Twelve thousand kilometers behind the wheel of a Mercedes, that’s a dream job, you’re probably thinking. You’re right, we’re not complaining. Despite the big star on the nose, EQB is not exactly about prestige or heavenly comfort, but mainly about work. It is a practical car with a reasonable range and fast charging. At the same time, compared to cars from less famous brands, it is not as expensive as you might think.
Mercedes-Benz is no longer just for popes, statesmen and diplomats. In the 1990s, it introduced a small car half a meter shorter than the Golf, and the remaining differences were completely erased by the advent of the SUV. Today, there are GLB and GLC combustion models side by side, the first of which is cheaper but more spacious and an optional seven-seater. The second is more prestigious, both have an electric version with the EQ prefix.
So, for three months, the more hardworking and less flamboyant of the two mid-range electric SUVs kept us company. The refined design of the exterior may not indicate this, the van’s rickety rear does. You may or may not like it, but purpose takes precedence here. Without a high roof, there is no room in any car, let alone for the heads of third-row passengers.
Inside, certain compromises cannot be overlooked. The controls, screens and their content correspond to larger Mercedes models. Just like comfortably shaped seats or aluminum decorative details. Otherwise, the treatment of most surfaces is clearly easier.
The same goes for driving. Like any electric car, the EQB is responsive, easy to control and quiet. But less sophisticated compared to more expensive cars. The reactions of the acceleration pedal are not exactly readable at the first moment, so the driver cannot initially avoid unnecessarily sharp starts with the effect of starting on stretched rubber.
Even the brakes cannot be dosed completely intuitively. Part of the pedal stroke relies on recuperation, and then the plates bite into the discs quite sharply.
Thanks to the long wheelbase and advanced wheel suspension, the car behaves very deftly, but you can feel the rougher response of the suspension on larger bumps, and you can’t hear the noise of the tires in the cabin either.
These are just minor quibbles on a well-made and harmoniously coordinated whole. However, we know them all from most of the cheaper electric cars, which shows that it is not a Mercedes like a Mercedes.
However, it has always been the case that noise and seats decide fatigue on a longer journey, and in this respect the EQB deserves a star on the bow. The upholstery of the front seats is German stiff and provides excellent support for the spine. The standard artificial suede covers that we got as part of the AMG package are also very pleasant. And the fact that the car is almost silent is due to the nature of the electric car.
The long wheelbase and layout of the cabin allow for comfortable travel even in the second row. The bench can be moved, so in a five-seater configuration, passengers have considerable freedom in front of their knees.
It’s not that simple in a full cast. But EQB is meant for tying up children from rings, not traveling to the sea with seven adults. During our test, the car in this configuration drove one large family, one theater troupe and one singing troupe around Central Bohemia. To everyone’s satisfaction.
By folding down all the backrests, a voluminous cargo space is created. The high back makes it possible to load even larger pieces of furniture, if it comes to that. Regardless of the number of seats, a spare wheel and jack are unfortunately missing under the floor. Fortunately, we didn’t get punctured, but we wouldn’t wish the trip on the tow truck and the subsequent alotria in the service on anyone.
We were initially worried about the range and charging, but here the car showed itself in the best possible light. With 66 kilowatt-hours of capacity, it is not a marathon runner and does not offer a record-breaking range. With a consumption of 23 kWh/100 km, which we achieved in the three months of the test, this means a range of action of 286 kilometers. Even 350 with a lighter leg.
The EQB therefore has enough control over everyday suburban driving that it is enough to charge it every day or two. When traveling to the Krkonoše Mountains or the Šumava Mountains, it will already reach its limit. It is ideal to charge overnight at the destination.
But if it doesn’t work, the world won’t collapse. The battery of the Mercedes is so robust that it can be charged up to half capacity with 95 kilowatts and 75 kilowatts can withstand up to 70 percent. Ideally, it will use the expanding network of 75-kilowatt chargers, where it will be charged in half an hour for at least another 170 kilometers of driving.
Smart navigation also tries to help, which not only searches for chargers along the specified route, but also takes their performance into account. It calculates the length of charging from it and adds it to the arrival time at the destination.
It’s just a shame that the performance of the found stations is not displayed right away in the first menu of the display, so that the driver can get an immediate idea himself. Chargers in the Czech Republic are growing faster than car navigation systems can be updated. That’s why it’s still worth having an electromobile application on your mobile phone and correcting the proposed stops.
From all this, the EQB emerges as one of the most practical electric cars today. Spacious, comfortable, versatile and well-equipped for everyday use. Otherwise, only Tesla offers seven seats.
The tested version of the 300 4Matic with all-wheel drive starts at 1,532,000 crowns. In addition, our piece had a Premium package including navigation with augmented reality, three-zone air conditioning for 54 thousand, an AMG package with a body kit and sports seats in synthetic leather for 120 thousand, and a third row of seats for 26 thousand.
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC
Motor: electro asynchronous (front), electro synchronous (rear)
Power: 168 kW / 228 hp
Torque: 390 Nm
Battery: Li-Ion, 66.5 kWh (usable capacity)
Charging power: 100 kW
Top speed: 160 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 8.0 s
Combined consumption: 18.2 kWh/100 km (WLTP)
Volume of the luggage compartment: 495 – 1710 l
Load capacity (standby / useful): 2100 kg / 480 kg
Price: from 1,531,860 CZK
Together with metallic paint, 19-inch wheels and a glass roof, it comes to 1,823,900 crowns. It’s not a small amount of money, but even if the typical Mercedes customer doesn’t think like that, a more sober-minded individual would easily want most of the mentioned accessories.
Important things such as powerful LED lights, a heat pump or a three-phase AC charger are included in the basic price. And it is almost no different from the comparably equipped Volkswagen ID.4, which has a slightly longer range, but in practice does not charge faster and does not carry seven people.
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