4.3.2022Mercedes-Benz EQB first drive
There aren’t a lot of seven-seat options for those looking to go electric. Mostly they tend to be van-based models from Vauxhall/Citroen/Peugeot, and Mercedes-Benz. There’s also Tesla’s Model X… and that’s about it. Mercedes has thrown another EV into the ring however, with the EQB.
Review by Chris Lilly
MERCEDES-BENZ EQB: PERFORMANCE
At launch in the UK, the Mercedes-Benz EQB will be available in either 300 or 350 specification. We had a chance to get an early drive of the EQB 350, which features all-wheel drive thanks to twin motors producing a combined 215 kW (292 hp) - the EQB 300 produces 168 kW (228 hp) but is otherwise identical in powertrain to the 350. Pace is very good for a practical, family-focused SUV, and it completes the 0-62mph time in just 6.0 seconds for the model tested. Response is instant, as you would expect from an electric car with twin electric motors. And shove is more than adequate even at motorway speeds.
Dynamically, the EQB is pretty good considering it’s a tall-ish SUV. The ride is composed, and not easily unsettled. It’s stiff but not overly so, which helps keep body roll in control, if not completely in check. There is a bit of lean through the corners, but the EQB deals with it well on the whole. It’s aided by a low centre of gravity, largely thanks to the battery fitted into the floor. Importantly, this means it does well in the areas that matter for a family workhorse. It’s nimble to drive about town and car parks, but comfortable enough to deal with long distance drives.
Visually, the EQB looks similar to the GLB, which will mean a lot to plenty of buyers that are looking to switch to an EV without the show. Mercedes has done the same with all its EQ models. The EQC, EQS, EQA, and EQE are all similar to “normal” Mercedes models, yet distinct and in their own EQ sub-brand. It looks good, though the Edition 1 tested may be a little flash for some. It’s well proportioned, manages to seat seven or have a good sized boot, and has plenty of space for occupants.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Mercedes-Benz interiors are some of the best on the market currently, with a logical and stylish layout. They’ve almost shot themselves in the foot with the latest Hyperscreen system on the EQS and S-Class, which looks even better. But the EQB’s set-up looks and feels high quality. The twin screens are clear, crisp, and easy to use, even with the steering mounted controls. It’s a system that has been refined in recent years and is now excellent - one of the best around. Sometimes the sheer quantity of information can seem overwhelming, but you will quickly learn to filter through to what’s wanted.
MERCEDES-BENZ EQB: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
Driving range for the Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is as good as 257 miles on a charge. And the EQB 300 can also cover 257 miles. So the power literally impacts performance and nothing else. For a quick test, the EQB’s range held up well, even considering there was a high proportion of fast dual-carriage way along the route. There wasn’t enough time to use all the charge, but the calculated driving range was just 200 miles - not far off the 257 quoted with high speeds and December temperatures.
The Mercedes-Benz EQB uses a 66.5 kWh battery to achieve its range, which can be charged at up to 11 kW AC and 100 kW DC. A full charge from on an 11 kW unit will take less than six hours, and a 10-80% charge from a 100 kW CCS unit will take 32 minutes. Brake energy recuperation is a strong point for the EQB, with variable settings selectable with the paddles, including a coasting function and an auto mode that uses radar to determine braking strength.
Standard equipment for the EQB range includes 18-inch alloys, AMG styling details, parking sensors and reversing camera, twin 10-inch widescreen displays (infotainment and driver’s instruments), heated front sports seats, and multi-function sports steering wheel. That’s for the entry-level AMG Line trim. AMG Line Premium adds keyless entry and go, 19-inch alloys, upgraded audio system, wireless mobile charging, and electric panoramic sunroof. AMG Line Launch Edition includes a 360-degree camera system, head-up display, adjustable dampers, and 20-inch alloys.
MERCEDES-BENZ EQB: MODEL SUMMARY
The strength in depth of the Mercedes Benz electric line-up is now very strong. With the EQA compact SUV, EQC SUV, and luxurious EQS - with the executive EQE on its way - the practical EQB brings about a broad range of models. The seven seats will appeal to many needing that amount of pews regularly, plus the Mercedes drives nicely, is well equipped, and has a reliable range of 200+ miles on a charge.
Model tested: Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic
Body-style: Seven-seat SUV
Engine / CO2: 215 kW electric motors / 0 g/km
Trim grades: AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Launch Edition
On-road price: from £52,145. As tested £62,645
Warranty: Three years / unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.5 Stars