2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 EV review

Merc’s quirky GLB goes electric but loses the third seating row in up-spec 350 form

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 32
Score breakdown
Safety, value and features
Comfort and space
Engine and gearbox
Ride and handling

Things we like

  • Strong driveline
  • Nice interior
  • Fun to drive for this kind of car

Not so much

  • Manual front seat adjustment
  • No spare
  • Iffy range for the price

A few years back, Mercedes introduced the GLB.

The looks were definitely a form-following-function thing because, into this reasonably small footprint, the engineers had crammed seven seats.

The third row wasn’t hugely usable, but sufficient for the rare time people needed it.

Switching out the internal combustion engine for an electric motor and a battery gave us the EQB250. Once again, that was a quirky-looking seven-seater with some changes to the exterior appearance to tell you it was electric. The changes are good, the most obvious one being full-width LED lighting front and rear for that night-time UFO effect.

Adding a second motor at the rear resulted in this EQB350, but it also meant chucking the third row out in favour of extra propulsion.

And a bigger price tag to go with all the extra AMG bling.

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 40


How much is it, and what do you get?

The EQB350 tops the two-car range at $106,700 before on-road costs, nearly nineteen-large more than a seven-seat 250.

It’s only about two thousand more than the GLB35 AMG, however. AMG's version still has seven seats and is quicker than the EV to 100km/h by about a second. Still, that's not why an EQB buyer is buying the EQB.

Mercedes has not exactly skimped when it comes to standard spec, but as you’ll see, the EQB equipment list has some glaring omissions.

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 12
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 standard features
10.25-inch digital instrument clusterFront and rear parking sensors
10.25-inch MBUX infotainment systemHands-free power tailgate
20-inch alloy wheelsHeated front seats
360-degree camera systemKeyless entry and start
Adaptive high beamLeather-wrapped steering wheel
Adaptive suspensionLow-speed pedestrian alert sound and reversing tone
AMG exterior stylingNappa leather sports steering wheel
AMG floor matsPanoramic glass sunroof
Android AutoSatellite navigation
Auto LED headlightsSports front seats
Auto wipersSuede-like upholstery with red stitching
Configurable ambient lightingTyre pressure monitoring
DAB+ digital radioWireless Apple CarPlay

The front seats might be very comfortable and warm on a cold day with their fancy heating, but you have to move them manually like some kind of animal. When you’re into six figures, I think powered seats are a must, just quietly.

The 10.25-inch MBUX screen is excellent, except Apple CarPlay is constrained into a small rectangle – unlike…um…every other MBUX-equipped Merc I’ve seen.

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 13

You can tell the EQB and GLB apart by the former’s full-width LED lighting strip at the front, blue badging and full-width LED lighting at the rear. It’s subtle, even when rolling on 20-inch alloys.

There are nine colours, but only two are freebies. The rest are $1490 except for the fancy Magno which is $3300.

My test car had the Urban Guard protection pack ($1300), black leather upholstery ($1700), Burmester-branded surround system ($1400) and “climatised” front seats ($1200). Add to that the paint (Iridium silver) and you’ve got yourself a $114,090 (before on-road costs) five-seater, which is sailing perilously close to larger SUVs from Mercedes itself and its rivals.

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 15

How do rivals compare on value?

Dual-motor EVs are not exactly thin on the ground, even if they’re hard to actually get.

The Tesla Model Y Performance is the least difficult to get your hands on and costs $100,235 before on-road costs when you include the mandatory luxury car tax in the price (which the website doesn’t until you dig into the pricing and I wish they would stop it).

You get two motors, a battery of some description (Tesla doesn’t say but I’m sure the comments will fill with people telling me it’s around 75kWh) providing a WLTP range of 514km and is a pretty swift unit.

The quality isn’t even close to the Merc’s, however, and it’s much noisier. You get easy access to the king of charging infrastructure, however, in the Supercharger network.

2022 Tesla Model Y Thomas Wielecki 13
Tesla Model Y

Next up in the twin-motor SUV world is the Volvo C40 Recharge Twin for $83,940 before on-road costs. It’ll charge faster, goes faster and has a longer claimed (420km) and slightly longer real-world range (360-390km) compared to the EQB.

The Volvo is also a fair bit cheaper, even with a few options loaded on. It’s not as roomy inside as the EQB but it’s better looking, or at least I think so.

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 Techniq starts at $79,500, but a fairer comparison would be the Epiq at $85,000 (both before on-road costs). It’s fully loaded, has a bigger battery, a great interior, incredible styling and easily as roomy if not quite as externally compact as the GLB. It also has a longer range, 350kW charging, and is quicker. Good luck getting your hands on one, though.

IONIQ 5 16
Hyundai Ioniq 5

Last year’s Wheels COTY winner, the Kia EV6, now has a GT version starting at $99,590 before on-road costs that will rinse everything on this list in the 0-100km/h race. It has a longer warranty than the GLB, too, and if the reduced range isn’t your thing, you can go to the GT-Line AWD for $87,590 before on-road costs.

