2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC Pros:
– It is the best-styled electric SUV from Benz.
– Power figures are decent.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC Cons:
– Range and charging speeds are underwhelming.
– Its pricing matches the EQB with better premium electric SUVs.
For once, the title properly sums up my feelings for the all-new 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB. I’ve been a big fan of the GLB since the first spy shots landed on the interwebs. All trims and versions of the GLB make it a far more interesting and exclusive small premium SUV than the GLC. And the all-electric version takes it up a notch.
There are limits however to how big my “blind eye” can be when it comes to this very expensive EV. Though I’ve admitted my appreciation for the GLB, I won’t let it get in the way of my criticizing the fact that the EQB’s overall EV performance is only adequate. And this is partially linked with pricing.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC’s 70.5 kWh battery pack will only accept up to a 100 kW DC fast charge or considerably less than most other EVs. This means that wait times can be long: 32 minutes for a 10%-80% charge or nearly twice as long as the Genesis Electrified GV70. Range too is average or a notch below that. At an estimated 356 km, the Benz falls short of many of its competitors, both premium and mainstream. Though I did manage an indicated estimated range of well over 350 km at one point, I’m concerned that wintery driving conditions will effortlessly knock 75 or more kilometers off.
Beyond these still not inconsiderable issues, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB is a lovely EV. The standard dual motor layout provides a combined 288 hp and 384 lb.-ft of torque, capable of launching the 4,800 lb. (!) SUV to 100 km/h from a standstill in 6.2 seconds. I must note that the aforementioned GV70 is blessed with up to 483 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque and offers up to 383 km of estimated range.
About the drive, I found brake pedal travel far too long even after a week and many hundreds of kilometers travelled. Their performance is fine and is complemented by three levels of regenerative braking operated via the steering mounted paddles. Ride quality is excellent. The EQB’s weight delivers a GLE-like level of comfort but there’s a downside which applies to all EVs, or nearly: Understeer is present. Though less of a worry in summer, winter will put the driving nannies to the test.
The reason why I bring up the Genesis Electrified GV70 is that, for $84,150, it outguns and outmaneuvers the EQB which retails for $75,700 to start. As tested, with the Night, Premium, and Intelligent Drive packages, it retailed for $87,700 and still fell short in the features department.
But, as I’ve said, I really like the Benz EQB. The most appealing aspect is its styling. Upright, flat, square, and more or less the G Wagen’s youthful clone, it’s both elegant and playful. There was a time early on that Benz’s gloss black front grille would not sit well with me, but I’ve moved on. Admittedly, the AMG body kit is a big bonus however it’s only included as part of packages that replaced the standard heated steering wheel with a non-heated sport steering wheel.
Spacious and well-appointed cabin
As standard, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC includes twin 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and touchscreen display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, all accessible via the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). As such, the level of features is adequate but take a moment and quickly study the GV70’s specifications again…
Even so, the cabin is superbly well put together, as one would expect from Mercedes-Benz. The EQB also gets novel elements such as backlit spiral optic graphics built in the dashboard. Fit and finish are exemplary – it’s truly luxurious.
As you may know, the GLB/EQB offers the option of a third row that is, in my opinion, not worth it. The fact that it’s available means that the second-row tilts and slides for maximum use of space. The trunk provides up to 495 litres of usable and accessible volume. Up front, there’s room for everything though more cubby holes would be welcomed.
The short-term relationship factor
I’ve recommended more than once that any and all new EVs be leased for a period not exceeding four years. As the technologies evolve, a 2023 model year EV will be nearly obsolete in 2027. For this reason, the “purchase” decision comes down to superficial things.
This is why, despite the Genesis Electrified GV70 offering far more for the money, I’d sign for the EQB. Its styling and personality are unmatched for the moment and, once more in my opinion, it is the most appealing EV model from Mercedes-Benz.