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With the addition of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE lineup, the German manufacturer approaching its centenary now offers more than 30 vehicles. They’re all named with numbers and letters and acronyms practically requiring code-breaking expertise. The EQE series is arriving this year, one year after the debut of the EQS, the carmaker’s first all-electric sedan available in the United States.

The reviewed EQE 500 4Matic is the mid-level of three available trims. It has two motors, increased horsepower and all-wheel-drive. Like its siblings, it’s a smaller version of the EQS. But smaller, by definition, doesn’t mean small. The EQE 500 is a spacious luxury sedan, handsomely styled inside and outside. It’s marketed with seating for five, but like many mid-size sedans, the rear seating area is comfortable for two adults, a tight fit for three.

The fully variable all-wheel-drive (with torque shift) transmission has a top speed of 130 mph. The EQE 500 is smooth-driving and quiet at all speeds. It accelerates briskly, without the commonplace EV whine.

The interior, well-designed and constructed with high-grade materials and 64-color variable ambient trim lighting, has a handsome, futuristic appeal. The dash is dominated by a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch central touchscreen. Clever use of curved paneling and plenty of compartment space belie the sedan’s exterior dimensions. The trunk has 15 cubic feet of space, impressive for the segment.

The shifting mechanism is reminiscent of the “three-on-the-tree” transmissions of yesteryear. There’s “Hey Mercedes” voice activation. The 15-speaker Burmester sound system is top-notch.

Mercedes-Benz reports the EQE 500, with 170 kW of DC fast-charging, will recharge from 10% to 80% in 32 minutes.

Top-line technology is a Mercedes-Benz strength. The EQE 500 is available with numerous trim levels and packages with lofty titles. The Pinnacle Trim Level features the Air Balance Package ($3,050) and USB-C Package, Head-Up Display, MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation, Active Ambient Lighting and Four-Zone Climate Control.

The Driver Assistance Package ($1,250) features Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Steering Assist w/Hands-Off Warning, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Wireless smartphone charging pad, in-dash navigation, power front seats with heat and automatic high-beam headlamps also are included.

If more is better, there’s Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Evasive Maneuver Support, Extended Restart in Stop-and-Go Traffic and Route-based Speed Adaptation.

Three more packages add more than a dozen extra items, heated rear seats to upgraded exterior trims, a star pattern grille and an exterior symbol projection feature for night visibility and safety.

In only a few years, the electric luxury sedan segment has grown into a keen competition. The new Mercedes-Benz’s rivals include the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT, Lucid Air and BMW i4. All are worthy, with the German brands sharing the group’s longevity honors. The EQE 500 and the Lucid Air are newbies, both distinguishing themselves in short order.

The new Mercedes-Benz has much to praise. Its only downfall? The sloping roofline limits rear-window visibility with three rear-seat headrests further hampering the view.

With all of its engine strengths, edgy look and EV status, the subpar rear-view vision isn’t a deal-breaker. The EQE 500 offers refined driving. It’s a noteworthy newcomer ready to give its veteran competition a stiff challenge.

Facts & figures

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.6 seconds

Airbags: 10

Electric motor: 90.6-kWh lithium-ion battery

Range: 305 miles

Horsepower: 402

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $85,900

Manufacturer’s website:

Price as tested: $99,470

Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 4 years/50,000 miles; Electric battery, 10 years, 155,000 miles; Roadside Maintenance, 2 years/20,000 miles

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