Mercedes-Benz EQB

300 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium, front
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium, side
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium, rear
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium, cabin
Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium, boot

FULLY electric models are ticking most of the boxes regards customer requirements these days - addressing everything from size, shape, design and performance to easing range anxieties.

One area in which buyers are still rather short on choice though is that of seven-seaters, the options limited to some van derivatives, a couple of extremely high priced Teslas and a trio of good value but short on style MPVs from Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall.

Remove the Mercedes-Benz EQV, which you may have seen parked conveniently outside the entrance of some luxury hotels, from the equation and there's just one option remaining.

Thankfully it's a desirable one, that features seven seats as standard - the Mercedes EQB.

The EQB is a battery powered version of the GLB premium compact SUV and, at present at least, comes only with 4MATIC four-wheel drive and a starting price of a princely £55,310.

Two variants are up for grabs - the EQB 300 which develops 228bhp and EQB 350 with 292bhp - each using a 66.5kW battery in tandem with a pair of electric motors, and the familiar Mercedes trim grades of AMG Line and AMG Line Premium.

There are certainly more stylish looking SUVs around than the EQB though it's more boxy shape does have benefits, like excellent headroom and it's also long enough to accommodate the three rows of seats.

The three seats in the middle row slide by up to 140mm, so there are no legroom issues, and there's just about enough space for the rearmost pair of individual seats which are really only for kids - in fact Mercedes recommends a height limit of 5ft 4ins.

That doesn't leave a vast amount of room for luggage, the seats-up capacity limited to 340 litres. Fold down the back two rows and the measure leaps to a cavernous 1,710 litres.

Otherwise the cabin has the upmarket feel you would expect from Mercedes, with everything from heated and adjustable front seats and illuminated door sills to a reversing camera, panoramic sunroof, 64-colour ambient lighting plus 18-inch alloy wheels.

And it's all operated via the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) media and navigation set-up across two 10-inch touchscreens.

In fact the sat nav is so sharp that you can see the shape of buildings and landmarks as you drive through a city or pinch the screen to show country, continent, planet earth and even the satellites that send back the info.

The EQB's official range is 253 miles, though our own return was closer to 220 following a trip to the Lake District which involved long stretches of motorway and miles of tight mountain bends.

Ideally you would have a home wallbox for charging overnight but if not, and for longer return journeys, then it's possible to load up from 10 to 80 per cent from a 100kW public fast charger in around 35 minutes.

What's for sure is that our tally of 350 miles in various road and weather conditions provided a genuine examination of the EQB's capability - stable, well balanced, smooth and displaying plenty of traction.

In the same way as with other Mercedes models the Drive, Reverse and Park settings are accessed via a stalk on the right of the steering wheel and you can also use the paddles for regenerative braking.

There's also a rocker switch for selecting drive modes of Eco, Comfort and Sport, though the former - while obviously the most economic - is also frustratingly strained. Comfort is the default and most comfortable.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC

Price:£58,310

Mechanical:228bhp, 66.5kW battery plus two electric motors driving four wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed:99mph

0-62mph:7.7 secs

Combined MPG:253 miles

Insurance Group:46

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:4yrs/50,000 miles (8yrs/100,000 for battery)

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