New 2022 Mercedes EQB review

Rory White

03 Dec 2021

1/8
The Mercedes EQB is a fully-electric version of Merc's premium seven-seat family SUV GLB. We've driven one in the UK to see if it's fit for a modern family.

YesAuto Score:

75/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Very comfortable

+ Rare seven-seat option

+ High-quality interior


CONS:

- Average range and charge time

- Twin-motor models look pricey

- Tight for boot space


Verdict: The Mercedes EQB is comfy, quiet, high-quality and is a rare electric seven-seat option for those looking to transport small kids. We think the cheaper, longer-range, single-motor model arriving later is worth holding out for, though.


2022 Mercedes EQB review: the five-minute read


Like everybody else, Mercedes is continuing its march towards an all-electric future in the UK. Following the launch of its smaller EQA SUV, we now have this, the larger, seven-seat EQB.


It's based on the combustion-engine GLB (read our review of that car here) but is powered by a battery in the middle and, for now, a motor on each of its axles – although a model with just one motor will arrive later.


There are plenty of five-seat EV family SUVs about, like the Audi e-tron, but currently no other seven-seat options at this price level (Tesla is yet to confirm whether UK Model Ys will be), so for the moment the EQB enjoys a unique position.



People will love that the EQB's design hasn't changed much versus the GLB's. Both look like boxy mini G-Class and hence much more expensive than they really are.


The EQB distinguishes itself with a blanked off grille and more aerodynamically optimal body kit and underside. You also get a lightbar connecting the front and rear lights that help it stand out after dark.


Inside the EQB is purposefully not much different from the GLB, although you do get a higher standard of spec including leather seats and open-pore wood, plus Merc's more advanced twin 10-inch screen infotainment system with extra menus for charging and EV trip information.


The car we tried was a five-seat German model but all EQBs will come with seven seats as standard. There's decent space for four adults in the first two rows, but if the GLB's rearmost seats are anything to go by the EQB's will be strictly for small kids. It's also a shame that the EQB's boot is a pretty average size, given this EV is meant for families.



For now, the EQB is being offered as a 300 4Matic or 350 4Matic, both with a 66.5kWh battery and twin motors, but the former with 228hp and the latter with 292hp. Both have a claimed range of around 260 miles, but the 350 is naturally the quicker car in a sprint.


There was a time when 260 miles of range would have impressed, but these days that's nothing to write home about. Neither is the fact that the EQB will charge at a maximum rate of 100kW. It's not bad, but it's by no means groundbreaking.


Still, the EQB is very comfy to drive at all speeds and very quiet too, even on the motorway. It doesn't like being pushed hard on twisting country roads much, but it still grips well and feel reassuring all the same. There are more fun EV SUVs, but that's not most buyers' main concern.


As things stand, the EQB looks pricey in its twin-motor form, so we're keen to see and try the cheaper single-motor model that'll arrive later, which should also come with a longer range.


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Extended read…


2022 Mercedes EQB interior and infotainment


The EQB is essentially a range-topping GLB, which means it feels pretty premium inside.


Inside the EQB is purposefully not much different from the GLB, although you do get a higher standard of spec including leather seats and open-pore wood as standard.


All EQBs also get Merc's more advanced twin 10-inch screen infotainment system. It looks the part and is also easy to use, either via touch or using a touchpad between the front seat complete with menu shortcut buttons.


The right screen deals with the infotainment side of things, while the left is the set of digital driver's dials for the driver, which on the EQB gives you info such as range, power and brake regen and battery life.


If you step up from entry-level AMG Line trim to AMG Line Premium, you get an upgraded sound system and wireless smartphone charging thrown in.


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2022 Mercedes EQB practicality and boot space


The Mercedes EQB is a seven-seat EV SUV, but don't go thinking this is some sort of minibus.


Our test car was a left-hand drive German model with five seats, but if the GLB is anything to go by, adults are fine for head and legroom in the first two rows but the third is best left to small kids.


And despite the EQB being billed as a family SUV, its boot isn't anything to write home about either. At 465 litres its a good 100 litres less than the GLB's, something you can physically see when you open the boot.


2022 Mercedes EQB battery, motors and charging


For now, the EQB is being offered as a 300 4Matic or 350 4Matic, both with a 66.5kWh battery and twin motors, but the former with 228hp and the latter with 292hp. Both have a claimed range of around 260 miles, but the 350 is naturally the quicker car in a sprint.


On that front, the 350 will crack 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, while the 200 will do it in 8.0 seconds, although even the 350 never feels outright fast versus other EVs.


There was a time when 260 miles of range would have impressed, but these days that's nothing to write home about. Neither is the fact that the EQB will charge at a maximum rate of 100kW. It's not bad but is by no means groundbreaking.


That translates to 32 minutes to go from 10-80% at 100kW, or it's realistically an overnight job if you're charging at home on a wall box.


Mercedes has said a single-motor model will be coming along later, which will be slower, but more importantly should be a decent bit cheaper to buy and have a longer range.


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2022 Mercedes EQB driving


We've so far driven the range-topping 350 4Matic model, which is the fastest and most expensive EQB there is.


The overwhelming sense is just how comfy the EQB is, even wearing large 20-inch alloys like our test car. That goes for town driving over rough Tarmac, but it gets even better when you're driving at higher speeds on the motorway.


It's also a very quiet car. OK, so it's electric, we know. But many electric cars give away their road and wind noise much more easily. Not the EQB – it says very quiet even up at 70mph on the motorway. It's annoying you have to spend a decent amount extra for adaptive cruise control though.


Where it feels the least pleasant is on country roads at higher speeds. Despite the EQB having a Sport driving mode its steering always feels light and uncommunicative and it leans a fair bit in tight bends. Still, that's hardly the point of a family SUV so isn't a deal-breaker.


More important is tech like an automatic brake regen setting (selected via the column-mounted paddles) decides on the amount of regen required for the smoothest drive, rather than opting for lots of free-wheeling or a pretty abrupt one-pedal driving experience.


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Rory White

03 Dec 2021