Mercedes EQB review: A slick seven-seat EV - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 7 October 2022

Mercedes EQB review: A slick seven-seat EV

Anyone keen to have an all-electric SUV with seven seats is going to love the Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium. Not only does this chunky five-door EV have plenty to offer anyone with kids, the car we've been driving recently comes armed with enough premium touches to make it even more appealing. Considering it's a model that has plenty of added extras, the price tag of £56,040 is competitive. 

Of course, not everyone needs a seven seater, but there are plenty of families out there who will find it a perfect alternative to other like-minded SUVs on the market. While the Tesla Model Y is expensive, the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3 or Volvo XC 40 Recharge are three similar SUVs that give the EQB 300 a run for its money, though the ease in which the EQB 300 can handle multiple occupants gives it the edge in the seating stakes.

A premium finish

The Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 is based on the sizeable GLB, which MB has traditionally offered in petrol or diesel variants. So the all-electric aspect adds plenty of appeal if you like the car in principle, but want to go down the EV route. The model you see here also comes with the AMG Line Premium trim level, which elevates it to premium status, even if the exterior looks aren't quite as dazzling as they could be.

The Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 doesn't exactly dazzle in its most basic stance, with the same core GLB appearance that makes it a little bit anonymous to look at. However, if you aim for the 4MATIC AMG Line Premium model there's a little more zestiness in the trim department that lifts it a little. This is especially so with the Premium edition, with our car featuring 19-inch AMG five twin-spoke alloy wheels complimented by Denim blue metallic paint. You get 18-inch rims on the standard edition.

Although the Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 is chunky, the overall effect is diffused somewhat by the way all the sharp edges have been rounded off. The result is a slightly bulbous feel from some angles, but the front and rear ends are jazzed up a bit thanks to black and chrome trim flourishes. The wraparound taillights work particularly well. Lift that automatic tailgate by the way and you get to appreciate the expansive view down across all those seats.

A great place to be

If you're feeling a little underwhelmed by the workman-like feel of the exterior, things tick up a notch on the inside. The cabin of the EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium is a great place to be, especially if you're in the front row with really nicely finished suede-like seat coverings holding you firmly in place on the move. The only slight concern if you've got small children or even messy adults to contend with, is how well the lovely finish will fare over time. Kids snacks and drinks can take a nasty toll on premium interiors.

collection: Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 interior

Working your way back through the car, the second row of seats are chunky, just as comfortable and there's a beefy fold-down armrest with cupholders available if you don't have a full house. Meanwhile, if you're planning on filling every seat in the house, the two remaining seats in the third and final row can be folded up from under the floor of the boot. Before doing this the boot space is decent enough, but two packs of charging cables do tend to break up the flow a bit.

Fold up those seats though and your boot space is compromised. Plus, the cables don't really fit anywhere else either, with no room available under the bonnet compared to some EVs with a usable frunk space. Nevertheless, with a little bit of imagination it is possible to get seven into the EQB 300 as well as bags and luggage, though you might need to be a little bit creative. The good thing is there are beefy door mirrors and a reversing camera in case your view out the back is compromised by suitcases, soft toys or whatever.

Well-executed tech

One of the most impressive aspects of the Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium is the level of tech on offer. There's nothing wildly innovative sitting there in front of you on that impressive dashboard layout, but the execution makes it a really enjoyable experience.

collection: Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 tech

Central to the action is the combination of two 10-inch screens, with one sitting in front of the steering wheel and the other sitting directly next to it in the middle of the dash. There's a track pad in front of the pretend shifter too, which works for picking through the touchscreen menus okay if you're not driving. Using it on the move is more of a no-no though.

You'll also want to explore the delights of the 64-colour ambient lighting system. The default blue is a real treat on the eyes, but dip into the settings inside the touchscreen menu and there are many other options. The overall effect is really calming and great for soothing stressed and tired eyes on an overlong excursion. The way the light comes out from around the array of circular air vents is nifty and this is repeated along the door panels too. It's a great success.

Naturally, there's everything you need on a daily basis, including digital radio, live traffic navigation (which is free for the first three years) and the MBUX multimedia system covers all bases. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature, as does wireless phone charging. One of the other really pleasant surprises about our car was the so-called Advanced Sound System. Thanks to ten speakers and 225 watts of power it was a highlight during a long drive out into the sticks, where cranking it up meant you could do so without fear of being labeled an attention seeker.

A breeze to drive

The Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium might look a little intimidating if you're moving up to an SUV for the first time, but it's actually a breeze to drive. A big part of this is down to the commanding driving position you get, with a really good vantage point offered by the four-way adjustable seat. The adjustable steering column proves useful too, especially if you find that the wheel obscures your view of the sat nav a little, which happened for us.

Press the power button and you've got to wait the customary few seconds for the system to start up and then it's a case of selecting your preferred drive mode. This can catch you out, due mainly to the chunky shifter-like creation that sits on what would normally be the transmission tunnel. It doesn't do anything apart from being something to rest your hand on. One of four drive options; Max Range, Eco, Comfort and Sport are all accessed using a shifter on the right side of the steering column. You'll also find silver '+' and '-' paddles in front of the steering wheel too, which can be used to adjust the level of regeneration from the brakes.

Everyday driving duties are best carried out in Comfort mode, which is a no-fuss, no-frills experience that wafts you down the road very nicely indeed. After getting acquainted with the EQB 300 we found that Sport provided a little more interest on the performance front. As you'd expect, this makes the dual motor setup powered by a 66.5kWh battery lift off quickly at the lights, so it's useful. Range does suffer though, so we found it was best used sparingly on longer treks. Top speed is 99mph and you'll get from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds thanks to the 370Nm metres of available torque.

For a high-and-hefty 2,105kg SUV, the EQB 300 turns out to be an able performer in the turns, with suspension that copes well on a variety of surfaces. It does tend to bounce and jostle you a little on unpredictable roads, but the effect is balanced out thanks to the levels of comfort offered by those delicious seats. Little ones situated in row three might not be of the same opinion, however.

Mercedes-Benz reckons you'll get anywhere between 250 and 257 miles (WLTP) from the EQB 300 but our car, fitted with the 66.5kWh battery returned about 200 miles tops on average. A 10% to 80% charge on a 110kW charger takes just over half an hour. If you're around town a lot this is more than adequate, while the chunky SUV is also fine on long runs just as long as you keep that 200-mile ballpark figure in the back of your head. It's okay really.

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