Mercedes EQB SUV review
“The Mercedes EQB is an electric seven-seat SUV based on the versatile GLB”
- Seven-seat electric SUV
- Quality interior
- Good range
- Set to be expensive
- Small rear seats
- Average warranty
Buyers after seven seats and electric power have quite a small selection of models to choose from. Most are clearly based on vans, like the Citroen e-Berlingo and Peugeot e-Traveller, while the only electric seven-seat SUV has been the Tesla Model X. Given the Tesla’s circa-£80,000 price, it’s hardly mainstream.
Now, there’s another one: the Mercedes EQB. It’s the electric version of the Mercedes GLB SUV and, comes with seven seats as standard, wrapped up in a chunky body with an appealingly premium badge on the blank grille. At launch, the EQB starts from over £50,000, which is a lot cheaper than the Model X, but the aforementioned van-based MPVs will still be the best choice for buyers on tighter budgets.
Like the Mercedes EQA, there are minor styling changes over the model it’s based on. Either side of that fake grille are new LED headlights, while there’s a full-width light bar connecting the brake light clusters.
Two powertrains are available at launch, and both can achieve over 250 miles of range courtesy of a reasonably large 66.5kWh battery. Both have a motor on each axle, giving four-wheel drive, but the difference is that one produces 225bhp and the other produces 288bhp. Mercedes has confirmed that a longer-range EQB is on the way, which will be powered by a single electric motor with two-wheel drive. This model is likely to offer a range of around 300 miles, making it more competitive with the big-battery versions of the Audi Q4 e-tron and Tesla Model Y.
Rose gold trim and EQ-specific graphics mark out the interior from the GLB’s; other than that the impressive interior is almost exactly the same. Mercedes’ dual-screen MBUX infotainment system still feels futuristic. The cabin feels very luxurious, as it should given the car’s price tag, and standard equipment is generous.
While the rear seats are certainly handy, it’s worth noting that they’re only really for children or for occasional use. If you need an electrified seven-seater capable of carrying adults in all three rows, you may be best off with a Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento or Toyota Highlander.
The option of a seven-seat layout gives the EQB a significant advantage over most rival EVs and the upmarket interior and practical boot add further to its appeal. The standard safety features are excellent too, which can be further enhanced with an optional driver assistance package. However, the brand finished in a middling position in our 2021 Driver Power survey, with 20% of owners reporting a fault with their cars in the first year of ownership.