2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron vs. 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV: If you don’t want a Tesla…
Luxury automakers are looking to reassert their dominance over Tesla, but are there any benefits to electric cars?
when. . . whenTesla Model S and Model Arriving on the scene, luxury car customers finally have some attractive all-electric alternatives to the almost ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi Q7 in the world. Tesla now dominates not only high-end electric cars, but arguably the entire luxury car market, with its once-exotic models becoming the norm in many respects.
So, what do upscale buyers do when they want to buy an electric SUV but want to retain the illusion of exclusivity? Audi and Mercedes want to be likeQ8 Electronic creativity AndEQESUV As it turns out, this is the electric SUV people want and need, not the Tesla they’re seeing in more and more of their neighbors’ garages.
In numerical terms
this2024 Audi Q8 e-tron– shown here in Sportback S Line fastback form – should be the more familiar of the two. Before this year, the Q8 E-TronJust “e-tron” It was launched only two years agoAfter the Model For 2018, the new Q8 E-Tron receives a minor facelift and cosmetic changes under a new name.And some major upgrades Under the skin, the highlight is a new available 106 kWh battery (up from the available 86.5 kWh). The battery pack, along with the old front and rear electric motors (which produce 402 hp and 490 lb-ft in the S Line model), help the Q8 E-Tron achieve an EPA-estimated range of 296 miles and 170 kilowatts of torque. Peak Power Charging Rate – A significant improvement over the pre-refresh model’s peak charging rate of 150 kW and 218 miles of range. Audi has also made further changes, tweaking the standard air suspension settings and revising the electric SUV’s steering ratio.
As for2023 Mercedes EQE SUV, the fifth all-electric Mercedes to arrive in the United States, following the EQS, SUV, EQB, and EQE sedans. The 2023 EQE350+ SUV we used for review is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, alongside the gas-powered GLE and GLS, and is modeled after the previous EQE and EQS offerings. More station wagon versionsEQ Sedan Compared to a true SUV (it has 5.2 inches of ground clearance compared to the Audi’s 8.1 inches), it takes the brand’s somewhat polarizing front-of-house design and carries it through to a practical hatchback arrangement. The EQE350+’s battery and charging specifications are nearly identical to its sedan sibling: a 90.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack with an advertised peak charging rate of 170 kilowatts. Our EQE SUV test vehicle was a rear-wheel-drive single-motor model making 288 hp and 417 lb-ft, with an EPA-estimated range of 279 miles (the all-wheel-drive model has the same horsepower but 564 lb-ft).
It’s also worth noting that while both Audi and Mercedes have peak charging rates of 170 kilowatts, only Audi managed to reach this number in our tests, with the EQE charging at just 153 kilowatts.
On the road
For those transitioning from internal combustion engines (ICE), the Q8 E-Tron will feel instantly familiar. Engine tuning has a lot to do with this. Unlike many electric cars, which feature instant torque off the line, Audi’s twin electric motors are tuned to mimic the way an internal combustion engine car generates power. The electric SUV cruises smoothly and confidently across the finish line, accelerating as the “virtual laps” build. While the Audi is quick compared to many of its ICE counterparts, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds, it’s not as quick as a Tesla or BMW iX.
The Q8 E-Tron also rides and handles like modern petrol-powered Audis, with a supple, slightly busy road manner and light (if slightly vague) steering. In Dynamic driving mode, Audi can engage its more powerful rear motors more quickly, giving it a more dynamic feel through corners than in standard driving mode – although if you push it too much, it feels like, as with Audi’s other non-RS offerings, You get roundness when your nose is washed.
However, when braking, the Q8 E-Tron doesn’t feel like a traditional Audi. Editors generally agree that the Audi’s brake pedal feels soft and non-linear. Without the one-pedal driving mode that many other electric cars offer, we’ll have to rely on so-called paddle shifters to increase brake regeneration if the Q8 E-Tron is equipped with a transmission. This has helped some people, but it still makes it very difficult to park the Audi smoothly.
