Mercedes-Benz EQB Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Sunday 1st October


What is it like to drive?

It drives exactly how you’d hope or expect a car like this to drive. ‘A car like this’ being a stocky, two-tonne box with torque to rival an old pre-turbo Ferrari. It never feels anything less than its weight – or height – but its traction and grip are hard to fault. It has all the uncanny silent speed and cornering gumption of its various foes. We’re not going to be snapped mercilessly in the ‘all electric cars feel the same!’ mousetrap, but there’s little to mark the EQB’s driving experience out as identifiably Mercedes.

But then it’s a seven-seat SUV, so such matters are arguably pretty trifling anyway. What matters most is that it makes everything easy. It operates like any other automatic car save for its brake regen, but that too has an ‘auto’ mode which is where it operates best.

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Pull the left (traditionally the downshift) paddle and you end up with a very aggressive loss of speed as your foot eases off the throttle, but with the car un-keen to ground promptly to a halt at junctions, you’ll never treat the EQB as a one-pedal car.

Pull the rightmost paddle and you get next to no regen at all, which allows a fully natural driving experience, but will cost you a few miles of range. So let the car do its thing in auto and you’ll have gentler regen on flowing country roads and a more assertive approach in traffic and urban areas.

Likewise we’d suggest leaving the driving mode toggle in Comfort or even the speed-limited Eco. The sport mode firms up the steering, stiffens the suspension and quickens acceleration, but do you want those things? There’s abundant power from a standstill in all modes (Mercedes claims 0-62mph in 7.7secs for the EQB 300 and 6.0secs for the EQB 350, with the pair sharing a 99mph top speed) so you won’t need the powertrain to be any more reactive so long as you have your own wits about you.


The ride is good if you spec the 18- or 19-inch wheels with tall eco tyres, but it thumps around more than is probably ideal on the big bronze 20in wheels. Honestly it’s no worse than rivals in a similar spec, though. Cheaper, less powerful FWD versions of the EQB might just fix that. In fact on all levels we expect those to be pick of the range the second they land, however quietly able this AWD launch car is. We highly doubt anyone is buying the EQB for its off-road ability.

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