2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 SUV X294

2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 SUV X294

It’s not a seven-seater. It doesn’t have a massive boot. It’s certainly not a serious off-roader. And yet the AMG version of the SUV version of the EQE is actually a highly competent and often very enjoyable car. It overcomes the considerable odds of excess weight and eye-watering price to offer power and torque aplenty, giving almost eerily accessible near-supercar performance, yet also a spine-friendly ride and a feature- laden cabin. And it feels built to last. Sure, the weight does ultimately limit the car’s dynamic agility on winding and hilly roads, and its efficiency is nothing to crow about. But if you’re thinking about a BMW iX M60 or Tesla Model X Plaid, make sure you think about this too.


The UK market gets two versions of the 53, both priced at £133,860: the Night Edition and Touring. The differences are chiefly cosmetic – you guessed it, the Night Edition has more black trim. They both have 21-inch wheels, but different designs, and both have adaptive air suspension as standard. They use 4Matic all-wheel drive, with 10º of rear-wheel steering.


2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 SUV X294

They also share power outputs and performance. It’s by far the most potent EQE SUV, the 53’s two e-motors giving 617bhp and 701lb ft, enough for a perky 3.7sec 0-62mph sprint and a 149mph top speed. Compared to earlier EQEs, the brakes are better – but still short of the feel you’d be right to demand from an AMG.

The five-seater masters all other dynamic challenges like a pro, though, and in the right settings even indulges in power oversteer.

Upsetting the balance even on dry tarmac is only a stab at the throttle away. The long wheelbase (3030mm), the massive weight (2690kg) and the trick air suspension combine to give a surprisingly compliant ride that petrol-engined AMG SUVs would struggle to match.


2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 SUV X294

While pumping torque without pausing for breath rarely fails to put a smile on the driver’s face, only tech nerds will fully appreciate the glut of digital wizardries. The sound system is excellent, and (for better or worse) there are a great many audible accompaniments to just about every minor action. All of which could get quite annoying, but you forgive a car a lot when the fundamentals work so well. Something this tall, heavy and blobby looking has no business being so good to drive. And yet it is.

When you’re not in the mood for hard charging and aural novelty, you can enjoy the calmness that comes from the excellent suspension, helped by the standard-fit (on the AMG version) Acoustic Comfort pack, which combines special glass with extra insulation, really making the most of the inherent hush of a good EV.

The ‘sports’ seats are not too extreme; they offer a good blend of comfort and support, to keep you in place when you’re on a mission and relaxed when you’re on a longer trek, hoping to get close to the beyond-250- mile official range figures. But if you manage to resist the temptation offered by this unexpected performance car, you have more self-control than I can muster.


First verdict

Rarely has a car this heavy and unlikely looking turned out to be such an effortless top-notch performer ★★★★★


THE FIRST HOUR

  • 10 minutes Route planning automatically activates intelligent charging, minimising anxiety
  • 19 minutes Instruments and infotainment swamp the user with a zillion settings, displays and functions, ignoring that humans typically have only one brain, two eyes and 10 fingers
  • 29 minutes Turning circle is tighter than an A-Class’s, thanks to rear-wheel steering
  • 41 minutes Four-spoke steering wheel is busier than Times Square on New Year’s Eve
  • 51 minutes Just wish the brake feel was better

  • PLUS ▲ Dynamics overcome the inherent disadvantages; great quality
  • MINUS ▼ Poor brake feel; expensive to buy and run

Data 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 SUV X294

  • PRICE £133,860
  • POWERTRAIN 90.6kWh battery, two e-motors, all-wheel drive
  • MAX POWER 617bhp
  • MAX TORQUE 701lb ft
  • ACCLERATION 3.7sec 0-62mph,
  • PERFORMANCE MAX SPEED 149mph
  • ON SALE Now
  • WEIGHT 2690kg
  • EFFICIENCY 2.7-2.8 miles perkWh, 254-283-mile electric range, 0g/km CO2

They can but that doesn’t mean they should. Another one for the AMG roll of honour.

Something this tall, heavy and blobby looking has no business being so good to drive. And yet it is.

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