Whether you have a large family (and plan to expand it even more) or just have enough siblings fighting in the back of the car, consider this. The Mercedes-Benz EQB is based on the same large and round GLB model, but swapping gasoline power for a silent electric motor makes it a dream to drive. It comes with no less than seven seats making it a lot more attractive than an MPV or people carrier, and it’s solid value for money too.
In the 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium specification, the EQB comes in at £56,040, although prices start at a bit lower. What you get for the extra money is plenty of quality in the fixtures and fittings department, with more than enough to keep all your residents happy. This being an EV, you also get around 200 miles of real-world range and, yes, the pompous value of having a Merc in your drive.
If you prefer to turn like a high-priced Tesla Model Y and don’t like the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3 or Volvo C40 Recharge, this could be the car for you. To be honest, the outer style is more practical than catchy, with fairly conventional lines that don’t really make it stand out from the crowd. But, if you have kids around, you may worry less about the unobtrusive demeanor and more about how much solace the inside can offer.
Loading the kids and their gear is where the EQB 300 really starts to shine. Opening that large door allows quick and easy access, despite being tall. The same goes for the rear, where the all-electric tailgate eases the load on the way to your car with a bunch of kids and related accessories.
Mercedes has done a good job engineering the seating plan, with the third row seats not showing up until they are placed. Previously, it was a spacious five-seater, with a very comfortable cover like the suede in our trim levels. While that’s good news for convenience, there are fears about how well they will respond to drips from melted ice cream or slathering melted chocolate. Or worse. With the third row seats in place, you’ll need a team effort to get the wet wipes right behind as well.
Considering its size (1,667mm high, 4,687mm long and 2,020mm wide) and weight (2,105kg), the EQB is an SUV that proves to be quite an attractive ride. You opt for a drive with a steering column mounted shifter, which is familiar Mercedes fare but takes a bit of getting used to if you’re from almost any other brand. This is exacerbated by lumps of material such as shifters in the GLB transmission tunnel; it tempts you to touch it, but does nothing.
Comfort is the preferred everyday driving mode, but you’ll have more fun if you choose Sport. It provides a punchy experience that takes you away from the lights in a hurry. The downside is that you’ll see how quickly the battery drains, so it might be wise to save this option for occasional use. Mercedes suggests around 250 miles per charge, we found it to be more like 200 even when driving sensibly.
The 19in AMG alloy looks like the part on this car, but you tend to slip a bit on unexpected surfaces. 18in wheels are an option. Still, get off the highway and the EQB 300 offers a smooth and steady experience. Perfect if you have a few rows of tired kids in the back who may have eaten their weight at Haribo. With a full car and little rear view, you’ll be pleased with the thick mirrors and reverse camera combo.
Alongside evolving interior trim like industrial-strength aluminum door handles and a unique collection of round air vents, the on-board technology is quite pleasing. Most are delivered via dual 10-inch displays, with the one at the front of the steering wheel highly customizable. The cosmetic tweak largely depends on which drive mode you’re in, but you can pick and choose what info shows up.
The center screen, meanwhile, contains all your everyday tech needs. Sat-nav (with live traffic) works great, as does voice recognition when you want to ignore touchscreen antics. There’s a trackpad in the transmission tunnel, which works pretty well if you’re anti-touchscreen, but can still be a little annoying. Luckily climate control is on the real, real button.
One of the neatest tricks to keep occupants entertained and, perhaps, soothed is interior ambient lighting. The touchscreen lets you change it to one of many different colors, although the default blue is very pleasing to the eye and is set at just the right level to add a magical touch to the interior vibe. Our cars also have an amazing 10-speaker, 225 Watt audio system, so you can pound distracting passengers into submission with your Apple CarPlay or Android Audio collection if you wish.
Mercedes-Benz EQB Verdict
This chunky SUV is ideal if you have a large family, or even just a few kids who need to be separated on long-haul trips. There is a lot of space and a lot of comfort. While the EQB 300 looks a bit pedestrian from a distance, it gets better when you absorb that vibe on the inside. It’s a pretty solid drive too, with the Sport mode slightly increasing the level of excitement – even if this isn’t a car for adrenaline junkies.
Boot room is compromised when you have seven seats in use, but it’s still a practical option for anyone not thinking about a van-type people carrier. Overall, you get a well-loaded SUV that ticks all the family-friendly boxes.
Technical details of Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium
|Cargo volume||495 liters|