Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

Confusingly, Mercedes’ latest mid-size,  electric-powered SUV shares the same EQE nameplate as the brand’s established saloon. This is deliberate, as it is effectively an SUV version of the EQE saloon, sharing some styling features. 

This means that again, the front has a surprisingly short overhang thanks to a lack of engine and continues the cab-forward look, first seen on the EQS saloon – although in SUV form. 

There are the same large headlights and faired-in grille with Mercedes logo detailing. At the side, there are the identical powered flush door handles we’ve already seen on other EQS and EQE models, while at the back it also gets a curvy rear light bar. 

Inside, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re sitting in a slightly smaller EQS SUV, with the same soft leather on the seats, the flat, minimalist dashboard, which on our test car, also included the optional extra Hyperscreen on the passenger side. We’re not sure that the extra screen is useful enough to warrant this package’s eye-watering £7,995 price. Elsewhere, there’s the general level of spaciousness we’ve come to expect from Mercedes EQ EV products. Our car also had the excellent 12.8in central touchscreen, running Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system, which despite all its technology, is easy to use. 

We had the EQE SUV 350, which is at the bottom of the EQE range, and is expected to gain the most fleet interest. It has an 89kWh battery and 288hp, via twin motors. This means 62mph acceleration in 6.6secs and a top speed of 130mph. However, despite the impressive performance, this EQE SUV still boasts up to 323 miles to a charge. Talking about charging, with rates up to 170kW, this SUV isn’t at its best when home-charged. Yet, it’s still possible to go from 10-80% charge in just 31 minutes, via a 170kw rapid public charger. 

None of these cars could ever be called cheap but choose any of them and you’ll benefit from the same low 2% BIK company car tax figure. 

We’d say any EV with a range of more than 300 miles is at the top of its game, but the 323-mile range here is only good enough for third place, behind the BMW and Lotus. 

The news gets slightly better when we discuss the P11D values of this set of cars. In years past, over £90,000 would have bought a supercar. Now it seems about the going rate for the best EV models. Incredibly, with a P11D value of £99,205, the EQE SUV is the cheapest here. Despite being worth 44% of its original price after three years, this is only good enough for second place, with perhaps the allure of the Eletre’s Lotus badge helping this new SUV contender take the top position. 

The only other area where the Mercedes comes top, is SMR, which at £3,220, is over £500 less than the second-placed BMW. 

This Mercedes doesn’t come top in enough key areas, but given it’s the newest model in the set, it is only just behind the Lotus with its 105p cost per mile figure.

Mercedes EQE 4Matic 350 89kWh AMG Line Premium 

P11D: £99,205

CO2 (tax): 0g/km (2%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £33/£66

Range: 323 miles

National Insurance: £22

First year VED: £0

Subsequent VED: £0

Battery size/power: 89kWh/288hp

AFR: 9p

Residual value: 44%

Depreciation: £54,775

Fuel costs: £5,268

SMR: £3,220

Cost per mile: 105p


Audi Q8 E-Tron

Five years after its launch, this is the updated E-Tron, except on top of a makeover and bigger battery, it also gets a new name – the Q8 E-Tron. 

Outside, like the rest of the recent Audi range, the Q8 E-Tron gets a more aggressive look. This includes a thorough de-chrome, and a new single-frame grille with the latest flush four-ring logo. 

Inside, the changes are limited to revised trim and material options. With the biggest changes taking place underneath, this 55 spec version’s battery increases from 89kWh to 106kWh, with Audi claiming a WLTP range of 315 miles. Also getting a boost are the DC charging speeds which are up from 150kW to 170kW, equalling a 10-80% charge in around 30 minutes.

The 55’s battery might have increased, but it’s a middle player in this set, placed highest with joint second place for NI (£23), and for P11D values (£103,810). The Q8 E-Tron also scores third positions for SMR (£3,738), residual value (£41,900) and depreciation figures (£61,155). Although its 118p cost per mile figure isn’t that far behind the others here.  

Audi Q8 E-Tron Quattro Vorsprung 55  

P11D: £103,810

CO2 (tax): 0g/km (2%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £34/£69

Range: 315 miles

National Insurance: £23

First year VED: £0

Subsequent VED: £0

Battery size/power: 106kWh/408hp

AFR: 9p

Residual value: 41%

Depreciation: £61,155

Fuel costs: £6,114

SMR: £3,738

Cost per mile: 118p

BMW _the -new -bmw -ix -xdriv class=


The distinctive looks remain a talking point, but with its limo-like levels of ride and refinement combined with the expected keen drive, the BMW iX must be one of the best EV SUVs on sale.

After over two years, the unusual exterior seems more normal. However, it’s the iX’s interior that’s the real triumph. Starting with the horizontal dashboard design, with the rectangular joint instrument and infotainment screens perched on top. Controls are kept to a minimum, but on top of the style, the surprise and delight comes from the high-end finishes such as matt wood on the control-laden centre console, suede-like finishes, and metal highlights.  

The xDrive 50 is fitted with the larger of the two batteries available for the iX, equalling an impressive official range. When it comes to charging, the iX can be fast-charged up to 200kW, with a predicted 10-80% charge expected to take just over half an hour, via a fast charger.  

In this set, the iX has the joint-best range at 380 miles, but will be the cheapest to run over a three-year term, with a predicted £4,780 cost for electricity. The BMW also has the second-lowest SMR (£3,392), and the joint second lowest National Insurance figure with the Audi (£23). 

Maybe the iX’s unusual looks have played their part in its poor residual value results, which with 39% and £40,825, are the worst here. As a result, the BMW finishes in the mid-range with its cost per mile figure of 117p. 

BMW iX xDrive 50 M Sport  

P11D: £104,230

CO2 (tax): 0g/km (2%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £34/£69

Range: 380 miles

National Insurance: £23

First year VED: £0

Subsequent VED: £0

Battery size/power: 111.5kWh/525hp

AFR: 9p

Residual value: 39%

Depreciation: £62,555

Fuel costs: £4,780

SMR: £3,392

Cost per mile: 117p


Lotus Eletre 

Probably the most unusual and controversial member of this group is the newest and has iconic Lotus badging. 

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!), the Eletre has nothing to do with Lotus founder Colin Chapman, or sports cars such as the Elise. Instead, this offering is an all-new, tech-heavy, electric-powered  SUV, that is built in China thanks to new owners.  

Powered by a big 112kWh battery, it’s cooled and heated up to 350kW, thanks to its 800-volt architecture, and has an impressive 380 miles of range. 

On the road, the almost unbelievable 4.5-second 0-62 acceleration figure seems believable, as it’s the acceleration that marks the Eletre out here, with even short bursts pushing you into the back of the seat. 

This is a long car, so it’s not surprising this Lotus’s interior is impressively spacious – even in the back, there’s plenty of head and legroom – even for the tallest. Plus, a large and practical 699-litre boot. 

The Eletre’s Lotus badge is obviously a hit with buyers, as its £47,400 depreciation and 55% residual value are the best here. Although its £105,730 P11D figure is the most expensive, its 94.4p cost per mile figure is the best finishing in a solid first place.

Lotus Eletre S 112kWh 

P11D: £105,750

CO2 (tax): 0g/km (2%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £35/£70

Range: 380 miles

National Insurance: £24

First year VED: £0

Subsequent VED: £0

Battery size/power: 112kWh/603hp 

AFR: 9p

Residual value: 55%

Depreciation: £47,400

Fuel costs: £4,927

SMR: £4,339

Cost per mile: 94.4p