Expert Insights

Alabama-Built Mercedes EQE SUV Qualifies for Incentives

Laurance Yap
July 3, 2023
The all-new Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV will go on sale this spring with a starting price of under $80,000. Because it's built in Alabama, with a locally-made battery, it is eligible for the full $7,500 federal incentive. It also is packed with interesting tech.
Mercedes EQE charging

EQE Starting MSRP: Under $80,000

The second fully-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, the EQE SUV follows on the heels of the larger Mercedes EQS SUV. A sleek, sporty looking crossover with generous space and impressive range, this model has a gorgeous, high-tech interior. Produced in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with a battery produced in nearby Bibb County, it will have a starting MSRP of $77,900; with the $1,150 destination charge, the $79,050 MSRP means that it squeaks in under the $80,000 price barrier, thus making it eligible for the federal government’s full $7,500 EV incentive.

The 2023 EQE SUV lineup features three models and three trim levels. The EQE 350+, EQE 350 4Matic and EQE 500 4Matic will be offered in Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle Trims for the U.S. market. For the first time, Mercedes’ fully variable electric 4Matic all-wheel drive system is available at the same starting price as the longer-range EQE 350+, which features rear-wheel drive.

Interior view tech and steering of Mercedes EQE SUV

Mercedes Equipment and Technology

Standard equipment on the Premium trim of the EQE SUV (starting MSRP of $77,900 for EQE 350+ or EQE350 4Matic; $89,500 for EQE 500 4Matic) models is extensive, and includes a full suite of navigation and connected services including “electric intelligence,” which can plot the fastest and most efficient road trip routes, incorporating charging stops. They also have a parking package with surround-view cameras, heated front seats, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, a power tilt and sliding panoramic sunroof, stunning Burmester sound system, and variable ambient lighting.

Stepping up to the Exclusive trim (starting MSRP of $80,000 for EQE 350+ or EQE350 4Matic; $91,600 for EQE 500 4Matic) adds augmented reality to the navigation system, active ambient lights, and a driver assistance package which includes a new automatic lane change function. Pinnacle models (starting MSRP of $83,850 for EQE 350+ or EQE350 4Matic; $95,450 for EQE 500 4Matic) include four-zone climate control, an “air balance” package, heads-up display, digital lighting, and more. The more-powerful EQE 500 4Matic SUV also bundles in an AMG exterior aerodynamics package, 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and rear-axle steering which reduces the big vehicle’s turning circle.

Mercedes EQE SUV driving on dirt road

Mercedes EQE: Efficiency and Range

Designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, with no provision for a large gasoline engine, the EQE SUV has distinctive proportions and a unique look. The overhangs and the front end have been kept remarkably compact, to the benefit of interior space. The wheels, in sizes from 19 to 21 inches, are positioned flush with the outer edge of the body. Underneath, numerous aerodynamic details play a central role in a very low drag coefficient – achieved despite the large load volume and short rear overhang.

EPA range estimates have not yet been released for the EQE SUV. However, on the more generous European WLTP test cycle, the rear-wheel drive EQE 350+ SUV is rated for a maximum of 369 miles, while the all-wheel drive 4Matic version is rated at a maximum of 349 miles, depending on options and wheel selection. The EQE 500 4Matic has a European WLTP maximum range estimate of 342 miles. In our experience, range estimates for the Mercedes EQ models have proven to be quite conservative, and it’s not difficult to exceed their range ratings in normal driving.

A heat pump and an intelligent powertrain management system help make the most of the model’s battery. The heat pump scavenges heat from the electric inverter and motor and the high-voltage battery to warm the interior, drastically reducing the draw on battery power. The all-new intelligent powertrain management system monitors the drivetrain 160 times per second, shutting off the front electric motor if it’s not necessary, and re-engaging in 100 milliseconds when needed.

Front view of Mercedes EQE driving with man smiling in driver seat

Attractive Extras

An intriguing optional extra is the Airmatic air suspension with continuously adjustable damping. To increase ground clearance for rough roads, the EQE SUV can be raised by up to 1 inch. There are also eco, comfort, sport, and individual drive mode settings. The Driver Assistance Package lets the vehicle automatically initiate a lane change and pass slower vehicles on the highway without driver intervention. Everything is controlled through the updated MBUX infotainment system, which has a 12.8-inch touchscreen portrait display and 12.3-inch driver display. The system learns the driver's habits, and Mercedes says that over 80 percent of input requests can be made on the home screen without having to scroll through submenus.

EQE SUV customers, like all new Mercedes EV customers, also get access to charging stations from an extensive nationwide network through Mercedes me Charge, which offers a seamless integrated payment function with simple billing. They also get an unlimited number of 30-minute DC fast charging sessions at Electrify America stations for their first two years of ownership.