Need a seven-seat electric SUV? The Mercedes EQB is coming

By topgear, 07 September 2021

We’ve seen the Mercedes EQB before. It looks like a GLB with the nose grille blanked off, and a light bar slapped on the tailgate. That’s because, fact fans, it’s a GLB that swaps a petrol or diesel engine for electric propulsion. This is The Simple Way to make an EV.

And usually that means there’ll be a compromise on boot space and the bit where the humans go, because of piling up a big battery back somewhere. But the EQB seems to have survived electrification with its family credentials intact.

Mercedes has announced the European-ready EQB will offer five- and seven-seater versions. There’ll be an EQB 300 4Matic good for 222hp, or a 350 4Matic that ups that to 292hp. Both have dual-motor all-wheel drive, and both run off the same 66kWh battery. Mercedes says that’ll get either version up to 418km on a charge. The quicker one does 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds, which is brisk. The standard car takes 8.0sec, which isn’t.

So, this is no Tesla Model X rivals – more of a challenger to the Audi Q4 e-tron and VW ID.4, neither of which offer twin third row seats. Mercedes could well have the posh eco-minded school run bus segment all to itself here. It says the seats are good for sitting in for folks up to 1.65 metres tall.

The EQB can’t charge up as quickly as its EQE or EQS stablemates, but with a 100kW DC charging speed it’ll still just about manage the usual 10-to-80 per cent refill in just over half an hour. Or it’ll suckle off an 11kW AC wallbox.

Mercedes says it’ll do a front-motor’d EQB soon, which will be slower, but cost less. A longer-range EQB with a bigger battery is also in the works, for maximum weekend outdoor pursuit lifestyle types. Rad.

Inside, it’s a GLB. Except, there’s lots of rose-gold, because that looks coppery, and that signifies electrical current, and… hmmm. We’re not sure really. But there’s all the usual MBUX infotainment gubbins with a touchscreen, touchpad, Hey Mercedes voice control, online apps and lots more physical clickable buttons than you get in a VW ID.4 or Tesla Model Y.

And like the EQA or EQS, the EQB can offer you three levels of re-gen braking or just take over and decide how much is needed if you’re feeling particularly lazy.

So, it’s a fairly play-it-safe EV, albeit with mini-G Wagen hints in the looks and more of seats and space inside. Your cup of tea?

STORY Ollie Kew

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