The EV6 is another roomy car and, while the interior is a little more prosaic than either the GLB or Ioniq 5, it does the job very nicely indeed.

Stretching the friendship slightly would be to include the Polestar 2 which I reckon rides just high enough to qualify as an SUV.

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Polestar 2 2
Polestar 2

Interior comfort, space and storage

The bad news on the EQB350 is losing the third row, meaning the GLB’s unique selling point – a seven-seat EV – is lost.

Slinging that extra motor in the back took all the space that two people and their seats did, so they had to go in the name of all-wheel drive performance.

You’re left with the same boot space, however, starting at a very useful 495 litres. With the 40:20:40 split-fold second row stashed, you’ll have 1710 litres, which is also quite a bit. Being a box certainly helps here. The boot floor is quite high but not inconveniently so.

You get a cargo blind, there are a couple of handy little pockets for odds and ends, but no hidden storage beneath the carpet for the same reason as there aren’t any seats.

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 5

While the back seats are shaped well enough for everything from your backside upwards, the truncated seat squabs don’t offer much under-thigh support, which is a shame.

Also mildly baffling is the deletion of the sliding function of the middle row which may be less of an issue without a third row, but is great for when you’ve got kids in child seats you want/need to reach or pesky anxious dogs.

There’s room here for two tall adults but they’ll get tired without that support on longer trips. Again, a shame, because there is a ton of headroom and the huge windows mean people of all sizes can see out. It feels kind of old-school in the best of ways with all that glass and light.

Rear passengers get air vents and a solitary USB-C charger, a fold-down centre armrest with a pair of cup holders and bottle holders in the doors.

Moving into the front, you’ll be dazzled by the pair of screens arranged side-by-side and all the various functions, bells, whistles and further accoutrements. MBUX is a good system that continues to evolve and despite my complaint about the Apple CarPlay experience being almost picture-in-picture, it’s really not that bad. The LED lighting in the cabin is configurable and those awesome afterburner-style air vents look great.

The seats look a bit plain but are very comfortable. Manual adjustment is only really a pain when swapping drivers but, at this price point, really?

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 3

I reckon I’d skip the optional full leather treatment and stick with the fake suede of the standard car, but either way, the hide is quite nice.

There’s a pair of USB-C chargers up front, a wireless phone charging pad, two cup holders and bottle holders in the doors. The adjustable armrest hides a modestly sized storage bin.

It’s a good cabin, spacious and airy but some of the plastics – again – aren’t really a six-figure car proposition.

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 9

Battery and charging

The EQB250 has the same 66kWh battery as the 250, so with an extra motor to feed, there’s an 11km drop in range to go with it. That’s not a bad result – 371km down to 360km.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 battery details
Battery size66.5kWh (usable)
Battery typelithium-ion
Charge portCCS2 (right hand side at the rear)
Home charging (11kW max)7h15
Fast charging100kW, 10-80% in 30 minutes
WLTP Range360km
2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 6

Charging maxes out at 100kW, which is a little on the low side compared to, say, Volvo, Polestar, Kia or Hyundai. But the reality is that few charging stations will deliver that kind of juice anyway, no matter what the sticker says. Most Tesla stations are about 120kW which, as I say, is fine and it’s a rarity to find anything with more oomph actually working.

So at this point, it’s largely academic. Cue the howling from EV fans that I’m being unfair. I’m here to tell you I’m an EV fan too and it’s profoundly irritating that this is the case. I felt like a right dunce having sought out a working 350kW charger with an 800V Kia and only getting 50kW out of it.

At full tilt, the EQB350 will charge from 10-80 per cent in 30 minutes, which is pretty good going really. Under-ten and over-eighty slows considerably, as it does with most lithium-ion batteries (a software-driven battery protection strategy).

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 43

The LFP battery in a lower-spec Model Y, for instance, will charge to full without the same magnitude of slowdown.

Charging at home with a three-phase 11kW wallbox will give you a full charge in just over seven hours, so if you have access to one it is not a bad way to go. You can configure when it charges to get the best out of your power tariff if you have time-of-use power or you prefer to run it off rooftop solar if you have it.

Without a wallbox, you’ll be looking at anywhere from 12 to 15 hours, give or take, but if you remember to plug it in every night (should you have that luxury), you’ll never be waiting around unless you’ve done a long trip.

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 39

What is it like to drive?

I can’t speak for the single motor 250 so everything I tell you here is in the context that I’ve only driven the quick-brick dual motor. And boy howdy is it quick.

