2022 Mercedes-EQ EQB350 4Matic Quick Spin: Your Compact Tesla Model Y Alternative

A fully electric SUV will be quietly appearing in showrooms over the next few weeks, which is very likely to surprise a lot of people for a number of different reasons. The smallest entry in the US lineup for Mercedes-Benz’s electric division, called Mercedes-EQ, is due to arrive soon: the 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQB SUV. Unlike the larger offerings in the Mercedes-EQ lineup (sedans, sedans and upcoming), the EQB is based on an existing model that has been heavily modified to accept an electric powertrain. This is essentially an electric version of the popular car, and interestingly, it also retains the five- or seven-passenger options for this model. This is the first surprise. The second is how well it drives and uses.

Traditional style and traditional thinking

Immediately, the shape of the EQB looks familiar. Only the front and rear styling was changed during its transition to an electric car, and along with some special colors and wheels, the idea was to keep it as natural as possible; If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you might assume it was a typical gas powered model. But the sleek, dead-end grille combined with Mercedes-EQ’s new signature lighting strip above the headlights helps recognise it as something out of the ordinary. Unique to the EQB was the rose gold paint of my test car, which Mercedes representatives say would be a signature color for the company’s electric offering.

In general, the look is traditional – not fast, crazy modern or sci-fi like the EQE and EQS sedans. It’s a convenient introduction for someone who might be interested in switching from a familiar Mercedes-Benz product to an all-electric alternative, and it should do well in that regard.

Just as usual inside

Step into the straight cabin and you’ll find an interior that’s nearly identical to standard gas-powered GLB models, which is a good thing. Among Mercedes’ various compact offerings, including more, the official roofline of the GLB and subsequent EQB creates a more spacious feel inside. Outside visibility is excellent, the driving position is comfortable and tall, and there’s an astonishing amount of legroom, headroom, and hip room in both the first and second rows of seats. Yes, there is an optional third row, but it is suitable for children only. It’s made a little more usable by the fact that the second row can slide forward and backward. For a small family, it may be worth having that extra capacity for a family trolley that may see occasional duty as transportation for the soccer team in emergency situations; For most others, skip the third row or instead wait for the next larger EQS SUV.

Perhaps what will surprise people most about the EQB is the SUV’s interior technology. This is the the last-A generation version of the MBUX multimedia system from Mercedes-Benz, not the latest and most exclusive version of the company’s latest offering. Normally, we like to have the latest and greatest in anything, but in this case, the previous one is frankly better. It’s easier to use, with much less redundant information and the controls are still buttons and switches, not capacitive touch.

These small details give the EQB a more luxurious feel than a lot of the brand’s new offerings thanks to the actual tactile feedback of those buttons and switches rather than just feeling like a flat plastic panel under your fingertips. It might not look as flashy as the latest MBUX monitors — and indeed, the 10.25-inch digital instrument panel and accompanying 10.25-inch center touchscreen look a bit strange after exiting the EQE earlier in the day — but it works well, is positioned correctly, and is Less likely to cause user frustration than newer systems.

Driving pleasure, but not very so much fun

To start, the EQB will come in two versions: The EQB300 4Matic has all-wheel drive as standard, with one motor on each axle and a combined system output of 225 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. Or you could hit an EQB350 4Matic, like my test car, and get 288 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Each is powered by a 70.5 lithium-ion battery pack — slightly smaller than those on the EQE and EQS, but the EQB can still probably drive about 230 miles on a charge, according to what my test vehicle was showing at the start of my ride (EPA range estimates Final not yet available).

While Mercedes hasn’t provided any published 0-60 mph estimates for the EQB, my test car felt plenty of speed in traffic around the greater Denver area, which is to be expected from an electric vehicle with abundant torque available off the line. Acceleration is quiet on demand or quick on demand, but as with most electric vehicles, it is always delivered in a smooth rush. Braking was good too, with a stronger pedal feel and better driver communication than I’ve experienced in other electric Mercedes cars. Activating the more aggressive regenerative braking modes doesn’t have the same pedal-shifting trick that both the EQE and EQS do, allowing one-pedal driving without the frustrating movement seen on other EQ models.

Where the EQB slows down a bit is in its journey and handling. The ride is excellent, but you start to feel the heaviness of the little crossover when you hit some bumps or a dip in the pavement. The EQB handles them well, but then gets out of the porpoise a bit while resting on the suspension in a way reminiscent of a big American sedan from the ’70s. It’s not what you’d call “flare,” but it does require a cycle or two of bouncing on some bumps to regain his composure.

Feel that weight again when changing directions or trying spirited driving on twisty mountain roads. The EQB responds calmly but not enthusiastically thanks to its somewhat psychedelic steering feel, and again, that sense of weight thrown off by the heavy battery pack. The EQB weighs 4,718 pounds, which is 827 pounds more than the seven-passenger GLB250 4Matic, and while it fits well with the modified suspension, you get the feel of it. It would be better to use EQB as urban and commuter commuter rather than Carver Canyon; It simply wasn’t meant to be used like that, and it’s happiest to be just a family truck driver.

Competitive price

The EQB 2022 was supposed to go on sale in the summer, but it has not yet reached showrooms and the end of the year is imminent. However, we know the starting prices: the EQB300 4Matic will start at $55,550 (prices include destination fees), while the more powerful EQB350 4Matic will start at $59,100. This pretty much puts it on par with the latest prices (as of this writing, anyway), the up-and-coming decors from. And in 2023 it will face additional competition from the likes, too, which will be a bit larger than the EQB but lack the luxury Mercedes suitcase.

For now, the new EQB SUV is an interesting alternative to the Tesla Model Y, offering a comfortable, stylish interior that is useful, if not quite in line with the potential range or performance. For people looking for something other than a Model Y, it’s worth putting it on your list.

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