The 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB all-electric small SUV is the only vehicle in its class to offer optional seating for seven. It’s also superb family transport. Pricing starts at $52,750.
For those families who can afford a small Mercedes-Benz SUV and are perhaps considering an electric vehicle for the first time, the EQB could be just the thing. The new-for-2023 EQB 250+ comes in at a lower price than the other two variants (that debuted only last year) and with the best EQB range of 250 miles.
Learn more: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars
Mercedes-Benz uses the EQ name for its electric vehicles. And the EQB is essentially a battery-powered version of the GLB small SUV that slots, naturally enough, between the subcompact GLA and the compact GLC. Not large, then, but the EQB still offers the option of a small third seating row for younger and smaller passengers.
With or without the just-in-case third row, we’ve found the EQB to be a surprisingly practical small SUV. The backseat and cargo areas are both quite roomy, while the smooth electric powertrain and small footprint make it easy and enjoyable to drive. The EQB is big and small in all the right places, which is both an impressive balancing act and its key strength.
Whoever is riding in the 2023 EQB, they’ll be well protected. It’s usually Volvo
that gets the kudos for safety equipment, but Mercedes-Benz makes safety an equally high priority, with some great innovations like the Pre-Safe Sound feature that helps protect occupants’ hearing in the event of an impact. The similar GLB earned a top safety score in European crash testing.
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2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB pricing
The 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB starts at $52,750. That’s for the new EQB 250+. Mercedes-Benz also includes two years of free 30-minute charging sessions using the Electrify America network.
- 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB 250+: $52,750
- 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB 300 4Matic: $56,900
- 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB 350 4Matic: $60,550
These are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) and do not include the $1,150 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination charge).
The EQB is the only small electric SUV to offer a third seating row. But if that’s not required, there are several alternatives. The Audi Q4 e-tron starts at $49K and has a maximum range of 265 miles. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is priced from $53.5K and runs for 223 miles before recharging. The Tesla
Model Y is $66K and has a 330-mile range.
Before buying a new Mercedes-EQ EQB electric SUV, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should really pay. The EQB should have strong resale values.
What’s new for 2023
The EQB 250+ makes its debut as the new entry-level model, with front-wheel drive and a range of 250 miles. It becomes the most affordable new Mercedes-EQ electric SUV. The other two variants in the lineup carry over unchanged.
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Driving the 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQB
One of the more remarkable aspects of driving the 2023 EQB compact SUV is that it’s easy to forget it’s electric. Some electric vehicles can be quite eager when the accelerator pedal is prodded.
The EQB has some zip, but the power is delivered quite smoothly and progressively. Which means it can respond well to decisive inputs but doesn’t lurch.
We’ve found the ride to be similarly well judged and comfortable without being sloppy, a reminder that the EQB is a Mercedes-Benz — one of the archetypal luxury car marques. The cabin is also quiet, great for long trips and in-town errands alike.
As an introduction to owning an upscale all-electric family vehicle, we think the EQB is a great choice.
Practical yet classy interior
Twin 10.25-inch screens make up most of the dashboard in the 2023 EQB SUV, one for driver information and the other for an infotainment system that can also be controlled by voice commands using natural speech.
Another special standard feature is the 64-color ambient cabin lighting with hues chosen specifically for Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles. Rose gold trim accents are another hallmark, and we still love Mercedes’ turbine-inspired air vents.
It sounds like a bit of a squeeze, putting seven seats into an SUV that’s smaller than a recognized compact like the GLC-Class. And to be honest, it is. Mercedes says the optional third row is bearable for people no taller than five feet, four inches.
This third seating row is not really meant to be used all the time, more like if there’s an extra friend of the kids who’s been invited along for the ride.
In standard form with just two rows of seating, maximum rear legroom is fairly generous at 38.5 inches. This sliding second row has 5.5 inches of travel, and the seat backs recline. The EQB uses its small footprint effectively.
Keep in mind that the third row will eat into cargo space, so think about how much you’re going to need. There’s plenty of room for luggage as a 5-seater, though.
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The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) is the infotainment system’s name. It responds to commands given at natural speed (start off by saying “Hey, Mercedes”) or can be controlled using the touchscreen or touchpads on the steering wheel.
Navigation with Electric Intelligence
This standard feature is enhanced with augmented reality to help drivers take the correct route. It’s also programmed for optimum energy efficiency, factoring in charging stops. And it’s dynamic. If an accident causes a traffic jam, the system re-calculates a route while still keeping the battery in consideration.
Hills, bends, and intersections all affect energy use. Eco Assist alerts the driver to what is imminent and makes recommendations — like easing off the accelerator when a speed limit is coming up. The transmission’s DAuto setting chooses the level of brake energy regeneration automatically.
Massaging front seats
They’re optional, but why buy a luxury vehicle and not partake of some luxury appointments? These seats are also heated and ventilated.
Driver Assistance package
Worth selecting from the options list, this bundle includes adaptive cruise control, active emergency stop assistance, and several other active systems to enhance safety.
This 12-speaker, 590-watt surround-sound system comes in the top Pinnacle trim level. Burmester setups are used even in the priciest Mercedes-Benz models, as well as in many Porsches.
Engine and transmission
New for 2023, the EQB 250+ variant is the only EQB to have front-wheel drive (FWD) and a single electric motor. But it does have the advantage of providing the best range: 250 miles.
The EQB 300 and 350 both have dual electric motors for a form of all-wheel drive (AWD), referred to as 4Matic.
Also see: The pros and cons of electric cars
All three variants employ the same lithium-ion battery. Recharging on a 240-volt home setup takes 11.25 hours. A DC fast charger takes it from 10% capacity to 80% (the maximum recommended, to preserve battery life) in 31 minutes.
Single electric motor (FWD)
254 lb-ft of torque
EPA-estimated range: 250 miles
Dual electric motors (AWD)
288 lb-ft of torque
EPA-estimated range: 243 miles
Dual electric motors (AWD)
384 lb-ft of torque
EPA-estimated range: 227 miles
More Mercedes-EQ EQB fuel economy information is available on the EPA’s website.
The new-vehicle warranty on a 2023 EQB is for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever happens first. This is typical for luxury vehicles. The 10-year/155,000-mile warranty for the battery is more impressive.
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This story originally ran on KBB.com.