I reckon the 6.3-second claimed 0-100km/h time is a touch conservative, perhaps to save the blushes of the petrol AMG version.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 drivetrain
Motorfront and rear
Gearboxsingle-speed reduction gear
Total power215kW
Total torque520Nm
0-100km/h6.3 seconds (claimed)
2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 33

With the addition of that extra motor, power jumps 75kW to 215kW and torque is up from 385Nm to 520Nm. That’s the kind of twist you expect from a strong diesel, which is welcome because the EQB350 is no lightweight at almost 2200kg before you load up.

The extra motor goes at the rear, so you’ve got a nice spread of power between the front and rear axles, reducing the likelihood of unruly behaviour from the front tyres. It still feels quite front-driven – especially in Comfort and Eco modes – but the well-judged steering helps mask that impression.

In normal city driving it’s very effective, with not much throttle needed to break clear of the pack or take the gaps when they come. There’s a roll-in of torque rather than the neck-snapping vibe a lot of people associate with powerful EVs, so it’s smooth but quick.

2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 34

With sportier modes engaged, the modest body roll is better contained but the ride quality doesn’t deteriorate, which is quite a trick on 20-inch wheels. You wouldn’t call ever call it delightfully cushy – there’s always a sporting edge to the ride – but it’s taut and controlled as you amp (see what I did there?) things up.

And again, given its upright stance and tall glasshouse, you’ve got a ton of vision, aided and abetted by the various cameras and sensors.

The forward auto emergency braking (AEB) is a bit of a nanny, though. I pulled out of the left lane to get around a slow-moving car and it “saw” another car in the right lane and gave us a jolt on the brakes and a tug of the seatbelt pre-tensioners.

It is nice to know those systems are there, but also, ouch. The other car was a fair way off and moving away at quite a clip, so I’m not entirely sure which of the two vehicles the system was worried about.

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Coming in at 350km on the WLTP test cycle is a fairly reasonable result for a car that isn’t optimised as EV-only. Pulling that number apart, the WLTP range suggests a consumption rate of just under 19kWh/100km.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 efficiency
WLTP range350km
WLTP consumption18.8kWh/100km
Indicated consumption20.7kWh/100km
Real-world range~335km

My week with the EQB350 saw an average of 20.7kWh/100km, which is close to the claimed usage and translates to a real-world range of around 335km.

Range is dependent on weather conditions and this was bombing around the suburbs along with some 80km/h and 110km/h running in Sydney’s very sticky early February weather.

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 10

How safe is it?

The EQB is, as you might imagine, packed with safety gear. Its five-star safety rating is based on the GLB’s result, with ANCAP conducting unspecified “further tests” on the EQB250.

For yet more unspecified reasons, the five-star rating applies only to the 250. I don’t know about you, but I find ANCAP baffling more often than I think it should be.

Kids are looked after with two lots of ISOFIX points and three top-tether anchors.

The forward AEB features pedestrian and cyclist detection and works at high and low speeds.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 safety
360-degree camerasLane departure warning
9 airbagsLane-keep assist
Adaptive cruise controlRear cross-traffic alert
Anti-lock brakesReverse AEB
Blind-spot monitoringReversing camera
Forward auto emergency brakingSide exit warning
Forward collision warningStability and traction controls

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Warranty and running costs

The EQB is covered by Benz's five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The battery has an unusually generous 10-year / 250,000km warranty to guard against “drastic” degradation.

Servicing is required every 12 months or 25,000km, but it’s not cheap. A three-year plan costs $1650, four years $2250 and five years of servicing will set you back $2650. It’s substantially cheaper to service than a petrol EQB but some rivals offer free servicing periods or just plain cheaper servicing.

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2023 Mercedes Benz EQB SUV Iridium Silver Sam Rawlings 52


We had a rare week of furious agreement in the house about the EB350.

Both my wife and I thought it was a bit awkward-looking, some of the plastics a bit ho-hum, and the back seat could be better.

We also agreed on how nice it was to drive, how easy to use and that it was a low-fuss, swift EV. We just wished it didn’t cost so much for the 350 and that without the seven seats, it kind of rendered the concept a little pointless.

Then again, variety is the spice of life and if you need a practical, city-friendly raised wagon – which sounds like I’m damning it with niche praise, and I’m not – the EQB350 is very, very good.

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2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB350 specifications
Body5-door, 5-seat medium SUV
Enginedual electric motors
Transmissionsingle-speed reduction gear
0-100km/h6.3 sec (claimed)
Energy consumption19.0kWh/100km (combined)
Suspension (front)MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension (rear)Multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar rear
Brakesdiscs front and rear, regenerative braking
Tyres235/45 R20 Pirelli P Zero
Wheels20-inch alloy (no spare)
Price$106,490 + on-road costs

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Score breakdown
Safety, value and features
Comfort and space
Engine and gearbox
Ride and handling

Things we like

  • Strong driveline
  • Nice interior
  • Fun to drive for this kind of car

Not so much

  • Manual front seat adjustment
  • No spare
  • Iffy range for the price


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