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26 Sept 2022

LAOIS MOTORING:  New Mercedes EQB - a rather nice seven seat EV

Road tested by Hugh Maguire

LAOIS MOTORING:  New Mercedes EQB - a rather nice seven seat EV

The EQB is essentially the GLB but powered purely by electricity. Mercedes have taken the GLB 7-seat SUV and adapted it (very well I must say) to be a pure EV.

The Mercedes engineers have done this without too much compromise to interior space. The main difference is a slightly higher floor as the big battery sits underneath.

The EQB is priced from €64,100 for the EQB 250 Progressive front wheel drive.

My test car this week is the EQB 300 4 Matic which has two electric motors powering both front and rear wheels making it all wheel drive.

So has it any street cred?

Well they have certainly done well on the style of the new EQB. Its chunky good looks will appeal to many. I haven’t decided yet! In addition its distinctive and a bit more individual looking than the current batch of same looking mass market SUV’s.

What is it like inside?

Slip inside the new EQB and it is immediately obvious that this is a true Mercedes. I really like the fact that it feels like any other Mercedes and not some quirky EV.

In true Teutonic fashion the dashboard is a model of ergonomic excellence with each switch and button placed well for both safety and ease of use. I found the driving position to be just right and I like the fact that the little bit of extra height over a normal hatchback gives such a commanding view of the road ahead.

The now familiar fully digital dashboard looks and functions well and of course the Mercedes MBUX multimedia system with always live voice activation is just excellent in its functionality.

Standard kit from the entry level “Progressive” model is very good and includes items such as LED lights, 18” alloys, Keyless start, reversing Camera, and electric tailgate and Artico seat trim. (man made leather look upholstery)

Accommodation is really very good with lots of legroom both front and rear. Those last row of seats are really for small kids only but fine for the school run. They do slide fore and aft and of course old 60/40 so its very practical. With those last row folded down there’s a decent boot too of some 495 litres.

What’s under the bonnet?

A host of electric gubbins, but seriously the EQB is powered by two electric motors developing some 228bhp with 390 Nm of torque. Mercedes claim a range of 418 km but in reality I only managed 320 km and that was driving carefully and using max energy regeneration braking. Like all EV’s they never seem to do the claimed range!

Road tax is €120.00 per year. It can be charged to about 80% in 30 minutes or someone a high power public charger.

What is it like to drive?

Well this new EQB certainly handles well. It proves surefooted and stable under all road conditions and corners better than most other EV SUV rivals. Heres a car that’s quite compact, offers an optional 7-seats and as Ev’s go is a rather good one!

Verdict

Not quite sure about the rather boxy style and it does not deliver on range promise though most EV’s don’t frankly.

Its nicely put together, well specified even from the base model and has lots of options to allow you personalise your new EQB.

The new Mercedes EQB 300 4 Matic costs from €65,660 before options.

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