Here’s another electrified offering from Mercedes-Benz, the EQV.
The German maker is now covering a lot of bases with its EQ range, this one a van-based people mover. Unlike the latest EQS and EQE (and their SUV offshoots), which run on dedicated BEV platforms, this is one they have converted from a conventional model, the V-Class.
So driveline aside, it’s fairly conventional in all other aspects. The EQV runs a single front-mounted motor which drives the front wheels alone with its outputs of 150kW and 365Nm of torque. While that’s a reasonable amount of go, it’s got a mammoth task moving the 2.9 tonne EQV. You read that right. It has a 90kWh battery slung underneath it, and it’s a sizeable bus, 5.1m long, 2m wide while it’s full of suitably comfortable but rather weighty seats.
So for an EV, it feels sluggish off the mark. Being a front driver, the throttle response has been tempered so that it’s not wheel spinning at every off, as would be the case if 365Nm was suddenly sent to the leading axle.
Once up to speed, it has more of that instant torque roll on. But then it always feels rather weighty, taking a leisurely 12.1sec to get up to motorway pace from the on-ramp lights. With such weight and a body pushing a lot of wind, efficiency is not a strong point. It’s rated at 29kWh/100km and we averaged 33kWh/100km. It’s a genuine watts guzzler and a realistic range would be around the 300km mark (rated for approximately 360km).
This is aimed primarily at the corporate operator in need of a luxury transfer carriage, one that sends the right sustainability messaging. And with that in mind, the range, or lack thereof, won’t be so much of an issue, given it will likely return to the base each night to be rejuiced by a fast wall box. AC fast charging at a max rate of 11kW is said to take just over nine hours while it can be DC charged at rates of up 110kW.
On start-up, there’s some odd whirring which we put down to the compressor for the suspension winding up. It’s something you wouldn’t notice with an engine rattling into life. With those air springs and a multilink rear suspension set-up, it rides well, delivering proper passenger car comfort.
But go easy over the speed bumps, otherwise your passengers will know all about it. It’s not an SUV, afterall. The steering is quite hefty and while most vans have a tidy turning circle, this one doesn’t; blame its extended wheelbase.
The wheel-mounted paddles change up the brake regen, ranging from nothing to quite a bit but not quite enough for one-pedal driving. There’s always the need to bring the van to a halt with the foot brake. The pedal action can be inconsistent too as it deals with blending the motor regen with the friction brakes.
Having the EQV over a long weekend period, we had a few visitors to move about and it proved perfect. The twin electric side slider doors make entering and alighting easy. In the passenger compartment there is a two-plus-three seating arrangement.
Those privileged enough to find themselves in the middle row get the added comfort of a reclineable ‘captain’s chair’. But it’s not too bad in the back either, as the rear bench is crafted in a way to give each person space. There’s good leg room too, while the middle chairs can pop up to allow access to the rear. In the ‘boot’ you’ll find a set of shelves for the luggage, perfect for the airport run.
While not up to the luxury standards of a similarly priced EQE, it is rather posh for a van. The cabin is covered in soft linings, seats are powered and heated and, barring a smart key, most convenience features are present, including the surround view camera.
Being based on an older model, the MBUX system isn’t the latest whizzbang version so there are no big displays and this even makes do with regular dials in the instrument binnacle. One of those is the energy meter while a central multifunction display keeps tabs on that distance to empty and consumption.
It’s the price that is the sticking point. Even with its Three Pointed Star on the front, the $167,695 is somewhat eye watering. It means you’d have to be fairly confident that the sustainability message you were sending was well received.
|Clean Car Discount
|Neutral – $0
|150 kW/365 Nm
|Single-speed auto, FWD