The trend toward making the EV iterations largely identical to their ICE counterparts is one I appreciate. All too often, stylists tend to go a bit too far in their endeavors to conjure a unique look for EVs. In this case, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 250+ looks so close to its GLB sibling they’re difficult to tell apart from certain angles.
Now offered in three different “states of tune,” the X243 EV (Mercedes’ internal platform designation) can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Considered the entry-level EQB, the 250+ is new for the 2023 model year. Largely identical in appearance to its more powerful counterparts, the primary distinguishing characteristic of the 250+ is its more generous driving range.
The solid panel where the grille is fitted to the ICE version of the Mercedes “B” SUV tells you it’s electric. After all, there’s no need to route air into an engine compartment when there is no engine. Other visual differentiators include the blue highlights on the wheels and the lack of exhaust outlets at the rear.
Here again, the GLB and EQB are extracted largely from the same mold. The layout is the same. The materials employed are the same, and all of the comfort and convenience features are the same.
This means plush leather upholstering the seats, handsomely adorned door panels, tastefully applied metal trim throughout the cabin and distinctive light piping at night. The key differentiator between the two is the rose gold accents found in the EQB, but not the GLB.
Capable of seating five, the EQB can also be had with a third row. However, it’s largely ceremonial. An adult forced to sit there will quickly come to understand the ramifications of ritual torture.
Cargo capacity is diminished somewhat by the placement of the battery pack. Still, the EQB is quite capable of supporting a family road trip.
Rated to deliver 188 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels directly in the 250+. The lithium-ion battery pack has a capacity of 70.5 kWh and is quoted as being good for approximately 245 miles of range.
DC fast charging time is quoted at 31 minutes to 80% from 90% depletion. The time from 90% depletion to a 100% charge is 11.25 hours with a 240v AC outlet.
Safety and Technology
Tell the EQB you want coffee and the nav system will find the nearest location. Say “Hey Mercedes, it’s cold,” and the user interface will raise the cabin temperature.
Known as the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the system learns. It can also be operated by touch using the panoramic screen on the dash, touch-sensitive points on the steering wheel, or the touchpad on the center console.
Advanced safety features include smart cruise control, lane keeping assistance, steering assistance, automated lane changes, and active speed limit assistance. The EQB actually “reads” speed limit signs and complies with them when the smart cruise control system is activated.
As nice as that last bit of tech sounds in theory, it is quite irritating in practice.
Picture it, you’re zipping along with the flow of traffic — typically 10 to 15 mph over the limit here in California — when the Benz “sees” a speed limit sign and abruptly endeavors to comply with its dictate.
And I do mean abruptly.
It feels like the vehicle suddenly lost power and your furious pumping of the throttle is making not one whit of difference. Meanwhile, the people in the cars behind you are wondering WTH is your problem?
How did I know what they were thinking?
Let’s just say I witnessed the extension of the longest digit of many a driver’s left hand as they whipped around the silver Benz at their first opportunity.
Other than that though, the EQB 250+ is quick, quiet, smooth and handles easily.
2023 Mercedes EQB 250+ SUV Specifications
|Dimension||L: 184.4 inches/W: 72.2 inches/H: 65.6 inches/Wheelbase: 111.3 inches|
|Powertrain||Permanently excited synchronous motors; 140kW output and front-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||113 mpg-e city/97 mpg-e highway/105 mpg-e combined|
|Performance Specs||188 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $52,750; As tested: $61,160|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
All in all, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 250+ makes a compelling case for the adoption of EVs. Granted, with 245 miles of range, it isn’t going win many fans among long distance drivers.
However, for the way most people use compact SUVs it’s more than adequate.
It did everything I needed to do using 120-volt AC household current. I ran my errands around town, plugged it in when I got home, and the little Benz was more than adequately recharged the next day.
And — things got even better once I blinded it to speed limit signs, which you can do in its set up menus.
2023 Mercedes EQB 250+ — Frequently Asked Questions
What is the range of the EQB 250+?
I saw a max of 245 miles on a full charge.
What’s the difference between the EQB 250 and 300?
The front-wheel drive EQB 250+ has a 245-mile range, compared to 232 for the EQB 300 4Matic and 221 for the EQB 350 4Matic.
What are the EQB’s key competitors?
Mercedes cites the Audi Q4 e-tron, Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4.