By Breda Corrigan
The all-new Mercedes-Benz EQB is a seven-seat fully-electric family SUV which is based on the petrol and diesel-powered GLB, and it is packed with lots of premium appeal too. Like the GLB, the EQB comes with a high roofline and rugged off-road appearance, but under the metal and behind the blanked-off front grille, the EQB has an identity all of its own. The new EQB is fitted with a 66.5kWh battery and a pair of electric motors providing 4MATIC all-wheel drive capability. Mercedes-Benz claim that the EQB will return a range of 419kms from a fully charged battery and, from my own personal experience, this certainly does appear to reflect real-world driving.
Impressive Cabin & Boot Space.
As is the norm with the majority of seven-seat cars, you are not left with much in the way of cargo space when all seats are in their upright mode. However, the EQB offers 465-litres of space in its five-seat configuration, and up to 1,710-litres when all five rear seats are folded flat. Overall cabin space is impressive, with lots of headroom on offer throughout, while a relatively large glass area ensures great visibility for all occupants. Space in the middle row is more than adequate – even for taller adults – with all seven occupants benefitting from comfortable and supportive seats. Even the rearmost seats get ISOFIX anchorage points, and this may be an important requirement for families who need to place small children in the 3rd row of seats on a regular basis.
Powerful and Confident Stance.
The EQB interprets Mercedes-EQ’s Progressive Luxury in an edgy and particularly characterful way, and it features the typical Mercedes-EQ black panel grille with central star. A further distinctive design feature of the all-electric world of Mercedes-EQ vehicles is the continuous light strip at the front and rear. A muscular shoulder dominates the side view of the EQB, which is further enhanced by the rise of the beltline, while outwardly positioned wheels give the EQB a powerful character and confident stance on the road. The upmarket cabin of the EQB features an ultra-modern widescreen digital display which is MBUX controlled, and it can be individually configured with the help of various options. Key advantages of the system include a powerful computer, brilliant screens and graphics, customisable presentation, full-colour head-up display, navigation with augmented reality and learning software, and voice control activated by the keyword “Hey Mercedes”.
Easy Charge Options.
The EQB has a 100kW maximum rapid charge rate, and this allows drivers to achieve a 10-80 per cent top-up in just 32 minutes. A 0-100 per cent charge at home via a wallbox can be achieved in around 11 hours, but most drivers will never let the battery reach anywhere near 0 per cent before they recharge, so less time should satisfy the needs of the majority of EQB drivers in this regard.
My test car was a Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC which was finished in stylish Mountain Grey metallic paint, with macchiato beige and black ARTICO man-made leather upholstery. Key standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Comfort seats, Comfort suspension, cruise control, DAB radio, EASY-PACK tailgate (electrically operated), leather multi-function steering wheel, extended MBUX function (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), heated front seats, hard-disc navigation, KEYLESS-GO, LED high-performance headlights, MBUX multimedia system, reversing camera, front & rear parking sensors, black roof lining material, Smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), steering wheel shift paddles (for regenerative braking intensity), THERMATIC automatic climate control, Touchpad with controller, tyre pressure waring system, velour floor mats, and rain sensing windscreen wipers, along with a host of advanced safety systems. The only options fitted to my test car were metallic paint (€1,068) and a Night Package (€764) consisting of black roofbars, and heat-insulating dark tinted glass, along with 18” 5-spoke alloy wheels with black accents for an extra dash of style and panache. Producing 228bhp and 390Nm of torque, the EQB 300 can sprint from 0-100km/h in 8.0-seconds on its way to a top speed of 160km/h (where permitted). Due to instant, and well controlled power delivery, overtaking slower moving traffic can be executed with ease, with instant acceleration right up to motorway speeds. The EQB handles in a safe and secure manner at all times, with well-judged steering, strong brake pedal feel, and a terrific brake regeneration system all playing their part very well indeed. Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles enable the driver to select the right amount of brake regeneration to suit their driving style. In their strongest setting, you can bring the car to a complete stop by just lifting off the accelerator, while a coasting mode makes for simple, efficient motorway driving. The EQB is smooth and relaxing to drive, while the amount of grip the dual-motor and 4MOTION drivetrain provide is reassuring on all road conditions, and in all weather conditions too.
Verdict & Pricing.
The new Mercedes-Benz EQB brings with it a new era in fully-electric driving, and it is a well-rounded and suitably impressive mid-size family SUV that has the distinct advantage of being able to carry up to seven people in comfort and style. Pricing for the new EQB starts at €65,660 and it is on sale now at Mercedes-Benz passenger car dealerships nationwide.