A tiny animated car was driving on a country road. It looked like a video game, but it was actually the main display in the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC sedan.
At 12.8-inches, it is hard to miss. The lakes, rivers, hills, and barns all passed by, rendering in real-time and helping me keep an eye on the road. I’ve tested many Audi models that also have a 3D rendering like this to help you drive, but this is the biggest and boldest display I’ve seen.
Ironically, it serves a practical purpose and is not just eye-candy or something to show a passenger (who will always act surprised). On a few trips to the office over a week, I could easily identify an intersection from an overhead view. Although it obviously doesn’t show real-time road construction, it can help you make a good guess about the main arteries to use. I found myself glancing at the gloriously large display a few times as I drove.
That little animated icon is the true crowd pleaser. A few times, when I took my adult kids for a quick drive, they remarked at how it helps you see the road and get your bearings easily. Oh, there’s a big curve in the road coming up? The display helps you prepare for it.
The display looks beautiful, but it has some intelligent functions that might not be obvious right away. When you are following a route, Electric Intelligence takes over, providing a bevy of features you won’t find on any gas-powered cars. For starters, it can automatically calculate a route that takes you close to charging stations. It will also route you differently depending on how you are driving and also the available charge left.
In my tests, Electric Intelligence begged for mercy. Not really, but I drive like I am not at all concerned about battery charge. This EQE pushes you back in your seat, like driving a motorless airplane that doesn’t quite know it is on a road. I could almost hear the engineers whispering to each other as I drove this elegant machine: We better steer this guy to a charging station as soon as possible. EQ happens as you drive and accounts for spirited driving.
Get this, too: The system is smart enough to know you are going to experience a little range anxiety. It’s even called Active Range Monitoring. As Mercedes states: “Topography, ambient temperature, heating and cooling requirements, speed and traffic are all taken into account, as well as charging station availability, capacity and payment functions. Active Range Monitoring ensures the driver reaches the destination safely by displaying a checkered flag in the speedometer showing the maximum speed to reach the destination.”
That’s truly smart monitoring for people like me who don’t pay enough attention to it. In all of my testing, there was never any question about depleting the battery, what with a good 250 to 300 miles of range after a full charge. (Range depends greatly on how you drive.)
The EQE also has a 12.3-inch display above the steering wheel. You are surrounded by displays and key information right at your fingertips, what Mercedes calls the Zero Layer interface. I’d say Zero Stress. I found all of the functions easy to find, but my favorite by far is that passive center portrait display. It made my driving easier during my entire test.