2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB300 4Matic
Class: Premium Compact Crossover
Color: Mountain Grey Metallic
Miles driven: 141
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Type||Electric motor|
Battery capacity: 70.5 kWh
EPA-estimate MPGe: 104 city/98 hwy/101 combined
EPA-estimated driving range: 243 miles
Consumer Guide range estimate (ideal conditions): 243+ miles
Base price: $54,500 (not including $1050 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Special paint ($750), charging cable ($250), AMG steering wheel ($360), Augmented Video ($350), Panorama Roof ($1500), Speed Limit Assist ($300), heated front seats ($500), AMG Night Package ($2890) D8A and D9C credit for missing standard equipment* (-$800)
Price as tested: $61,650
*Feature credits a function of supply-chain limitations at time of vehicle assembly. D8A credit for missing Navigation Services live-traffic feature. Customers missing this feature can purchase it on the Mercedes me connect app for $50. D9C credit for missing power driver and passenger front seats with memory.
The great: Excellent space utilization, refined power delivery
The good: Quiet cabin, impressive ride quality, classy interior, fun-to-drive character
The not so good: Could use more range, pricey options
There are four EV models in the 2023 Mercedes-Benz lineup, the most practical and most compelling of which may also be the most affordable.
The flagship EQS series is offered in large sedan and SUV variants, both of which crest the $100,000 threshold. Consumer Guide recently spent a week with the EQS 580 sedan, and came away very impressed. Also offered for 2023 is the EQE midsize sedan, pricing for which starts just under $70,000.
It’s worth noting that all EQS and EQE variants ride on Mercedes-Benz’s EVA dedicated electric-vehicle architecture, and are not EV variants of existing gasoline-powered cars or crossovers.
That is not the case for the EQB, which is based on the maker’s GLB small crossover and modified to run on electricity. And, we should add, becomes a vastly better vehicle in the process.
New in the U.S. for the 2022 model year, the EQB is offered in two power levels. The EQB 300 starts around $56,000 and is rated at 225 horsepower. Rated at 288 horsepower, the EQB 350 starts around $60,000. Each EQB comes standard with AWD.
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To complicate things slightly, both the 300 and 350 are offered in Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels. Consumer Guide recently spent a week with the “base” EQB 300 Premium. Here’s our take:
Though the least-expensive option in the EQB lineup, we found our test crossover be sufficiently luxurious and well-equipped to merit the Mercedes badge, and, honestly, also a joy to drive.
This was not entirely the case with the GLB250 we evaluated back in 2020, which numbered among its drivability flaws a recalcitrant transmission–which shifted too often and generally at awkward times–and an engine which was too coarse for a vehicle in its price class. You can read that review here.
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But with its seamless and refined electric drivetrain in place of the GLB’s uncouth 4-cylinder gas engine and cranky transmission, the EQB shines, and the basic goodness of the little crossover’s design can be fully appreciated.
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Like the GLB, the EQB is surprisingly roomy in both the front and rear seating areas. The sense of openness is enhanced by the generous amount of glass all around, which also enhances outward visibility. And, despite being among the most-affordable vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the EQB cabin looks and feels luxurious. We were disappointed by the “common” plastic used on the lower door panels and around the center console, but none of that is visible from the driver’s seat.
Underway the EQB shines. While 225 horsepower may sound a little light by contemporary standards, throttle response is immediate, and there’s plenty of thrust for around-town traffic jockeying, and highway passing and merging. The cabin is very quiet, even at highway speed, and the EQB’s sporty suspension tuning and responsive steering help make commuting fun. Additionally, unlike many electric vehicles, the EQB delivers excellent low-speed idle creep, a thing much appreciated in stop-and-go traffic.
All EQBs are powered by a 70.5-kWh battery, good for an EPA estimated 243 miles in the 300, and 227 miles in the more-powerful 350. In frigid Chicago-winter temps, our observed full-charge estimates ranged from 208-224 miles, in line with the cold-weather capacity decline we’ve observed in other EVs in similar conditions. Note that Consumer Guide’s level-2 charger is located outside, reducing battery capacity somewhat when temperatures fall.
Also of note, the standard audio system is excellent, a thing of importance to this author, as I had recently acquired of number of new jazz downloads. I was impressed by both the stereo—do we call them stereos anymore?—and my new Jimmy Smith albums.
There is a bit of bad news related to choosing the electric EQB over the gas-fueled GLB, and that’s the loss of the available 3rd-row seat. An $850 option on the GLB, the 3rd-row seat expands seating capacity from 5 passengers to 7. Unfortunately, the space that might have gone to the rear-most seating row is consumed by the EQB’s battery pack.
As for the bottom line, our lightly—but sufficiently—equipped EQB 300 came to $61,150, including destination charge. That price includes an $800 credit for features missing from our test vehicle as a result of supply chain issues. One of those items, frustratingly, was keyless entry. Hopefully such annoyances will soon be behind us.
At about $60,000, the EQB is priced in league will well-equipped versions of the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and both of those vehicles serve up more power and range. That said, this small electric Mercedes is refined, very space efficient, nicely appointed, and imbued with a character all its own. For a small, well-healed family ready to take the EV plunge, the EQB could be just the ticket. It’s also a rather practical and affordable way to buy into the German luxury scene.
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