What is it like on the inside?
This is where the EQB earns its place on your shopping list. Because while pricey and a little uninteresting to drive, it is – at the time of writing – the only seven-seat EV that’s not either a van or £100,000-plus. We expect that’ll change, and we’d be astonished if Audi, BMW and Volkswagen don’t introduce rivals soon enough. But for now, the EQB has a USP.
Mercedes has placed its battery in the floor, which does impinge on passenger room a little. The driving position is higher than ideal for those of us who like to scooch right down, but then most SUV buyers probably aren’t phased by such things. The sliding second row seats – the three in the middle of the car – are broadly very comfy but adults might feel their legs are at a slightly unnatural angle due to not being able to rest their feet low enough. But they shouldn’t find themselves short on actual room.
Those seats manually recline, allowing you to create space for more stuff in the boot, or more space for the legs of people who’ve clambered into the rearmost pair of seats. Mercedes says anyone 5ft 4 (1.6m) should fit. How comfortable they’ll be is up for discussion, though. The boot’s luggage capacity is 340 litres with the seats up, or 1,320 with them all folded.
TALK TECH TO ME...
The dashboard layout is as per all the small Mercs, meaning the same touchscreens, touchpads and ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control as the A-Class. This has mixed reviews within the Top Gear team; some love it and find the dominance of vocal commands a very natural thing to get their heads around, while others – particularly those with regional accents – get a little more flustered. Your best bet is to give it all a lengthy try out at the dealer before committing.
Mercedes has certainly fluffed a couple of details along the way. There’s a sole USB-C charger for rear passengers – just imagine the scrap as two or more kids’ phones run low on charge at the same time – while the touchpad in the centre console up front is so hyper alert, it’ll start skipping backwards and forwards through audio tracks at the slightest wisp of charging cable over the top of it. Not the end of the world during a three-minute pop song, but bloody annoying when you’re 38 minutes into a gripping true crime podcast.