In the ever-evolving landscape of luxury electric SUVs, the competition is fierce, with the Mercedes EQE SUV, Audi Q8 e-tron, BMW iX, and Jaguar I-Pace vying for supremacy. This comparison reveals the distinct characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of each contender in terms of design, interior comfort, features, range, performance, and more.
Mercedes EQE SUV: Aiming for aerodynamic efficiency, the EQE boasts a drag coefficient of 0.25. While lacking the grandiosity of traditional Mercedes models, it exudes a unique, smooth aesthetic with flush lights, a faux grille, and door handles.
Audi Q8 e-tron: Larger than it appears, the Q8 e-tron follows a conventional two-box SUV design. While lacking the avant-garde styling of some competitors, it retains the familiar Audi SUV look.
BMW iX: Unconventional and polarizing, the iX stands out with radical details, including a sizable vertical faux grille. Its design, while turning heads, may not appeal to everyone.
Jaguar I-Pace: Breaking from SUV norms, the I-Pace adopts a high-riding fastback form, showcasing Jaguar’s distinctive design language. Despite being the oldest, it maintains a unique and timeless appearance.
Mercedes EQE SUV: Boasting a spacious and airy cabin, the EQE provides a high seating position. However, the backseat may be less comfortable due to a short squab and upright backrest.
Audi Q8 e-tron: The back seat is spacious with a suitable height and recline angle. However, the central AC console may impact comfort for a third passenger.
BMW iX: Surprisingly comfortable, the iX features a flat rear bench with soft, thick cushioning. The design maximizes space, with thoughtful details such as speakers in the headrests.
Jaguar I-Pace: Sporting a sporty, low-slung feel, the I-Pace’s back seat offers good legroom but compromises on headroom. It excels in driving pleasure but may not be the ideal choice for chauffeur-driven experiences.
Interior Features and Technology
Mercedes EQE SUV: The Hyperscreen infotainment system delivers a wow factor, creating a tech-heavy ambiance. The all-encompassing ambient lighting and quality materials contribute to a luxurious feel.
Audi Q8 e-tron: The Audi MMI, though logically laid out, lacks the flash seen in some competitors. Familiar elements include dual touchscreens and a Virtual Cockpit, but the system is starting to show its age.
BMW iX: Featuring a minimalist, futuristic design, the iX’s interior impresses with crystalline switchgear, a floating infotainment system, and a unique hexagonal steering ‘wheel.’ The i-Drive system, however, has become less user-friendly.
Jaguar I-Pace: While not as flashy, the I-Pace offers physical buttons for ease of use. The Pivi Pro infotainment system, though on a smaller screen, provides comprehensive battery, range, and charging data.
Range and Efficiency
Mercedes EQE SUV: Leads in range with 480km, showcasing efficiency with 5.3km/kWh. The Hyperscreen and overall performance contribute to its appeal for long-distance driving.
Audi Q8 e-tron: Despite its larger battery, the Q8 e-tron trails in efficiency at 4.03km/kWh. The range of 460km and a less distinct drive mode impact its overall standing.
BMW iX: With a smaller battery, the iX returns 356km on a full charge, indicating room for improvement. Its efficiency at 4.6km/kWh places it in the middle of the pack.
Jaguar I-Pace: Achieves a range of 410km with an efficiency of 4.5km/kWh. While not leading in range, the I-Pace’s enjoyable driving experience compensates for the slightly lower efficiency.
Performance and Driving Experience
Mercedes EQE SUV: With 408hp and 858Nm of torque, the EQE accelerates to 100kph in 4.8sec. Its power delivery is described as an on/off switch, requiring modulation in traffic.
Audi Q8 e-tron: A practical all-rounder, the Q8 e-tron offers a sedate driving experience with 408hp. It lacks the excitement of competitors but excels in delivering a likeable overall experience.
BMW iX: Trails in power with 326hp but compensates with a well-balanced driving experience. Its acceleration, though not the quickest, is more manageable in everyday driving.
Jaguar I-Pace: The most enjoyable to drive, the I-Pace combines progressive and powerful performance. Its driving pleasure, akin to internal combustion engines, sets it apart in this category.
Ride and Handling
Mercedes EQE SUV: Soft suspension provides a comfortable ride, emulating S-Class-like softness at low speeds. However, it may feel too soft at higher speeds, affecting stability.
Audi Q8 e-tron: Exhibits tidy handling and competent performance, but the steering lacks sharpness and feels lifeless. The suspension effectively masks the vehicle’s weight.
BMW iX: Balances low-speed absorption and high-speed stability well, delivering the best ride quality. Without optional air suspension, it maintains substantial ground clearance.
Jaguar I-Pace: Fun-to-drive nature extends to handling, offering fluid steering and excellent body control. Its sporty characteristics shine through, although the suspension may feel too stiff at low speeds.
Price and Verdict
Mercedes EQE SUV: Priced at Rs 1.39 crore, the EQE excels in range, performance, and refinement. However, its higher cost and slightly compromised back-seat comfort impact its overall appeal.
Audi Q8 e-tron: Positioned as a practical all-rounder, the Q8 e-tron offers a likeable but not exhilarating experience. Its shortcomings lie in the lack of drama expected in this price range.
BMW iX: Priced at Rs 1.21 crore, the iX presents a striking design, comfortable seats, and a well-thought-out interior. While trailing in range, its city-focused use may appeal to luxury EV owners.
Jaguar I-Pace: Stands out for driving pleasure and attention-grabbing design. However, its optional features and slightly compromised practicality may affect its broad appeal.
In conclusion, each luxury EV SUV presents a unique proposition, catering to specific preferences and priorities. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences, whether it be range, driving pleasure, technology, or overall value for money.