ULTIMATELY, with electric vehicles, it comes down to the look of the car.
EVs within certain price bands tend to offer a similar experience. Silent acceleration that tapers off eventually as the scenery hurries by and the journey becomes less remarkable once you’re past the instant smile that instant torque offers.
What makes the difference is the cabin and how it’s presented, the speed and ease of connecting your devices to the operating system, while the look of the car and its brand will help determine its place in the pecking order.
The trick is trying to keep the brand’s family look while creating some differentiation between ICE (internal combustion engine) machines and EVs.
Most brands have introduced elements of blue or green to identify their EV platforms; from trims to logos and internal colours.
Mercedes-Benz has been releasing a range of EVs to maintain its presence in the market. The recent improved look of the brand has carried over into its EVs. The distinctive design features of the Mercedes-EQ include a black panel grille with central star and the continuous light strip at the front and rear.
With the emphasis shifting inwards towards the cabin there are obvious signs of care in the look of the dashboard which spans the width of the car, presenting a mixed media canvas of lights or displays.
The continuous sweep adds a sense of breadth that delivers the perception of a wider car.
This is especially so in the EQB 350 4MATIC AMG Line reviewed here.
The top of the line in this compact SUV presents a good size for city driving. It may look compact on the outside, but it’s comfortable for five inside, and seven if you want to sacrifice boot space for a third row of seats.
With a range of 423km it’s well suited for a small family outing. With the improving network of charging stations across the causeway it’s just a matter of finding the right places on the app to stop and recharge – the car and yourself.
It takes just over 6 hours to fully charge the EQB 350 using AC, and just 32 minutes with a DC charger.
Like many EVs the instant torque is a delight. More so in this squarish car which would pose some wind resistance issues. It whizzes up to 100kmh in a silent 6.2 seconds racing on to 160kmh before running out of speed.
The silence isn’t enhanced with any special sound effects as you’d find in a BMW, which uses a Hans Zimmer soundtrack to give you that sense of propulsion. In the EQB you’ll have to resort to your own music. The sound system delivers with room to spare and Bluetooth connectivity is fast and easy to set up.
The initial ride is a bit rocky, like many SUVs, but as you pick up speed, the horizontal motion is overtaken by the forward movement.
There’s speed available on tap and handling is sharp. There are lots of positives about this EV from Mercedes-Q. The only thing is do you want to fork out upwards of $350K for it.EQB 350 4MATIC AMG Line RATING
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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