The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is the latest all-electric SUV from the German luxury brand. It joins the latest influx of EQ models including the EQS and EQE SUVs; among the EQ sedans as well. So, how good is this new EQB?
Motors – The Mercedes EQB 350 sits on the same platform as the gasoline-only GLB. What Mercedes-Benz did in making the EQB, was to take out the engine, transmission, and driveshafts and replaced them with one electric motor at each end. Combined, they produce 288 hp & 384 lb-ft of torque (215 kW & 520 Nm). Although the weight of the battery pack increases the overall curb weight to 2,175 kg (4,795 lbs), the 2023 EQB 350 can still accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. Although, Mercedes-Benz does like to err on the side of caution with their acceleration times so in reality, it’ll probably do that sprint in 6 or 5.9 seconds.
Regardless, the EQB is still a pretty quick city crossover. The accelerator pedal provides instant response as is expected of an electric vehicle. If the pedal is too sharp for your liking, switching the car to Eco mode relaxes it a bit for smoother getaways from a stop.
Battery & Charging – The EQB 350 utilizes a 70.5 kWh battery pack that is mounted in the floor. This provides enough power to allow for up to 356 km (221 miles) of driving range according to Mercedes-Benz. During my time with the EQB 350, I was able to achieve an average of 20.6 kWh/100km (3.016 miles/kWh).
Like many other EVs, the Mercedes EQB is capable of level 2 A/C and level 3 DC charging. However, the maximum charge rate is just 100 kW while other EVs can have upwards of 150 kW. But even so, Mercedes claim that 10% to 80% charge from a level 3 charger can be accomplished in 32 minutes. The maximum A/C charging speed is 11 kW which enables the EQB 350 to charge from 10% to 100% in a Mercedes claimed 6 hours and 15 minutes.
Braking – Some energy can be recuperated through regenerative braking. But unlike other EVs, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 does not have a true one-pedal mode. The three braking modes provide low, mid and high regen but to bring the car to a complete stop, you have to put your foot on the brake pedal.
Speaking of which, it does possess some odd characteristics. If the regen braking mode is low, the pedal feels pretty normal. As in, it provides good resistance whether you push it lightly or firmly. In the mid and high regen braking modes, from time to time you can notice the difference in regen braking and the brake calipers taking over. Thankfully, this brake pedal does not move of its own accord like the one in the Mercedes EQS SUV when I drove that car. But you can feel that while slowing down under regen braking and you press on the brake pedal, it’s light. It’s only when pressing further on it that it begins to firm up.
Handling – The handling dynamics of this car are Ok but nothing too spectacular. The extra heft of the battery pack provides the “planted feel” through corners but the weight pulls the car towards the outside of turns when driving more enthusiastically. But the steering is direct and quick albeit a little on the light side. The suspension allows for a few jounces when driving over bumps, especially bridge joints, but the EQB 350 can be equipped with adaptive dampers. This demo vehicle did not have them equipped and this feature is only available for the Canadian market. In all, this car feels more at home in a bustling city rather than a winding mountain road. It’s easy to drive and to maneuver but not quite as much fun as the gasoline GLB.
Ride Comfort – One highlight of this 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is the ride quality. For an electric crossover SUV, it is really good. The standard suspension absorbs bumps with little fuss. The car can cope very well with poorly maintained city streets.
I also found the front seats comfortable for my body shape. I didn’t have any back pain or leg pain after hour long commutes. Both the driver and passenger seats have manually adjustable thigh support and power adjustable lumbar support.
Interior Space – With the EQB being based on the GLB, and with the GLB being essentially a box on wheels, there is a lot of interior space in this crossover SUV. As per usual, front occupants have the most amount of space. What’s most impressive is the amount of headroom that is available in these front seats.
The back seats are not quite as spacious but still offer a good amount of space for adults. Behind my 6’4” driving position, I have just enough space for my long legs. The back of the front seat is made of hard plastic so my knees will dig in everytime the car slows down. Additionally, the rear seats force you to sit higher up than in the front. Headroom is a bit tighter with my hair gently brushing against the headliner but it’s not too bad. The 2nd row seats can slide forwards & backwards and can recline.
Like the GLB, the EQB can be equipped with a 3rd row. With that being said, this car should not be used as a 3-row SUV. The rear seat space is incredibly tight for adults and even kids. But if you ever find yourself pickup your drunk friends on a Saturday night or picking up your kids and their friends from soccer practice, you can use those back seats in emergency situations.
