2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 (car review)

Loaded with the great features that come with the petrol powered GLB compact SUV, the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC offers families, and those in need of a bit of luxury from their SUV, a genuine EV alternative.

Available as a 7-seat front-wheel drive version (the EQB 250) if you’re prepared to sacrifice power, but get back some range, the EQB 350 all-wheel drive model is priced at $106,700 plus on-roads in standard trim, or $114,090 plus on-roads in its as tested form.

Packed with dual e-motors, it’s good for 445km of travel (507km for the EQB 250). For this writer’s family, that presents a conundrum. We need the 7-seater, but the 140kW and 285Nm of the 250 doesn’t cut it. We want the 215kW and 520Nm offered by the 350.

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This dilemma is the result of the fact the extra electric motor takes the space of the third row seats, but more on that later. On the charging front, it’s good for up to 100kW of DC charging and 11kW AC, and has a 66.5kWh batteries.

With a single-speed direct drive transmission, the EQB 350 uses up 18.8kW/100km of energy, and has 420V lithium-ion battery cells, which are smartly stored in several modules in the floor, spreading weight distribution for optimum centre of gravity.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350

The EQB 350 rides on Pirelli P ZERO 235/40–20 tyres. We copped a flat tyre almost immediately after pick-up. There is no full size or space saver spare. The glue and pump provided worked a treat though and the tyre stayed at full pressure for the entire week.

Despite the hiccup, we were impressed by how well the temporary fix worked. On the suspension front, a MacPherson spring strut and transverse control arm setup with coil springs and a stabiliser bar feature up front.

At the rear, you’ll find multi-link suspension with a stabiliser and coil springs. Both ends feature adaptive electronic damping. The brakes are of course, disc all-round, while kerb weight is up there at 2,153kg.

The EQB 350 is packed with safety features, including driver assist and traffic sign assist packages, LED lighting with adaptive high beam, a 360-degree camera, park assist and knee airbags.

In the case of our test vehicle, there was also optional extras like Burmester premium audio, climatised front seats, wood trim, urban guard protection, and a Mercedes-AMG leather package.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350

Other touches include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired), a panoramic sunroof, the MBUX multimedia system, and leather seats and steering wheel. Dynamic Select also features and offers four drive modes; Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual.

There is also a head-up display to keep you informed as you accelerate from 0–100km/h in 6.2-seconds. The rest of the spacious cabin provides the luxury you expect from Mercedes-Benz, including a 10.25-inch infotainment screen and identically sized instrument cluster.

It’s all digital and all high definition, and the two work seamlessly well together. There are plenty of vents and charge points, and programmable ambient cabin illumination. That sound system we mentioned earlier sounds fantastic.

The seats are narrow, with little in the way of side support for cornering, which places all the forces into your upper body. They are also firm, and not as comfortable as expected for this reviewer.

They’re or not fully power operated either, which is something that really surprises us at this price point. Overall roominess is great though, for front and rear passengers, and the entire cabin is well thought out.

dash
Inside the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350

Most controls are intuitive, becoming familiar, falling to hand easily. Yours truly isn’t a fan of the drive select stalk in place of an indicator. I just don’t get it.

Out on the road, the EQB 350, in the right drive mode, is a pleasure to drive. We found that we needed to run the car in Sport to get the best out of the chassis, with little loss on range versus the other modes.

Sport is also the only mode where the chassis feels truly balanced and well behaved. The weight is felt, in particular, in the rear suspension, in any pre-programmed mode other than Sport.

The car feels overwhelmed and bouncy after low or high speed undulations or bumps in other options. We did however manage to use Individual to build a combination of Sport and Eco that worked a treat.

The steering is neutral, light and easy going. We didn’t find it had the feel of a performance car, but was just right for the daily driver, given the huge footprint of the tyres. The brakes are impressive, with plenty of feel and power.

Ambient lighting
Inside the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350

Drivetrain response is not something that will leave you grinning from ear to ear either, but it gets going well enough. It’s not a fast EV, but has enough grunt to be enjoyable. Range-wise, in the real world, we managed 360-380km per charge.

We also discovered a distinct lack of local fast chargers on the NSW Central Coast, having to manage charging capabilities between a standard 240v power outlet at home, and overpriced DC rapid units in Sydney.

Owners would clearly install a wall charger at home, and the savings would show. It would certainly be cheaper than shelling out $36 to “fill it up” back to full charge. It’s worth remembering the cost of excess tyre and brake wear due to its hefty weight here too.

All-in-all the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 is an attractive and well executed car. The solid face-plate in place of a traditional grille won’t be to everyone’s liking, but that seems to be the way of the future with electric vehicles.

It’s tall, boxy and looks top heavy, but it is still quite cool. The Mercedes-AMG 20-inch alloys look sweet, as does the blacked out roofline. It’s a genuinely nice SUV that’s packed with safety features and entertainment tech.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350

Pristinely finished, it’s pleasant to drive, but does need some tweaks (like powered seats). You can find out more about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 on the Mercedes-Benz Australia website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Mercedes-Benz Australia. To find out more about it, talk to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. Images: HMC Photography.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
8
Interior look and feel
9
Technology and connectivity
9
Family friendliness
9.5
Value for money
7.5

SUMMARY

Pros - plenty of interior space; dual motor grunt; safety package; infotainment system.
Cons - drive selector positioning; driving range; charge rate; weight.
Jeff Ware
Jeff Warehttp://www.bikereview.com.au
Jeff Ware has been an Australian motorcycle journalist and publisher since 2001. He was the founder of Rapid Bikes Magazine, Knee Down Magazine, and Retrobike Magazine and currently heads up the team over at BikeReview. He's not a bad car journo either.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> plenty of interior space; dual motor grunt; safety package; infotainment system.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> drive selector positioning; driving range; charge rate; weight.2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 (car review)