My wife and I are currently expecting our first child, so naturally instead of reviewing the latest sports cars and supercars, recently I've been more interested in driving big, practical SUVs with enough space for the family and a large boot that can fit prams, toys, travel cots, and everything else that a baby needs. Of course, because I want a brighter future for my child as well, I'm especially interested in electric vehicles as they're the perfect quiet, tailpipe emission-free alternative to internal combustion engines.
With that in mind, I was recently very excited to get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQB, the brand's latest electric SUV, and, I think, the first desirable and attainable seven-seat EV on the market. Sure, there's the Tesla Model X, but that start at £81,990, there are also some Citroens, Peurgoets and Vauxhalls. The EQB sits nicely in the middle, priced at £53,610.
Of course, those seven seats are important as it makes the car so much more flexible. The two seats in the third row can be used by people up to 5 ft 4 inches tall, and there are ISO fix points so child seats can also be fitted there as well.
Despite being a seven-seater, the EQB has a relatively compact footprint on the road (4684 x 1834 x 1667mm) and offers a maximum boot capacity of 1710 litres.
Sure, it's not Mercedes' most attractive car, but I actually really like the boxy, practical design. It reminds me of a mini, more rounded G-Wagon – it's a Baby G if you will.
There's no mistaking that this is a Mercedes electric vehicle, however, with the now recognisable Mercedes-EQ black panel grille and continuous light strips at the front and rear.
This interior reminds me of a shrunken down G63 as well – you sit behind the large upright windscreen and feel high up on the road. The interior design has a robust character – underlined by tubular aluminium elements throughout. They sit as handles in the doors, in the centre console and in the instrument panel on the passenger side.
It's actually a really nice cabin for drivers and passengers – I loved it.
Sitting front and centre in the interior is the stunning 'Widescreen Cockpit' with MBUX. The fully digital instrument display and the media display look sophisticated and futuristic, with high resolution and colourful graphics.
MBUX is slowly becoming my favourite car infotainment system – it can be operated intuitively by touch, touchpad mouse, or voice control.
MBUX is home to Mercedes' Navigation with Electric Intelligence, which we first tried and loved on the EQS. This calculates the fastest route to the destination, including any necessary charging stops. It takes topography, weather, traffic and the driver's driving style into account.
The Navigation with Electric Intelligence system will even ensure that the battery is brought to an optimal charging temperature before a planned charging stop.
It was so good we used it instead of Google Maps!
In terms of charging, the EQB has an official range of 257 miles, although I was getting closer to 230 miles.
At home or at public charging stations, the EQB can be charged at up to 11 kW with AC using the onboard charger, but of course, it is of course even faster at DC fast-charging stations. Depending on the state of charge and the temperature of the battery, the EQB is capable of charging at a corresponding charging station with a maximum power of up to 100 kW. The charging time is then just over 30 minutes from 10-80 percent.
Overall, the Mercedes-Benz EQB is a surprisingly compelling package. I say surprisingly because often in this job there are cars that you expect to like and others that take you by surprise. I was particularly enamoured by the EQB and think it's perfect if you're looking for an electric family SUV.
Mercedes-Benz is taking orders for the EQB now, with prices starting at £53,610 OTR.
This article is part of The T3 Edit (opens in new tab), a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.