If you’re in the market for a premium electric seven-seater, your options aren’t just limited, they’re almost non-existent. Thankfully, for well-to-do families with an environmental conscience, Mercedes-Benz has introduced the 2023 EQB SUV. Essentially, the EQB SUV is an electric version of the GLB-Class, both riding on the MFA2 architecture. While it doesn’t have a direct rival from Audi or BMW, other options with a third row of seats include the Tesla Model Y, while gasoline rivals like the VW Tiguan can also be considered.
Three flavors of EQB are available, ranging from base EQB 250+ with 188 horsepower, 284 lb-ft of torque, and a $54,500 starting price to the EQB 350 4Matic with a 288-hp dual-motor setup and AWD. The EQB 300 4Matic splits the difference with 225 hp and AWD. With driving ranges from 227 to 250 miles, the EQB may not have the likes of Tesla beaten, but it sits in a niche where it will suit a very specific type of buyer to a tee.
2023 Mercedes EQB SUV Changes: What’s the difference vs 2022 EQB SUV?
Both the 300 and 350 iterations remain unchanged from last year’s review of the Mercedes EQB SUV.
However, the range will grow to accommodate the aforementioned EQB 250+, which represents a new entry point to Mercedes electric luxury in the USA. It may have the least power, but the EPA-estimated 250-mile range may be all that matters to some buyers.
2023 Mercedes EQB SUV Handling and Driving Impressions
As you’d expect from the three-pointed star, the Mercedes EQB SUV rides beautifully and soaks up road irregularities like a bigger, more expensive motorcar. That comes as no surprise, as the EQB is a heavy car. That 4,718-lb curb weight (in EQB 300 4Matic form) helps it stomp potholes into submission.
On the road, it feels very similar to the GLB-Class. It’s not the sportiest SUV in the world, but the EQB has surprisingly sharp and well-considered steering. However, you can feel that portly mass in the bends, as the box-shaped Benz likes to lean into corners. Still, buyers looking at the EQB probably aren’t looking for driving thrills – they’d be much better off with the similarly priced GLB 35.
The Benz is an adept cruiser. The hushed electric powertrain whirrs along, silently propelling the electric EQB SUV along. It’s a very serene experience. Still, if you do feel inclined to press on, the standard 4Matic all-wheel drive (on the 300 and 350) will keep you planted. Of course, there are four driving modes to select from; Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual. We find it best to leave the EQB in comfort and enjoy the sumptuousness of the ride.
Verdict: Is 2023 Mercedes EQB SUV a good SUV?
Aside from the Tesla Model Y and Model X and the Rivian R1S, electric seven-seaters are few and far between. The Mercedes adds more choice to the growing segment and should be a hit with posh parents with a penchant for saving Mother Earth. Still, there’s no denying it’s somewhat of a niche product and sits alone in the EV and broader SUV markets.
If you’re just looking for a premium and compact three-row SUV, the ICE-powered GLB represents far better value, with a starting price of $38,600. In fact, for the same price as the EQB, performance-minded buyers could find themselves behind the wheel of the GLB 35 AMG.
On the other hand, if you’re in the market for an electric SUV, the Volvo XC40 Recharge offers comparable performance and range for slightly less outlay and with two fewer seats. With a starting price of $65,990, the Tesla Model Y is notably pricier, but you get superior performance and travel range. 0 to 60 mph is dispatched in 4.8 seconds, but, importantly, you can travel up to 318 miles between charges. Then again, the Model Y’s third row is ridiculously cramped.
Still, neither the Volvo nor the Tesla has the cachet of the Mercedes-Benz. Some may lament the fact that it looks too similar to the GLB, but that’s no bad thing. The EQB is aimed at a very specific customer, and for that target market, it will be the ideal vehicle to suit their needs.
However, if you don’t require seven seats, we’d recommend test-driving the aforementioned competitors to the Mercedes EQB SUV competitors, as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron.