In December we got the first drive of Mercedes-EQ’s luxury compact SUV, the EQB350, and were fascinated by its smooth, quiet operation, performance levels approaching AMG’s, and its premium three-row transverse seating range. Now we have a crack at that car’s less powerful and less expensive brother, the EQB300. So does losing 50 insignia prestige points lower the EQB magic factor?
Why is it important
With the EQB, Mercedes is offering buyers a practical two-box electric family-towing family-friendly alternative to the Volkswagen ID4, the Audi Q4 E-Tron, the Volvo XC40 Recharge and, to some extent, the cool Tesla Model Y. Like Tesla, the top three excel by offering a class An optional third of the seats. None of the third-row seats are a commodity, but EQB’s at least puts steel on top, rather than a glass Y-sloped hatchback, and in 300 it should be around $16,000 cheaper.
Using the same 66.5-kWh battery pack and essentially the same engines, the 300 produces 225 horsepower and 288 lb-ft — about 75 percent of the 350’s output at roughly the same weight. The price in Europe drops 5 percent. That might make the 350 Burlier seem like a bargain, but the 300’s acceleration seems more than enough for duty cycle vehicles like this it was built for, so think twice about showing off.
Pros: What we like
The interior feels like everything a Mercedes-Benz deserves, from the illuminated circular air vents to the dual-screen dashboard and augmented reality navigation system (complete with intelligent EV steering that takes into account temperature, hill grades, charger locations, etc.). The EQB 300 is as fortified on the inside as its stablemate 350—there was no skimming on the roads, tires, and wind noise reduction measures. And the same luxurious ride (our test vehicle had optional adaptive dampers) provides a more comfortable ride than many competitors in the field. We also appreciate the three programs to recover constant braking power (accessed via the toggle switches) and the ‘Automatic’ mode, which customizes regeneration levels to suit the current situation – eg when traffic ahead is slow, a sharp turn is coming, or to maintain speed regression.
Cons: What we don’t like
Like Volvo’s XC40 Recharge, the EQB has been adapted from the internal combustion vehicle architecture. For Mercedes-Benz Credit, the transition was accomplished without raising the floor or losing the third-row seat option, but this conversion process results in a less efficient package overall. In this case, the primary downside is the range. Had the EQB been built from scratch as an electric vehicle, it could have easily accommodated more batteries for a more competitive range number (close the price gap with Tesla somewhat) or might have seen its weight simplified to juice the larger range of batteries it has.
With three rows of seats, the Mercedes-Benz EQB300 feels well suited for everyday commuting and carpooling tasks for families with another mobile road trip in the garage.
Look well! More details?
|2023 Specifications Mercedes-Benz EQB300|
|Base price||$47,500 (estimated)|
|layout||Front and rear engine, 4WD, 5-7 pass, 4 door SUV|
|Motors||225 hp/288 lb-ft (comb) AC induction (front), permanent magnet (rear) electric|
|Send||1 speed auto|
|curb weight||4800 lbs (estimated)|
|Length x width x height||184.4 x 72.2 x 65.6 inches|
|0-60 mph||7.0 seconds (MT EST)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||not yet rated|
|EPA scope, comb||230 miles (estimates)|
|for sale||Autumn 2022|