With three rows of seating and a huge boot in a compact body, the incoming EQB will be one of the most practical EVs on the market
The all-electric, seven-seat Mercedes-Benz EQB midsize SUV is set to be released in Australia as early as August this year, Chasing Cars understands.
Mercedes-Benz originally planned to bring the EQB to Australia within a more general timeline between July and December this year but has now confirmed that the three-row electric SUV will be released locally in August or September 2022.
The updated timeline shows the German car maker is confident it can build up enough stock of the EQB before its imminent launch, with the electric SUV likely to be a popular addition to the Mercedes-Benz crossover lineup, joining its petrol-powered GLB sibling.
Through to the end of May, Mercedes-Benz had sold 779 examples of the combustion GLB so far in 2022, as well as 1307 petrol-powered GLA small SUVs and an impressive 415 units of the all-electric GLA-based EQA model that shares many components with the EQB.
Serving as the most versatile addition to Mercedes-Benz’s onslaught of new electric vehicles, the EQB will be sold alongside the company’s entry-level EQA electric car and flagship EQS sedan, and later, the EQE midsize sedan and full-size EQS SUV.
When it is released the EQB will become the only fully-electric seven-seater on sale in Australia, as Tesla maintains a long pause on its deliveries of the three-row Model X SUV, while the American EV specialist’s Model Y crossover is five-seat only in Australia.
The Australian specification of the EQB is yet to be announced but the latest midsize SUV is expected to come to Australia in both five- and seven-seat configurations.
Mercedes-Benz offers the EQB globally in both single-motor front and dual-motor all-wheel-drive layouts.
The EQB250 serves as the entry-level, front-wheel-drive option and is driven by a single 140kW/385Nm motor which takes 9.2 seconds to accelerate from 0-100km/h.
Buyers can also opt for the EQB350 4MATIC (AWD) with a combined output of 215kW/520Nm, which cuts the 0-100km time down to 6.2 seconds.
Both variants feature a lithium-ion battery with a usable capacity of 66.5kWh providing a range of up to 345km in the EQA250 and 395km in the EQA350, when tested according to the more accurate WLTP standard.
A maximum DC charging speed of 100kW is quite a bit off the pace of rivals such as the 350kW-capable Genesis GV60, but Mercedes-Benz says the EQB can still recharge its 66.5kWh battery from 10-80 percent in 30 minutes.
However, drivers will more likely be charging their EQB with an AC-style charger at home. In this situation, speeds of up to 11kW are possible, allowing for a complete recharge in around six hours.
Arguably the most significant question about the Mercedes-Benz EQB for Australia remains its price.
In Australia, prices for the petrol-powered GLB on which the EQB is based, start at $64,088 before on-road costs for the GLB 200, and tops out at $97,569 for the AMG-badged GLB 35.
The starting price for the EQB will likely fall somewhere between the EQA small SUV ($78,513) and the EQC midsize SUV ($124,300), with AWD variants commanding a slightly higher premium.
While the EQB doesn’t quite have the shed-like 1800-litre load capacity of its combustion-powered GLB sibling, when the second and third-row seats are folded flat, it can still hold up to 1620-litres and fit people of up to 1.65-metres in height in its third row.
Elsewhere in the cabin buyers can expect technology such as a pair of 10.25-inch screens, with one serving as a digital instrument cluster and the other as the multimedia interface.
Leather upholstery along with dual-zone climate control, wireless charging and a premium stereo can also be expected, with more details expected to be provided closer to the EQB’s launch in August or September this year.
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