- mercedes-benz has revealed another electric-vehicle entry, the eqb, based on the glb crossover, and it's coming to the u.s. next year.
- the eqb will be launched first in china, where it debuts in a luxuriously equipped all-wheel-drive version with amg line styling.
- europe gets it next in three versions: front- and all-wheel-drive models and a range-optimizing mid-level eqb.
just three days after mercedes-benz revealed the mother of all evs in the form of the stunningly sophisticated eqs luxury sedan, here's yet another addition to the mercedes-eq family of cars: the eqb, an electric seven-seater crossover suv that is to the glb-class what the eqa is to the gla. and yes, it will come to the u.s. market, expected here by the 2022 calendar year.
while the sheetmetal and glass are identical, the styling department under gorden wagener has cleaned up the exterior for a more contemporary and sophisticated look. the front is graced by the trademark eq headlight/fascia assembly, with a horizontal light bar stretching over the entire width. this element is reflected on the tail end, which boasts a horizontal light strip as well. there are eq-specific colors and wheels, and there will be a choice of regular or amg-line front and rear bumpers.
the interior is carried over from the glb as well, but it comes with eq-exclusive color and trim options, including rose gold (pictured here), one of wagener's favorite colors. due to the battery packs in the floor, interior space suffers a bit: daimler cautions that the third row will only work for people up to 5'5", and the trunk shrinks considerably. that said, the eqb is still a crossover suv that offers more space than usual for its exterior dimensions.
the eqb was unveiled in china, and it will be launched there first as a fully loaded model with a standard amg line look, all-wheel drive, and two motors that make a combined 288 horsepower. europe will get both the eqb350 4matic with around 268 horsepower and the front-wheel-drive eqb250 with 221 horsepower; there will also be a midlevel version designed as a long-range model. both china and europe will see the eqb at dealers within the 2021 calendar year.
the u.s. will have to wait until 2022, and the company is mum about the possible powertrain options. "stay tuned for more details in the coming months," we are advised.
what we can deduce from our experience with the eqa is that even the least powerful versions of the eqb will come in at around 4500 pounds, which we hope won't translate into plodding, cumbersome handling characteristics, even if that would feel a bit less out of place in a people hauler like the eqb than in a compact hatch like the eqa. there will be no true amg version, unlike on the eqs and the eqe. however, we'll suspend judgment until we can drive it.
once it arrives on u.s. shores in mid-2022 as a 2023 model, we expect pricing to begin in the $40,000 range for the entry-level version. that model's performance, despite the eqb250 moniker, can be expected to fall way short of the glb250, which starts at $39,100. unlike the eqs, the eqb will be no game changer. but it could be a fitting second or third car to share the garage with daimler's new king of evs, the eqs sedan.