Mercedes-Benz EQV 300 Avantgarde Long First Drive : V for Van-detta

By davidkhoo, 23 December 2022

Mercedes-Benz EQV 300 Avantgarde Long First Drive : V for Van-detta

Singapore - When the opportunity to drive Mercedes-Benz's all-electric EQV presented itself, we were all over it.

Folks think I'm joking when they hear I have as big a penchant for cool and intelligently-packaged MPVs (especially if they're all-electric as the EQV is!) as I do for sportscars, but I'm dead serious.

Why though? Well, a MPV/multi-van type vehicle is the perfect daily runabout complement to a family person's stable of sportscars.

You probably can if you want to, but who really runs errands or makes school/soccer-runs in a sportscar (or worse, a utility vehicle masquerading as a performance car), especially if you need to carry the fam in comfort?

Of course, a minivan needn't just be relegated to family duties either, because with designated driver on duty, a multivan can be the perfect 'party animal' to hit the clubs in.

Flash poseurs may think rocking-up in a two-seater exotic impresses the girls, but seasoned players will know 1) you shouldn't be driving after you've been drinking and 2) a multivan will accommodate your new friend and her wing-women in posh comfort for the post-party party.

A bonus is changing the ambient mood lighting in the EQV's cabin to suit the tastes of the occupants, which can either add to the intimacy and cosiness, or enhance the party vibe.

The second-row Captain's Seats even feature an intense massaging function to work out the kinks one might have picked up from the intense workout after a stint on the dance-floor, or after a long series of meetings.

The cockpit ergonomics will be familiar ground to fans of the brand: column-mount gearshifter, single-stalk for wipers/indicators and the intuitive interface for the MBUX multimedia system.

The automotive industry may be careening wildly towards electrification, but we think the traits of an electric powertrain are better suited for some applications over others.

We can certainly appreciate the immediacy of an EV's torque delivery and perfectly hushed and fuss-free step-and-go performance for luxuriously wafting around in (like the Rolls-Royce Spectre), or in the EQV's case, sublime A-to-B-to-C and back again commutes for the whole gin gang.

The Alphard Brigade can appreciate what we're on about, with the EQV adding all-electric propulsion to its luxury, lofty-riding MPV experience as you shuttle in cosseted comfort between home, meetings and the golf club... none the worse for wear.

The ones who jump to conclusions based on outward experiences will wrinkle their noses at the prospect of #vanlife, but those in-the-know could have one (or even two) of these mega-MPVs in the garage to cope with the household's business, operational and recreational errands.

The EQV's silhouette is straightforward and functional, with little concession to style save for the 'EQ' front grille. Besides, with such vehicles, everyone knows the magic is always about how it feels on the inside, as opposed to the looks or how quick it accelerates.

On that topic, I've never understood the fascination with an EV's outright performance, especially for something fulfilling transportation duties. You're after smooth and seamless, not necessarily scintillating, so the right amount of power should be a little over 'just right', nothing more, nothing less...

The electric motor's 204hp/366Nm work well to propel the 2.5-tonne EQV smoothly and swiftly to cruising speed, with four driving modes (E, E+, C and S) and five levels of brake regen to toggle between.

If you're serving designated driver duties, the high-riding position and expansive glass area help with visibility.

Moreover, the EQV's proportions aren't as daunting as you'd imagine thanks to the 360˚ camera system, which provides you with a birds-eye view of the EQV's immediate surroundings, particularly in its blind-spots.

As far as EVs are concerned, we're all for one-pedal driving in the city, because to us, that's an integral part of driving an electric vehicle.

It's like heel-toe downshifting for manual transmissions – the folks who can't do it well say it's not needed, just like the folks who lack the finesse and foresight for driving an EV one-pedal-style question its purpose, as opposed to their ability.

The second and third-row seating are modular and allow one to configure the cabin for carrying cargo, passengers or a mixture of the two. You could drive it yourself, but the star (seats) of the show are the second-row Captain's Seats, which press, pad and pamper you over the course of every journey.

The slide-adjustable third-row seats offer snug support for up to three and there's even adequate space behind them for carrying luggage. We like the Easy-Pack tail-gate feature, which allows the rear glass to be opened separately from the entire tail-gate to allow for easy and quick loading.

We like to call a spade a spade and the EQV is the perfect people/package mover that looks and plays the part of primary transport for the daily drudgery – this lets you 'save' the fun cars for the truly special occasions and roads. It could even serve Singapore commute duties, with the other mega-MPV in your garage kept for cross-border runs up North.

Driven in 'C', we averaged just under 400km range on a full-charge, good for about three to four days based on our driving patterns. Besides, this big boy is likely to end up living life on landed compounds, so charging will be on-site, overnight and not a problem at all.

Such plus-sized private-registered transports are finding more favour as households become more affluent and it's no longer about having just one vehicle to suit all needs.

Having one, two or more of these in the garage to complement the flashy sportscars and lux-limos have become stealth-wealth status symbols for those in-the-know.

And for those to whom it can only be the best or nothing, the EQV could well be your ticket to First Class commuting.


Mercedes-Benz EQV 300 Long Avantgarde

Battery 100kWh, Li-Ion
Electric Motor 204hp, 366Nm
Electric Range up to 426km (NEDC)
0-100km/h 12.1secs
Top Speed 160km/h (electronically limited)
LxBxH 5140 x 2244 (with mirrors) x 1901mm
Wheelbase 3200mm
Kerbweight (DIN) est. 2.6-tonnes
Efficiency 29.8kWh/100km

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