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Mercedes-Benz adds some real pragmatism to the electric car mix by putting its EQ battery and electric motor into the V-Class large MPV. A vast, guilt-free hauler of people, it makes a great deal of sense for business and family buyers alike.
18in alloy wheels, seven-seat package,10.25in touchscreen, heated front seats, LED intelligent lights, MBUX with DAB and Burmester premium surround sound, parking pack with reversing camera, Airmatic full air suspension
Sport, Sport Premium, Sport Premium Plus
The electric car market might still be in its relative infancy, but Mercedes-Benz has added the second model to its EQ battery electric vehicle (BEV) offering, with the EQV following up the EQC.
The new plug-in model is based on the V-Class, Mercedes-Benz's popular, huge people-carrier based on the Vito commercial model. That makes the EQV the most sensible of all the EV offerings yet, with appeal to both family and business users alike.
Indeed, if you were to start with a clean-sheet design for a large BEV then the V-Class would be the likely outcome. Being a van there's tons of room under the floor for the battery, which Mercedes-Benz quotes as a 90kWh item, its positioning keeping it low and central in the vehicle.
There's been no impact on the interior space then - though, unlike the regular diesel powered V-Class, the EQV loses the ability to seat eight, with it only offered in a seven-seater configuration. Still, there's ample room for everyone, with the second-row seats being a pair of individual captain's chairs, and the back row being a three-seater bench. Even with all those seats occupied there's a huge boot too, and the EQV is able to swallow plenty of luggage as well as carry its numerous passengers in comfort.
Mercedes' electric powertrain has found a good home under the V-Class, the way it drives suiting the sensible demeanour of the big, comfortable vehicle. That 90kWh battery allows the EQV a WLTP-tested range of 211-213 miles, with the entry-level Sport model gaining those two extra miles over the Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus.
Charging it takes, depending on the output, anywhere from 45 minutes for a 10-80% charge at a 110kW public charging station to around 10 hours for 100% on a home wall box. Like all BEVs, the status of the charge can be monitored via your smartphone.
Starting the EQV immediately underlines the benefit of the switch to electric power over its diesel V-Class relations, with no starting vibration and sound and only the instruments signalling that the vehicle is ready to drive.
With no engine sounds to help mask other unwanted noise, the vastinterior of the EQV could act as an echo chamber and be a problem. Mercedes-Benz's engineers have worked on preventing that, however, by adding more sound dampening to the interior and by focusing on the suspension. It's worked too - the EQV is the paragon of serenity, gliding around quietly, with wind and road noise also superbly suppressed.
There's a choice of drive modes, from range-eking Eco mode that reduces power and minimises parasitic drain from things like the heating and ventilation, to Sport mode.
Like most EVs it's possible to preset the climate control prior to entry, using the plug-in power to do so, rather than drain the battery while on the move. Save Eco for emergencies, then, because it does impact on the response of the EQV, making it feel fairly sedate when pulling away and needing a bit of planning at busy junctions.
It's best driven in the normal Comfort mode - it gives you all the battery power and does not feel strangled when you do need a big of oomph from the powertrain.
The paddle-shifters, more usually used in the V-Class for changing gears, is in the EQV a means of adjusting the regeneration, the highest setting of which allowing single pedal driving in stop-start traffic, and the least allowing the EQV to glide with no regeneration when on the motorway. It all feels very easy to use, natural and, indeed, enjoyable, working the paddles and drive modes to help maximise the EQV's range.
On a mix of everything from autobahns to country roads in Germany, the EQV impressed with its performance and delivered an accurate range potential. You'll not revel in its dynamism in the bends, but it's competent and capable, as a vehicle of this type should be.
Indeed, it's arguably the perfect electric vehicle, even if fashion will undoubtedly see it overlooked for SUV-based EV alternatives, but for business and family buyers wanting the luxury of space, with a guilt-free powertrain, then the Mercedes-Benz EQV is currently the only solution. And, crucially, it's a very convincing one.
Mercedes-Benz EQV 300 Sport Premium Plus
Residual value: 44%
Service, maintenance and repair: £2,775
Cost per mile: 62.4p
Range: 211 miles
CO2 (BIK band): 0g/km (0%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £0
Boot space: 1,030 litres
Engine size/power: 150kW electric motor
Sensible, spacious and comfortable electric vehicle with useful range