Mercedes-Benz GLB, EQB Review: The Rise Of The Affordable 7-Seater Luxury SUVs
- We drove both the new Mercedes-Benz GLB and its EV counterpart, the EQB.
- Both SUVs are well-equiped and offer good performance.
- Mercedes-Benz India will launch the GLB and EQB SUVs on December 2, 2022.
We’re all going with the trend of buying SUVs. It’s not just in India though, but a worldwide phenomenon. This is true even for the luxury brands and that’s one reason why Mercedes-Benz India decided to establish its supremacy in this department. It currently has the highest number of SUVs in its portfolio in India but the bestseller is the GLC and that’s because of the great value for money offering it is. But now with the GLC sold out, and the new-gen model expected only in the third quarter of 2023, there’s a void left between the GLA and the GLE. Knowing this, Mercedes-Benz immediately responded by bringing the GLB to India. But there’s one more car that the company is bringing along with the GLB and that’s its electric version – the EQB. Now Siddharth already drove both the cars and told you all about it, but I have got my hands on both of them in India and so, let’s see what they are all about.
Also Read: India-Spec Mercedes-Benz GLB And EQB Details Revealed
The GLB gets most of its design cues from the bigger GLS SUV and its very much a baby GLS, if you compare the front grille, taillamps, headlamps and even the silhouette. The haunches on the front and rear wheels and the rounded design gives it a very SUV feel. The EQB looks every bit an EQ SUV. The blacked-out front grille, longer bonnet and the lovely blue elements inside the headlamps give it its unique look. The headlamps are different compared to the GLB and hence both though similar in design have a unique character.
While the GLB gets most of its design cues from the bigger GLS SUV, the all-electric EQB comes with the signature EQ styling.
The taillamps too are distinct and there is an LED strip that runs across the tail gate merging with the LED taillamps on either side. So, on the looks front, both look very distinct. The GLB is based on the MFA 2 platform while the EQB on the iVA 2 and there are very minor differences in their dimensions. But look closely and you’ll see how close they are in terms of dimensions to the GLC and then Mercedes’ strategy of bringing in this car to the country becomes clearer. They are both 7 seater SUVs and when launched on December 2, will be the most affordable ones in the luxury car space.
|Length (in mm)||4646||4684||4658|
|Width (in mm)||1850||1834||1890|
|Height (in mm)||1706||1691||1644|
|Wheelbase (in mm)||2829||2829||2873|
|Ground Clearance (in mm)||155||155||201|
Compared to the GLB, the all-electric EQB is longer and wider, but it gets the same wheelbase as its ICE counterpart.
Both the EQB and the GLB will be imported into India from the company’s Mexico plant, but knowing Mercedes-Benz India, we expect a strategy to make these cars here too.
Now apart from dimensions, there’s a lot common in both these cars on the inside too.
Both the GLB and EQB come with the large display with two 10.25-inch screens.
There’s good space up front and you get a very clutter free dashboard. Ergonomically speaking, everything is right where you want it. Then there are the two 10.25-inch screens which dominate the dashboard and the touch feature of course is for the infotainment part of the screen. The graphics are intuitive and the screen responsive. You get wireless charging but there’s no wireless Apple Carplay or android auto, you have to plug it in for that functionality and that for me is a bit of a miss. There’s MBUX as well on both which makes them connected cars and a lot of features get added on. It’s a very clean dashboard and it’s smart and functional.
Both the GLB and EQB are 7-seater SUV and the second row seats get 40-20-40 split function,
The second row sees the seats being split into 40-20-40 and that’s also done keeping in mind the luggage space needed. The seats here can slide up and down and you can also recline the rear seat for added comfort. You get a c-type USB charger too and those are available on the last row too. There’s good enough space for two adults and one child here.
Now the third row. Mercedes is very clear about whom it’s meant for- pre-teens and maybe pets so space at the rear for a person my size is just not enough. It’s too cramped and not at all a place to ride for taller folks.
With all three rows up there’s 150 litres of space on offer, with the 3rd row down, there’s 700 litres and with the second and third row folded, you get 1680 litres.
Mercedes-Benz GLB: How Does It Drive?
The GLB is available in both petrol and diesel engine options but I have got my hands on the diesel. This is the 2-litre unit pushing out 188 bhp and there’s 400 Nm of torque on offer. That 8 speed dual clutch really works wonders because it tries overtime to make available power at your disposal. But there’s a lag upto 1400 rpm and then the GLB comes into its own till about 3000 rpm after which the pulling power diminishes gradually. This one is the all wheel drive version and does a 0-100 kmph in. Just 7.6 seconds. You do not feel at anytime that it’s underpowered in anyway. It’s all very proportionate given that it’s a family car
We drove the diesel GLB, which offers 188 bhp and 400 Nm of torque, and it's mated to a capable 8-speed DCT unit.
|Mercedes-Benz GLB||220d 4MATIC|
|Max Power||188 bhp@3800 rpm|
|Peak Torque||400 Nm@1600-2600 rpm|
Mercedes-Benz EQB: How Does It Drive?
This one is very entertaining as the 390 nm of torque that the battery makes is instantaneous and since there is no lag. The power delivery is quick and seamless and put it in sport mode and everything just firms up and the steering is well weighed and on the curves it’s an absolute treat because it responds so well and you keep enjoying the ride. The 66.5 kWh battery pack punches in 225 bhp and that power is delivered seamlessly to the wheels.
The Mercedes-Benz EQB comes with a 66.5 kWh battery pack that powers electric motor to produce 225 bhp and 390 Nm.
And given that it has a range of 423 km on a single charge, the EQB is quite the mile muncher. It has a fast charging option too and if plugged in to a 100 kW DC fast charger, it can go from 10% to 80 % in 32 minutes. A full charge with a 11 kW AC charger takes around 6.5 hours. And you also get an 8 year warranty on the battery pack. The one’s who will opt for the GLB too receives an 8 year warranty on the engine and transmission, which is impressive.
Using a 100 kW DC fast charger, the EQB's battery can can be charged from 10% to 80 % in 32 minutes.
Ride And Handling
The ride quality on both is spot on. With a ground clearance of 155 mm, the EQB and the GLC trot over anything that the Indian roads have to offer. Even if you are in the third row, the suspension travel is shorter and hence you don’t bounce about. There is a hint of body roll though and that can be attributed to the size of the car.
The ride quality on both the GLB and the EQB is nice and plush, plus the suspension travel is shorter and hence you don’t bounce about.
On the Safety front, both cars will come with 7 airbags and the safety is extended to the 3rd row too which gets curtain airbags. Both have a 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP and there are numerous other active and passive safety features offered.
We believe Mercedes-Benz will have a competitive pricing strategy, and price both the GLB and EQB between Rs. 57 to 65 lakh rupees.
But clearly, all eyes will be on what both the cars will be priced at. A gut feel tells me that both will carry the same price tag, just to shake things up a bit in the luxury car segment. So, I won’t be surprised if both are priced between Rs. 57 to 65 lakh rupees and that would be very competitive. So, the GLB and the EQB impress with what they have to offer and a knock out price would certainly put it on a pedestal in the luxury car space.