2022 Mercedes Benz Eqb 350 224 1669670983

Modern Tech in a Familiar Package

Science fiction fans divide stories into “hard science fiction” and “soft science fiction,” a blurred line that Lightspeed Magazine can try to define, but we stick to cars. We only bring this up to indicate that electric vehicles could benefit from a similar subcategorization. For the die-hard sci-fi fans, those detail-hungry, all-in takers, we’ve got tech- and trick-heavy machines like the Rivian R1S, Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan. For those who are just diving in, unwilling to learn a whole new language for the commute, there are the “soft” EVs, and here we find the Mercedes-Benz EQB350, an electric SUV that is so traditionally in feeling is that one could drive it for days and never realize there was simply a silent gas power source under the hood.

One of the reasons the EQB looks familiar is that it’s based on the GLB, Benz’s turbocharged four-cylinder small SUV. The EQB dresses up a bit hipper, with elongated LED headlights, blue-badged 19-inch wheels and a gloss black panel in place of a grille, but it shares the GL’s squared-off rear and upright profile. More importantly, at least for those made uneasy by the all-screen future envisioned by many EV designers, the EQB interior offers plenty of hard buttons to go along with its digital displays and center touchscreen.

HIGH: Spacious interior, minimally challenging user interface, quiet running.

The base EQB300 uses two motors that produce 225 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. We spent time in the higher-powered EQB350, which increases output to 288 horses and 384 pound-feet. Both come standard with four-wheel drive, a 400-volt architecture and a 66.5-kWh battery that can recharge from 10 percent to 80 percent in about half an hour at a DC fast charging station. Mercedes says the 350 offers 227 miles of range, while the 300 can go about 15 miles further.

2022 mercedesbenz eqb 350

Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Unsurprisingly, this small SUV is a rock star when it comes to acceleration. In our tests, it hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is a reasonable result for this segment and 0.2 seconds ahead of the Audi Q4 e-tron. Put the throttle down for a pass at freeway speeds, and the EQB will go from 50 to 70 km/h in 3.6 seconds (versus the Q4’s 3.3 seconds). Unless you live near a notoriously difficult fusion point, you won’t be pained by the EQB350’s performance level.

Despite the EQB’s compact footprint, the cabin is open, bright and comfortable. The EQB’s tall windows and standard panoramic glass roof let in plenty of light, so even with the mostly black vinyl interior in our Premium trim car, it was neither stark nor claustrophobic. Microfiber and leather are options in all trim levels. Another benefit of the EQB’s boxy shape is headroom for the rear passenger. Long-legged adults can not only stretch their limbs, but they won’t find their head too cramped against the headrest, and the rear seats offer multiple angles of recline. It’s a whole different story for the third row, which is an extra-cost option we wouldn’t mind unless you like putting a seat belt in your grocery bags. It is certainly not roomy enough to transport people any distance. Without it, there’s plenty of cargo space, despite the EQB losing several cubic feet to the underfloor battery.

One way an EV can cause tremors is the user interface for basic controls. Will you have to dig into a touchscreen to find the flash? Or perform magic to select a forward gear? Not in the EQB. Its infotainment features are minor and will be familiar to any modern Mercedes owner: overly sensitive buttons on the steering wheel and a touchpad on the console that could be better used for small storage. Other than that, we found the interior layout attractive and easy to use. It’s plain and simple, with just enough detail to be interesting without being overwhelming. Mercedes Voice Control is one of the best we’ve experienced, but don’t let your passengers know they can ask the car to tell jokes, or you’ll spend the rest of the drive hearing a monotone voice like this one delivers: “Two fish were in a tank. One said to the other, ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?'” Funny, Mercedes, but we’d rather have wireless Apple CarPlay, not currently an option .

LOW: 227 miles of range isn’t great, third-row seating is pointless, MBUX joke-telling function is as cringeworthy as your Uncle Fred.

On the road, the EQB350 is just what a small electric SUV should be: quiet and smooth. It doesn’t emit spaceship sounds or wind tunnel noises—the only sounds are the slight hiss of the tires and whatever music you’re playing over the stereo. It steers and brakes with minimal drama. In testing, it stopped from 70 mph in 178 feet (a mere foot longer than rival Audi) and clung to the skidpad with 0.85 g of grip. One of the few obvious electric motor features the EQB350 showcases is adjustable settings for its regenerative braking, which is controlled on the steering wheel paddles. Otherwise, you might only remember that it’s eating electrons when the screen warns that it’s time to find a charging station.

2022 mercedesbenz eqb 350

Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Specifications

Specifications

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 4Matic Premium
Vehicle type: front and mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $59,100/$60,380
Options: Mountain Gray Metallic paint, $750; garage door opener, $280; charging cord, $250

POWER TRAIN
Front motor: induction asynchronous AC
Rear motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Combined power: 288 hp
Combined torque: 384 lb-ft
Battery pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 66.5 kWh
On-board charger: 9.6 kW
Peak DC fast charging rate: 100 kW
Transmissions, F/H: direct-drive/direct-drive

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.0-inch ventilated disc/12.6-in disc
Tires: Continental ProContact 6XSSR
235/50R-19 103T M+S Extra Load MOE

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 111.3 inches
Length: 184.4 inches
Width: 72.2 inches
Height: 65.6 inches
Passenger volume: 102 feet3
Cargo volume, rear seats up/down: 22/62 ft3
Curb weight: 4815 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.4 sec
1/4-mile: 14.3 sec @ 93 mph
100 mph: 20.1 sec

Results above show 1 foot deployment of 0.3 sec. away.
Roll start, 5–60 mph: 5.5 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 sec
Top speed (gov ltd): 100 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 178 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-ft Skid road: 0.85 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY AND CHARGE
Observed: 84 MPGe

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 96/98/93 MPGe
Range: 227 miles

C/D TEST EXPLAINED

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