From £53,6107

Price, fuel economy and range, finance and depreciation

Where introductory prices on the Mercedes EQB are concerned, we are not quite seeing the full picture as things stand, with an entry-level, single-motor model still to come. That is set to bring the car’s entry point down close to £50,000 in the UK, but even at that level, and allowing for the broadly competitive residual values forecasted for the car, this will remain a fairly expensive family EV.

Seven-seat rivals for it are currently thin on the ground, but even so, you will need to place a tidy premium on the added passenger-carrying capability of that third row to justify this car when a Tesla Model Y, Skoda Enyaq iV or Audi Q4 E-tron offers almost as much usable space for five, plus plenty of luggage space.

Jobs for the facelift? First, add some energy density to that battery, and the 20% real-world range needed to stay competitive with rivals. Then, keep refining and improving the auto regen system.

For the moment, of course, Mercedes will surf a wave of interest from fleet drivers reaping their benefit-in-kind bonanza, and first-time adopters of electric cars who might expect to pay a high price, but it might need to offer better value to keep the car competitive.

And it might also need to boost the electric range. At an indicated 3.2mpkWh at a UK motorway-typical 70mph cruise, our EQB 300 test car would cover 213 miles between charges – not terrible, but a notable amount poorer than what is becoming a broadly achievable touring test standard of 250 miles on a full charge, applicable to family EVs available at and just under £50,000.

Advertisement
Back to top

Usable battery capacity is the culprit here rather than energy efficiency: the EQB’s is between 10% and 20% short of the class standard, and peak rapid charging at 100kW isn’t particularly impressive either in a class where 150kW charging and above can be had for less outlay. From a premium option priced like this, you would expect better.