2 Concerning Complaints Mercedes-Benz EQB Owners Have
The Mercedes-Benz EQB is the automaker’s least expensive EV offering in the U.S. Looking very similar to the GLB, it offers many of the same features as its internal combustion-powered sibling, including a spacious cabin and infotainment system. Parked next to each other, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the two vehicles apart, although if you look closely, you’ll notice the EQB has a black panel covering the grill and slightly different trim.
That the EQB is similar to the GLB is a positive. Some people don’t want a vehicle that screams “EV” and looks like a spaceship. Instead, they want something practical at a reasonable price. The EQB succeeds on both counts with a base price of $55,550, including destination. That it wears a three-pointed star at that price is a bonus.
However, while the Mercedes-Benz EQB makes the transition from an internal combustion-powered vehicle to an EV painless, there are two areas that owners complain about – the infotainment system and the overall driving comfort.
Problems with the Mercedes-Benz EQB infotainment system
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz EQB looks appropriately modern with its two-panel flat-screen dashboard. The left screen houses the instrument cluster containing driver-related information. It’s configurable with different themes, including classic, sport, and electric art. On the right side, the infotainment screen provides info about the audio system, navigation, and phone. Both offer high-resolution graphics and colors, making them easy to read at a glance.
Unfortunately, the console-mounted remote touchpad controller is not easy to read or intuitive. While it’s meant to function like a mouse or a touchpad on a laptop, operating is awkward and takes getting used to. An assortment of buttons acts as shortcuts for different menu functions, unnecessarily complicating the interface. A combination of touchscreen, voice commands, and steering wheel controls should really be all you need, making the touchpad a waste of console space.
Mercedes-Benz got two things right with this system: enhanced voice controls and augmented reality features. The voice control has a natural-language understanding capability similar to most smartphones. Simply tap a button on the steering wheel or say, “Hey, Mercedes,” and you can ask it to check the weather, find a shortcut, or navigate to a nearby Mexican restaurant. Augmented reality will add to that experience, showing real-time views of traffic and adding animation to pair with the camera view.
Base EQB models get a six-speaker, 100-watt audio system, which can be upgraded to a 10-speaker, 225-watt unit or an immersive sound 12-speaker, 590-watt Burmester surround-sound system on the top Pinnacle trim. The base system sounds good, thanks to the EQB’s insulated cabin and quiet electric drive, but the optional stereos provide unsurpassed sound quality.
Mercedes-Benz EQB driving comfort issues
As with the Mercedes-Benz GLB, the five-passenger EQB is a nice place to spend time. It’s comfortable for four people, five when necessary, and offers nicely bolstered power-operated front bucket seats. Thanks to a long wheelbase and square roofline, relative to other compact luxury SUVs, the EQB provides good access to both the front and rear. You can fold the second-row seat using a 40/20/40 split and slide it forward and backward up to 5.5 inches.
The second-row bench seat is divided 40/20/40, and you can individually fold each section flat for cargo or recline them to any of seven positions for comfort. With just four aboard, a flip-down center armrest with slide-out cupholders aids comfort. Also, the second-row seat sections can slide fore and aft up to 5.5 inches to accommodate cargo needs or add some sorely needed third-row legroom in the seven-passenger version.
The EQB also offers a seven-passenger version, which is best skipped, or used only for children. The third row transforms a comfortable five-passenger space into a crowded seven-passenger area. It’s like sharing a five-person booth at a restaurant with six other people. Another concern EQB owners have regarding the interior for driving comfort is the abundance of plastic trimming, which can cause noise when pressed and is easily scratched and scuffed with use.
Owners overall like their EQB models
Competitors for the Mercedes-Benz EQB include the Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Lexus NX. According to J.D. Power’s 2022 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, EQB buyers like their vehicles for the powertrain, exterior and interior styling, driving feel, safety, and ease of entry or exit. They did not like the driving comfort, infotainment complexity, and lower-than-expected range.
J.D. Power’s editors liked the EQB, summarizing their impressions with, “the brand’s no-nonsense compact EQB SUV gives aspirational entry-luxury and first-time EV buyers a path to go carbon-free under the three-pointed star without breaking the bank.” They felt the electric EQB felt more premium than its internal-combustion GLB counterpart.
We share the same impressions as the owners and J.D. Power’s editors. In our test of the GLB, we praised it for being “A solid, stylish blend of fun, usable performance, and everyday comfort and practicality.” If anything, the EQB shares those traits and more, making it the one to get if you’re looking for a small SUV from Mercedes-Benz.