The most accessible and probably the most popular Mercedes EV, the EQB, will soon arrive in dealerships in the United States, joining Europe and Canada. And it may seem like a
little much familiar if you’ve experienced the Mercedes GLB ICE vehicle, but much improved thanks to the electric powertrain. Mercedes took us to its proving grounds outside of Stuttgart to find out more…
Mercedes EQB Specifications
The EQB is a bit of an outlier when it comes to premium vehicles in terms of powertrain specs, and sadly, I’m not saying that in a good way. Let’s get the ugly out first:
- Battery: 70.5kWh usable from 66kWh EU (not bad)
- Drag coefficient: 0.28 (weak, which is good!)
- Power: asynchronous front, permanently excited (eh) rear motors
EQB 300 4matic: 225 hp (168 kW) 288 lb-ft (390 Nm)
EQB 350 4matic: 288 hp (215 kW) 384 lb-ft (520 Nm)
- Top speed: 99.4mph or 160km/h (uh oh)
- Price: $54,500 EQB 300, $58,050 EQB 350. Federal tax credit of $7,500 available(!)
- Interval: 230-240 miles is. (gak)
- Dimensions: length 184.4″, width 72.2″ and height 65.6″
- Frunky: Nein!
- CCS Combo Charge Speed: 100kW (phew)
230 mile range, 100kW CCS handset
Remember, this is a Mercedes we’re talking about here, so expectations are relatively high.
I should note that Mercedes estimates the EPA at 230 miles, while on a much more optimistic WLTP scale the slightly smaller European pack gets 419 km or 260 miles. It is still a step back compared to other players in this field.
Couple that with relatively slow 100kW charging, Mercedes says you can go from 10-80% charge in 31 minutes on a 100kW or faster charger. That’s about 165 miles and what you’ll need to aim for between stops to optimize travel.
For me personally, this lower range and charging speed spec makes it a less than optimal vehicle for long trips. It’s not really something that pairs well with a small SUV family car. That said, a “particularly long-range version” is also planned and a year of Mercedes “me Charge” is also included.
288 horsepower, 0-62 in………6.6 – 8 seconds
Additionally, the EQB, while noticeably sharper than its ICE counterpart, is also sluggish for an EV. My tests confirmed it. We rode the faster 288-horsepower 350 version, which I always found a little behind when the throttle was stomped.
That’s not surprising given the EQB’s relatively small motors and hefty 4800lb weight. Passing this semi-final with a car full of children will require patience.
First and foremost, the EQB drives like a luxury SUV. No one will call it a fast car, but the electric powertrain is quiet and responsive. The seats are comfortable and the navigation system is solid. I had a total of about 45 minutes of total seat time, which was enough time to get familiar with the car. I expect to have more thoughts after a long drive in the near future.
One thing I found interesting is that the front motor is much more powerful than the rear, an anomaly for AWD electric vehicles. That’s because the lower-spec model Mercedes sells in Europe and China has a front-wheel-drive-only model that needs enough power to drive the whole car. Mercedes only added a lower horsepower rear motor to give it all-wheel drive, not speed.
Mercedes EQB vs. Tesla Model Y – 3rd place showdown
For one thing, these two vehicles don’t look alike at all. The EQB is a repurposed ICE vehicle design with impressive luxury and mediocre EV attributes, while Tesla’s Model Y, with all its ride/quality flaws, is a relatively nimble, long-range drive. But when it comes to 3rd row EVs in this price range, there’s not much else. And it’s amazing how many people have told me they can’t buy an EV because they need an affordable 3rd row option.
So here we are.
The EQB is actually in a smaller segment than the Tesla Model Y but size wise they are a few centimeters in all directions, the Mercedes slightly taller while the Tesla is slightly longer and wider:
- EQB: 184.4″ L x 72.2″ W x 65.6″ H
- Tesla Model Y: 187″ L x 76″ W x 64″ H
In terms of storage, the Model Y is significantly larger, due to Frunk’s forward design and the cabin where Mercedes repurposes a car that was built to house an internal combustion engine in the front. Instead of using up frunk space, there’s just poorly-packaged electrical gear under the hood. That said, it feels quite spacious inside.
Four adults will feel comfortable in the EQB as well as 2 adults and 3 children.
Tesla advertises a range of over 300 miles, but even with its overly optimistic estimates, that’ll still get you a lot further between charging stops and faster charging.
The Mercedes is a Mercedes but with a much nicer interior, ride and build quality.
As for the third row, both are tight in the back, with Mercedes recommending children and smaller adults, under 5’4, sit there. Both vehicles get additional space by moving the 2nd row about 5 to 6 inches. Mercedes didn’t provide us with a third-row vehicle for us to inspect, but judging by the amount of space in the back, it’s a kid-only space. Here is the only image I could find on the 3rd row EQB:
Mercedes sees two other competitors in this space, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the VW ID.4, neither of which offers a third-row option.
Class B powered by Tesla 2014-17 sold in California
Tesla CEO Elon Musk often talks about the economic investment Daimler has made in Tesla. The main product, or by-product of this investment, was Tesla building the powertrain for the California B-Class B250e Compliance/ZEV Limited Mandate. It’s the closest thing Mercedes has ever done to the EQB and it was essential a 100 mile range compliant car. It is therefore a step forward!
Mercedes Benz EQB Intangible Assets
It’s important to remember that this is a Mercedes and with excellent build quality, the car comes with a ton of standard features:
Highlights of the EQB’s standard equipment include an EQ-specific design language with front and rear LED light strips that are seamlessly integrated into the black panel grille. The EQB interior includes the next-generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system with augmented reality navigation system with electric intelligence highlighted on the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display 10.25 inches. Certain safety functions such as active lane keeping assistant, blind spot assistant and active brake assistant are also fitted as standard. In many critical situations, the latter has the ability to avoid a collision or reduce its severity thanks to autonomous braking. The system is also capable of braking stationary vehicles and pedestrians crossing at typical city speeds.
It’s a $55,000 7-seater electric Mercedes and after federal tax credit it will cost less than $50,000. It means something has to give. Thankfully, Mercedes didn’t sacrifice build quality. It opted to skimp on the electric drivetrain which for many people will be just fine.
I expect that in the coming years Mercedes will come up with a much sportier version of it with hopefully longer range and better charging dynamics.
For now, this will make an amazing family car for those with no lead feet and lots of patience on long drives.
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