Test drive with the mercedes eqb, an electric space miracle

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Mercedes EQB

Electricity for the whole family

Mercedes is expanding its range of electric cars. The EQB wants to be a fully-fledged family car with no ifs or buts.

Mercedes EQB.

E-cars are on the rise: on the one hand, the number of registrations is rising steadily – as of the end of October, the proportion of battery-electric drives was 11.6%.

However, the electrification is not evident in the approvals, but in the models offered by the manufacturers. This is constantly being expanded – and covers more and more market segments. First, electric drives were present in small cars, with the Model S from Tesla, the first sedan was added – later other sedans followed, mostly in the high price segment. SUVs are particularly popular because the batteries can be stowed particularly well in the underbody with this design. The offer here is correspondingly high.

But what was still missing: a real, spacious family car with a large trunk, five or even seven seats and at a reasonably affordable price. The latter has not yet been determined, but the new EQB from Mercedes, which is due to go on sale in February, should start at just under 60,000 francs. That doesn't make it a bargain, but that's fine for a Mercedes with so much utility and modern technology.

Familiar shell, new innards

The latest Stromer from Mercedes shares the technical basis with the SUV model GLB with conventional drive. A completely closed radiator grille and continuous light strips at the front and rear ensure visual differentiation. What has remained is the straightforward and robust design of the GLB. This not only ensures a striking SUV look, but also a lot of utility value. In this regard, the EQB also takes on genuine family vans, which are now almost extinct. Coupled with the electric drive, this makes the Stromer with the star almost an unrivaled offer with 495 to 1710 liters of cargo space and seven seats. Tall people will not really sit comfortably on the seats in the third row, but they are definitely suitable for travel for children.

Electric on vacation

The new EQB is primarily intended to be a family car and, with its generous amount of space, is of course ideal for trips on vacation. At this point at the latest, the question of the range arises: the WLTP measurement predicts 419 kilometers.

After the first test drive, we estimate that a good 300 kilometers are still possible even when driving purely on the motorway. Or, to put it more family-friendly: A break is necessary about every 2½ to 3 hours, which is a very pleasant travel rhythm. The battery installed in the underbody offers 66.5 kWh of usable energy and can be charged at a fast charging station with a maximum of 100 kW. In view of competitors such as the Tesla Model Y or the Kia EV6, which charge with well over 200 kW, this seems modest at first. But: The EQB constantly maintains its maximum charging capacity up to almost 80% charging status. It takes 32 minutes to reach it – a few minutes slower than the competition, but still quite suitable for travel.

Test drive with the Mercedes EQB, an electric space miracle-miracle

Mercedes EQB

This also applies to the driving characteristics of the "space miracle": On the first test drive, the very good noise insulation is particularly noticeable. Like the other electric models with the star, the EQB offers exactly what you would expect from a Mercedes – sublime silence. Wind and road noise can hardly be heard, and you can hardly hear anything from the electric drive either. Coupled with the good suspension comfort, you hardly tire even on long journeys. When it comes to the drive, Mercedes will initially offer two variants: the EQB 300 4 Matic and the EQB 350 4 Matic. The base model offers 228 hp and 390 Nm of torque.

This means that the 2.2-ton SUV doesn't look sporty and fast, but it has absolutely enough motor for a family car. If you want more power, you can get 292 hp and 520 Nm of torque in the "350", which ensures significantly faster acceleration. Both versions are identical in terms of range and fuel consumption.

The design of the cockpit is also identical, with two horizontal displays lined up next to each other. One serves as a clear speedometer unit, the other as an infotainment system that can be easily operated via the touchscreen, a control unit on the center console or the well-functioning voice control.

Test drive with the Mercedes EQB, an electric space miracle-mercedes

Mercedes EQB

Functions such as the "augmented reality" navigation, which embeds the directional arrows in a camera image, and the sophisticated route planner, which automatically and appropriately calculates charging stops, are particularly pleasant. In addition, Mercedes also offers its own service for billing charging costs; This means that one card can be used to charge easily at almost all charging stations in Europe.

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