2021 Mercedes EQB seven-seater electric SUV: specs, details and release date

Five to seven-seat family SUV joins Mercedes' rapidly growing line-up of zero-emissions models

Mercedes EQB

Mercedes has added a third electric SUV to its line-up in the shape of the EQB, which was revealed to the public at the Auto Shanghai 2021 motor show in China. As its name suggests, it's derived from the combustion-engined GLB and sits between the smaller EQA and larger EQC in Mercedes' electric line-up.

On the styling front, it marries the boxy shape of the GLB (inspired by the rugged Mercedes G-Class off-roader) with many of the styling cues becoming familiar from other Mercedes EQ models, including a large flat panel in place of a grille, intricate alloy-wheel designs, a full-width front and rear light strips and plenty of metallic highlights inside and out.

The EQB goes on sale later in 2021, when it'll become one of the few electric cars available from a premium brand that can be specified with seven or more seats. Other options for those looking for a family electric car with this much seating capacity include the Citroen e-Berlingo, the Nissan e-NV200 Combi, Mercedes' own EQV people carrier, the Peugeot e-Rifter, the Tesla Model X and the Vauxhall Combo-e Life.

Mercedes does admit, however, that the EQB's third-row seats "can be used by people up to 5ft 4in tall" and so they'll be most comfortable for children on longer journeys. Like the front passenger seat and the second-row seats, the third row has anchor points for fitting child seats. Mercedes quotes headroom figures of 1,035mm for the first row and 979mm for the second, as well as 87mm of kneeroom in the second row.

Boot capacity ranges from 495 to 1,710 litres in the seven-seater version, and 465 to 1,620 in the five-seater, depending on how many seats are in use. The inclination of the second-row seats can also be adjusted to several positions and the seats themselves can slide back and forth in order to help with squeezing in larger items.

Up front, there's a 'widescreen' cockpit design, with two large dashboard screens giving a full-width effect as in the Mercedes E-Class hybrid. Tubular design elements with an aluminium-effect finish sit at various points around the cabin: on the doors, in the centre console and on the passenger-side instrument panel.

The car's standard navigation system includes an 'Electric Intelligence' function that calculates the fastest route to your destination while factoring in any necessary charging stops. The effect of topography, road type and weather on the expected driving range is also taken into account, while the system also brings the car's battery to the optimal temperature for charging ahead of your arrival at the charging point.

Charging from a compatible home wallbox is possible at speeds up to 11kW, while topping up from public rapid chargers using a CCS port is possible at up to 100kW – meaning a 10-80% recharge can be completed in just over half an hour. Customers can use the 'Mercedes Me' service to access and pay for charging at more than 500,000 points operated by various providers across 31 countries – 200,000 of them in Europe.

The EQB 350 model that launches the range recorded a driving range of 260 miles in official testing. Further variants will be available, including a choice of front and '4MATIC' four-wheel drive, power outputs up to 268bhp and battery sizes up to 66.5kWh. Mercedes also promises "a particularly long-range version" – which could possibly drop the seating capacity from seven to five in order to accommodate a larger battery.

Given the EQB's position in the brand's range, a starting price of around £45,000 is likely. The model will soon be joined by yet more electric Mercedes SUVs in the form of the EQE SUV and EQS SUV. Both sit on the brand's new dedicated large electric-car platform and will share much of their technology with the recently revealed EQS luxury saloon.