a seven-seater for the

As the auto industry moves into battery electric cars, it’s hard not to think that they all have the same model plan as they take turns building identical, expensive, family-sized five-seat sport utility vehicles. , with a modest ability out of the muddy edge.

Audi’s Q4, BMW’s iX3, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, Volkswagen’s ID 4 and its Å koda counterpart and Volvo’s XC40 Recharge all offer the same with Varied performance and bling to tempt your spare monthly PCP payments. It’s a somewhat uniformly depressing vision of a future of travel.

One could accuse Mercedes-Benz of the same with the EQC and the newer EQA, which share a basic architecture (electronic and mechanical), but the EQB tested here offers something a little different even if it does. looks like Postman Pat’s van in rubber boots. Seven seats and a fairly powerful 4×4 system are different in this market, although with a starting price of £ 52,145 the expense is not.

In this case, the battery has a capacity of almost 80 kWh but only uses 66.5 kWh for the sake of longevity. Likewise, the EQB’s maximum fast charge rate is only 100kW, which is a bit slower than what you’ll get in most of the aforementioned alternatives. As it stands, the EQB will recharge from 0 to 80% in about half an hour on a 100 kW charger and in 10 hours on a 7.4 kW home wallbox, which Mercedes-Benz offers. for £ 525.

The EQB 350 model tested here delivers a maximum output of 288 hp and 383 lb-ft. The more powerful AC synchronous rear motor does most of the driving and load regeneration, with a smaller front AC synchronous motor deployed when a slip is detected. Top speed is limited to 99mph and 0-62mph in 6 seconds, with a range of 257 miles, which is low (ish) compared to its rivals.

I did about 100 miles in absolutely terrible weather, but at fairly modest speeds and after starting with a full battery I had about 25% of range when I dropped the vehicle. Mercedes would counter this precarious real-world range by claiming that its new software system will determine an optimal route based on hills, traffic, the availability of fast charge, and how much residual charge you want in your battery at the destination.

This is all true but in some parts of the country an EV driver is truly a trailblazer motorist and you might find yourself almost doubling your driving distance to grab a quick charge or two and arrive with some juice in the battery. .

Mercedes claims an efficiency rating of 3.9 miles per kWh, but we only managed a better 2.6 m / kWh – although in bad weather conditions that will reduce anyone’s actual range. which electric vehicle.

The cabin

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