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Stuttgart launches an ‘edgy’ but pricey seven-seater into the family EV market

Anyone with a big family to transport and a will to do that in an electric car has faced quite a stark choice thus far when it comes to zero-emission seven-seaters. There is the Tesla Model X with either six or seven seats. Peugeot, Citroën and Vauxhall, meanwhile, each added an extended-wheelbase version of their electrically powered, passenger-market-intended Partner, Berlingo and Combo models in 2021. The first option is a luxury SUV priced from £90,000. The other is a van-derived MPV.

Nothing in the market for electric vehicles stays the same for long at the moment, though, and so now there’s a third seven-seater way, which we’re testing this week. The Mercedes EQB is the all-electric version of the conventionally powered Mercedes GLB, and only the second compact electric model that the German car maker has so far introduced under its growing EQ sub-brand.

Spec advice? Don’t be tempted to spend more on an EQB 350; a 300 is quick enough. Have it in AMG Line Premium trim with Mercedes’ Driving Assistance package (£1495) and a nice dark metallic paint (£895).

Like the Mercedes EQA, it is built on an adapted version of the firm’s existing compact car model architecture and not a dedicated electric-only platform – but that hasn’t prevented Mercedes from squeezing seven seats into a package that’s less than 50mm longer than a five-seat Skoda Enyaq iV.

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The EQB becomes only the second SUV in the EQ range but, as we will go on to explore, it’s a car that improvises a little bit with Mercedes’ electric car design language, and to quite likeable effect.

It launches exclusively in two-motor, four-wheel-drive form, in a choice of power outputs, but with no choice on battery size, although both a cheaper, single-motor front-drive derivative and a separate long-range version will be added to the line-up. With prices currently starting at a relatively pricey-looking £54,000, we elected to test the slightly cheaper EQB 300 4Matic.

The Mercedes-Benz EQB range at a glance

Engines Power From

Mercedes EQB 300 AMG Line 4Matic 

225bhp £53,610

Mercedes EQB 350 AMG Line 4Matic

288bhp

£55,110

The EQB model line-up is simple, although it is set to grow to include a bigger-batteried, longer-range derivative in time. Both versions of the car are twin-motor, four-wheel-drive offerings and both offer the same-sized drive battery.

UK-market trim levels start at AMG Line and include AMG Line Premium and Launch Edition versions. Mid-spec cars add 19in wheels and a panoramic glass roof, while top-level ones get 20in alloys, adaptive dampers, a head-up display and Mercedes’ full suite of driver assistance technology.

Mercedes-Benz EQB First drives