The coolest minivan ever? Mercedes unveils space age EQT

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Words: Matthew Hansen
11 May 2021

Maybe it’s just coincidence, but it feels a little bit like minivans (or ‘people movers’ or ‘MPVs’ as they’re often referred to in the colonies) are experiencing a renaissance.

Two new ones have recently toured the NZ Autocar office, in the form of the Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival, and sales in the segment appear to be picking up again in the US. Now, Mercedes-Benz has revealed may be the coolest minivan yet.

It’s called the EQT and, as the name suggests, it’s part of Benz’s dedicated electric car line-up (alongside the EQC, EQS, and EQA). Sadly, the model is a concept, which means it’s not guaranteed to make it all the way to production. But, one would think production is a more likely future than not.

Where the EQT sits in the Mercedes commercial line-up is new ground for Kiwis. It’s pitched as a replacement for a model called the Citan sold overseas. This model is similar in size and intent to the Renault Kangoo, utilizing a Kangoo platform underneath as part of the technical partnership the two brands have (or rather, had. Renault pulled out of the deal recently).

The EQT is still based on this same platform, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. The model adopts all the futuristic styling tropes of other EQ models, including but not limited to the smooth surfacing, the glossy wide faux grille with integrated headlights, and a tail light light bar that spans the width of the car.

While the current Citan and its eventual replacement come with stripped-out commercial trims available, the new EQT has only been shown off in its flagship seven-seater ‘minivan’ guise. It’s all much more plush looking than your average workhorse, with white nappa leather throughout and shiny blue highlights.

The EQT concept features the same electric powertrain as the recently revealed Kangoo E-Tech, including a 44kWh battery capable of a claimed 265km of travel per charge. The next-gen Citan, whether it looks like this or not, is also likely to offer internal combustion engine alternatives (although those won’t feature the EQ nomenclature).

The concept shows a raft of features, some more interesting than others. The dual sliding doors slide wide enough to allow third-row passengers easy access. The dash features a requisite level of Mercedes tech, including a digital cluster and MBUX. And, curiously, the model is said to also come with an electric longboard stowed under a plexiglass floor in the boot.

Don’t expect that feature to make it to production.

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