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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.

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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.