Behind the seats the EQB 350 has almost no cargo space with the 3rd row seats up. Perhaps there’s just enough room for a small backpack. With the 3rd row seats stowed away, the 2023 EQB 350 has 495 L (17.5 cu-ft) of space and with the 2nd row seats folded, that number increases to 1,710 L (60.4 cu-ft). Under the hood, you will not find any additional storage.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – With the removal of the engine, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is a quiet and smooth car. In addition to the ride comfort and ease of driving, this is another area where the EQB shines. The electric powertrain is buttery smooth and the electric motors make no noise. There is some artificial noise coming through the speakers when the speed builds up but it’s barely noticeable. Road noise is equally well isolated into the cabin.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – This is where it all starts to fall apart for this car. In Canada, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 starts at $75,700 CAD ($60,550 USD). This demo vehicle came equipped at a price of $85,500 CAD ($69,825 USD). For the time being, this is the only variant of the EQB. In 2024, we should be getting an EQB 250 variant but I suspect it will cost somewhere around $60,000 – $65,000 CAD. In the United States, The EQB is available as a 250+, 300, and 350 guise.
Gadgets – For such a high price, you’d expect the EQB 350 to be fully loaded like a GLE. But that’s not the case. It does, however, have the usual convenience features such as heated & power operated front seats with memory, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, hands-free power liftgate, wireless phone charging pad, dual-zone automatic climate control, surround view cameras, head-up display, Burmester surround sound system, and keyless entry with push button start. But it doesn’t have features such as heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, or a 3-zone automatic climate control to name a few. A lot of its competitors do for the price point.
The infotainment system is the older version of the MBUX interface. It’s displayed on a 10.25” touchscreen which retains a touchpad in case you don’t want to smudge the screen with your fingertips. This older system is not quite as responsive as the latest iteration but it still functions just fine. It allows for Apple CarPlay & Android auto connectivity but neither are paired wirelessly.
Interior Design – For a car that costs over $85,000 CAD before fees & taxes, the interior of the Mercedes-Benz EQB does not match the price. A lot of the materials are plastics including a faux metal weave on the dashboard & door panels and gloss black on the center console & central air vents. The Artico synthetic leather seats do not feel smooth to the touch like real leather. It all just feels cheap for the price of the car. The interior is exactly the same as the one found in the GLB 250. In the GLB, this interior is fine because that’s an entry level Mercedes crossover with an entry level price of $48,900 CAD ($39,800 USD). But this EQB costs too much for what you’re getting. It doesn’t feel like a luxury product.
On the flip side, because this is an older generation design, the functionality is better in my opinion than in newer Mercedes vehicles. The climate controls are individual toggle switches and not integrated into a touchscreen. The aforementioned trackpad is available to use and there are physical buttons for quick access items all around it. And finally the steering wheel has individual buttons & toggle switches for the different functions instead of capacitive touch controls. For me, the functionality of this interior is much better than in this car’s bigger brothers.
Exterior Design – Unlike the EQS and the EQE, the EQB has an overall shape that is similar to the GLB. The only key difference is the one piece grille, rear light bar, and lack of exhaust pipes. For the 2024 model year, the EQB receives a slight front fascia tweak but the overall shape remains.
Safety – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 comes equipped with a lot of standard safety features. All of the important safety & driver aids are present such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot sensors (which also function when the car is at a stop light), vehicle exit warning, 7 airbags, and much more. Some optional features include active lane keeping assist, a built-in dashcam, surround view cameras, and active lane change assist among others are available.
Warranty – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 comes with a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty. It also comes with 4 years / unlimited km roadside assistance, 4 year / 80,000 km surface corrosion, and 10 years / 250,000 km for the battery. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For U.S.A. warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is an easy EV to drive and one that is comfortable around city streets. But with a starting price of over $75,000 CAD, it costs too much and it doesn’t have the level of luxury that one would expect from a Mercedes-Benz at this high of a price. For the same money as this demo vehicle, you can get a fully loaded GLB 35 AMG or you can even get a GLE 350 with the 3rd row package. But if you’re in the market for a luxury EV, you have a lot of options. The GV60, GV70 Electrified, Lexus RZ450e, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Polestar 2, Tesla Model Y, and many more options. Most of these EVs feel like luxury products and most have more power, more features, more range, and cost less than this EQB.
Thank you to Mercedes-Benz Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Mercedes-Benz.ca