June 25, 2022

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Transfer over Tesla, competitors is coming from Mercedes-Benz.

The German automaker’s newest all-electric car is a compact luxurious SUV dubbed the EQB, which is predicated on its gas-powered cousin, the GLB. Just like the GLB, the EQB has seating for as much as seven passengers – a singular trait for an all-electric SUV with little competitors apart from Tesla’s Mannequin Y and bigger Mannequin X.

The EQB is the newest in a string of latest EVs coming to market from Mercedes-Benz. It’s a part of an enormous dedication to take a position greater than 40 billion euros in battery electrical automobiles by 2030. The EQB 350 4MATIC, the one model coming to Canada for now, is similar top and width because the GLB, however barely longer, by 40 mm.

Its design is noticeably bolder, too – that is no unusual three-pointed star. Distinctive options embrace Mercedes-Benz’s signature black-panel grille designated for electrical automobiles, a horizontal fibre-optic gentle strip that runs on the entrance and rear of the car, and electric-blue accents within the entrance LED headlamps. Mild-alloy wheels are available in a bi- or tricolour design, as much as 50 centimetres in dimension – the showstopper is a multi-spoke, rosé-gold colored wheel not like the rest on the highway.

Mild-alloy wheels are available in a bi- or tri-colour design.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

A 66.5-kWh battery runs alongside the underbody of the EQB so it doesn’t eat up cabin or cargo house. The twin-electric motors produce 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive is customary, with a front-wheel drive mannequin anticipated in 2023. Estimated vary is 419 kilometres on Europe’s Worldwide Harmonized Mild Car Check Process, or WLTP, take a look at cycle. Count on that quantity to be decrease in North America when these figures are launched.

To cost, merely plug into an alternating present (AC) charger or a direct present (DC) fast-charger. Charging time is roughly half-hour to go from 10 per cent to 80 per cent utilizing a DC fast-charger.

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Hit the beginning button and the EQB involves life. It’s refreshingly quiet and serene. My car has roughly 350 kilometres of vary when the route begins on the Mercedes-Benz Centre of Excellence in Sindelfingen, about 20 kilometres from Stuttgart, en path to the Black Forest area of southwestern Germany.

Alongside mountainous winding roads, by means of tiny quaint villages, and in stretches of Autobahn the place pace has no restrict, the EQB 350 4MATIC performs impeccably. It’s spectacular in its journey and dealing with. It’s steady, quiet, assured, and intestine wrenchingly quick.

From a standstill, nail the throttle and also you’re thrown again into your seat. You possibly can hit 100 km/h in solely 6.2 seconds. Behind the wheel, it seems like a gas-powered GLB and never an electrical car. After driving about 100 kilometres, the electrical vary drops considerably to about 150 kilometres.

In equity, I pushed it on components of the Autobahn the place there’s no pace restrict, hitting the electronically programmed 163-kilometre restrict shortly and effortlessly. Travelling at excessive speeds, the EQB is assured, safe, and properly planted. The semi-autonomous driving options are equally spectacular.

The adaptive cruise management, for instance, can learn the pace restrict indicators alongside the highway and alter as wanted to maintain a protected distance from the car forward – the motive force doesn’t contact a pedal. It’s very useful when pace limits change, regularly dropping 100 km/h to 50 km/h in mere seconds. The system works easily and seamlessly.

You too can take your palms off the wheel for brief durations of time, roughly 15 seconds, and the car will keep centred within the lane. It’s probably the greatest techniques available on the market.

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Inside, the cockpit is a carry-over from the GLB, with two smaller screens for accessing all the pieces from the navigation to the leisure system. In contrast to the EQS, the primary EV from Mercedes-Benz, there’s no huge MBUX hyperscreen, a 56-inch show that stretches from pillar to pillar. It might be misplaced in a compact SUV.

The in-car private assistant is great; it’s simple to make use of and understands pure human language. Merely use the key phrases “Hey Mercedes” to interact. Say “Hey Mercedes, I’m chilly” and the system will mechanically increase the temperature, or “Hey Mercedes, open the shade” and it mechanically unrolls the sunshade over the sunroof.

It performs all instructions on the primary strive. You possibly can even ask how a lot vary is accessible and the place the closest charging stations are situated. The navigation with electrical intelligence additionally calculates and shows the quickest path to the vacation spot, taking into consideration the vary, charging energy and the period of potential charging stops. The system additionally ensures the high-voltage battery has reached an optimum charging temperature earlier than a deliberate charging cease.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB rolls off the road on the firm’s plant in Kecskemét, Hungary. It goes on sale in Q2 of 2022. Costs will not be but obtainable.

Tech Specs

The EQB has a twin electrical motors that produce 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB

Base worth: TBC

Engine: twin electrical motors produce 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque

Transmission/Drive: single-speed; AWD

Gasoline economic system (litres/100 km metropolis and freeway): none

Alternate options: Tesla Mannequin Y, Tesla Mannequin X, Audi This autumn e-tron, Jaguar I-Tempo

Seems

The EQB has extra presence and character than its gas-powered GLB cousin because of distinctive options corresponding to a strong, black panel grille with no air vents – pointless as a result of there’s no engine to chill below the hood. Beautiful, multi-spoke rose-gold colored wheels on my tester are a showstopper.

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Inside

Despite the fact that the EQB has room for as much as seven folks, the third row is a bit tight for adults and is difficult to get seated in.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

5- or seven-seat configurations can be found. The third row seat is tight for adults. Moving into the third-row is difficult, too. Despite the fact that the second row slides ahead and backward by 140 millimetres, it requires the ability of a contortionist to get inside. As soon as there, nevertheless, it doesn’t really feel too claustrophobic. A twin sunroof makes it really feel ethereal and spacious. 4 little one seats can even match inside.

Efficiency

The EQB’s acceleration is fast and it hugs the highway like a comfortable sweater.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Highly effective, quick, nimble – it feels such as you’re driving a gas-powered GLB. The EQB hugs the highway fantastically and presents prompt acceleration as quickly as you hit the throttle. To ease vary anxiousness, one other 100 clicks of electrical vary can be good.

Expertise

A full-colour show and navigation system with augmented actuality shows info for the motive force.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Loaded with semi-autonomous driving options corresponding to energetic lane-keeping help, energetic brake help, and adaptive cruise management that may learn the pace restrict indicators and alter the pace as wanted with out driver enter. A full-colour heads-up show and a navigation system with augmented actuality shows info for the motive force.

Cargo

The EQB’s boot has an estimated 150 litres of house.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Surprisingly there’s no entrance trunk – hoses and heating pumps take up that house, which is an unusual sight in an all-electric car. Behind the third row, house is small – there are not any official numbers on the precise quantity, however I estimate it’s round 150 to 160 litres. The third-row seats additionally fold flat into the ground, if additional house is required. Accessing the cargo space is straightforward. You possibly can even kick below the rear bumper to open or shut the tailgate.

Verdict

Mercedes-Benz is dashing forward of the competitors with its model new EQB all-electric compact SUV.

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