Pros: Optional third row available; Laidback, comfortable driving demeanor with responsive handling
Cons: Small third-row compromises cargo space; just OK electric driving range; no performance variant
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB is an all-electric, compact luxury SUV that provides a great balance between drivability and interior spaciousness at an entry-level price point for the segment. And it’s not just a cool three-point-star badge that you get for Mercedes money in the EQB. You also get a comfortable cabin, slick but user-friendly technology and a calm, quiet ride going down the road. It’s basically an electric GLB-Class, swapping out that car’s middling powertrains for refined, but quick and engaging, electric propulsion.
Besides the classy and approachable design, snazzy technology and EV efficiency, the EQB’s biggest party trick is probably its optional third row, allowing for seating for seven occupants. It’s small, and probably only useful in rare occasions and for your smallest occupants, but it’s available for customers who demand the extra seats.
What’s new for 2023?
The Mercedes-Benz EQB was a completely new model for 2022, and is expected to carry over unchanged for 2023, apart from the addition of a single-motor EQB 250+ to the lineup.
The interior of the EQB is luxurious without being ostentatious, at least for the most part — those numerous LED ambient lights really make it feel like the inside of a nightclub at night. Otherwise, it’s a straightforward, comfortable interior with materials that range from practical and comfortable — real or MB-Tex faux leather and high-quality plastics — to slightly more opulent with touches like microfiber-trimmed upholstery and backlit or natural grain wood trim.
A dual digital display for the instrumentation and infotainment is standard, along with the Mercedes MBUX voice assistant, but things like a head-up display and augmented video for navigation can be optioned. You can navigate the infotainment via touchscreen, or by using a touchpad on the center console. While the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be many customers’ go-to, the onboard infotainment and navigation is good, and can even show you the most efficient route to save your battery charge on your way to your destination. We don’t like some of the steering wheel controls, like the touch sensitive thumb-buttons that make it too easy to accidentally change the radio station when making a hand-over-hand turn.
The Mercedes EQB is the same size as the GLB compact crossover upon which it is based. Despite being compact on the outside, the EQB’s surprisingly roomy interior is one of the GLB’s strongest assets. The EQB can comfortably carry four adults and their gear in its five-seater configuration, even if the rear passengers are on the taller side. An optional third row presents a tradeoff, allowing you to carry two small passengers while reducing the trunk’s usable volume from a roomy 27 cubic feet down to 22. Unlike some EVs, the EQB does not offer a “frunk” for extra storage space under the hood.
But its compact footprint makes it feel carlike going down the road, without feeling diminutive compared to every other crossover lumbering around you. A relatively high stance, seating position and big windows make for great visibility, and the wheelbase is long enough to make it feel calm and stable when cruising at highway speeds. Even better, when you get to a cramped parking lot, you can still park the thing hassle-free.
The EQB has two powertrain options that carry over from 2022, both all-electric and both providing all-wheel drive courtesy of a pair of electric motors. The base powertrain comes in the EQB 300, which offers 225 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. That’s good enough for a respectable run to 60 in 7.0 seconds. Its 70.7-kilowatt-hour battery pack is rated to go 243 miles on a single charge.
For a little more urgency from the accelerator, the EQB 350 provides a total of 288 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. That’ll hustle the vehicle to 60 mph in a flat 6 seconds. You sacrifice some range for that extra power, though, providing 227 miles of driving on a charge from that same battery pack.
Both versions of the EQB feature 400-volt electrical architecture, allowing them to charge at a peak 100 kW, replenishing the battery from 10% to 80% in 32 minutes at a DC fast charger. On a 240-volt Level 2 charger, they can go from 10% to 100% charge in your garage in 7 hours, 45 minutes.
Mercedes will launch a less-powerful, single-motor EQB 250+ for the 2023 model year. Mercedes says it will offer 188 horsepower and an expected driving range of 250 miles. Other details haven’t been announced as of this writing.
Unlike the GLB, or the other Mercedes EQ vehicles, there’s no high-performance AMG version of the EQB available, unfortunately.
Relatively small, the GLB upon which the EQB is based lends itself well to electrification. Like almost all battery-powered cars, the EQB is zippy off the line and delivers smooth, linear acceleration in near silence. Despite not having the thrum and drone of a gas engine to cover up squeaks and rattles, the EQB’s calm ride and fine-tuned suspension makes cruising a smooth, quiet experience even on rough roads.
The EQB’s battery pack lends it a low center of gravity, which makes it handle more like the GLK we used to know and love than the bigger, artificially softer SUVs in the Mercedes lineup. It’s generally laid-back to drive, but put it in Sport mode (Comfort is the default) and find a curvy road, and it’ll respond nicely. There is also an Eco mode to save range, and an Individual mode to mix and match from the others. Paddles on the back of the steering wheel can increase or decrease regenerative braking, but the Auto mode behaves intelligently, keeping you from coasting too fast down a hill or too close behind another car. The EQB doesn’t give off a funny feeling from the brake pedal when the automatic regen is working, either, like the other EQ models do.
What other Mercedes-Benz EQB reviews can I read?
This is our first drive of the EQB, wherein we find it benefits from being basically an all-electric version of the Mercedes GLB, maintaining its good qualities while improving through its favorable EV powertrain.
While Mercedes hasn’t finalized 2023 prices as of this writing, the 2022 EQB 300 starts at $55,550 for the base Premium trim, including a $1,050 destination fee, while the EQB 350 starts at $59,100. Standard features include power front seats with memory, dual digital display, navigation with range-saving intelligence, 64-color ambient lighting, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and adaptive high beams. More features are available as you move up into the Exclusive and Pinnacle trims. While details haven’t been fully revealed, Mercedes will offer a new entry EQB with the 250+, starting at $53,450. You can learn more about EQB 300 and EQB 350 features and pricing here on Autoblog.
- Premium: $55,550
- Exclusive: $56,800
- Pinnacle: $59,350
- Premium: $59,100
- Exclusive: $60,350
Standard safety and driver assistance features include automatic emergency braking, attention monitoring, adaptive high beam assist, blind spot warning with exit assist, and crosswind assist. Also available are features like adaptive cruise control, speed limit assist, lane centering steering assist, lane change assist, evasive steering assist and a surround-view parking camera.