- The all-electric counterpart to the Mercedes-Benz GLB
- Room for up to seven passengers
- One year of Mercedes me Charge included with purchase
- 2022 marks the debut of the EQB
If you hadn't heard, Mercedes-Benz has launched Mercedes-EQ, its all-new electric vehicle family. First up was the EQS flagship sedan, and now the company is filling in the more accessible and versatile part of the range with the 2022 EQB small SUV.
Although "EQB" may come off as just a random jumble of letters, the terminology has a method: Each model begins with the EQ and then shares the same last letter as its gasoline-powered equivalent in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Unlike the other U.S.-bound EQ models, however, the EQB is not built on a dedicated all-electric platform. The EQB is instead based on the gas-powered GLB SUV, which just happens to be our favorite in its class.
Intended to compete with the Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron, the EQB is just what you'd expect an all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz to be: loaded with cutting-edge technology and adorned with premium luxe details. It also has an optional third-row seat, just like the GLB.
The EQB comes with standard dual-motor all-wheel drive, with one motor at each axle. Two models will be available: the EQB 300 4Matic, which offers 225 horsepower, and the EQB 350 4Matic, delivering 288 hp.
The initial EQB will feed these motors with a 66.5-kWh battery pack. Fully charge that battery and Mercedes says the EQB should be able to go 260 miles. This estimate is based on the WLTP European testing procedure, so it's not directly comparable to EPA range estimates (the 326 miles of the Model Y Long Range, for example). Also, we've found that real-world range can vary considerably in Edmunds' EV range test. But as a generalized takeaway, it would seem that the EQB will have competitive range for this growing class of small luxury EVs. Mercedes also says there will be a longer-range battery due to arrive for later models.
Charging times average 31 minutes for a 10%-80% charge when using a DC fast charger, according to Mercedes. When using a high-powered 240-volt home charging station, charging from 10% to 100% can take as long as 11 hours and 15 minutes.
One year of Mercedes me Charge is also included, opening up a network of 60,000 public charging stations to EQB owners. Regardless of the station's provider, EQB owners can charge on the go conveniently with a simplified, integrated billing system. You choose your payment method once, and it will be honored across all stations.
We had the opportunity to take a short drive in the EQB through Stuttgart, Germany, and while we didn't have time for a full review, our impressions were very favorable. Having an all-electric drivetrain certainly changes the personality of the small SUV compared to the gas-powered GLB. The electric motor provides immediate acceleration, making it feel significantly quicker as it silently launches off the line.
Slowing the EQB is similarly graceful, with several levels of brake regeneration (the amount of deceleration when you lift off the accelerator) to suit your style. One-pedal driving — where you rarely need to touch the brake pedal — is possible in the highest regeneration level, as long as you dig through the settings to disable creep mode (where the vehicle slowly moves forward when you lift off the brake).
The EQB also handles curvy roads better than the GLB, thanks to a lower center of gravity from the placement of the batteries underneath. One of the few complaints we have on the GLB is that it's not all that exciting to drive. The EQB certainly addresses that issue, though we wouldn't go so far as to call it sporty. Then again, if an AMG version comes to market, that may satisfy the rare driver seeking more performance.
The EQB's interior is clean, modern and, dare we say, trendy? Rose gold accents adorn the air vents, seats and vehicle key, signifying its place in the EQ lineup. Electric blue accents also highlight the dashboard and headlights, keeping with the theme. A sleek dual display screen sits atop the dashboard, housing both the instrument cluster and infotainment system, and multiple view options enable drivers to view what information is most important to them.
However, the EQB's biggest party trick is something its most rivals can't compete with: seating for up to seven people. Standard EQBs come equipped for five, but the optional third row makes room for two more. Despite the EQB's compact dimensions, the third row comfortably fits passengers up to 5 feet, 4 inches tall, Mercedes says. Even more impressive, the EQB can accommodate up to four child safety seats, further proving that this EV is ready for family duty.
The EQB boasts an overwhelming laundry list of high-tech features. Smartphone integration, multiple driving modes, blind-spot assist and keyless start are all standard. But adding the Driver Assistance package is where the tech really shines. This package includes Mercedes' adaptive cruise control system, active lane keeping assist and a large, full-color head-up display.
Also significant is the new generation of MBUX, Mercedes-Benz's multimedia system. Cued by the command, "Hey Mercedes," the system uses voice recognition to operate almost everything inside the EQB's cabin. Specifically for the EQB, the system can plan the fastest route for you, plan for and navigate to charging stops, and can even react to traffic congestion.
The EQB is an attractive choice for families looking to go electric. With its spacious interior and loads of driver safety features, it's equipped with the brains and brawn to handle anything an active household might throw at it. Mercedes' advanced driving aids will further entice technophiles and should keep rivals Tesla and Audi on their toes. Be sure to check back with us here at Edmunds for more news and updates as we near the EQB's release date.