If Audi is trying to bridge the gap between internal combustion engines and electric motors, the Mercedes-EQ EQE350+ is firmly in favor of electrification. Despite the huge power gap between it and the Audi, the EQE feels lively in the city, with instant torque and strong performance from its sole electric motor. He. She0-60 mph Its passing time is only 5.7 seconds on the highway, despite its significantly lower passing force compared to Audi cars. Editors also generally like the EQE’s steering feel. Thanks to all-wheel steering (a $1,300 option that allows the rear wheels to turn 10 degrees), the Mercedes has impressive maneuverability around town, although many find it more maneuverable on winding roads. The roads and highways are a bit dangerous.
The Mercedes’ ride and brakes also attracted some attention. Without a fancy air suspension system like Audi’s (which costs an extra $1,900), the powerful, low-slung EQE will bounce over road imperfections, causing major and minor turbulence when the electric SUV struggles to stabilize. The impact echoed inside the car. In terms of braking, while the EQE feels more natural than the Audi, we disliked the way the brake pedal moved beneath our feet on the more aggressive regenerative braking setting. As a general rule, the brake pedal should always be where you last left it.
Which is more luxurious?
Another piece of the luxury puzzle is inside. Here again, Audi shows off its refreshing traditional style. Like the gas-powered version of the Q8, the E-Tron comes in a wide range of materials and color combinations, including three-tone gray leather seats with orange stitching and soft suede door cards. The dashboard features Audi’s now-familiar Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and MMI’s dual-screen infotainment cluster. We like the former for its intuitiveness and ability to display a full-screen Google Maps satellite view on the dashboard, but we have more mixed feelings about the latter. We appreciated the crisp graphics and responsive touch features, but we didn’t like the extensive menu browsing required to complete basic tasks, like adjusting the brightness of three displays.
To be fair, you’ll also be browsing the menu a lot in EQE. Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system is capable of doing much more than Audi’s MMI system, and can also display very useful information such as the peak charge rate of the electric vehicle in its current state of charge, but the system can sometimes be confusing when used while driving. . . The dual displays (one on the floating center console and the other on the digital instrument cluster) can be operated in several ways: via a touch on the main display or via a set of multi-function buttons located below the main display. The thumb pad speaks to either the steering wheel or the sounds. We found ourselves frequently making accidental inputs via the touchpad and spending a lot of time looking at the screen rather than looking at the road. In theory, the voice assistant will help you here, but it seems difficult to execute even basic commands.
The EQE’s physical packaging also leaves a lot to be desired. The fit, finish and materials all have a lower quality of shine and feel than the Audi, making the Mercedes feel like a much cheaper car than it is. Obvious cost-cutting, such as the lack of HVAC vents in the rear, has not gone unnoticed. Worse still, the EQE feels like a pillbox, thanks to the cab-forward layout and high dashboard. Up front, the driving position is best described as bus-like, with rear passengers noticing the high floor and claustrophobic feel. Although the EQE beats the E-Tron in interior measurements on paper, Audi simply makes better use of the space, and it feels like a roomier, more welcoming package. (It’s worth noting that although it’s closer in size to the Model
Which electric SUVs are the best?
Looking at price as a guide is usually an easy crutch when comparing two identical luxury cars, but in this case one car is clearly the better luxury offering.
We like the EQE350+’s sporty handling and strong power delivery, but the rest is unbearable. The interior isn’t particularly luxurious, the ride is too firm, and the infotainment system is distracting and difficult to use while driving. Of course, the first two issues could be masked by raiding the options box, opting for the air suspension and perhaps a few different interior options, but the package would still feature the same compromises inherent in this example.
With the Q8 E-Tron, you can compromise much less. While the Audi isn’t as attractive as some of the luxury electric SUVs offered by other automakers, it does offer a more luxurious offering than the Mercedes EQE. It’s quiet, relatively composed, and like some of the best ICE luxury cars, easy to drive – despite the feel of the brake pedal. Plus, her cabin is actually a place you might want to spend some time. Is it a better deal than a similar Tesla? It’s hard to say, but it would certainly be rarer.