The three-row EV doesn't have a Hyperscreen, but still looks the business.
Mercedes-Benz is planning to build only electric cars after 2025, hence at the Munich auto show this year the company is bringing a selection of sedans and SUVs, all under the EQ electric brand. The latest is the Mercedes EQB SUV, obviously based on the three-row GLB. It will launch in Europe and China by the end of the year, and hit US dealerships in 2022.
"With the new EQB we have designed an iconic electric SUV which incorporates the box forms of our off-roaders and projects them into the future. Its significant silhouette is combined with futuristic elements such as the black panel front to create the extraordinary look of this vehicle", says Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of the Daimler Group.
Here in the states, the one-motor EQB 300 4Matic will land with 225 hp while the two-motor EQB 350 4Matic will deliver 288 hp. Range for both is pegged at 419 km on the European WLTP cycle, which translates to 260 miles, though we know the WLTP is less harsh than our EPA ratings, so we'll have to see what our official range will be.
Like the GLB, the EQB will feature a third row, though Mercedes admits it will only offer comfort for people 5-foot-4 and below. There are only two seats back there, but they get their own extendable headrests and side window airbags. It still sounds like a penalty box, but at least you'll be safe.
The EQB wears the company's new black panel grille in front, which we're assuming hides the radar and sensors like the Cadillac Lyriq, with a continuous light strip at the front and rear. Blue highlights in the headlights point to this being an EV. We suppose green would look too weird. Its upright windshield adds space to the cabin and at least for our eyes, looks better than a steeply raked window. It can be optioned with up to 20-inch wheels.
Inside, we get a wide touchscreen with two 10.25-inch displays, though it's not nearly as wide as the company's Hyperscreen. Tubular aluminum elements are dispersed throughout the cabin. The instruments all feature EV-specific displays, as well as rose gold and blue highlights.
Like the EQE sedan, the EQB SUV comes with Eco Assist, which uses navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the vehicle sensors to save power and extend the range. Navigation is standard, and when inputting a destination, works out the fastest route, factoring in range, topography, and weather.
Mercedes says both the EQB 300 and EQB 350 can be charged in 11.25 hours on a 240-volt home charger. A DC fast charger gets it to 80% in about 30 minutes. The purchase of an EQB comes with one year of Mercedes me Charge included. That gives buyers access to 60,000 chargers in the US. Mercedes says that it uses as much green energy as possible for that juice.
Production of the EQB will start in September 2021 at the Hungarian plant in Kecskemet for the global market and at the German-Chinese joint venture BBAC in Beijing for the local market. It should go on sale next year.