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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

From its chunky, squared-off wheel arches to its short overhangs, upright glasshouse, high-contoured bonnet and bulky shoulder line, the car does look like a Mercedes SUV that, electric or not, still draws from the same gene pool as the Mercedes GLE, the Mercedes GLS and even the Mercedes G-Class. Some of the car’s design details may remain suspiciously novel, and ultimately less appealing on the eye than they might be.

But considering the reception that the Mercedes EQS and EQE have met with, both more aerodynamically daring but also more anonymous-looking designs, the Mercedes EQB can be taken as encouragement that Stuttgart will yet find its way with the look of its first wave of formative EVs.

The wheel line-up goes 18in, 19in, 20in as you progress from AMG Line trim and up through Premium and Launch Edition versions. These are the mid-range 19s, and look much less blocky and heavy than the entry-level 18s.

The car is based on Mercedes’ MFA2 platform, just as the EQA was, and the conventionally powered A-Class, B-Class, CLA, GLA and GLB before it. That gives it a steel monocoque chassis, strut-type suspension at the front and a four-link independent axle at the rear.

It’s one of several twin-motor EVs to mix in electric motors of different kinds. The one at the rear is a permanent magnet synchronous motor that, being the more efficient and torquey of the two, does the lion’s share of the work when it comes to keeping the EQB moving along at a cruise.

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The one on the front axle is an asynchronous, or induction, motor of the kind that Tesla formerly favoured: cheaper and simpler of design, given to making plenty of peak power, but less energy efficient.

Mercedes has now experimented with both motor types across its early EVs, but cost-sensitivity is the likely motivator for mixing them in this case. The motors combine to make up to 225bhp and 273lb ft in the EQB 300, or the same peak torque and up to 288bhp in the EQB 350.

The drive battery is a package of lithium ion pouch cells arranged in a slightly staggered shape, carried under the cabin floor and double-stacked under the back seat cushions, and running at 420V. With just under 70kWh of installed capacity, 66.5kWh of which is usable, it is smaller than the equivalent drive battery in key rivals (Audi Q4 E-tron, Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2, Hyundai Ioniq 5) and, in our test car, enables an official range of up to 257 miles.

But the battery pack certainly isn’t small enough to give the EQB any advantage over rivals on kerb weight. Our test car weighed 2235kg on the scales. That’s more than 200kg heavier than Mercedes’ homologated unladen weight claim for the car, and over 250kg heavier than the Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD we tested earlier this year.