Car Reviews

Mercedes-Benz EQB evaluate: luxurious EV for the household | Autocar India

Written by Meera

It is probably not born electrical, however the Mercedes EQB has every little thing and extra to tackle the sub-Rs 1 crore luxurious EV market in India.

The EQB would be the third all-electric automobile in Mercedes-Benz’s India portfolio anticipated in showrooms by the tip of the yr. It follows the EQS 580 that’s set to launch within the festive season. Launching two EVs (AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ will launch on August 24) within the house of six months reveals the clear intent of the world’s oldest carmaker to up its sport within the priciest however most action-packed sliver of the EV market. Certain, the general gross sales of luxurious EVs are nonetheless minuscule, however the gold rush has begun. Beginning on the pointy finish of upwards of Rs 1 crore, launches at the moment are shifting downstream to the extra ‘reasonably priced’ sub-Rs 1 crore house. On this fast-evolving state of affairs the place automobiles just like the BMW i4 and Volvo XC40 Recharge make luxurious EVs appear to be nice worth, the EQB can’t come a day too quickly. At an estimated value of Rs 80 lakh, it is going to be considerably cheaper than the EQC (B is lower than C, keep in mind the nomenclature?) however not fairly as low cost because the neatly priced Volvo XC40 Recharge (Rs 56 lakh). However the EQB has an ace in its cabin – an additional row of seats.

Mercedes Benz EQB: exterior

The EQB would be the first 7-seat EV within the nation and an enormous draw for anybody who desires the pliability {that a} third row of seats gives. By way of design, the apparent reference level is the GLB, however because it’s not on Indian roads but, it’s arduous to attract comparisons with its ICE counterpart. What’s clear is that the EQB seems fairly typical, like every Mercedes SUV, and doesn’t have an excessive amount of ‘EV-ness’ in its design.

Sturdy shoulder line, squared-off wheel arches are historically Merc.

That’s to be anticipated if you convert an present ICE automobile into an EV, you’re caught with the identical physique construction and ‘arduous factors’, so designers don’t have the liberty a born electrical platform gives. Living proof is the mind-blowing EQS I drove earlier, which is so futuristic that it doesn’t appear like a Merc in any respect.

Wheels appear like they have been designed in a wind tunnel.

A blanked-out grille completed in shiny black, a skinny gentle strip connecting the lights and grille, wheels that appear like they’ve been designed in a wind tunnel (to chop drag and improve vary), tail-lights that stretch throughout the tailgate, and a smattering of EQB badges are the one actual hints that the EQB is an EV. The lengthy and excessive bonnet (recognized extra with an ICE automobile than an EV), the robust shoulder line and beefy squared-off wheel arches are components that draw from the identical DNA as different Mercs. The EQB will not be a really aerodynamic form however that upright stance has a attraction of its personal.

Mercedes Benz EQB: inside and options 

Tactile buttons on steering really feel nice to make use of; screens straightforward to navigate.

Aside from a splash of electrical gold on the beautiful turbine air vents, the interiors too don’t shout EV. Overlook the EQS’ hyperscreen, the EQB doesn’t even get the massive central infotainment display discovered within the S and C-Class however as an alternative will get Merc’s customary MBUX system made up of two 10-inch screens stacked side-by-side. It’s straightforward to navigate by all of the menus and the shortcut keys allow you to entry particular capabilities with out sifting by too many instructions. What I actually preferred have been the steering controls, which nonetheless had tactile buttons and never the annoying capacitive thumb pads within the newest Mercs. For added tactile really feel, you’ll be able to strive the touchpad within the centre console nevertheless it’s a bit too delicate and it’s simpler to only swipe the display even when it leaves soiled smudges.

Excessive seats, beneficiant headroom and legroom make the second row a pleasant place to be.

The driving place is good and excessive, which provides you nice all-round visibility. The seat is generously cushioned, and although it’s a bit on the agency aspect it’s actually snug on lengthy drives. The rear seats have nice legroom and an abundance of headroom, so house will not be a difficulty. Additionally, the seats are positioned good and excessive, so that you get a great view of the highway forward. There’s sufficient room for 3 adults as effectively, and the center passenger received’t should take care of a transmission hump because it’s been smoothened to make method for a flat ground. The ground, nevertheless, is a contact excessive, because the battery below it has encroached into cabin house, pushing your ft up a bit. It’s not uncomfortable although, and Mercedes has cleverly raised the ‘H’ level to compensate.

