Mercedes-Benz GLB and EQB First Drive Review
Even though the GLB and EQB are based on the B-Class, they have nothing to do with MPVs. Everyone wants SUVs, and the boxier they are, the better. So, for the first time in this segment, two SUVs with seven seats try to fill the gap left by the sold-out GLC. Mercedes wants to see if a 7-seater that costs less and has an extra row of seats will be more popular.
Design of the Mercedes-Benz GLB and EQB
Even though the two cars are the same size when parked next to each other, you won’t be able to tell that they both have the same framework underneath. With its straight lines, high bonnet, and tall shoulders, the GLB looks very cool. Many people will like how the back looks like a small GLS.
It’s a little bit narrower than the GLC, but it’s longer and taller, so it can fit an extra row of seats inside. Even though the GLB is small, it has a lot of space inside, which is a win for Mercedes in terms of design. The EQB, on the other hand, is a bit different.
It doesn’t have its EV architecture like the EQS, so putting the battery on the floor is a trade-off. It’s set higher, giving it better ground clearance and more legroom. It has the same straight lines as the GLB, but the curved headlights and connected taillights make it look less tough. You might even think it looks like a wagon, but these are real SUVs with seven seats.
The 18-inch wheels on the EQB are smaller and better for aerodynamics than the 19-inch AMG five-spoke alloy wheels on the GLB 220d 4Matic, which give the GLB 220d 4Matic a much sportier look. Even though they look very different, these SUVs are the same, except for the grille and a few EQB badges. The Mercedes-Benz GLB and EQB both have two 10.25-inch displays for the center console and instrument cluster.
Interior of a Mercedes-Benz GLB or EQB
Both have smart and familiar interior designs. The large rectangular display on the dashboard is split into two 10.25-inch screens for the center console and instrument cluster. You receive all the different dials, so you can change how the displays look. For example, the EV dial shows EV-specific dials, while the GLB dial shows the tachometer.
The air vents in the EQB have rose gold inserts, and the seats are covered in a similar shade of “man-made leather” and fabric made from sustainable materials. However, the steering wheel is covered in Nappa leather, which doesn’t go with the rest of the car. The black microfiber upholstery in the GLB looks and feels very high-end.
The front seats can be adjusted electrically and are very comfortable, but the cabin’s real trick is its flexibility. The middle row can slide up to 140 mm, giving you much room in the third row when you want to pack your kids. The seat also reclines by 25 degrees when used as a five-seater.
Because of the battery, the EQB’s floor is a little high so you will sit with your knees up. Adults can’t sit in the third row. Even Mercedes is honest about the fact that that row is only good for kids under 13, so let’s not worry about how tight it is. When you fold it flat, there’s enough room for your pet. It also has a lot of room for bags.
When the third row is up, there is no trunk space. The EQB has 110 liters, and the GLB has 130 liters. When the third row is folded down, 465 liters of space are available in the EQB and 500 liters in the GLB. Even the middle row can be folded down, giving you more than 1000 liters of space in the trunk. If you count up to the roof, you get more than 1600 liters, but this isn’t a Tata Ace; therefore, do not register on Porter.
Performance of the Mercedes-Benz GLB and EQB
We could drive a diesel and an electric version back-to-back for the first time on a media drive. First, let’s talk about the GLB. You can choose between two engines. The GLB 200 has a 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine that makes 161bhp and 250Nm, has cylinder deactivation, and sends power to the front wheels through a 7-speed DSG. We didn’t get a chance to try this on the way.
The GLB also has a 2-liter diesel engine that powers the front wheels or all four in the top-of-the-line 220d and 220d 4Matic models. We drove the second one. It has 188bhp of power and 400Nm of torque and can go from 0 to 100kmph in 7.6 seconds. So it’s no slouch. The engine sounds rough at low revs, but as the engine’s speed increases, the car sounds more sporty.
The diesel gets an 8-speed DSG that works so well in a Sport mode that you wouldn’t want to keep it in any other setting. With that 2-liter engine, the shifts always happen at the right time, and even on a twisty road, the SUV always feels like it’s in the right gear. Since the GLB isn’t wide, you can drive it quickly around tight corners. We’ll talk more about how it handles in the next section.
Even though it’s fun to drive the GLB, the EQB is better. On paper, the sprint times are slower. The EQB 300 takes 8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, but it has all of its torque all the time, which helps it when it slows down. The 66.5kWh battery isn’t the biggest, so the 300 delivers power slowly to ensure you get the most out of the 423km WLTP range.
Still, this car has enough performance to make you want to like it. The way the EQB does business has a smooth, creamy feel to it. You feel better when you get to your destination than when you leave. EVs are very relaxing, and there’s no need to worry about running out of gas when driving downhill on a windy road.
You only add range, so as long as the charger is big enough to get you to the top of the hill, you shouldn’t run out of charge because regen quickly adds to the EQB. The 300 has a horsepower of 225 and a torque of 390Nm.
Ride quality and handling of the GLB and EQB
The ride is a pleasant surprise. Steel springs are used instead of air suspension, and the SUVs aren’t tuned for roads. However, the ride at low speeds is great, and the SUVs feel stable even when turning hard.
All-wheel drive helps put all the power to the ground well, and the seats are comfortable enough to drive quickly down a winding road. The GLB feels the most light on its feet of all the SUVs. The EQB has a 469-kilogram battery, which makes it heavier, but its center of gravity is low, which makes it more agile.
The EQB’s 155mm of ground clearance isn’t what you’d expect from an SUV, but it’s better than the EQC’s 142mm. The two ridges on the bonnet give the driver a commanding view. I like to set the seat cheap in the EQB and GLB, but I set the seat a little higher so I can see the ridges.