The EQB is an electric adaptation of the GLB high-riding SUV, sharing many body parts but with an enclosed grille and distinctive LED light strips running the width of the car front and rear.
Roof rails and black cladding around the lower reaches reinforce the SUV positioning.
As with the smaller EQA, with which it shares its electrical components, the EQB is a modified version of a petrol vehicle.
Mercedes’s latest EV offers the choice of a single motor EQB250 priced from about $92,500 drive-away or a more powerful dual-motor EQB350 at $112,000.
Both models have smart-key entry, ambient lighting, heated front seats, a powered tailgate, dual-zone ventilation and a digital instrument cluster.
The standard trim is Artico faux-leather but there’s an assortment of optional trims – from the traditional to the modern – as well as AMG-Line sporty additions.
The EQB350 adds the AMG-Line treatment – including a unique bumper and grille – as standard and replaces the 250’s 19-inch wheels with multi-spoke 20s. It also picks up extra equipment, including a panoramic sunroof, alloy pedals, red stitching and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Each model uses a 140kW/375Nm electric motor driving the front wheels while the EQB adds a rear motor, taking overall outputs to 215kW and 520Nm.
The additional weight of the rear motor in the 350 means it does without the optional third row of seats ($2900 on the EQB250), limiting capacity to five.
The seven-seat version is more compact than most. With all seven seats in play there’s a slender 130 litres of luggage space behind the third row. It expands to 670L with the seats folded.
The middle-row seats are noticeably higher, in part due to the batteries lining the floor. That provides a commanding view for little ones, but lankier folk may find their heads grazing the roof.
The second row has air vents and a USB port to complement the three up front, while the optional third row of seats has another two.
Up front there’s ample headroom courtesy of the tall roof.
Big door pockets and a clean centre console gobble up odds and ends and there’s a touchpad to control the central 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Wireless phone charging is handy, although you have to plug in for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.
The EQB250’s front motor provides ample pull for city duties and even holds its own on a freeway. The generous torque is pushing the limits of what the front tyres are comfortable dealing with so there’s an occasional tugging at the driver’s hands under hard acceleration out of corners.
The 350’s rear motor makes for more assertive acceleration. Sport mode sharpens the throttle, although there’s never the laugh-out-loud acceleration of some dual-motor EVs.
A 66.5kWh battery promises 371km of WLTP range and it can DC fast charge at up to 100kW, which Merc says can top the battery from 10-80 per cent in as little as 30 minutes.
Slower home charging from a regular power point takes about 40 hours or as little as five hours using a wallbox. A 230V charger is included, as is an adaptor for public AC charging.
The suspension is plush and the ride quiet. Adaptive dampers stiffen slightly in Sport mode, although the emphasis is still on comfort.
The occasional sharp edge shudders through the 20-inch Pirelli rubber on the 350 but for the most part it’s nicely controlled.
What the EQB lacks in EV flair it makes up for with refinement and traditional Mercedes-Benz luxury values. But it’s the optional third row of seats that is arguably the biggest tempter with the latest addition to the EQ family.
Family flexibility in a comfy high-riding SUV body with a healthy dose of traditional three-pointed star luxury.
PRICE From about $92,500 plus on-roads
WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 yrs/unlimited km (battery warranty 8 years, 160,000km), $2650 for 5 yrs/125,000km
SAFETY Nine airbags, auto emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, 360-degree camera, driver monitor
POWER Single electric motor, 140kW/375Nm
SPARE Repair kit
BOOT 130-675 litres
Originally published as Mercedes-Benz EQB electric car review