Though it is a compact SUV, the all-new Mercedes-Benz EQB looks to be a top contended for families of all shapes and sizes. The third-row might be a tight squeeze for the adults, but suits perfectly for the teens and younger as people that are up to 1.65 meters tall can fit nicely – you can even stick in the child seats way back there if they’re a bit too rowdy. The Mercedes-Benz EQB made its debut last week ago at the Shanghai Autoshow, which saw many major EV announcements.
The powerful and efficient electric drive, clever recuperation and predictive Navigation with Electric Intelligence are just some of the features that link it to the EQA. The Mercedes-Benz EQB will first launch in China sometime soon, then immediately followed by Europe. It will go global towards the end of 2021, and hit the US in 2022 – no exact word when it will reach the Middle East yet.
The German luxury manufacturer is picking up speed with their EV lineup, we test drove the EQC last month and enjoyed it quite a bit. Though it was an adaption of a regular vehicle, Mercedes-Benz has stopped that and gone with designs dedicated to full electric – no more pesky transmission tunnels in the back, and more space. They launched the EQS that took the world by storm, and in a couple of weeks the EQT fully electric van. They also launched the EQA just yesterday (story coming up in a bit).
As is usually the norm with China specific vehicles, it will only come in one option – the crème de la crème of the EQB – fully equipped top-of-the-range model with AMG line and output of 215 kW. Customers in other markets will have choices for several specs.
Mercedes is pretty much positioning space as the key factor in the EQB. The third-row is optional, and load volume of the car matches that of estate vehicles. Extensive safety features include extractable head restraints, seat belts with belt tensioners and force limiters on all outer seats and a side windowbag that also covers passengers in the third row. A total of up to four child seats can be fitted in rows two and three, plus one more in the front passenger seat. To increase luggage space, the third row seats can be lowered flush into the load floor.
The EQB is a typical EQ series vehicle, it features the typical Mercedes-EQ black panel grille with central star, and the continuous light strip at front and rear. A horizontal fiber-optic strip connects the daytime running lights of the full-LED headlamps. Blue color highlights within the headlamp give it the Mercedes-EQ appearance.
Exclusive to this model are light-alloy wheels in a bi- or tri-colour design, up to 20 inches in size, in some cases with rosé gold-colored or blue decorative trim.
As with the EQ design, the LED tail lamps merge into the tapered LED light strip. This underlines the horizontal sense of width of the EQB in the rear view.
The steering wheel and MBUX display are the same as the other EQ models, as well as the center console and arm rest. The seats are of Mercedes top quality as usual. Now between the center console and the display is where things differ – namely the AC vents. These are right in your face circles, with three in the center and one on each side near the doors. Not sure why, but to me they seem out of place and not fit well with the ‘futuristic’ appeal of EQ. They look quite retro and old.
ECO Assist offers a recuperation process optimized to the particular situation. It incorporates navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the vehicle sensors into its efficiency strategy. Anticipatory driving saves power, thereby extending the range.
Traditional car makers never gave much effort to their navigation systems, but as the world moves towards autonomous driving, they’ve all amped their game. The standard Navigation with Electric Intelligence also contributes to the effortless handling of the EQB in everyday life. It calculates the fastest route to the destination, including any necessary charging stops. On the basis of continual range simulations, the system makes allowance for any necessary charging stops as well as for numerous other factors, such as the topography and the weather. It is also able to react dynamically to changes, for instance in the traffic situation or personal driving style. In addition, the Navigation with Electric Intelligence ensures that the high-voltage battery is brought to an optimal charging temperature before a planned charging stop, if needed.
At home or at public charging stations, the EQB can be conveniently charged at up to 11 kW with alternating current (AC) using the onboard charger. Charging using a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is considerably faster than at a household socket of course. Naturally, it is even faster at direct current (DC) fast-charging stations. Using maximum power of up to 100 kW, you can get from 10 to 80 percent in 30 minutes.
The EQB features intelligent driving assistance systems with cooperative support for the driver. Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist are fitted as standard. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds. The enhanced functions of the Driving Assistance Package include, for example, the turning maneuver function, the emergency corridor function, the exit warning function alerting the driver to approaching cyclists or vehicles, and a warning when pedestrians are detected near zebra crossings.
More on the Mercedes-Benz EQB as we get closer to its arrival in the Middle East.