Benz’s range of equivalents is growing rapidly
Mercedes-Benz has been quietly putting together one of the widest range of electric cars for sale in Australia.
The recently launched EQB SUV joins the EQA, EQC and EQV electric SUVs.
All three had an electric motor and battery in a car designed to carry a petrol or diesel engine. This means they lose some of the interior functions of purely electric vehicles such as a flat floor and more cabin space.
Appearances are objective
The EQB is the electric version of the GLB SUV, which has never been the sexiest member of the Mercedes-Benz family.
It shares a lot of the same body parts as the traditional version but has some futuristic touches. The 20-inch alloy wheels poly-spoke look into the cargo like the enclosed grille and LED lights that stretch the length front and rear.
The tall, boxy shape helps squeeze in a compact third row of seats that’s best left to teens and young children.
The EQB 350 we tested only comes in a five-seat configuration due to the addition of a rear-wheel drive.
Beauty is on the inside
Step into the EQB and you’ll be greeted by a typical Mercedes-Benz class.
The immaculately presented cabin has two 10.25-inch screens, one for driver’s instruments and the other for infotainment and other vehicle functions.
Synthetic leather sports seats with red contrast stitching match the car’s sustainable image. The front pair is heated and electronically adjustable.
The 64-color ambient lighting creates a nightclub atmosphere during the evening.
The EQB 350 has the AMG Design Package and adds desirable items like a huge panoramic sunroof, alloy pedals and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel.
There’s plenty of room in the front and plenty of room in the second cabin but the raised floor means taller adults might feel a little cramped.
Designed for comfort
The EQB 350 uses two electric motors – one on each axle providing all-wheel drive – that combine 215 kW and 520 Nm. Despite the impressive output, the EQB is fast and not snappy, reaching 100 km/h from a standstill in 6.2 seconds.
The EQB 350 weighs in at over 2150kg, but the well-rated suspension does an excellent job of keeping its size in check.
The ride is on the softer side, making for a comfortable and relaxed commute around town, but the EQB can float and take a while to recover after hitting bigger potholes at speed on the open road.
As with the GLB, there are some nicks through corners thanks to its long body, but it’s a great cruiser on the highway, covering longer distances with speed and ease.
Electric motors always feel like they have a lot to offer when overtaking.
There is a premium price tag
In the past year, prices for cars, especially electric ones, have risen sharply.
The 250 EQB starts at around $92,500 when driving, and the 350 Edition jumps to around $115,000.
Both versions come with a 66.5 kWh battery that provides a driving range of 507 kilometers in the 250 and 445 kilometers in the more powerful 350.
Both accept a maximum charging rate of 100kW via a quick charger, which should recharge the battery from 10 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.
Mercedes-Benz covers the car with a warranty of 5 years / unlimited km and the battery is guaranteed for 8 years / 160,000 km.
Originally published as Mercedes-Benz EQB review: the small SUV packs a punch