Mercedes EQB Review

Price: from £51,000 (est)

A neatly packaged seven-seater with all the usual Mercedes refinements. Premium quality but with a premium price tag.

  • Battery size: 66.5 kWh
  • Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • E-Rating™: B

    ​​Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​​

  • Range: 260 miles
  • DC charging speed: 100kW

Ginny Says

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7/10

“I quite like the honesty of the design and the facility to carry an extra two passengers is good - especially if you have kids with lots of mates. It’s disappointing that the cabin is compromised by the basic design of the car. Stepping into the EQB after driving flat-floor all-electric cars really feels like going back in time. ”

Nicki Says

8/10

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“Having the option of seven seats is great, and it’s good to see this kind of car now appearing on the electric car market. I wish it was a cheaper option because the petrol-engined car is around £34,000 and I’m disappointed that the rapid charging speed is on the low side. ”

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If you’re looking for an electric car that can carry more than five people then you won’t need us to tell you that they are pretty thin on the ground. In fact, unless you’re prepared to shell out £85k+ for Tesla Model or are prepared to carry your family round in a van like the Citroen e-SpaceTourer or Vauxhall Vivaro-e, then you’re out of luck.

But there’s (some) good news on the horizon. Tesla has promised that a seven-seater Model Y is in the pipeline for UK customers and Mercedes has finally pulled the wraps off its EQB - a funky seven-seater SUV that (unlike the Tesla) is confirmed for launch early next year. We visited Mercedes HQ in glamorous Stuttgart to get a first drive…

The EQB is aimed at the small but significant number of buyers who want and need a third row of seats. Mercedes reckon that they kind of folk who would currently look to cars like the Renault Scenic or Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace to carry their tribe or the occasional sixth or seventh passenger are the target audience for the EQB. 


Design and practicality

In terms of design, the EQB is unashamedly an SUV. There’s no swooping roofline, letterbox windows or shoulder-high window line trying to blur the lines between hatch and SUV here. The EQB is a boxy, tell-it-like-it-is SUV that pulls no punches. Like all ‘EQ’ Mercedes models, it’s based on an internal combustion engined model – in this case the GLB – albeit with a different nose to give it some visual differentiation. To our eyes, it’s probably the neatest of Merc’s EQ models and is neatly proportioned. 

Size-wise, the EQB measures 4,684mm long and 1,834mm wide. For reference, that’s 10cm longer than a Volkswagen ID.4 but fractionally narrower. Inside, however, the EQB doesn’t really make the most of its extra length. Because it’s based on a conventional piston-engined car, it comes with the same packaging compromises. A big engine bay means that valuable front space is lost while the requirement for a transmission and exhaust tunnel means that the floor is only flat in the footwells. By comparison, an ID.4 feels much more spacious. 

But while the Mercedes offers less space, it does have a trick up its sleeve in the form of a pop-up third seating row as standard. The rearmost seat units are individual and are lifted and folded flat via a fabric loop at either edge.  The middle bench can be slid back and forth by around 30 cm to give those in the third row a bit more legroom, while the boot holds between 495 and 1,710 liters in the best case.

If you’re planning to wedge a couple of six-footers in the third row, then think again. While we can’t fault the operation of the seats, which fold neatly away when not needed, even Mercedes suggests that they are only really suitable for passengers under 1.65 metres. Kids will be fine, but if you’re looking to carry teens or young adults on a regular basis, then the EQB probably isn’t the car for you. 


Battery, range and charging

Mercedes UK has yet to reveal specifications and costs for the EQB, but the range will launch with two all-wheel drive models, the EQB300 with 228bhp and the EQB350 with 292bhp. A front-wheel drive entry level model will join the range at a later date.

Both launch models come with a 66.5kWh battery (usable) and rapid charging speeds of up to 100kW. The latter figure is somewhat surprising given the general industry trend towards much faster charging capacities. That said, both EQB models will charge to 80% in around 35 minutes on a 150kW charger or quicker. What’s more Mercedes has hinted that the DC figure may be higher once deliveries start. If you’re plugging in at home on a standard 7kW wallbox, both models will fully charge from empty in just over eight hours. 

As with other Mercedes EQ models, the EQB has some seriously clever range-extending features. The regen system is one of the best we’ve experienced while the ‘Electric Intelligence’ navigation system pre-prepares the battery pack for charging. As a result, the EQB can take full power at every stop.   

In terms of range, both models have an official WLTP range of 260 miles, which seems par for the course given the weight of the car. We’d expect that to translate to around 220-240 miles in real-world conditions. As with the charging speed, those figures are okay but not exactly class leading by any means. 

Neither version could be described as being particularly engaging to drive (the fastest is the EQB with a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds), but both models have good mid-range pulling power and are refined and comfortable at speed. Sound insulation is, as we’ve come to expect from Mercedes, incredibly good while the ride is surprisingly compliant given the weight and large wheels. 


Price

Mercedes has yet to confirm prices, but given that the EQB will sit between the current EQA and EQC models, we’d expect prices to start from around £51,000. However, if that sounds a little too expensive but still need to carry seven passengers, Mercedes has confirmed that a new seven-seater based on the next generation Citan van will be launched with the EQT tag next year.

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