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BMW i5 vs Mercedes-Benz EQE: electric luxury sedan spec battle!


With the first fully-electric BMW 5 Series now revealed in full, we pit it against Mercedes-Benz’s EQE electric sedan to compare the two EV bahn-stormers 

The era of fully electric sedans has well and truly begun – Tesla might have gone first with the venerable Model S despite it no longer being sold in Australia, but the ‘legacy’ manufacturers are now throwing their weight behind full EVs, including in the traditional luxury sedan segment.

Buyers seeking comfortable and effortless performance but aren’t necessarily interested in a SUV now have alternatives options if electric motoring is what they’re after. 

BMW Australia has confirmed that the first all-electric 5 Series – known as the i5 – will arrive locally in the fourth quarter of 2023 with two variants, so how does the model stack up against those cars already on sale in Australia?

The new and all-electric BMW i5

While the new BMW i5 is likely to compete overseas with the Tesla Model S, let’s take a look at the Mercedes-Benz EQE as a core comparison point for Aussie buyers. 

How much do these two electric sedans cost? 

The Mercedes-Benz EQE range currently starts from $134,900 before on-road costs for the EQE300 entry model, but is priced as high as $214,900 before on-road costs for the flagship AMG EQE53 model. 

Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 Aus 2023 side
The current Mercedes-Benz EQE 350

While pricing for Australia has not been confirmed just yet for the new BMW 5 Series, including i5, German prices for the sedan are €57,550 (AUD$94,500) for a 520i and €70,200 (AUD$115,300)for the i5 eDrive40. 

We can estimate by looking at current pricing of the BMW 5 Series in Australia – starting from $107,700 before on-road costs for a 520i – that the new electric i5 could cost around $130,000 before on-road costs for the entry-level eDrive40. 

Standard specifications of the two models 

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE driving blue on the road
The Mercedes-Benz EQE features slip stream exterior design

The Mercedes-Benz EQE300 comes with the following features as standard:

  • Burmester 3D sound system 
  • 12.3-inch driver display 
  • OLED central display 
  • Head-up display 
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay 
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Panoramic sunroof 
  • 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
  • Sports seats with nappa leather 
  • Adaptive high beam 
The new BMW 5 Series range

As standard, the BMW i5 will mirror in a lot of ways the same specifications as the entry petrol-driven 520i. Key features for the new model includes:

  • 12.3-inch information display 
  • 14.9-inch control display 
  • 19-inch M alloy wheels
  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • M sport suspension 
  • Remote engine start 
  • Adaptive LED headlights 
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  • Sport seats 
A look inside the new BMW i5

The i5 eDrive40 adds the following features:

  • Larger 20-inch alloy wheels 
  • Adaptive suspension 
  • Acoustic sound for pedestrians 
  • BMW iconic sounds 
  • A larger 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system 
  • Merino leather upholstery 
  • A five year chargefox subscription 

The flagship i5 M60 xDrive includes:

  • 21-inch alloy wheels
  • Adaptive M suspension with anti-roll
  • Active seat ventilation 
  • Four-zone climate control 
  • A rear M spoiler
2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE53 4Matic+ driving on road
The Mercedes-AMG EQE53 starts from $214,000 before on-road costs

Which variants are available, and what powers them? 

The Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan is available in EQE300 and EQE350 4Matic guise. An AMG model, the EQE53 4Matic, is also available in Australia. 

The entry-level EQE300 is fitted with a single electric motor that produces 180kW of power and 550Nm of torque. The EQE300 uses a 89kWh usable battery pack. 

Stepping up to the EQE350 4Matic, owners will gain an extra electric motor and a slightly larger 90.5kWh usable battery pack. Power and torque outputs for this engine are 215kW/765Nm

Mercedes-Benz EQE AMG 53 Aus 2023 above driving
The Mercedes-AMG EQE53 produces 460kW/950Nm

The flagship AMG performance variant, the EQE53 4Matic, also uses a dual-motor setup and the same 90.5kWh usable battery pack, but this time power and torque is turned right up to outputs of 460kW/950Nm

The i5, meanwhile, will be available with two variants – eDrive40 and M60 xDrive.

The entry level eDrive40 will use a single, rear-mounted electric motor to produce 250kW/430Nm thanks to an 84kWh battery pack. 

Two variants of the BMW i5 will be available in Australia

The M60 xDrive will use a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup and will be capable of producing 442kW/820Nm. Battery capacity remains the same as the eDrive40 at 84kWh. 

How far can you travel with these two electric sedans?

The Mercedes-Benz EQE300 will be able to travel 550km (WLTP), while the dual-motor EQE350 4Matic will have a slightly lower range of 507km (WLTP). 

The rotary dial remains for the new BMW i5

The flagship AMG EQE53 4Matic will have the lowest range of the lot, with 459km (WLTP) of range available. 

BMW claims that its upcoming i5 electric sedan will be capable of hitting a range of 582km (WLTP) for the eDrive40, while the M60 xDrive variant will have a lower range of 516km (WLTP).

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