

The EQE’s exterior

The EQE’s stunning cabin

The EQE’s exterior© Daimler AG

Robbie FarrellSunday World

Mercedes Benz – EQE 350 +

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the German premium car manufacturer’s best-selling model here in Ireland – and has been for a long time.

Back in 2017, many involved in the Irish motor industry were taken by surprise when it almost ran away with the top honour in the Irish Car of the Year awards.

I was slightly taken aback myself when the result was called out that year, as this award normally goes to a more affordable model that more than only a few thousand of Irish car buyers can afford.

In saying that, the E-Class thoroughly deserved the award that year and it was possibly the turning point for a brand that was slipping slowly behind its main rivals in the premium segment.

Step forward five years and Mercedes has only gone and done it again – this time with its all-electric version.

The all-new Mercedes Benz EQE is yet another example of how this brand has re-invented itself over the last number of years and is slowly moving back to the top of the premium perch.

I was delighted to see that the brand didn’t just fit the latest E-Class saloon with a battery pack like some other manufacturers do – it ripped up the entire design concept and went back to the drawing board to produce a look and finish that is fresh and vibrant.

On the outside, this new car is dynamic and youthful. Sporting a stylish front-end and side profile, it features flush door handles that resemble those found in the Tesla Model S and many of the Jaguar/Land Rover models.

The EQE is far more sportier looking than its E-Class saloon sibling, and I got many nods of approval during my week-long test drive.

However, its coupé-like sloping roofline unfortunately eats into head space for rear-seat passengers and, although there is ample leg room for even the taller passenger, I found that it creates a couple of nasty blind spots.

The EQE’s stunning cabin

Apart from that, the all-new EQE is an extremely comfortable place to be. Lots of materials and latest technology have trickled down from the flagship S-Class saloon, including a 12.8-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch driver information screen.

If that’s not enough, there is an absolutely enormous (optional) ‘hyperscreen’ that stretches almost from the driver’s door to the front-seat passenger’s door, if you really want to push the boat out.

The system itself is run by the latest version of the Mercedes MBUX multimedia software and features a futuristic fingerprint scanner that allows drivers to set up their own personal profile that can be triggered with a scan of the finger.

On the road, the new Mercedes Benz EQE 350 +, which was my test model for the week, is an absolute pleasure to drive.

It features an enormous 90kWh battery that produces 292bhp, and all that power is driven to the rear wheels. This gives the car a sprint time of 0-100kmh in 6.4 seconds, while Mercedes-Benz says that the 90kWh battery offers a ‘claimed’ range of 641km.

The handling in this electric motor is second to none. Honestly, Mercedes-Benz has absolutely nailed it with every single detail and it almost feels like it’s better than another German premium brand (from Bavaria) I know.

In Ireland, there are just two versions currently on offer.

The bad news is that to get your bum on the driver’s seat in the new Mercedes-Benz EQE, you are looking at a starting price of €85,980.

Upgrade to the faster, more powerful EQE AMG 43 and you will have to dig a lot deeper into your pockets – to the tune of more than €122k.

Standard spec includes speed adaptation, auto climate control, wireless charging system, fingerprint scanner, driver display (12.3 in HD), MBUX multimedia system, central display (12.8 in), Comfort suspension, ambient lighting, driving assistance package, parking package with 360-degree camera.

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