Centre console doesn’t protrude a lot into rear house.

Sadly, I couldn’t check out the third row as a result of the take a look at automobiles we had in Europe solely got here with a 5-seat configuration, so we’ll have to attend for the India-spec EQB to see how usable the 2 soar seats on the again are. With no third row, baggage house is a beneficiant 495 litres, which expands to 1,710 litres with the seats flipped down.

Although our take a look at automobile didn’t have them, India-spec EQBs will get two small third-row seats.
 

Mercedes Benz EQB: battery, vary and efficiency

The EQB comes with two energy outputs – the EQB 300 develops 228hp, while the EQB 350 produces a more healthy 292hp. Each variations use a 66.5kWh battery and supply the identical claimed vary of round 400km, however in real-world driving circumstances, 300-320km is what you’ll be able to count on, which isn’t nice by fashionable EV requirements.

For India, the specs aren’t finalised but, so we may both get the EQB 300 or EQB 350 however not each. It’s probably that Mercedes-Benz India will go for the decrease 300 to be value aggressive within the sub Rs 1 crore EV market, which is quick hotting up.

It rides with authority and confidence at velocity.

The variant I drove although was the EQB 350, which, with a 0-100kph time of 6.2sec, felt moderately fast and whisks you to the velocity restrict (80-100kph on rural roads) fairly simply. The derestricted or velocity limitless sections, which German autobahns are famously or infamously (in case you are a politician or activist) recognized for, are far and few between, so once I noticed the white roundel with 4 skinny traces throughout, I floored the EQB 350 to see what it may do.

Acceleration isn’t the neck-snapping form you discover in different EVs, notable the Volvo XC40 Recharge, which I’ve to say from a efficiency and value perspective provides extra bang for the buck. There’s the great seamless tug all the best way to 130kph however after that energy begins tailing off fairly quickly. I might think about the EQB 300, with a 0-100kph time of 8.0sec, will probably be slower nonetheless. Flat-out efficiency is clearly not the EQB’s forte and the place it feels greatest is at metropolis speeds. It’s good and perky off the road and the linearity of the ability supply makes it snug too.

The drive modes  – Eco, Sport, Consolation and Particular person – tweak the accelerator and steering response, while there are separate controls for the regenerative braking which may be simply adjusted by way of the paddle shifters. What’s good is the best way brakes mix seamlessly with the regeneration to supply a pure really feel. On this respect, the EQB’s brakes are even higher than the high-tech EQS’, which really feel synthetic as compared.

It’s moderately fast and effortlessly reaches the velocity restrict.

The EQB’s measured efficiency is mirrored in the best way it rides and handles too. Weighing 2,580kg, it rides with authority and may be very confidence-inspiring at any velocity. The roads in Germany have been too easy to evaluate how effectively the EQB copes with tough patches, however the odd bump was properly smothered, and we wouldn’t be stunned if it emerges as probably the most snug driving EV for the worth. The steering too is fantastically calibrated, providing sufficient heft in corners and the correct amount of slack across the straight-ahead place. There’s a little bit of physique roll however the batteries within the ground preserve the EQB properly tethered to the highway.  All EQBs are 4Matic or all-wheel drive, with a motor at every axle. The one on the rear is the stronger of the 2 however while driving you’d be arduous pressed to inform if it was the entrance or the rear motor doing a lot of the work. All this evokes a whole lot of confidence behind the wheel.

Refinement is simply what would count on from an electrical Mercedes, which in a phrase is implausible. Street and wind noise, that are the first supply of sound within the absence of an engine, are very effectively suppressed.

Mercedes Benz EQB: verdict

The EQB could not have the wow issue of different EVs getting into the Indian market, however its relaxed character, family-oriented cabin and refinement make a terrific case for anybody wanting a user-friendly luxurious EV runabout.

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Meera