Mercedes EQV review
The Mercedes EQV builds on the basis of the smart V-Class people carrier to offer VIP transport with silent and refined electric power
- As big as electric cars get
- Seating for up to seven
- Very quiet on the move
- Ride can feel bouncy
- Other large electric cars better to drive
|Car type||Electric range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||211-213 miles||14hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||47mins (10-80%, 110kW)|
The Mercedes EQV is the first all-electric MPV from the German brand, and it might look a little familiar. That’s because it’s based partly on the Mercedes V-Class, a posh people carrier known for its luxury and quality inside – yet both are also related to the hard-working Vito van.
Although the EQV has a slightly different look to the V-Class, particularly on the nose, it’s not all that different overall – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it keeps the base car's spacious interior and upmarket feel. The batteries are stored under the floor, so there’s still lots of room inside and a flat floor.
There are three versions to choose from: Sport, Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus. Sport is available in either a 2-2-3 or 2-3-2 seating formation, while Premium and Premium Plus cars both use a 2-2-3 layout with a fold-out table system for middle-row passengers. Heated leather seats are standard on every version, plus automatic climate control and ebony wood-effect trim.
The electric motor and electrical parts sit where the diesel engine would in a V-Class, and it’s all the better for it. There’s none of that annoying clatter from the 201bhp electric motor or the big 90kWh battery pack – instead, you get an even more relaxing experience. Performance is good, too: the car feels surprisingly fast in a straight line. Its range of up to 213 miles should be enough for both business and private buyers, though the former is likely to be a bigger market.
When there are no passengers on board, the EQV is a little bouncy and soft, but it’s comfy enough. We've not yet tried a top-spec car with its full air suspension setup, but it seems this is the model to go for if you want maximum comfort. Other aspects of the driving experience, such as the light steering, mean the EQV encourages you to take it easy at all times.
The EQV is a fantastic way to travel in comfort, as it glides around in serene silence both at low speeds around town and on the motorway. It's a relaxing long-distance car, too, while the impressive 110kW DC charging capacity means you can make swift top-ups on such trips: a 10-80% charge from a compatible public rapid charger will take just 45 minutes. Maximum AC charging speed is 11kW, but Mercedes doesn't quote a charging speed for this level; instead, if you have a more conventional 3.6kW wallbox at home, you'll need around 10 hours to top up that big battery.
The EQV is based on a longer-wheelbase version of the Vito van, so some may have to get used to the feeling of driving a vehicle that's just over 5.3 metres long and 2.2 metres wide including mirrors. A 360-degree parking camera is a godsend in tighter spots like multi-storey car parks, but only comes as standard on the Sport Premium and Premium Plus models. All get Mercedes' PARKTRONIC parking sensors, however, so there's a basic level of assistance.
All EQV models also get a great level of standard equipment – much as you'd expect from such an expensive vehicle. Highlights include LED headlights, 12V outlets for rear-seat passengers and in the boot, ambient lighting, automatic wipers, cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen as found on other Mercedes cars. However, one small point is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only supported on Sport Premium cars and upwards.
Overall, the EQV makes a lot of sense as a company car that doubles up as transport for a large family, or as a zero-emissions alternative for executive transport firms. But cheaper alternatives have started to appear. For one, there's the more utilitarian Vito Tourer from Mercedes itself, while you can also pick from the trio of Stellantis Group sister models: the Citroen e-SpaceTourer, Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life.