Mercedes-Benz EQV Review 2023 | Top Gear
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Thursday 21st September
If you're after a seven-seat electric car, then the EQV is the one

Good stuff

Comfortable, lots of space, decent range

Bad stuff

Big price hike over a V-Class


What is it?

This is the Mercedes-Benz EQV, an electric version of the V-Class MPV that was itself converted from the Vito van. The electric option might be new (ish), but the V-Class itself has been on sale since 2014, so it’s not even a recently developed conversion of a conversion. And yet it all works smoothly enough. 

Mercedes says that its EQ brand stands for its core values of emotion and intelligence, but then that should really be ‘EI’ shouldn’t it? Really makes you question the intelligence. Still, it’s all part of Mercedes’ efforts to create a shadow range of EQ-badged electric versions of its ‘normal’ cars that will offer customers the full spectrum of choice when it comes to making the big switch.

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Hasn't it got loads of seats?

Well, this is the main feather in the EQV’s cap: so many giant SUVs have had to sacrifice their last two seats in order to make the transition to plug-in hybrid status, let alone going full EV. There are so few options for larger families to go green, apart from walking in a nice, single-file line.

You’ll likely rule out the Nissan e-NV200 Combi after you’ve driven it, the Citroen e-Spacetourer/Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric/Peugeot e-Traveller are cheaper, slightly smaller EV vans (and there are smaller, cheaper-still Rifter, Combo and Berlingo options), while the Tesla Model X is £20k more expensive and now only available in left-hand drive. Merc does actually have its own other options, but the rearmost seats in the EQB are only really suitable for very small children and the EQS SUV has a start price of £129,415. Yikes.

Suddenly £80k+ for an electric MPV doesn’t seem quite so terrible. 

What are the good things about the EQV?

We’ll keep it simple. There’s a decent amount of kit thrown in as standard, there’s loads of room for both passengers and luggage onboard and the ride is commendably smooth. Passengers in the back get posher seats than in most converted vans and they’ll have lots of fun playing with the movable table that comes as standard on the Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus trims.

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Oh, and as the driver you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting 200 miles of range out of the 90kWh battery, and when that’s depleted you can fast charge at up to 110kW.

And the bad things?

On the downside, there are a few unseemly van-like squeaks and wind noise issues that come to the fore with silent electric power. Handling is only so-so (the ride might be pillowy soft, but it means there’s a lot of lean through corners) and the EQV is quite slow unless you whack it in Sport mode. But that rather undoes the solid work of the comfort-oriented suspension.

Hang on, what does ‘quite slow’ mean in numbers?

Well, there’s only one powertrain option available – the EQV 300. With it comes 201bhp and 270lb ft of torque to shift something that weighs over 2,600kg. So yes, it’s not exactly rapid. Even with the help of Sport mode it’ll only do 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds, but then again how often does the whole family need to get from 0-62mph in as little time as possible?

Is it easy to live with?

The EQV is an incredibly easy car to get along with: driving it amounts to point and squirt while making sure not to crash into anything (the size might take a bit of getting used to at 2.25m wide and 5.37m long – but then at least it’s all nice and square), while the electric side of things is just as simple.

The charge point is mounted on the front bumper on your left-hand side and the 90kWh battery can be filled from 10–80 per cent in 45 minutes on a 110kW rapid charger. Plug into something slower and you can benefit from up to 11kW thanks to the onboard charger. You also get three years of access to Mercedes Me Charge, which gets you preferential rates when juicing up at the likes of BP Pulse and Ionity.

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

The Mercedes EQV is well specced, comfortable enough for everyone onboard and doesn’t compromise on practicality

The EQV is probably the best of the full-size, seven-seat electric options currently available. It’s well specced, comfortable enough for everyone onboard and doesn’t compromise on practicality. That said, it would be a lot cheaper to buy two smaller electric vehicles and some walkie talkies, but who are we to dictate your lifestyle choices? 

There are some compromises that have endured in the van-to-MPV-to-electric conversion, and the EQV’s age can’t be disguised that easily. Still, its virtues are more than enough to seal the deal if an expensive seven-seat electric car is what you’re really after.

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