BMW’s two main competitors are really upping their EV games as of late. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the debut of four new EVs from both Audi and Mercedes-Benz; the Audi Q4 e-tron, Audi A6 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQS, and this — the Mercedes-Benz EQB.
The Mercedes EQB is the electrified version of the GLB crossover, so it’s not a from-the-ground-up, bespoke EV. Instead, it’s more like the BMW iX3 in that it starts out life as an traditional ICE vehicle and then gets an EV makeover. The EQB will go on sale in China first, launch in Europe by the end of 2021, and finally make it to the U.S. market in 2022.
When it goes on sale, wherever you are, it’s going to be an interesting EV proposition for anyone that needs a lot of interior space. Being based on the GLB, the Mercedes-Benz EQB will boast three rows of seating and seven total seats. The interior is as stylish and good looking as the GLB’s, though it lacks the benefits of a true bespoke EV, as its cabin was designed for a piston-engine car.
It starts off as a front-drive car, with a single electric motor at the front axle. However, all-wheel drive variants, with two motors, will be available. Duel motor cars will make 288 horsepower in China and 268 horsepower in Europe. Front-wheel drive models are said to make 221 horsepower. It boasts a maximum usable battery capacity of 66.5 kWh, which is well below the 100-plus kWh battery of the new EQS. Though, Mercedes-Benz does claim that a longer-range model is on the way.
This new Mercedes-Benz EQB might be the BMW iX3’s closest competitor, being that both are built on ICE platforms and both lack the battery and range to compete with the likes of Tesla. The EQB is a bit better looking than the iX3, has more cabin space, and offers all-wheel drive but it’s not exactly impressive. When you look at cars like the Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron, the BMW iX3 and Mercedes-EQB seem like afterthoughts, which shows that bespoke EVs are the way to go.