BMW and Mercedes have been battling it out for almost a century. The two German luxury brands have been each other’s main rival since the war ended. Through every motorsport, technology, and economic change, the two German giants have been fierce, but respectful, rivals. Now, though, they face off during the most radical change to the industry since the automobile replaced the horse—the switch to electrification. While both brands have had EVs for a few years, these two will be the ones that really challenge each other—the 2024 BMW i5 M60 and the 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE.
Both cars are the high-performance versions of both brands’ midsize electric sedans, the 5 Series and the EQE. And since both brands have made themselves famous for offering high-performance sedans in this segment, this electric grudge match should be fascinating to watch. However, since we can’t drive either just yet, the only way they can compete at the moment is in photos. So let’s see which design is better.
Mercedes made an interesting decision with its EQ line of electric cars. Rather than give them traditionally beautiful Mercedes design, the folks in Stuttgart leaned hard into aerodynamics. The EQE is one of the slipperiest cars through the air that’s ever been made (beaten only by its larger sibling, the EQS). However, BMW went the other way and leaned hard into design. So while the EQE looks like a teardrop with headlights painted on, the BMW i5 M60 looks sharp, aggressive, and exciting. I respect the EQE’s impressive aero but that doesn’t help its looks, so the Bimmer wins here.
From the Side
Again, the Mercedes-AMG EQE is a product of its aero. It looks like an egg cut in half vertically and then laid on its flat side. Its wheels are big and sporty and it has cute little fake vents but it’s mostly very boring looking. While the i5 M60 has a lovely silhouette, with aggressively raked pillars, a low-slung roof, and crisp lines. Without question, the i5 is more visually interesting, so it wins this one easily.
The i5 M60 wins again here. While the AMG EQE’s rear light bar is cool and it does fun LED dances, the entire back end looks like its melting into the pavement and just isn’t particularly attractive. While the i5 M60’s design is pretty normal but its slim dual taillights look modern and are simple enough to age well. Again, the BMW wins and it isn’t particularly close.
This one really comes down to personal taste. The Mercedes-AMG EQE is a massive tech fest, with a monster Hyperscreen that dominates the dashboard. It looks like the cockpit of a spaceship from Guardians of the Galaxy, not a road-going car for yuppies. That’s good, in that it’s cool and exciting, but it’s bad because there’s little else to look at except for fingerprint-laden black plastic. While the BMW i5 M60 looks fantastic, with its 7 Series-inspired design, sporty steering wheel, and sporty car-like design. The i5 M60 looks like a sport sedan inside, while the AMG EQE looks like something from a sci-fi movie.
I don’t think this will be disputed much but the BMW i5 M60 runs away with the win here. While the Mercedes-AMG EQE isn’t bad looking, it’s very boring. It looks like a pebble that’s been smooth by hundreds of years of erosion because it’s supposed to be. And while I like function over form in design, this goes way too far. So the BMW i5 wins easily.