TO EQB, OR NOT TO EQB?: Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC Review

The Mercedes Benz all-electric EQ family is a clan on the up. With the EQC, EQA and EQS already selling well, Mercedes claims a total of eight fully electric EQ variants are expected to make up the range by the end of the year. What you see here is the new Mercedes-Benz EQB, the latest EQ EV to turn a wheel in the New Zealand market.

Situated above the EQA in the BEV family tree, Mercedes-Benz say the EQB is larger and more capacious an offering for those who want EV silent running with the space to match the pace. The EQB range is divided into two spec levels, the entry level EQB 250 and the flagship EQB 350 4MATIC with my test car being the latter.

While both cars feature the same 66.5kWh battery pack, the EQB 350 4MATIC features two electric motors powering all four wheels, hence the 4MATIC bit. The EQB 250 has a single E-motor power the front wheels only. As a result, there is a power difference between the two with the EQB 250 producing 140kW and 385Nm of torque and the 350 4MATIC churning out 215kW/520Nm.

This means the 350 has the edge over the 250 in terms of performance, with a zero to 100km/h time of 6.2 seconds. Mercedes-Benz claim the EQB 350 will provide you with 445kms on a single charge with 18.8kWh of charge used per 100km, though I found this was closer to 400 during my time with the car. It also capable for AC and DC fast charging, though I would recommend you get yourself a wall box charger which can charge at speeds of up to 100kW. This should result in 80 per cent charge in less than an hour.

On the subject of looks, its clear the EQB is very much a longer and taller EQA. The wheelbase has been extended by 100mm to give a considerable amount of extra space. However, more on that in a sec.

This being the AMG line, you get plenty of AMG sporting design cues. Things AMG chrome trim, AMG black panel front grill, rear diffuser, side trims, a set of 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels in high gloss black with high-sheen finish.

Inside there are more AMG touches aligned with the rest of what is quite a refined cabin. You get leather heated and ventilated leather sports seats, AMG floor mats, a nappa leather multi-function sports steering wheel and sports pedals.

All EQBs come standard with a full suite of gadgetry including Mercedes’ Driver Assistance Package with adaptive cruise control, active steering, active brake assist, lane keep assist and blind spot assist. There are also features like park assist, a 10.25” digital instrument cluster and the latest generation of MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment.

You also have wireless charging, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and 64 choices for cabin ambient lighting, naturally. Also, in more typical Benz fashion, it’s pretty cool to see a three-pointed star illuminating the tarmac via the wing mirror courtesy light when you park up after dark.

Optional packages include the MBUX Innovation Package which throws in a very clear and concise head up display, MBUX interior assistant and augmented reality for the satellite navigation. There is also the Vision package which includes a panoramic roof and Burmester sound system. These will cost you an extra $2,500 and $3,000 respectively.

As previously mentioned, the EQB is roomier than the EQA. Whether front and rear, there is significant improvement over the EQA when it comes to head and leg room. Entry and exit is a doddle and even lankier folk will find room to get comfy. Though the rear seats I found to be quite firm in places.

Boot space is most capacious at 495L which swells to a hefty 1740L with the rear seats folded away. If you get the EQB 250, you have the option of seven seats due to the loss of the rear electric motor, but this compromises boot space which drops to 465L.

In typical EQ Mercedes-Benz fashion, pressing the starter button is accompanied by a Star Trek-esque intro hum before fading to the sound of silence which only an EV can provide. Moving off and the EQB gets into its stride as a luxury urban commuter. I also love how you sit up and have a very clear view all-around of your surroundings. While it is pretty brisk off the mark, it settles down and becomes better suited at inner city cruising rather than darting through traffic. Not that I would recommend this of course.

See-sawing through the drive modes, like Eco, Comfort, and Sport naturally provide their own distinct driving characteristics, but I spent nearly all my time in Comfort mode. The gulf between Comfort and Sport wasn’t terribly vast and while Eco was handy to try and milk every bit of electric juice, Comfort worked just fine.

Plus, when you are in Comfort mode, you can really appreciate the sumptuous of the ride, something lacking in Sport for obvious reasons. The EQB is a delight at soaking up the bumps, though you do hear a smattering of tyre roar on coarser tarmac.

Its quite well planted in the corners too. The steering is direct but somewhat lacking in feedback. Sure, it has all the styling cues, but don’t think of it as one of the those bonafide asphalt devourers from AMG.

However, as a comfortable tool for everyday and the odd long trip, the EQB 350 4MATIC is rather good. There are also three different stages of regenerative braking to choose from via the shift paddles. You can leave it in auto mode and the EQB will apply how ever much braking is required without you even having to touch the brake pedal.

The only bug bear that I can see with the new EQB is the price. The EQB 250 will set you back $100,562 while the 350 is $10k more. It’s a bit of dosh when you consider some rivals, but the EQB still has plenty going for it. If you want a compact all electric SUV with some street cred and a bit of prestige, you may want to give this a once over.


Mercedes Benz EQB 350 4MATIC

Price: $110,000 + ORC

Engine: Dual Electric Motor

Battery: 66.5kWh

Range: Claimed 445km (WTLP)

Drivetrain: single-speed auto with AWD

Energy Consumption: 18.8 kWh

0 – 100km/h 6.2 seconds

Boot space: 495L

Weight 2153kg


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