We decided to put the battery electric vehicle’s (BEV) stated 388km to 423km range, based on the WLTP (worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure) standard, to the test with a nearly 400km drive from Shah Alam to Kuala Krau, Pahang round-trip within a day.
Range anxiety (the fear of running out of power before reaching a destination), due to the lack of charging points for BEVs on a majority of our route, gnawed at us when we planned the journey in the test drive car.
Using the PlugShare app, we noted that there are no direct current (DC) fast-charging stations along our route once we leave Selangor. The EQB has Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes.
On the way to Kuala Krau, we drove in Eco mode most of the time, and made good use of the regenerative braking system, especially on downhill sections of the journey, which helped to charge the lithium-ion battery.
We are also fortunate that our house is located near Hap Seng Star’s Mercedes-Benz Autohaus in Setia Alam which has 120kW DC fast chargers.
These DC fast chargers are free of charge for Mercedes-Benz owners and we can quickly zap up from a 3% state of charge (SoC) to 52% in only 21 minutes.
That is just enough time for us to go up to the premium-looking and well-designed showroom floor, and grab some coffee at the cafe.
On an early Sunday morning, we left Setia Alam with a 94% SoC, and the EQB 350’s digital instrument cluster showed a maximum estimated travel range of 370km.
We then drove 42km to Selayang Capitol Complex, where there are 40kW CCS2 charging points operated by ChargeSini.
When we arrived, the battery had dropped to 78% SoC and the maximum estimated travel range was 304km.
However, for some reason, we could not unlock the cable on the charging point.
From here, we decided to drive 36km to Windmill Upon Hills Premium Suites, Genting Highlands as the PlugShare app showed it has 22kW alternating current (AC) charging points.
We got there with a 58% SoC, after enjoying the EQB 350’s very capable handling qualities during a spirited run on the twisty uphill Genting Highlands route.
The charging points are located at the lobby level, and Windmill Upon Hills charges RM10 per hour for non-guests.
After charging at 11kW for an hour, the SoC jumped from 58% to 74%, and the maximum estimated travel range was 289km.
At this point, we were 122km drive away from Kuala Krau.
With the car’s energy recuperation technology, the lithium-ion battery is also recharged when the driver’s foot leaves the accelerator or during braking.
This meant that during downhill driving, we noticed that the car’s remaining travel range would increase.
We reached Kuala Krau after driving 201km in total, with a 50% SoC, and the maximum estimated travel range was 197km.
Using the Eco drive mode most of the time, we made the 185km return trip (including a short detour to Sentul, Kuala Lumpur) without a battery charging stop, and finally reached Setia Alam with a 5% SoC.
Meanwhile, when the front doors are opened, the Mercedes star is projected onto the ground of the entry area.
The interior has a premium ambience as expected of a luxury marque, with polished metallic surfaces and high-quality plastics.
The mixed fabric/leather seats felt very firm and provided top-notch cushioning on our Shah Alam to Kuala Krau, Pahang round-trip.
Nice features include the powered front memory seats, premium sound system, automatic headlights and wipers, and plenty of storage spaces and cup holders.
We found seven USB-C ports in the car including two USB-C ports at the third row of seats.
While legroom is adequate in the rear rows, sitting in the two seats in the third row can be a cramped experience.
We are 1.7m tall and our heads were practically touching the cabin ceiling when seated in the third row.
Mercedes-Benz did state that the two seats in the third row can be used by people up to 1.65m tall.
Shod with 19-inch wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Turanza T005 tyres sized 235/50, the EQB 350 4Matic feels very planted as we tackled twisty uphill roads with gusto.
Handling is solid, and there was little body roll, and the steering feels effortless and accurate.
There is a lot of muscle here with 520Nm of torque, and with BEVs, you get instantaneous torque performance to propel the car’s 2,175kg kerb weight.
A surround-view camera system makes it a lot easier to park and manoeuvre in tight spots.
The cabin is well insulated from external noise intrusion, and road and tyre noise, as well as the din from the motorcycles on the road, were quite muted.
For us, the EQB 350 4Matic comes across as a solid, impressively comfortable and powerful compact seven-seater SUV, with a well-appointed interior and ample rear luggage space - with the third row folded.
The BEV’s energy recuperation technology can increase travel range, and as we found out, this helped a lot on long-distance routes where there is a lack of DC fast charging infrastructure.
Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic
Drive system: All-wheel drive, asynchronous motor on front axle, permanently excited synchronous motor on rear axle
Maximum power: 215kW/292hp
Maximum torque: 520Nm
Battery capacity and type: 66.5kWh, lithium-ion
Range: 388 - 423km (WLTP)
Charger Type: Type 2 (AC) / CCS2 (DC)
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Normal AC charging (11kW, 10-100%): 6 hours 15 mins
Quick DC Charging (100kW, 10-80%): 32 mins
Suspension: Multilink rear
Acceleration (0-100kph): 6.2 seconds
Top speed: 160kph
Kerb weight: 2,175kg
Maximum boot capacity: 1,710 litres
Features: 5-metre charging cable for wallbox and public charging station, comfort suspension, Dynamic Select drive programmes, LED headlamps, powered front seats with memory function, mixed fabric/leather seats, wipers with rain sensor, automatic climate control, MBUX multimedia system, head-up display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Surround lighting with projection of brand logo, 19-inch light- alloy wheels, wireless charging for mobile devices
Safety and assistance features: Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Exit warning function, Active Brake Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, 360-degree camera, Parking Assist Parktronic
Price: Starts from RM333,888