We had the chance to drive a German registered, German specification EQB at the end of last year – although it only had five-seats. Spin forward five months and the first cars are now in the UK, and we’ve had the chance to spend some time with the range-topping 350, with the steering on the right and added seats to crystallise our feelings on this car. 

Outside, our test car was finished in Cosmos Black Metallic, which it suited. However darker colours make it more difficult to tell the EQB from its ICE powered sister car, the GLB. The GLB’s new black grille and curvier headlights are neatly integrated into the front styling. It is the same at the back of the EQB, with the new full-width light bar making far less of an impression. 

The move from left to right doesn’t interfere with the EQB’s comfortable driving position and although there are newer and more advanced versions of the MBUX infotainment system in the S-Class and EQS, you’ll still marvel at the twin 10in screens for the instruments and infotainment, as it feels so forward-looking but is also attractive and feels well-made. The standard sat-nav certainly works well enough, with added EV features, such as calculating routes based on the available range. The route is then further updated, taking account of the weather and various travelling conditions.  

Elsewhere, the EQB is spacious in the front two rows of seats, although as expected the third row of rear seats are really for children – and small children at that – while boot space drops to just 340 litres. Still part-time or not, the EQB has the practicality of seven-seats, which is rare in the ICE SUV market. There’s even less choice in the EV market, with the currently unavailable Tesla Model X at the top and the Stellantis van-based models from Citroen, Peugeot, and Vauxhall at more of an entry-level. So, the extra seat practicality is sure to be a consideration for buyers choosing the EQB.

Just the 300 and 350 version that we drove are available, both with 4Matic four-wheel drive. So, on top of the compact electric motor under the bonnet, there’s also a rear-mounted motor, which are both powered by the 66.5kWh battery that’s under the floor. The EQB 350 feels quick off the mark, certainly backing up the 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.2 seconds and 292hp with 390Nm of torque. 

The 247-mile range Mercedes are claiming seems realistic after spending a week with this car, but some cheaper rivals do offer more range. Where this Mercedes scores however, is that those rivals don’t offer seven-seat practicality. In addition, if you can find a rapid 100kW charger, this EQB can go from 10-80% charge in just 32 minutes. A rumoured single motor version is expected later this year and promises a longer range and lower price.

Our first drive in the EQB was on a German registered car on 20in wheels, which surprised with its composed ride. This car was on slightly smaller 19in wheels, and we could detect a small further improvement in the ride which felt quite soft – there was definitely less road noise, too. Handling-wise, there’s plenty of grip with the four-wheel drive system, but the taller body equals some roll in corners. Refinement, as expected, is good too. We were impressed how even with the EQB’s aerodynamic tweaks, this SUV shape seemed to slip through the air particularly well considering the tall shape – even at the national speed limit. However, the positive throttle response was at odds with the soft suspension, meaning the EQB is competent rather than fun to drive. If you carry more than five-people regularly and extra seats are a priority, then the EQB is a comfy, refined, and high-quality choice – although it’s certainly not a cheap option.

Mercedes EQB 350 AMG Line Premium  

P11D: £58,055

Residual value: 44.9%

Depreciation: £31,972

Fuel: £4,229

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,274

Cost per mile: 34.24p

Range: 247 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (2%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £19/£38

Luggage capacity: 340 litres

Engine size/power: 292hp electric motor with 66.5kWh battery