The electric powered EQB is a versatile and impressive people carrier. It has a premium Mercedes-Benz badge that not only delivers the usual confidence among its owners but also added smugness of having a car that produces zero emissions at the point of use. We’re testing the EQB 300 4Matic this week.
The EQB name can be decoded as ‘EQ’/electric version of the excellent B sized Mercedes-Benz GLB. All versions fall in to 7% VRT rate and the range starts off at €64,030 (EQB 250) rising to €76,346 for the EQB 350 4Matic AMG Line. Mercedes-Benz has committed to going electric with its new passengers cars by 2030/35 and the evidence can be clearly seen in the expansion of its EQ sub brand’s range. Most electric people carriers are van derived who the EQB is positively gorgeous to look at next to the functions ‘e’ passenger vans.
The EQB is 50mm longer, 9mm taller and the same 1834mm width as the GLB – this is narrower than a Toyota RAV4 (1855mm). The EQB’s exterior is simple with clean lines, 18 inch alloys and a distinctive glossy front grille that announces its presence as an EV – no need for a radiator to cool an engine here. The car has a narrow profile for a premium machine and this is most appreciated in carparks and urban areas where it makes some SUVs look positively tubby. A large Mercedes-Benz star and EQB300 and 4Matic badging sit proudly on the tailgate. The EQB’s tailgate is near vertical for practical reasons as it maximises the rear space for the sixth and seventh passengers and/or cargo. The seven-seater is no bedroom poster (few MPV are), and not quite as striking as a GLB but it is handsome enough.
Inside the cabin is a functional Mercedes-Benz layout that lacks the wow factor of the latest EQs despite the single widescreen display that houses two large digital screens. “Hey Mercedes’ voice activation allows access to many of the car’s connected features. The build is good and the switchgear and materials are the usual Mercedes affair and reflective of the car’s position in the Premium German’s range of models. In other words the car has a premium feel but not a luxurious one. The cabin seats up to seven but works best in five-seat configuration that leaves a big flat 500-litre boot with the rear two seats folded flat into the floor. There are lots of cubbies and oddment space. Unlike some EVs there is no usable frunk (boot under the bonnet) and this means cables need to be stowed in their neat bags in the boot. The middle row of three seats is set taller than the front. This robs some headroom but delivers a more stadium-like view. The rear two seats are cosy with little legroom – so best used occasionally.
The EQB 300 4Matic is powered by two electric motors, one for the front wheels and the other for the rear hence the 4Matic (AWD) badge. Power output isn’t quite as the 300 name implies at 228hp. The sprint from 0-100km/h takes 7.7 seconds The 69.7kWh (gross) 66.5kWh (net/usable) battery is charged via a CCS (combo) socket located behind a fuel flap on the offside rear. The EQB has a maximum charging rate of 100kW (DC), a 10-80% charge takes as little as 30 minutes at a rapid charger (or circa 60 minutes at a 50kW fast charger). The EQB 300 has a maximum quoted driving range form a full charge of 431-435km.
On the road the EQB is not at all sporty but instead delivers a competent driving experience. The car has a long wheelbase (2,829mm) and this helps smooth out road imperfections. We had just one driving niggle – the brakes. The few moments before you come to a full stop can be less than smooth despite an educated right foot. As can often be the case the EQB’s regenerative brakes lack a certain amount of finesse. In every other sense the EQB was a pleasure to drive and use. The driving position is perfect, the seats are excellent and the car’s boxy shape made it easy to position – even multi-story carparks held no fear – again the EQB’s narrow profile helps. The EQB 4Matic’s all wheel drive system is one that will pay dividends in poorer weather as it will be able to find traction when other two wheel drive EVs will struggle.
The EBQ comes in 250 (two wheel drive 190hp), 300 4Matic and 350 4Matic (292hp) models with three trim grades available in each: Progressive, Electric Art, Amp Line. The EQB is a great premium family car with an excellent Euro NCAP crash protection score. The EQB is an EV that should satisfy the needs of most family car buyers with a future proof powertrain.